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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 31

service. We considered this a special kindness on the part of the officers, to grant permission to Rev. Minninger [Mininger] of the Old Mennonite K.C. mission to come to us regularly and to minister to us. Brother Minninger too never in this world will fully realize how great a service he thereby rendered to us and our Master. “What ye have done the least of these ye have done unto Me.”

Bath and shave were given twice weekly; prisoners doing the barbering as their part of “hard labor” and at the same time learning a profitable trade. Meals were served in a colossal mess hall which seats 1300, yet to accommodate all we needed to have three shifts for each meal which made nine settings a day, or practically meals at all hours; of course, no prisoner was permitted to eat more than three times. Each one was assigned to either, early, general, or late mess, and if one was caught slipping in twice as sometimes happened on Sunday breakfast, when we had two fresh buns, scrambled egg powder, and coffee, the guards removed him rather roughly. Food in general was not fancy and we had plenty of chronic grumblers, who even went so far as to charge the local authorities with fraud in connection with the administration of the food allottment [sic] or ration. The meals were wholesome enough to keep up our normal weight even though they were lacking in sugar and fats. In the long run we developed a craving for these elements. On Thanksgiving and Christmas we had special meals, and it put the entire multitude into a better humor; or as we might put it, it improved the morale.

Individual prisoners were on certain days and hours allowed to receive their relatives as visitors, either occassionally [sic] or regularly. This always was something to look forward to. I was especially fortunate

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