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Christmas Eve Brings Back Memories Of German WWII POWs In Kremmling

KREMMLING, Colo. (CBS4)- As World War II raged on across the ocean, it was a different scene in rural Grand County, Colorado. Dozens of German prisoners of war made a Christmas Eve journey to a little church, a journey that is still remembered to this day.

grand county
(credit: Grand County Museum)

"They marched them all the way," Laurayne Davison told CBS4 Tuesday.

Davison was only a little girl when dozens of POWs were moved to barracks outside of town by the U.S. Military to work at an ice block factory. That ice was used to refrigerate things on the railroad.

Laurayne Davison (credit: CBS)

While baking for her family this Christmas Eve, Davison looked back on a Christmas Eve memory from her childhood growing up along the banks of the Colorado River in Kremmling.

(credit: CBS)

"We were aware that they were German prisoners of war," she said.

grand county snow
(credit: Grand County Museum)

Those prisoners she saw as a little girl were far away from their families. Captured on the battlefield in North Africa and brought to work as prisoners.

"It's kind of interesting to us, as just children, why these people were marched up the street," she added.

(credit: CBS)

From 1943 to 1946 the towns of Fraser and Kremmling were home to 400 German POWs.

And on Christmas Eve, they were marched two miles into Kremmling to attend mass with other believers in town.

(credit: CBS)

"I never did get an opportunity to talk to any of them… wish I had," she said.

In the same small sanctuary, the two sides united around song and prayer.

(credit: CBS)

A community finding peace in the war even for a brief service. Coming together to give thanks to a God shared by both sides.

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