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Pvt. 1st Class Jalmer Arnold Lake, Menahga, Minnesota, served in World War II from April 14, 1944 to May 17, 1946 in the 131st Evacuation Hosp. S.M., where he served as a 382nd General Hospital Medic, and again, in the Army Reserves in the Korean Conflict, from October 30, 1950 to July 28, 1951. His serial number is ER 37592839. He was born March 12, 1924 and died March 10, 1995.
The following are copies of 36 photographs about Jalmer's experience at Camp Gusen. He received the on-site Camp Gusen photographs in the mail from their unit chaplain after leaving the Camp Gusen site. In his post stress recovery process, Jalmer made covers for a photograph book to include these photos of Camp Gusen's atrocities. The enclosed photos sequences begins with his book's cover, and follows the order the photos are mounted in his personal documentation. Also included are photos of two pencil sketches described below, plus a photo of Jalmer during the war and one of him late in life. Mr. Lake did not take this photos, as noted, but were given to him by the American Chaplain in the camp.
The following is a story related to Shirely Lake Barber by her uncle, Jalmer Arnold Lake.
"My uncle Jalmer was a baker in his unit when at Camp Gusen. During liberation, Jalmer told me, their unit was on site about six weeks. During this time he befriended a daily visitor who became strong enough to come to the kitchen, a Polish prisoner who was an artist. Uncle JaImer related the story he saw this man in his kitchen every day for a time, and he began to help this man eat as he had hands but no fingers or thumbs as they had been "chopped off' upon capture. After a couple weeks of Jalmer taping a spoon or fork to his hand so he could eat more easily, he gestured to my uncle, Jalmer, who spoke no Polish (although Jalmer did speak both English and Finnish), to tape a pencil to his hand after he had eaten. He then gestured for paper. Jalmer gave him a couple sheets of plain manila paper he found, after taping a pencil to his hand stump. Jalmer was deeply touched to receive two beautiful pencil sketches of himself drawn by this man, one sketch with his helmet, and one without his helmet. JaImer's family has the originals. The enclosed photos are taken of each of the original drawings that are about 5 x 7 inches in size."
Jalmer A. Lake Camp Gusen Photographs Provided by Jalmer A. Lake and Family, Menahga, MN.
Archival materials facilitated by Jalmer Lake's Niece, Shirley Lake Barber, Ph.D. Roseville, MN.
Archival photographs of Camp Gusen copied on archival papers by Don Breneman.