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Tag Archives: Alan Brylawski

UPDATE: Alan Brylawski died in Florida – This interview with Alan Brylawski recalls the tough days of the war in Europe and horrors of Buchenwald

Alan Brylawski, 85, says funny things happen at war, though some horrors still haunt him.
“I am an optimist and humorist. I don’t take life too seriously,” the World War II veteran said.
War has been part of human culture since man got out of the cave, Brylawski says. “It’s senseless, there are no winners. We slaughter people. Everybody loses.” He said the kind of horror one man perpetrates on another during war is inconceivable, adding once the enemy is demonized everything becomes okay.
“It is either you do it or they are going to do it to you. So self-preservation says you do it first,” he said. “When you see bullets pass you, there’s no question you are under fire. At that point the enemy becomes a demon, devoid of humanity.”

Point Lookout Hotel was once a lovely old lady sitting on the beach at the Chesapeake Bay

I first visited the hotel sometime around 1937-38, and thought She was grand with Her wide double staircase leading to the upstairs from the great oaken-curved desk. The picture of Point Lookout Hotel that was carried in the November issue of The Chesapeake brought back poignant memories that I have really tried to put out of my mind. The last time I visited the Hotel, She reminded me of a skull looking with sightless eyes across the waters of the Bay. I say ‘She,’ because to me She was once a lovely old lady sitting there beside the beach smiling at the sea gulls and fishermen as they passed in their boats.

Letter from Point Lookout Hotel

Point Lookout was the site of a Union Army hospital and prisoner of war camp during the civil war where more than 3,000 Confederate prisoners died. Dubbed the Andersonville of the North, the camp kept prisoners in tents, many without blankets and medical care as harsh winter storms ravaged the point. A monument to the dead is located nearby.