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Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

Article about: by A.J. Zawadzki Hi Stefan, yes, very perceptive of you. Definitely the efforts of a left leaning group. You'll quickly spot the less-than-subtle hammer and scythe imagery on the cover: Atta

  1. #161

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Haven't been here in a long time! Hello all
    ITS contacted me yesterday with a couple of new documents regarding my mother's status while in Germany. This is one of the documents they sent.

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    I'm confused because I know my mother was born in Wola Pasikonska, but this says Krakow. I think she was sent to Krakow before being shipped to Altena.

    I truly wish my parents would have shared their stories so all of this guess work wouldn't be as frustrating, but I understand why they couldn't.



    I am still searching for her "P" patch.

  2. #162

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Quote by Laffinbuda View Post
    Haven't been here in a long time! Hello all
    ITS contacted me yesterday with a couple of new documents regarding my mother's status while in Germany. This is one of the documents they sent.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm confused because I know my mother was born in Wola Pasikonska, but this says Krakow. I think she was sent to Krakow before being shipped to Altena.

    I truly wish my parents would have shared their stories so all of this guess work wouldn't be as frustrating, but I understand why they couldn't.

    I am still searching for her "P" patch.
    Unfortunately the records were not always 100% accurate... for any number of reasons.

    Are you looking for your mothers actual "P" patch or looking for a "P" patch to add to your research materials?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #163

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Can anyone help identify the factory/camp/facility that the enameled numbered "S" badges might have come from? A totally wild guess is "Siemens".

    The fact that one is wrapped in Polish "P" patch obviously points to some forced labour situation.

    As always any thoughts will be very much appreciated.
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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  4. #164

    Default Polish Forced Labour in Finland

    Does anyone have any information on the forced labour of Polish POWs in Finland? While researching a photograph of a Finnish dispatch rider I came across the mention that perhaps as many as 400 Polish POWs were used to build a railway to Murmansk and were based at a camp in the Taivalkoski region of Finland.

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Wehrmacht goals in Taivalkoski ?

    The thread mentions this railway in an article in the Tuntematon Sota book. I have read a little about the horrendous condition of (some) Soviet POWs in Finnish captivity. In a post to this thread is mention of 1800 Soviet POWs as well. The post states that 1000 men died building the railway.

  5. #165

    Default Re: Polish Forced Labour in Finland

    Quote by dastier View Post
    Does anyone have any information on the forced labour of Polish POWs in Finland? While researching a photograph of a Finnish dispatch rider I came across the mention that perhaps as many as 400 Polish POWs were used to build a railway to Murmansk and were based at a camp in the Taivalkoski region of Finland.

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Wehrmacht goals in Taivalkoski ?

    The thread mentions this railway in an article in the Tuntematon Sota book. I have read a little about the horrendous condition of (some) Soviet POWs in Finnish captivity. In a post to this thread is mention of 1800 Soviet POWs as well. The post states that 1000 men died building the railway.
    Chapter 8 of this book may have something of interest:
    Google Books LInk: Prisoners of War and Forced Labour: Histories of War and Occupation
    Edited by Marianne Neerland Soleim
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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #166

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Not posted to this thread for a while...

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    An identity card for a Polish forced worker at the "Wepoba" factory in Berlin. The factory made corrugated card products and is still going strong today no doubt on the backs of its "foreign" workers during WWII but sadly no mention of the "Nazi" era on the company history webpage.

    Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik GmbH & Co KG
    Am Juliusturm 53
    13599 Berlin
    Telefon:030-3309070
    Internet: Panther Packaging

    From what I have been able to find out the original Gemeinschaftslager/factory building still exists but is under consideration for redevelopment.

    Original "Wepoba" Gemeinschaftslager/factory on Juliusturm 53 from google street view.

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    A Gemeinschaftslager in camp terminology was a "community" camp for civilian workers (mainly forced or conscripted workers from German occupied Europe) where the labour force could be utilised by a number of local businesses in the area of the Gemeinschaftslager. These camps were normally unguarded and workers had a degree of freedom of movement; they could leave the Gemeinschaftslager after work hours but had to report back to take up their work shift whenever that might be. Of course even though Polish and "East" workers could leave the camp they were still under the discriminatory and restrictive racial decrees imposed on them by the German regime whilst in the local community at large. Failure to report back to the Gemeinschaftslager meant arrest and a sentence of up to 8 weeks or 56 days in a labour/work reeducation camp (Arbeitserziehungslager or AEL) where conditions were almost as harsh as a concentration camp regime and if the reeducation punishment didn't work the prisoner would end up in a concentration camp proper.

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    An interesting feature on this Ausweis is that the woman is wearing what seems to be a round "P" badge (see enlargement) almost like a large button badge rather than the standard "P" cloth patch? I have never seen this before and wonder if they were made especially by the "Wepoba" factory for its workforce—they would have been able to do this very easily given they were in the packaging business or perhaps circular badges were also made at some point? Curious.

    For those that don't know, all of the "P" patches and "OST" patches were produced by one company—the Berliner Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co Berlin which again is still going today and is owned by the same family as the wartime company —the Geitel family. Gustav Geitel founded the company in 1921 as Geitel & Co. Spittelmarkt. The Geitel's Berlin flag/banner factory did very well during the Nazi era having the contract to produce all the enormous number of official Nazi and military flags used by the German Third Reich. The company won the prestigious contract to produce the Nazi flags and banners used at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The Berliner Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co changed its name in 1948 and now operates as the BEST company and unsurprisingly no mention of "P" patches, "OST" patches or Jewish star contracts one the company history web page.

    As well as the "P"and "OST" patches the Berliner Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co later produced the "Jewish star" for which Jews had to pay 10 pfennig each to buy them. Jews, six years and older, had to wear them on their clothing. The contract for the manufacture of the "Jewish star" was awarded the Berlin Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co on the basis that it was to be fulfilled within a few days. Nearly a million stars - printed on long rolls of fabric and packed in bales - were delivered on time and the order brought the company 30,000 Reichsmark, which following the normal business practice of the time "if paid within five days of delivery of order" a two percent discount was granted.
    Last edited by StefanM; 06-22-2012 at 10:02 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #167

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    A small collection of documents for a Polish forced worker at Deutsche Reichsbahn yards in Berlin.

    Camp identity card and work ID cards for Gemeinschaftslager Falkensee (Osthavelland) Berlin-Spandau which was in operation from 8 March 1943 - 25 April 1945. A sub-camp of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Some 2,500 forced labourers worked at RAW of the Deutsche Reichsbahn and later the DEMAG factory-making armoured vehicles mainly tanks. At the time the German camps were being evacuated ahead of the advancing Red Army those at Falkensee had heard of the "death marches" at other camps and refused to evacuate the camp so the SS guards fled without them. Falkensee was subsequently liberated by the Red Army.

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    Below a postcard informing the woman that her son was a forced labourer in another camp. The card is addressed to her at Gemeinschaftslager Falkensee and dated 2 January 1945— a poignant reminder of how whole families were often split up and deported to Germany as forced labourers often not knowing which camp or factory each other had been sent or which town they were in or even if they were still alive.

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    Repatriation to Poland document:

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    Two Russian issued documents from 1918 belonging to same woman ... no idea what they are???

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #168

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    ...all of the "P" patches and "OST" patches were produced by one company—the Berliner Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co Berlin which again is still going today and is owned by the same family as the wartime company —the Geitel family. Gustav Geitel founded the company in 1921 as Geitel & Co. Spittelmarkt.
    Attached is a copy of a receipt found in City Archives of Göttingen (ref: Pol.Dir. Box 124 No. 2, pp. 404 v.) dated 30/09/1940 for 400 letter "P" badges (Polenabzeichen) supplied by Berliner Fahnenfabrik Geitel & Co Berlin

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #169

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Newly acquired postal card for a Polish forced labourer/prisoner at SS-Arbeitslager Loibl Pass situated between Austrian Upper Carniola and Slovenian Gorejnska.

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    The Loibl-Pass (Slovene: Ljubelj) crosses the Karavanke Alpine mountain range, connecting Austrian Upper Carniola and Slovenian Gorejnska. From 1941/1942 on, Organisation Todt, an engineering and construction unit organized in military fashion, and a civilian firm began building a tunnel across the Karavanke chain. The tunnel was dug from two sides: in the north on the Austrian side and on the Slovene side in the south, which had since 1941 been under German occupation. The Loibl Pass site had three areas: The civilian labour camp (at St. Anna (Sveta Ana) for forced or conscripted workers and civilian contractors, the SS and police camp housing the concentration camp guard and two concentration camps - in June 1943, the SS established a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp on the Slovenian side and in October 1943, a further subcamp was set up on the northern side of the Loibl Pass.

    The first approximately 330 prisoners, mostly Frenchmen, reached Loibl Süd (the southern camp) at the beginning of June 1942. Prisoner numbers at both Loibl camps rose steadily until September 1944 to a total of about 1,300. Almost every month new prisoner transports arrived at Loibl: Poles, Russians, Yugoslavs, Czechs, German, Norwegian, Luxembourg, Spain, Hungary and prisoners of other nationalities.

    The high prisoner number 34,510 on the postal card might suggest the number was originally assigned/issued at Mauthausen concentration camp and the prisoner was later transferred to Loibl taking his Mauthausen number with him.

    Views of the concentration camps.

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    Work on the tunnel

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    The prisoners were deployed in forced labour as miners, constructing the tunnel. A prisoner unit was also used to erect the northern camp, which was completed by October 1943. The first Wehrmacht vehicles passed through the tunnel in December 1944, and not long afterwards, the tunnel was crucial in the retreat of the Wehrmacht from the Balkans. The SS dismantled the northern camp in April 1945, and the prisoners were moved to Loibl Süd. At the beginning of May, Yugoslavian partisans liberated the approximately 950 remaining prisoners of the southern camp.

    KZ Loibl Süd - Aussenstelle von Mauthausen - YouTube
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by StefanM; 07-20-2012 at 01:17 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #170

    Default re: Polish Forced Labour (Zwangsarbeiter/Fremdarbeiter) collection

    Any opinions on this set of "P" patches ?

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    Best regards,

    kindzjal

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