By Jerry Herrmann The Daily Courier
Sixty-five years after the Germans captured Norman D. Fellman of Prescott during World War II, the U.S. Army recognized him Wednesday as one of 350 U.S. soldiers who were held as slaves inside Nazi Germany at the Berga an der Elster camp.
Lt. Col. Jim Adams, who represented Peter Geren, secretary of the Army, presented Fellman with his medal at a ceremony at the Bob Stump Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Fellman and other members of B Company, 275th Regiment of the Army’s 70th Division, in January 1945 were operating near Falkenberg Ridge, about 12 kilometers outside of Phillipsbourg, France, when they were ambushed by the Germans.
Adams said German tanks surrounded B Company, which was out of communication with other units or headquarters, as they moved through waist-deep snow.
In the book “Given Up for Dead” written by Flint Whitlock, Fellman said, “… We had scooped out holes the best we could in the rock, and we were pretty much out of ammo.
“The Germans came around with flame-throwing tanks at the base of the hill, but had evidently decided to bypass us initially and had gone around us and were cleaning up when they came back to get us.”
Fellman said his unit had three choices – “we could freeze to death, we could starve to death, or we could surrender.”
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