LIFE

World War II Veteran Clings To A Painting From A Former Enemy

by Anna Halkidis
Anna is a native New Yorker who loves concerts, travel, good coffee, and her Jack Russell terrier, Charlie. She’s a multimedia journalist who earned her master’s degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Her true passion for telling stories keeps her inspired.

In 1944, now-retired U.S. Army Cpl. Elroy York had an interaction with a German soldier he’ll never forget.

It was a few weeks after allied forces invaded Normandy, France, and York was stationed there watching over German prisoners. One of the prisoners approached York asking for a photo of his wife. Although York wasn’t allowed to speak with the German prisoners, he handed over a photo of his beloved Agnes after the prisoner explained he was an artist.

Two weeks later, the prisoner returned with the photo and a portrait he drew of Agnes. The prisoner had to discreetly throw the painting over a fence that separated them, according to ABC Action News.

And if you’re wondering what encouraged York to be so friendly, he told the news station: “As soon as he started talking to me, I thought, ‘Gee, he’s a pretty nice guy. He doesn’t like this anymore than I do. We both don’t want to be in a war.'”

We’ve seen former enemies come together years after war, like the son of an American soldier who returned his father’s Japanese flag or the Vietnam veterans who embraced each other in America. But it’s even more incredible to hear of it happening during the conflict.

That’s probably why York still holds onto the picture, which is even more emotional to look at now that his wife passed away.

Watch below, and please SHARE if you’re blown away by this unbelievable moment in history!

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