The Gettysburg Compiler
January 12, 1946

Escaped POWs Recaptured 'LIKE AMERICA'

The two German prisoners who escaped from the Gettysburg POW camp last Thursday evening were recaptured Monday afternoon at 2:50 o'clock near Zora by prison camp guards, state police from Gettysburg and an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Acting on a tip the authorities found the pair hidden in a straw stack adjacent to an unused barn on the property of Clayton Phillips, Emmitsburg R.1, located close to the Maryland line in the Friends' creek section. The Germans offered no resistance but apparently were "very badly scared," according to one of the officers present for the capture.

H. B. Fletcher, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia field division of the FBI, disclosed today that statements made to the FBI by the recaptured Nazis were to the effect that they had escaped because "they liked America, wanted to see more of it and hoped to reach a large city and stay in this country rather than return to Germany."

No Food In Two Days

Hans H. Harloff, 20, who was captured in June, 1944, could speak English, but his companion in the escape, Bernard Wagner, 24, a prisoner of the Allies since May, 1943, has a very limited use of English and cannot carry on a conversation in that tongue.

Both the Germans were hungry, the FBI said, and told their captors they had not eaten for two days. They said they had walked from the camp to the point where they were captured, arriving at the barn late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

The captured men have been "returned to military control." They stated they escaped the camp by slipping out between lower barbed wire strands at an unguarded corner of the camp stockade at 7:50 p. m. Thursday. They had no particular destination in mind, the FBI quoted them as saying. The Germans told the officers they had no friends or relatives in this country from whom they could expect help.