What does Mr. Henkins think about the way the U.S. treats German POWs in Summer of My German Soldier?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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George C. Henkins is the president of the Jenkinsville (Arkansas) Rotary Club in Bette Green's teen novel Summer of My German Soldier. Henkins is a minor character in the novel, making only several appearances in all. Henkins is first seen in the opening pages waiting for the train carrying the German POWs to their new imprisonment in Jenkinsville. He shows his patriotic pride in a later section following the news that German saboteurs had been caught on the beaches of New York and Florida.

"... they caught all them saboteurs and that's the important thing to remember."

Following the news that Patty's hidden GermanĀ soldier, Reiker, had escaped from the camp, Henkins agrees with Patty's father, who claims that the Americans had been "coddling those Nazis." Henkins tells him that

"... this country is too Christian. The Bible admonishes usto turn the other cheek, but we forget that it also tells us to take a tooth for a tooth, and an eye for an eye."

Henkins then joins in the laughter when Patty's father suggests that Americans shouldn't take German prisoners--"Not live ones anyway."

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