Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division
Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
The Billionaire Chaplain
That afternoon we moved again
to the vicinity of Weilheim, Germany. While we were there I had the
opportunity to visit Oberammergau where the Germans have presented the
Passion Play every ten years since 1634. During World War II no
performance was given.
I sat at the table that was
used for the Lordís Supper. Someone took my picture. The cross which was
used in the drama was a real burden. Anyone who thinks he had a cross to
bear, should try the one at Oberammergau.
Many times as we were moving
forward I had evidence that my men thought of me even in the midst of
combat. On one occasion they brought me a Mercedes Benz for my greater
comfort in riding about the country. Fortunately I declined the gift.
When the Seventh Army Rear heard about such vehicles, they ordered that
all captured civilian vehicles should be turned over to them.
As we were moving along our men
discovered a Cigar Factory. At least a dozen men brought me cigars which
they had liberated. They were not as good cigars as the Havanna product
or our American cigars, but they were evidence that some one remembered
the chaplain even in combat.
One time they offered me a
beautiful chess set, made of ivory and ebony. I insisted that they take
it back to the private home where they had located it.
I did accept some evidence of
what inflation had meant to Germany. I had several bank notes of ten
billion marks. At the rate which had been established for the mark they
should have been worth a billion dollars apiece. Actually they were
worthless even in Germany. However, I was able to send each of my
children a billion dollars apiece (in worthless German Money).
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by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission