Don Menard shows a letter and gifts he received in 2004 from Vasily Bezugly, a Soviet soldier who helped liberate Menard at Stalag Luft 1 near the end of World War II in Europe. (Photo used by permission of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.)
By George Morris
After leaving a prisoner of war camp near the end of World War II, Don Menard never expected he’d get to know any of the Soviet soldiers who liberated him.
Yet, several years, that is exactly what he was able to do.
In 2001, Menard began corresponding with Vasily Bezugly, part of the Soviet force that liberated Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany, on May 2, 1945, just days before Germany’s surrender ended the war.