Sgt Georg M. Gaertner

Sgt Georg M. Gaertner

Birth
Germany
Death 30 Jan 2013 (aged 92)
Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Burial Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Memorial ID 196144139 · View Source
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Of Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, died Wednesday.

Also popularly known as: Dennis F Whiles.

Formerly married to Jean Clarke, he loved and helped raise his two step-children.

Co-author with Arthur Krammer, History Professor, Texas A&M University, of his autobiography: Hitler's Last Soldier in America, published 1985.

Georg was born in Schweidenitz, Silesia, now part of Poland. Georg enlisted in the German Army in 1940 at the age of 19, was a Sargent in Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps and was captured by the British in Tunis in 1943, turned over to the US Army and enprisoned in Fort Deming, New Mexico. On 21sep1945, Georg escaped by crawling under the barbed wire fence and hopping an open Southern Pacific boxcar which he rode to San Pedro, CA.

For the next 40 some years he worked a number of varied jobs, from migrant produce worker, dishwasher, lumberjack, construction, salesman to ski instructor and tennis pro in Norden, CA. He met his wife Jean at a YMCA dance and in 1964 he married her and became an instant dad to her two children whom he loved so much. Eventually he and his family moved to Boulder, CO, where he led a quiet life.

In September, 1985 he turned himself in to US officials as his book was about to hit the stores. Immigration officials reviewed his life to that point, brought no charges against him and eventually allowed him to apply for US citizenship which was granted, allowing him to return to Germany just a few months after the passing of his parents. Sadly, while there in Germany for a number of months, his wife Jean, who had been upset by his secret past which he hid for so many years from her too, filed for and was granted a divorce.

He was the last of about a dozen escaped German Prisoners of War to surrender, ending that chapter of WWII history.

Ruhe In Frieden! Rest In Peace.

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Contributor Jay Lance has provided Georg's correct German surname as: Gärtner, with an 'umlaut' which is 'Americanized' by the 'ae', which I know is 'searchable' in FindAGrave.

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Inscription

A.K. A. Dennis F. Whiles
Schweidnitz Silesia Germany
A Displaced Person


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  • Created by: R McHenry
  • Added: 17 Jan 2019
  • Find a Grave Memorial 196144139
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Georg M. Gaertner (18 Dec 1920–30 Jan 2013), Find a Grave Memorial no. 196144139, citing Foothills Gardens of Memory, Longmont, Boulder County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by R McHenry (contributor 47507136) .