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Michael Brandenburg





I spent 2 years in Marianna, Fla. While there went down (was beaten about 8 time's) First time was for running, received approx. 140, according to kitchen boys who held me, after 16 to 20 lick's, was swollen from the middle of my back to the back of my knee's. I couldn't walk because if I moved skin would split & bleed more. So I stayed in the hospital for about a week.

Second time I ran off again, tried to get away so I wouldn't get beat again, they put me in the hospital again for swelling and bleeding. The other times were for swearing, talking, fighting & some things I did not do. I finally learned to block out the pain.

Tidwell gave me an extra 20 lick's one time because he said I held the bed too good. I was pulled out of the chow line one time to help hold a boy Tidwell was beating, I held his right shoulder & head, I whispered for him to be still & and not scream, because it would be worse. He screamed until he passed out, Tidwell still beat him until he was satisfied, the kitchen boy's and I were excused and I went back to my cottage. I never saw that boy again.

The sexual abuse, I didn't get much of, maybe because I wasn't pretty enough. There was squeezing and grabbing, but nothing like penetration or oral. They had turned me into a hard ass, and would have had a fight on their hands. There was a boy in my cottage, he told me he had anal sex with several of the personnel. I told him to keep it to himself. It wasn't too long before they took about 20 boys from my cottage for having sex with him, to the White House. They didn't take him.

There were some good men, such as Mr. Ward who was my cottage father, later replaced with Mr. Bagget, who was not good.

The one thing I do know is boys were beaten daily, & some never came back. One boy on a yard crew told me he knew where some boy's were buried, so I managed to sneak off from the playing field, to see, & found a spot that looked like something was buried in 4 or 5 places, but didn't try to dig to see what was buried there. I had taken enough of a chance. I know this is an embarrassment to the state of Florida, so to hush it up would be good for the state, but not good for the boy's who disappeared. Just like I've always said, people don't care unless it happens to them.

Michael Brandenburg
Released 1966