The Price
Chapter 10

Going Home

The Russians delivered us to the border; then there was a two-hundred-yard no-man's-land, with the British waiting for us on the other side… Though I was still very, very sick and had yet to be reunited with my family, I felt that I had finally come home at last.
About three hundred men were released at the same time, and they all took a train. At one stop, the Russians checked their lower bicep for a tattoo of their blood type. This was apparently something that was done for SS soldiers [1]. The author says he was surprised that they found some in their group after all these years.

As they drove through East Germany, they passed women holding signs with the names of their missing loved ones, hoping to at least learn what happened to them.

When they reached Frankfurt on the Oder [2], they were released. They were given fifty Deutschmarks each, which wasn't much since a beer cost forty-five, he informs us. He goes to see a doctor for an infection and is told to wait until he gets to West Germany.

He does so, and after treatment is awakened by little girls singing a Mormon hymn. It turns out that there was a missionary serving in this city who was from Hamburg and knew him, and he had sent the local church members to visit him.


[1] SS blood group tattoo (Wikipedia) <, accessed 2021-02-10.>

Frankfurt (Oder) ( <, accessed 2021-02-10.> "The official name Frankfurt (Oder) and the older Frankfurt an der Oder are used to distinguish it from the larger city of Frankfurt am Main," which is the city everyone knows as simply Frankfurt.
Although this chapter is very brief, it is emotionally moving. You can only imagine how these men must have felt after all these years.

The fact that members of the Church discovered he was there through a missionary who just happened to be there and be from Hamburg and know Karl-Heinz is what Mormons would refer to as a "tender mercy of the Lord," a minor miracle proving that God was aware of his situation. There are actually many such "tender mercies" all throughout Karl-Heinz experiences.
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