When my mother was 13 years old, she and her family fled East Germany by foot to West Germany during WWII. Many Germans fled during this time, and the displacements occurred in three somewhat overlapping phases, the first of which was the spontaneous flight and evacuation of Germans in the face of the advancing Red Army, from mid-1944 to early 1945.
During their trek, Edelgard became very ill with pneumonia and was near death when an American Soldier came across her family and carried her to safety. Medical attention came just in time and saved her life. If not for this kind man, she would have succumb to her illness.