Date of Interview
Harold Brick was born on 17 December 1924 on a farm by Lake Henry, Stearns County, Minnesota. One of eight children, he attended a two-room school through the eighth grade, then high school in nearby Belgrade. After graduating in 1942, Harold attended Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, for one semester, then worked until being drafted into the Army in June 1943. After Basic Training Harold was made a 60mm mortar gunner and assigned to the 275th Regiment, 70th Infantry Division. Harold arrived with his unit in Marseilles, France, in late December 1944; less than a month later, on 6 January 1945, he was captured in eastern France, close to the German border. As a POW, Harold spent approximately six weeks at Stalag IX-B, Bad Orb, enduring that camp's poor conditions and chronic overcrowding, before being transported by train with ninety other POWs to a work camp by Trebnitz, some thirty miles south of Leipzig. Work details included railroad track repair; with some knowledge of German, Harold was selected to be the camp interpreter. When in mid-April 1945 the Germans evacuated this camp due to the advancing Soviet Red Army, the POWs were marched in the Zeitz-Weissenfels area for several days before being found by advancing American forces of the 9th Armored Division. Along with several other POWs, Harold eventually found his way to American forces at nearby Naumburg, and was evacuated to Camp Lucky Strike, in France, and then to the United States. Harold was discharged from the Army in December 1945. Again a civilian, Harold returned initially to Lake Henry and the family farm; he was married (1953) and helped to raise a family, and in 1959 began a thirty-one-year career with the Postal Service, in St. Paul. At the time of this interview (April 2004) Harold Brick lived in the Twin Cites suburb of Roseville.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.
Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Harold Brick" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 8.