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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. #331

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    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    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:

    Attachment 595746



    The pamphlet covers the various method of oppression imposed on the Poles after September 1939, and another hint of the publishers bias is that the contents are devoid of any reference to the Soviet activities in Poland which were equally as oppressive on the native population as that of the Germans. The “Polish Labour Group” behind this publication may have been a veiled propaganda front for the Soviets masquerading in the guise of concerned Poles.
    Thanks for the cover details

    Both the Germans and Soviets set up these "concerned Poles" organisations sometimes to entrap would-be anti-Nazi and anti-Communist resistance fighters or as propaganda mouthpieces. Many of the "support the Poles" pamphlets in the UK were issued by the Socialists, Communists or left-wing Labour party with the occasional ones from some of the Conservatives who took the anti-socialist stance vis-a-vis Polish affairs. A pamphlet I have in my references files about the "Trial of the Sixteen" in Moscow produced by the British socialists makes for an interesting study of skewed but skilfully crafted propaganda.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #332

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    Recently acquired Polish forced worker identity card from Vereinigte Aluminium-Werke A.G (VAW) , R.A.B Lager 1, Lautawerk-Süd.

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    The VAW was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Nazi forced labour. In Germany and in the occupied or annexed territories it operated eight smelters and auxiliary plants employing huge numbers of forced labourers and prisoners-of-war. For example between the 13 April and 30 June 1942 some 48,740 people (26,196 men and 22,544 women) were transported from Zaporizhia, Ukraine in cattle cars to work assignments in Germany. Many of the deportees were under 14 years old. The deportees were dropped off in groups at railway stations in Hannover, Berlin , Halle (Saale), Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt , Munich and Dresden . Dresden was the marshalling yard for the Lautawerk, there the transports from the East unloaded their human cargo directly to the VAW plant site, where several prison camps were set up.

    Jewish slave labourers were also deployed to work at VAW, where under deplorable conditions many perished and those who perished were buried in mass graves the woods behind the VAW work. Their bodies were dug up after the war by former NSDAP members of Lautawerk and were reburied in the graveyard of Werksiedlung Lautawerk-south.

    In the village there were also staged executions, even as late as 5 January 1945, a Polish forced labourer was publicly hanged—he had tried to escape and his body hung for days on the gallows as a visible deterrent to other forced labourers.
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-23-2013 at 07:40 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #333

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    Once again a very informative post and a good addition to your collection. Thanks Stefan.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  4. #334

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    KZ-Außenlager Gross-Koschen and Vereinigte Aluminium-Werke AG (VAW)

    The exact point in time when the Gross-Koschen subcamp was erected is not recorded in the documents. In the late summer of 1944, 200 prisoners from the Gross-Rosen concentration camp erected a barracks camp on the grounds of a former gravel pit at Gross-Koschen, in order to receive a still larger number of inmates. Both of the two large barracks blocks were built by Polish prisoners who had been sent to the concentration camp as prisoners from the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944. In Gross-Rosen they had been registered with numbers from the series 58000 to 59000.

    The erection of the camp was in preparation for the transfer of the Aircraft Dismantling Work from Auschwitz to Gross-Koschen. Former German prisoner of Gross Koschen Friedrich Kuhn wrote: "The core crew of about three hundred prisoners from Auschwitz arrived in t he middle of the forest, underneath the Koschenberg, into an existing camp, where about two hundred prisoners from Gross-Rosen had already built a barracks and the cottage for the camp leader.”

    This transport from Auschwitz on 11 November 1944, included 351 men who were registered with entry numbers from Gross-Rosen, to wh ich the newly erected subcamp belonged, between 86351 and 86701. A further transport on 1 January 1945, likewise from Auschwitz, brought 431 prisoners to Gross-Koschen, to whom the entry numbers 92002 to 92432 were issued.

    According to statements by former prisoner Kühn, the maximum camp population can be estimated at 800 prisoners. Polish historian Mieczyslaw Moldawa speaks of 2,500 prisoners, a number that also appears in Kari-Heinz Gräfe and Hans-Jürgen Topfer.

    The subcamp prisoners were, above all, Poles and Russians but also French, Italians, Croats, Czechs, and a few Germans, the last mostly as Kapos.

    For the choice of location, the decisions of the corresponding main commissions and of the Armaments Ministry may have been decisive. Nearby existed the Lautawerk, one of the aluminum works of the Vereinigten Aluminium-Werke AG (VAW) Berlin.

    In the Aircraft Dismantling Work* that was transferred from Auschwitz, defective aircraft that had either been shot down or were otherwise incapable of flight were dismantled. Valuable machinery, electrical components, motors and weapons went to the aircraft industry for repair or direct replacement. The other material—airframes, and wings went to be melted down in the VAW aluminium works.

    (Above source document: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945 - Volume I: Early Camps, Youth Camps, and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office [WVHA])

    * Luftwaffe Zerlegebetriebe Ost (or Zerlegebetrieb fur Flugzeugwracks) was involved in dismantling and recycling metal and parts from downed aircraft, employing 2 shifts of 1350 workers; this was located just outside Lager Birkenau in a courtyard near the railway line.

    From the Auschwitz Museum: A fragment of testimony given by Władysław Szmyt, a Polish-Roma and former prisoner, camp number 150321, who was deported to Auschwitz, but not imprisoned in the so-called Zigeunerlager, instead held in the men’s sector, BIId.

    “On September 14, 1943, I was brought to Auschwitz on a transport from Radom. At the camp I received the prisoner number 150321, and in the camp, after writing down, my first and last name, date and place of birth; the above-mentioned number was tattooed on my left arm, which I to this day. For about two weeks I did not work, as it was said – I was in the camp, but I was in quarantine. Then we were taught how to line up in fives, remove and put our caps back on when ordered to do so, and sing German songs. I also had to very quickly learn my camp number in German, that which I had been marked with in the Camp. In the quarantine, the SS and Kapos tormented prisoners with hours of aerobic exercise, so-called sport. Many times I was badly beaten up. Next, I was transferred to the men’s camp, section BIId in Birkenau. Soon, I started work in a commando that dismantled wrecked aircraft (Zerlegebetriebe Komando). There, the work was relatively good and we were not punished with beatings very often. As I mentioned before, they put me into sector BIId, next to the Zigeunerlager. In it were many members of my family, such as, my sister, daughter, brother-in-law, and several of my male and female cousins. Often, I managed to talk with my sister or brother-in-law through the barbed wires. However, this did not last long. Soon, along with my other brothers, they were murdered in the gas chamber.”



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    Aircraft wing structure being disassembled by forced worker in a recycling unit probably not dissimilar to the Aircraft Dismantling Work at Gross-Koschen.
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-23-2013 at 11:15 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #335

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    A letter sent by Polish worker whose address was Henschel Polenlager, Möncheberg-(rest illegible) 57, Kassel in 1943 to his wife in Tschenstochau (Częstochowa) General Gouvernement.

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    Bleow: The Tiger I and Tiger II was manufactured by the firm of Henschel und Sohn of Kassel.

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    Below: Tiger II at the Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, England. (source: wikipedia)

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #336

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    Not seen a Polish PoW change of address card before so had to pick it up

    Mój nowy adres począwszy od 1 lutego 1941 - My new address starting from February 1, 1941.

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    Stalag IV-E Altenburg prisoner-of-war camp located near Altenburg in the state of Thuringia, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Leipzig. German Army Group Area IV.

    The camp was opened in June 1940 initially to hold French prisoners from the Battle of France. Most of the prisoners were sent to Arbeitskommando ("Work Camps"). On 1 June 1942 it was renamed Stalag 384. In October 1944, several hundred women soldiers of the Polish Home Army were transferred to Altenburg from Stalag IV-B and were assigned to various Kommandos in the area. In mid-April 1945 the camp was liberated by units of the 76th Infantry Division, US 7th Army.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #337

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    Two new photo pickups to add to the Polish forced labour gallery:

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    Above: Braunschweig Madamenweg 77 factory 1940.

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    Below: The Braunschweig Madamenweg 77 factory site today:

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    The first forced labourers who arrived during the Second World War in Braunschweig, were Poles. By October 1944, the number of Polish workers rose in the Braunschweig district to about 11,000 people who made up about 30% of foreign workers in this district. However by 1945 the largest group (39.3%) of forced labourers were the so-called "Eastern workers" of Soviet or Ukrainian origin.

    Braunschweig was heavily bombed by the Allies and up to 454% of those killed by the bombing raids were prisoners of war, forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners working in the city environs. Braunschweig deployed about 51,000 foreign forced workers, especially in armaments factories such as Büssing, MIAG and NIMO and access to the safety of the air-raid bunkers and bomb shelters was prohibited to these groups, which explains the high number of bomb victims amongst them.
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-27-2013 at 03:56 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #338

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    Dueutsche Reichsbahn Personenausweis date-stamped 25 August 1943, Posen or the Polish Poznań.

    After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 Poznań was annexed by Germany, and became part of Reichsgau Posen, later restructured and named Reichsgau Wartheland. During the German occupation around 100,000 people were expelled to the central General Government territory and many others were sent to central Germany as forced labourers or were forcibly conscripted into the German army.

    The Personenausweis is over-stamped for a Pole, Stefanie Lewandowski, whose occupation is given as " Lagerarbeitern or warehouse worker.

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    Last edited by StefanM; 12-02-2013 at 04:55 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #339

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    "Studio postcard" group portrait dated October 1940:

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  10. #340

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    Polish forced workers deployed at a lumber yard:

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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