Second World War: Countries of Europe

Illinois native remembers childhood during the Second World War, and musings about the welfare of the countries of Europe.

| Good Old Days

Thinking about the Second World War brings memories flooding back. The rumblings in Germany had long been disturbing my dad who was a World War I veteran. Many evenings we would sit by the table as he read the paper after supper. He would always say, "Mark my words, Germany wants power and there will be big trouble for all the world." As one by one the little countries of Europe were over-whelmed, we studied them in school. I tried to picture the people in my mind and what it must be like to see their homes destroyed and their lives ruined. Then I would cry, and Momma would ask what was the matter. When I told her, she was sad, because she was an orphan, too.

On Saturday at the movies, I would watch the terrible news films and boo along with the other kids when we saw Hitler or

Mussolini. Dunkirk was a chance to cheer the rescue of thousands of men saved by the efforts of the Royal Navy. Assisted by hundreds of people of all ages - in boats of all sizes - the navy crossed and re-crossed the English Channel. Even today when I hear a broadcast of Churchill's "we shall fight" speech, I still get goose bumps.

Winnie Schuetz
Tilden, Illinois

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 


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