Iran

We soon reached the Persian coastline. Once again I don't remember how. We were taken, no doubt in a small boat, and found ourselves on a sandy dune-like shore. Iron rations were then distributed but before I could reach them I collapsed in a complete state of exhaustion. We spent our first night of freedom accompanied by the howling and barking of jackals and hyenas.

During the day we walked up and down the fields and bought from the villagers eggs and tomatoes quite cheaply. We fried them in our mess tins on campfires and ate them in large quantities. Such rich, fatty food was dangerous for our undernourished bodies and many of our fellow countrymen and women died as a result. We, by a miracle, didn't fall ill on this diet.

A little later we were transported to a much prettier spot - the Shah of Persia's gardens in Teheran. They stretched out in terraces in the midst of luxurious vegetation. But I wasn't in a state to really appreciate them. Our field kitchen was set up below our tents but in a spot almost as picturesque. It was well-stocked and the food was very good. We ate a double portion of lamb stew with rice as main course. We also enjoyed daily rations of bread, butter, cheese, sardines, corned beef as well as jam and concentrated milk for our mugs of tea. At last we ate our fill but continued to discreetly conceal dried breadcrusts in our rucksacks just in case we might one day run out of food.

We also visited the civilian camp. It wasn't as well-situated as ours but the food was good. I have three photographs of this period - the first ones taken in six months.