My grandfather was a POW. He reports similar experiences to the others in this thread. While they were still in the camps, they were on starvation rations, supplemented by Red Cross packages. Each man got 1/2 of a blanket. The the POWs from each country were kept seperate from one another, but they traded stuff from their C.A.R.E. packages by throwing them over the fence. He said the Russians were good to trade with, but the French sometimes took the stuff you threw over without throwing anything back.
They were lined up every morning and counted to make sure no one had escaped. As the Germans counted each row, guys would quickly step back into the row behind them so that the count was too high. When this happened, they had to start the count over again. This pissed off the Germans, and the POWs loved making them count over and over again, 'cause, what, they have something better to do?
He was marched west as well as the war ended. There weren’t any rations–he tells stories of “grass soup.” Anyone who couldn’t keep up was shot. He suffered from malnutrition (of course) and lost feeling in several toes due to frostbite.
It was a long time before my grandfather could talk about his experiences, but now he speaks to my mother’s high school German classes. He tells the story in a very measured, matter-of-fact way. He doesn’t hold any emnity toward the German people, which is a good thing, I guess, because my mother studied at the University of Bonn, and that’s where she met my father. Grandpa and my German grandfather have met, and they spoke about the war. (Opa was a combat engineer, and an officer.)
Grandpa says that he knew that while he was starving, many German civilians didn’t have much to eat, either. My father was a boy during the war, and says that they usually didn’t even have potatoes. They still tease his mother about boiling the chicken three times for soup.