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'That's America': Former German soldier, Mormon builds new life in U.S. after World War II

Manfred Gellersen was a soldier once, and young. He is neither now, and like many old soldiers, he has his memories and stories. A feisty, outspoken man of 90 years, Gellersen tells his tales in a rush of words with no chronology or other detectable order. They are like bubbles that rise to the surface as he reaches back through the years, and he tells them as they arrive.

The things this tiny man has seen and done. He drove a Jeep through enemy soldiers, crashing under a hail of bullets. He built a raft and floated into the sea to escape the Russians. He saved an American captive from angry farmers. He survived the mud and snow of the Russian Front, not to mention the Russians themselves. He escaped his captors on two occasions. In quieter times, he attended church with Nazis meeting upstairs.

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