A man from Pennsylvania, the last known survivor of the massacre of prisoners of war in World War II, died at the age of 99 – thereporteronline

MOUNTAIN JOY, Pennsylvania (AP) – Harold Below, 99, the last known survivor of the World War II massacre of prisoners of war during the Battle of Bould, will be buried Thursday in Pennsylvania.

Bilow, who died on May 17, was attached to the 285th Army Field Artillery Observation Battalion when his unit surrendered, and he was taken prisoner by Waffen SS soldiers when German troops launched an offensive in Belgium to try to change the course of the war in December 1944. year.

According to various reports, the Germans opened fire on unarmed prisoners in the field, killing more than 80 as a result of the so-called massacre in Malmedy.

“As soon as the machine gun started firing, I went face down in the snow,” Bilov told Lancaster Online in 2019.

He played dead when the Germans checked the survivors.

“Someone who showed signs of life, they immediately shot him in the head to finish him off,” – said Bilov.

Bilov said he stayed there for several hours before he and other survivors fled. He made his way through hedges before reaching the safety of American lines.

After the war, he was summoned to testify at a war crimes trial in which 43 German soldiers were sentenced to death for the Malmedy massacre. However, they were eventually released after investigators determined that American guards had forced them to confess.

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