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Some old war time photos

Article about: Good Evening Hope everyone is well I have attached some old photos which my grandfather took. Maybe they are of interest to somebody and maybe somebody will know some details about them. I a

  1. #1

    Default Some old war time photos

    Good Evening

    Hope everyone is well

    I have attached some old photos which my grandfather took.

    Maybe they are of interest to somebody and maybe somebody will know some details about them. I am particulary interested if anybody knows anything about this one, does anybody recognise the uniform? There is also some writing on the back, maybe someone can understand Polish and it would give us a clue to what is happening in the photo.




    Then there is this one, there is also some writing on the back. The girl in the photo is my great auntie Zofia. I have a feeling that this may have been taken whist she was n a forced labour camp in Koenisberg. I only think this because of the bunk beds and the date ehich says 1943. I could be wrong though!




    The next one I am not sure if it has anything to do with Wojtek at all I just found it kind of funny that they were all picture with obviously somebody dressed as a bear. The young lady on the right is my great auntie Zofia again, the same as in the photos above.



    The next one maybe was taken when my grandfather was in a forced labour camp. I only say this as my grandmother does not recognise any of the other people in the photo as his friends when he came to England and I also notice there is a shovel on the left hand side of the photo. My grandfather is the man in the white shirt stood up on the right hand side.



    Finally, my grandmother tells me she remembers my grandfather telling her that this photo was taken in Poland and it is of a group of children whom the germans had rounded up to be taken by to Germany to be raised as the perfect aryan children.



    I hope that maybe these photos are of interest to some and maybe somebody can paint a bit of a picture of what was happening in them.

    Thanks
    Rich

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Quote by richard1984 View Post

    Then there is this one, there is also some writing on the back. The girl in the photo is my great auntie Zofia. I have a feeling that this may have been taken whist she was n a forced labour camp in Koenisberg. I only think this because of the bunk beds and the date ehich says 1943. I could be wrong though!
    Hi Rich,

    You are correct the bunk-beds are very typical of a German work camp barracks. My thought is that this is a "Gemeinschaftslager" or community work camp rather than an "Arbeitslager" forced labour camp. The former was generally an unguarded work camp whereas the latter were guarded. "Gemeinschaftslager" workers could leave the camp after work so long as they returned for their work shift the next day—they had relatively free movement unlike the Arbeitslager worker who did not. The fact that those in the photos are not wearing a <P> patch either in the barrack situation or outside would IMO suggest they are not forced labourers as they are not wearing the <P> patch even inside the barrack was a very serious and punishable offence.

    Unfortunately I cannot read the Polish handwriting style but hopefully someone else will be able to help. This might help identify what is going on in the various photos
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Hi 4thskorpion

    I have had somebody on a polish forum read the back of this photo for me and it does intact say it was taken in Koenisberg.

    I also have another photo taken there which shows my auntie with her future husband. He was in Koenisberg as a prisoner of war, he was in the Belgian army. I will post it shortly for all to see.

    Thanks
    Rich

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Quote by richard1984 View Post
    Hi 4thskorpion

    I have had somebody on a polish forum read the back of this photo for me and it does intact say it was taken in Koenisberg.
    Did you get a translation of the whole caption? The place name Koenisberg is pretty clear in the caption but there looks like another place name at the bottom left with date 7 March 1943 in the bottom right.

    A couple of camp possibilities:

    Arbeitserziehungslager Hohenbruch /Lauknen (Gromowo)
    Gestapo labour camp Königsberg 

    Area: North West Russia and Kaliningrad Oblast, Rajon Polessk 

    Inmates: Women and Men 

    Type of Work: The inmates were primarily used in marshland drainage. 

    Remarks: Gromowo is a village in the Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation area of Slawski near the Curonian Lagoon. In the forest, about 3 km from the village there was a Arbeitserziehungslager (labor camp of the Gestapo in Königsberg). In the early days mainly prisoners from Poland: Members and activists of the Federation of Poles in Germany (Związek Polaków w Niemczech), representatives of the Polish intelligentsia from Warmia, in Masuria, Powisle and Kuyavia, including teachers, priests, customs inspectors and students of University of Konigsberg. 
Among the detainees were also German, Jews, Russians, Lithuanians, Czechs and other nationalities. 
Many prisoners were shot, including the publisher and editor of the newspaper Olsztyn (Gazeta Olsztyńska) Seweryn Pieniezny. 
The Jews were tortured particularly badly. A German warehouse manager named Pust forced some of them to lick their own excrement or they were severley beaten.

    Another possible:
    GemeinschaftLager K.W.S. Königsberg (Paul Naumann Strasse) East Prussia.

    Attached 1943 postcard from GemeinschaftLager13 Königsberg to an addressee in France.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cwc_Konigsberg_1_1.jpg 
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Size:	75.6 KB 
ID:	270523  
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-27-2011 at 07:48 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    hi 4thskorpion

    the translation that i have is...

    I'm sending this picture for my Mommy and Siblings, for nice memories from Koenigsberg. Zosia

    I also have this photo




    on the back of this one it says...

    To my dear Brother I send my picture from Koenigsberg. Zosia

    the man she is with (the one on the right) is her future husband. He was a soldier in the Belgium army before it fell

    Rich

  6. #6

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Hi Rich, what about the last line on the barracks photo which looks like it could be a town name on the far left with the date on the right?

    Interestingly in the new photo the future husband looks as though he is wearing a smart uniform jacket with military insignia on the collars??? I didn't know PoWs were allowed to keep their uniform insignia?

    The photo is dated 6 November 1944 but it was obviously taken during the summer months given the clothes the women are wearing.

    Also it was dated just two months before the 3rd Belorussian Front had surrounded Königsberg on 24 January 1945 ahead of taking the city. Civilians were forbidden by the German authorities to evacuate the city until 20 January under penalty of being shot to death but some were willing to take the risk and refugees started leaving Königsberg around 12 January if they could.

    Were your great aunt Zofia's family origins in East Prussia?
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Hi 4thskorpion

    i am unsure as to what the other writing says on the back of the photo.

    none of my family were from that area, they all live in Lodz, Poland prior to the onset of war.

    Rich

  8. #8

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Hi Everyone

    I thought I would update you all on what I have recently found out which may help us to work out where the photo was taken.

    The lady in the photo is my great aunt, and we know that she was labour in Koeningsberg. I met with her again recently and learnt a few more details, it is such a shame she cannot remember more but she is unfortunatley suffering with age now and does not speak English and my Polish is somewhat limited.

    She was sent there to make what I believe to be rope or string. She then escaped and went home to Lodz to be with her mother. Unfortunately a neighbour saw her back in Lodz and told the German occupiers who sent her back as expected. Surprisingly, this went unpunished so she escaped again, this time taking a friend with her. Whilst waiting at the train station to travel back to Lodz again, she was approached by a German guard and asked for her papers, obviously she didn't have any.

    This time she was punished and was sent to either Lithuania or Latvia, I am not too sure which. Here, she was made to walk to a location 10km away each morning (with no shoes) to break ice on the roads. This was her punishment for some time.

    Back to the photograph with the chap with the military uniform on. This man was to become her future husband. He was in the Belgian army, he was in the artillery unit along the Belgium / Germany border where he stationed to bring down the Luftwaffe that were heading west. He was captured and taken to a camp next to where my great aunt was. He was not there as a manual worked. He was used by the Germans as an interpreter as he could speak numerous languages including German and French. This is where he and my great aunt met, a Polish lady and a German man speaking to eachother through a fence in German! Unfortunately he died in 2006 before I got the chance to meet him.

    For now, thats all I know of my great aunts story that might have some relation to the photographs that we were discussing.

    I also found out my great grandfather and one of my other great aunts were taken to Germany from Lodz . My great gradfather was made to make shoes we believe and my great aunt was taken to make parts for aeroplanes. One of them was taken to Berlin and the other to Hannover, although I am not sure of which one was sent where!

    Apologies for waffling on, I just find it incredibly interesting and thought others may do too, hence I will always share what i find out and hope one day it may be a great story for us all to read!

    Best Regards
    Richard

  9. #9

    Default Re: Some old war time photos

    Quote by richard1984 View Post
    This is where he and my great aunt met, a Polish lady and a BELGIAN man speaking to eachother through a fence in German! Unfortunately he died in 2006 before I got the chance to meet him.
    Just a correction to my post!

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