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VICTIM OF NAZIS

800-MILE MARCH

AUCKLAND AIRMAN'S ORDEAL

One of the victims of a remorseless 800 miles' march, at the dictation of a Nazi officer who permitted no respite, Warrant-Officer Gavin Matthew Goldfinch, aged 26, of Auckland, died in the Margreten U.S. Military Hospital, Holland, the day after the column of prisoners of war in which he had been trudging was overtaken by the liberating Americans. He was bttried in the hospital cemetery.

Warrant-Officer Goldfinch, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Goldfinch, 155, Grafton Road, left in a R.N.Z.A.F. draft in February, 1941, From Britain he was transferred to a

Middle East bomber squadron, No, 37. On November 27 the bomber was shot down outside Bengasi, and all members of the drew became prisoners of war. They were taken to Italy, but when the Italians Collapsed they were transferred to Germany. Later, as Russian troops approached, all Allied prisoners were aroused at 3 a.m. and ordered to march. Each man was issued with a loaf of bread and a potato. A cruel zig-zag march to Hanover began. Of sturdy physique, WarrantOfficer Goldfinch was able to keep going, but, after 800 miles, the effects Of prolonged semi-sitarvation and the rigours of the march had reduced him to a helpless hospital case. He lived Only 24 hours after the fastovertaking Americans came up with the wretched Column.

Survivors reported the Nazi commander for his ruthlessnesa, suggesting a military trial. Half an hour later American soldiers tcld the New Zealanders! "You won't have to trouble about, giving evidence at that trial—-we've just buried that Nazi guy!" •The majority of the Allied prisoners never would have travelled so far had they not been sustained on their march by German peasant women, who dug up for them buried food, which they had _f?tubborttly refused to produce for fleeing German officers in staff cars.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450804.2.47

Bibliographic details

VICTIM OF NAZIS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 183, 4 August 1945

Word Count
309

VICTIM OF NAZIS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 183, 4 August 1945

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