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German family visits site of World War II POW camp in Aiken County

The Liebelts in the Holstein Home From Left: Antonia Liebelt, Dieter Liebelt, Theresa Liebelt, Pat Holstein, Dick Holstein, Elona Liebelt

The Liebelts in the Holstein Home
From Left: Antonia Liebelt, Dieter Liebelt, Theresa Liebelt, Pat Holstein, Dick Holstein, Elona Liebelt

The family of Gunther Liebelt made a long anticipated visit to Aiken and Saluda Counties on February 1 and 2.  They came to see and experience those places that were a significant part of their forebear’s history.

Gunter Liebelt was one of those German prisoners of war who were encamped in Aiken in 1945 and employed on farm and timberland in the area.  He had through the years remembered working on the Holstein Farm near Monetta.  With this information and the internet in 1998 he located Dick Holstein of Monetta.  Thus began a number of years of correspondence.

Dick was eight years old in 1945 and remembered the prisoners working on the farms of his grandfather, R. H. Holstein, Sr., father, R. H. Holstein, Jr., and uncle, Sam Holstein.  Gunther was particularly well fixed in his memory because he was the only soldier in the crew who spoke English having taking courses in English as a prisoner of war.  Gunther remembered him as the Hauptman’s son (Dick’s father was a recently discharged US Army Captain.)  Over the years of their correspondence they discovered that they had many shared recollections.

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