War veteran dies


British war veteran Peter Vernon-Ward died after refusing treatment he said would have constituted “giving in to the Nazis.”

Vernon-Ward’s death at 86 was the result of complications from injuries he sustained in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. After enlisting in the British army at age 17 to fight the Nazis, Vernon-Ward was captured in Germany and Nazis smashed rifle butts into his legs when he refused to work as a slave laborer for them. Eventually, he and several others escaped the prison camp, located in southern Poland near Auschwitz, and were rescued by U.S. forces.

Vernon-Ward recently had been warned by doctors that his legs must be amputated to avoid his being slowly poisoned from his wounds, which ruptured three years ago, but the war veteran refused the operation because he saw it as “giving in to the Nazis.” This week, Vernon-Ward died in his sleep of blood poisoning.

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