Veteran Stories:
Hyman Arlin

Army

  • Mr. and Mrs Arlin on their wedding day in London, England, 1946.

    Hyman Arlin
  • Hyman pictured on the left with his friend Blacky Garber, 1944.

    Hyman Arlin
  • Hyman standing in front of a train holding Austrian POW's he was in charge of.

    Hyman Arlin
  • Hyman Arlin wearing a German officers Cap as a gag in 1945.

    Hyman Arlin
  • The Canadian Army Troops during the Jewish High Holidays in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1945.

    Hyman Arlin
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"Finally I found him and I sent a little note along to each soldier to pass it along to the seventh guy in the line. He jumped up and he scared people, they thought there was an emergency"

Transcript

My name is Hyman Arlin. I was born in Bialystok, Poland, and I took my basic training out in Camp Shilo, Manitoba, where I learned to drive a tank. When I went overseas, it so happens my wife is a British war bride and when I went overseas, I was stationed in a camp called Camp Borden. And my wife was bombed out of London a couple of times and was relocated where I was stationed. And that’s how we got to know each other. She was sixteen years old and I was still nineteen. And we got married, you were eighteen.

My brother operated with the Canadian Army in the Italian theatre of war. When the war was just about over in Italy, they sent all the Canadian troops up to Northern Europe, to help us fight the battle of the European war of the northern part, like Belgium, Holland and Germany. And I knew that this was happening, that my brother was being shipped up north and I found out where he lived. I was already in Germany. I managed to get a leave of 72 hours. I traveled with the mail Jeep back to Brussels where my brother was stationed. Believe it or not, he wasn’t, it was in the evening, and I found out he was at a movie, watching a movie in the Knights of Columbus.

And I walked in and I went down every aisle to see where he was located. Finally I found him and I sent a little note along to each soldier to pass it along to the seventh guy in the line. He jumped up and he scared people, they thought there was an emergency in the theatre. He walked out and we hugged each other. So guess what? We went into the bathroom and had a good confab there. And he got a 48-hour leave because of me. We both, we were ten miles outside of Brussels. We both went to Brussels. And that’s the way I met my brother in Europe.

Near the end of the war, our regiment [23 Self-Propelled Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery] was surrounded by three companies of Nazi paratroopers. And I was pretty scared. And it so happens we were saved by more Canadian troops coming in and made the area safe.

I also was speaking good Jewish, I participated in being an interpreter in the way, a very poor one. And in charge of [the] repatriation of Austrian prisoners of war, that we had in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. And I went along for a four-day and five-night trip with 600 prisoners of war that were being repatriated. It so happens, they had knowledge that we were going into the, we were delivering the train to the Russian section of Vienna. And the soldiers were dead scared of the Russian soldiers because of what happened at their part of the war.

We ended up with very very few left. They all escaped during the night. But we weren’t responsible for them; we were responsible [for] delivering the train.

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