Article about: To all This afternoon I was walking in a bookshop and I was pleasantly surprised to find a book about my home town during the occupation. All the pictures that are in it are made by Bruno Pi
This afternoon I was walking in a bookshop and I was pleasantly surprised to find a book about my home town during the occupation. All the pictures that are in it are made by Bruno Pischetsrieder. He was a German Wehrmacht soldier that was stationed in Middelkerke from july 1940 till may 1942, he was then transferd to the eastern front. The book gives a nice view of how the life of a Wehrmacht soldier looked like.
Bruno Pischetsrieder was enlisted in the Wehrmacht during the summer of 1939. He took part in the invasion of Poland that same year. In 1940 he also took part in the invasion of the low countries and France. In July 1940 he ended up in Middelkerke. He would stay there till may 1942. During this time he visited Berlin, Paris, Warshaw, Bruges, Ostend, ... Most of the time was spend on sports, exercises and drawing military maps. After may 1942 he was transferd to the east and took part in the battle of the Krim. He eventually won the Krimshield. Later he also took part in the invasion of the caucasus and the retread that followed on the Kuban. He eventually surrenderd to the Allies in 1945 after six years of brutal war.
This was a short summary on this most amazing man. I also scanned a few pictures from the book.
The buildings that you see on the front were taken down and replaced by appartments. Some people call them the second Atlantik Wall because most of the Flemish coast is made up by these kind of mega structure appartments.
The water tower of Westende Bad (blue) is also taken down.
The Hotel Bellevue does still exist today. It was completely destroyed during WWI. Currently they are filming a tv show there, the winners can run the hotel or something like it. It's one of those really lame reality tv shows...
Yes indeed. I'am currently (and for quite some time) searching for period photographs, documents, soldbuch's, ... related to Westende, Middelkerke and Oostende (Westend, Middle Church and Ostend - we used to be an island). But with no succes...
You can all keep an eye open for me...
Also check out this link from Strongpoint Bamburg. It's not far from where these pictures are taken: