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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. #381

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    Another recent find of Polish workers wearing "P" badges that are round rather than the regulation diamond square shape patch.

    So far I have only found three photos of workers wearing examples of the "round" letter "P" badge amongst the many hundreds that I have in my archive but have not come across any official explanation for these round style badges being introduced.

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #382
    ?

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    I believe my father was taken from his home in Wilno, and was put into forced labour in Klaipeda - I have been told there was a forced labour shipyard there. I have questions over some of the photos I have of him - he also had, what I considered to be, an unhealthy hatred of Jews - whether this was just part of a general feeling in the area at that time or an indication of something more sinister I do not know; I would certainly like to find out, either way.

    Not sure of the dates, and I do have some old photographs of him wearing some sort of militia uniform - the only true record I have of him is when he was captured in Florence, Italy, by the Allies as a German soldier - he was recorded as being an Arbeit Kommandohich, I understand, was just another phrase for a Pole employed to dig ditches, latrines etc.

    I am trying to fill in the missing bits but, since he died in 1991', there seems to be limited information available - any assistance anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

  3. #383

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    Quote by StefanM View Post
    … Polish workers wearing "P" badges that are round rather than the regulation diamond square shape patch.

    So far I have only found three photos of workers wearing examples of the "round" letter "P" badge amongst the many hundreds that I have in my archive but have not come across any official explanation for these round style badges being introduced.
    Hi Stefan,

    On close look is appears that these may be the standard diamond shaped patches that for one reason or another the wearers chose to trim into a circular shape. Look closely at the insignia of the fellow on the left of your photo. His “P” is not trimmed his as much as the one worn by the other Pole. It appears that portions of the border are visible thereby giving the circle an uneven squared-off appearance.

    In post #4 at the outset of this excellent thread I included a photo of my father wearing the “P” that he trimmed into a balloon shape. I asked him about this when he was alive and he could not remember why. I do know he had a rebellious streak during his years as a slave labourer and I suspect this may have been a subtle act of defiance. He ended up in a heap of trouble on several occasions for being a thorn in the side of his German masters, including at one time being imprisoned with a death sentence on his head. Thankfully this was revoked – otherwise I would not be writing this post at this moment.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  4. #384

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    Quote by dh2z View Post
    I believe my father was taken from his home in Wilno, and was put into forced labour in Klaipeda - I have been told there was a forced labour shipyard there. I have questions over some of the photos I have of him - he also had, what I considered to be, an unhealthy hatred of Jews - whether this was just part of a general feeling in the area at that time or an indication of something more sinister I do not know; I would certainly like to find out, either way.


    Not sure of the dates, and I do have some old photographs of him wearing some sort of militia uniform - the only true record I have of him is when he was captured in Florence, Italy, by the Allies as a German soldier - he was recorded as being an Arbeit Kommandohich, I understand, was just another phrase for a Pole employed to dig ditches, latrines etc.


    I am trying to fill in the missing bits but, since he died in 1991', there seems to be limited information available - any assistance anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.



    In Memel (Klaipeda today) there was a fortified German naval base.

    There are many studies about Polish-Jewish relations available but discussion of this still highly controversial subject is outside the realm of the forum.
    Last edited by StefanM; 06-06-2014 at 07:24 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #385

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    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi Stefan,

    On close look is appears that these may be the standard diamond shaped patches that for one reason or another the wearers chose to trim into a circular shape. Look closely at the insignia of the fellow on the left of your photo. His “P” is not trimmed his as much as the one worn by the other Pole. It appears that portions of the border are visible thereby giving the circle an uneven squared-off appearance.
    I am not so sure because the man on the right's "P" badge appears to have the same dark border around the circumference as the badge in this photo, although this may be a trick of the eyes because the enlargement of the badge section does not show the border but the badge is definitely a manufactured roundel...like a pin-back button badge.

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    The round "P" badge on this woman also looks manufactured rather than hand-produced by the wearer.

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    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    He ended up in a heap of trouble on several occasions for being a thorn in the side of his German masters, including at one time being imprisoned with a death sentence on his head. Thankfully this was revoked – otherwise I would not be writing this post at this moment.
    ...and we would not have the pleasure of your company or the shared delight in seeing your wonderful Polish militaria collection!
    Last edited by StefanM; 06-06-2014 at 07:08 AM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #386

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    Hi Stefan,

    In the close up you provided I see what you mean about the pinback style button appearance. Based on this photo I’d agree that this is a different format altogether from the fabric patches. As with so many other things in this hobby, we’ll need to wait and see what new information comes to light.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  7. #387

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    Before and after...although he managed to keep the signature moustache.

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    Last edited by StefanM; 06-08-2014 at 01:41 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #388

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    U.S. 3rd Armored Division liberates the Slave Labor Camp Arnoldsweiler, Germany. February 1945.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #389

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    I would like to recommend this very informative selection of documents based on the holdings of the Foundation for „Polish-German Reconciliation” Archive:

    http://www.fpnp.pl/edukacja/dokumenty_eng.pdf

  10. #390

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    A large mixed group of workers in a variety of PoW uniforms and civilian apparel:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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