Segment 8


Zager ended up joining an Army chorus group to stay busy during occupation. He ended up travelling around and performing for soldiers all over Europe. He met General Patton after performing one night. Patton noticed that Zager had his .38 revolver on his hip and asked to see it. Zager noticed that Patton had his infamous two pearl-handled revolvers on his side and asked to see his. They talked for quite a bit and looked at each others revolvers and that was the only time Zager ever met or talked to Patton.According to Zager there were, "too many women in Germany," so he was given the option of being stationed somewhere else in Europe. Zager went to Rome. As a Jeep driver, Zager did not accumulate a lot of points, mostly because of his age. Zager ended up staying for about a year after the war's end. After the year was up, he ended up getting on a victory ship and headed back home. The troop ship made port in New York City. Zager took an Army train of about six cars to El Paso, Texas. On their way to El Paso they ran head on into another train and two men were killed. A lot of the train caught fire and ended up burning important records. Zager had to sign an affadavit to be released from the Army.Zager was about twenty years old when he walked into the concentration camp [Annotator's Note: Gunskirchen Lager Concentration Camp in Austria]. He felt as if he was pretty tough in terms of seeing things given that he had about three months of combat. However when he saw the dead strewn around it really had a profound effect on him. Zager feels that he was not emotional about it at the time, if anything he felt pity, anger, and frustration. Looking back now, knowing what he knows about the entire event, it makes him very emotional.A couple of years later Zager actually met a couple at a party and the man had actually been at the camp that Zager had been a part of liberating.


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