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The Beast of Dachau

Fr. Kilian Dreiling

The forward thrust of this assignment is the infinitely powerful cause and prompt effect of a sincere devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. I hope to accomplish this by employing the simple method of the greatest storyteller of all time, namely, Jesus, the simple carpenter from Nazareth.

Because I was woefully lacking in points, the army offered to send me to the states immediately after V.J. Day for 45 days, provided that I would agree to return to Japan for further occupational duty. I agreed in writing to this arrangement.

After 45 days of vacation in the states, I found myself clinging to the rail of a transport ship destined not for Japan but for Europe. When I arrived, I found Western Europe not only devastated but pulverized. The sight was ghastly and grim. In retrospect, insanely wasteful and dreadfully sad. For me, this duty still had another aspect: it was the coldest winter in Heidelberg in 50 years.

Malaria, amoebic dysentery, and battle fatigue became my constant and persistent companions. Time and again I appealed to return stateside to recuperate only to find myself holding on to yet another rail, not for the United States but to some ten different countries on what was called a recuperation basis.

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