Skip to comments.Father Emil Kapaun forgives guards, welcomes death (Part 6)
Posted on 12/11/2009 9:44:21 PM PST by GonzoII
"In order to win the crown of heavenly glory, the saints were expected first to carry a heavy cross in life." -- Father Emil Kapaun
Over the next six weeks, the POWs in the Pyoktong prison camp began a cloaked and daring effort to save Emil Kapauns life.
On a rise above them stood the remains of a Buddhist monastery; the guards called it a hospital, but POWs called it "The Death House."
The Chinese sometimes killed prisoners by isolating them there from food and help. The POWs knew thats where Kapaun might end up.
In April, weeks after his Easter service irritated the guards, Kapauns friends tried to conceal his illness.
Sidney Esensten, a doctor, told fellow prisoners that Kapaun had a blood clot in his leg, probably caused by the many injuries he had endured in battle or in camp. Esensten and Clarence Anderson, another doctor, explained what Kapaun needed: heat on his leg, bed rest, extra food.
So Mike Dowe stole food. William Funchess huddled with Kapaun at night to keep him warm. Men sneaked to the bombedout church where Kapaun gave his Easter service, stole bricks, heated them in fires and gave them to Esensten; he clamped the hot bricks to Kapauns leg. Men made a small trapeze to help Esensten elevate the leg.
Kapaun got mad and tried to get up; the doctor and the priest glared at each other. Kapaun wanted to make prayer rounds.
Food and hot bricks turned him around. Then he got dysentery, and that quickly weakened him; he could not sleep for running to the latrine.
Funchess and a resourceful Kentuckian, Gene Shaw, intervened. Shaw sneaked out of the compound and came back with the top half of a pot-bellied stove he had scrounged from a bombed-out house.
(Excerpt) Read more at kansas.com ...
A higher percentage of US POW’s died in Chicom custody during the Korean War than died during WWII in Japanese captivity. When you consider that the WWII numbers include the Bataan Death March, that’s a pretty significant stat.
Thank you for posting this.
I am moved.
I don’t doubt that after reading this story.
You wouldn’t figure the chinese would treat prisoners well, hell, they didn’t treat their soldiers much better.