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Walt's Daughter

Camp near Siegberg Germany?

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Christoph,

 

That is an Incredibly Kind and Generous thing for your Dad to consider doing! Also, if he never has the time to get to do it, I understand.

 

The photos you took are splendid! I would assume from them that you are a professional photographer.

 

I have several things that are in my queue to send to you and hope in a few days to get to do so - one is that postmark on the letters home from Dad from the Michaelsburg Abbey and another is the photo of the door where the Morgue was.

 

Do you know where the wine cellar (assuming that was its original purpose) was or the place they used to hide in when the bombs came? Maybe that and the location of where the Commandant lived in the basement will be revealed in the Siegburg documents.

 

According to Mr. Norton they used an Outhouse for a bathroom. That had to be close by to the barracks.

 

It would be interesting to hear what life was like for the people of Siegburg during that time. Food had to be scarce everywhere.

 

Oh so much more to chat about but better go now.

 

Thank you again for trying to help us and so kindly sharing your knowledge!

 

Jean J

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Jean,

 

the last photos in the youtube video are not mine :blush: but the others :D

 

There is a liqueur cellar, you will find it on GE (or a map) at 50°47'43.81"N, 7°12'42.21"E. At the end of 1944 the inhabitants of Siegburg dug three protective tunnels into the hill at about (50°47'47.74"N, 7°12'34.96"E),(50°47'45.32"N, 7°12'32.74"E) and (50°47'41.31"N, 7°12'33.693"E), more than 60 meters deep. Others say one tunnel was at the east side of the hill. There were no sanitary installations at the tunnels, only a privy near the entrance. The hygienic conditions, typhus and other diseases in the tunnels were very poor and made some families look for shelter in their own cellars in 1945. A contemporary witness told our newspaper that his mother had decided to die at home, if necessary.

 

In 1947 the tunnels were filled up.

 

The cemetary of the friars is at (50°47'43.07"N, 7°12'34.91"E), and the rose garden at (50°47'47.45"N, 7°12'39.65"E).

 

 

@Marion: Is there a way to load kmz files into the forum? Is there an easy way for photos without loading them up elsewhere before?

 

Christoph

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Hi All, This is incredible work you have been doing! I have to read and reread to make sure I'm getting all the information! Thank you!

 

To answer a couple questions I see posed of me -

 

Regarding what camp - Hoffnungsthal or Siegburg - I believe where my father was held – I believe it was hoffnungsthal. I do have to say my memory of my father talking about where he was held only is Seigburg, However, are much searching and many efforts of trying to get the military to tell me where he was held, I was told by the NARA ([Archives2reference@nara.gov] ) was camp 6G. They indicated Stalag 6G was near Bonn, which Rosrath is near Bonn, So, I would have to go by the description my father provided in the interview/transcript of the camp and as Christoph indicated, it does fit the description. Now, with all that said and going to the first camp he talks about being “a filthy place, your bed and your bathroom”… I believe it was Gerolstein. Christoph, any thoughts on that? I’ve attached what I believe is his path as a POW/Slave labor. Christoph, I would love to visit them with you and will some time in the not so distant future. Your help has been so wonderful, I can't thank you enough.

 

Jean, I do have the timeline for my father and where he entered Europe – He arrived via Normandy on August 26th, 1944.

 

I have company this week but will be back on this forum next week to find out more! I have spend years searching and talking to veterans and their surviving families, visiting Germany and Normandy to find out more information. I have gathered so many documents and I feel I need to share what I have found so others searching can be helped like you and this website has helped me! Thank you!

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This topic just keeps developing. I love what I am reading. The exchange of info is just phenomenal!

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Hello Guys!

 

I had difficulty getting on system and therefore I did not have a chance to say THANK YOU to Christopher for all of that info. It is fascinating to hear how the locals survived that very difficult period!

 

One day I will plot on a map the coordinates that you gave me. I feel confident that it is not where the POW's were buried.

 

The shelter that the POW's used could not have been far away. Norton had one crutch to use to get to the place they used as a shelter.

 

I am curious about what the locals ate. Where did the cabbage come from and the potatoes. The locals had to be starving too.

 

I asked whether the POW's had to use a slit trench or ? and was surprised to hear that there was an outhouse.

 

Regarding typhus, apparently the Americans had shots to prevent it. It was the others at the Camp who were dying from typhus.

 

Christopher, what a riot with those photos. I was sooo impressed that my first reaction was that I would never want you to see what we took. And I could not imagine the perspective you were taking the shots from, the lighting, etc. Again, Thank You so much for sharing them.

 

My Dad, during his captivity, did write home from there that it must be a beautiful place in peace time.

 

Mary, I know what you mean, I need to go back and study all of these entries. Thank you for the date he entered Normandy. How lucky you were that he was willing to talk about his war time experiences with you and others. And how lucky for me!! Amazing.

 

I am so curious why your Dad got moved out of Siegburg. Was he so ambulatory or so strong? Was he a big guy? Even if the beds and all of the space was full and it meant diluting the limited and weak cabbage soup, I would think it would be real hard to let someone more on to another Camp.

 

Or when we narrow down the dates of his captivity in each place, maybe because the War was coming to an end, and food was soooo scarce and he could walk, they felt it was the best decision.

 

They had news of what was going on and that the Allies were going to eventually win.

 

Oh so much more to write, and especially to say "Thank You Marion" for your dedication to helping preserve the memories of all of those that served in WW2.

 

And Christopher, I am going to get out those Stalag 6 G postmarks real soon.

 

JJ

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Try not to post today, for they are doing an upgrade and you may lose the above. Please see my post in Announcements.

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Okay, we are back in business. Just didn't want anyone to lose anything, in case of difficulties. The upgrade went smoothly!

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Oops, I have found the button to attach files :pdt12: . But kmz-files are not allowed :pdt:

 

My father has already tried to take look on the find book, but at the archive they are on vacation this week. He will try again as he is quiet interested himself.

 

Christoph

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Marion, Congratulations on the smooth upgrade!

 

Christoph, that is really so kind of you and your Dad to try to see what the Archive has. Please Thank Your Dad for his efforts from me! And I am so sorry it was closed and I am so lucky that he will consider going again.

 

Well I went back to my notes to see about the Nun who was to have lived at Michaelsburg during the War. The lady (Nina) who was trying to help me (and I just wrote her too) found Edeltrud Koch at Benediktinnerinnen Steinfeld. I just googled "Edeltrud Koch Benediktinnerinnen Steinfeld" and while I can not read (or speak) German I believe I found that she died April 24 of 2012. She was born in 1929. I am sooo sad. She died too young! I could not read any info about Benediktinnerinnen Steinfeld and wonder where it is located. I also wonder if anyone there knows anything about her or heard any stories of her life. Maybe she kept a diary of how she passed her life. What a loss to know nothing of her.

 

I will ask Nina to see if when she has time, if she can find anything out about Edeltrud Koch.

 

For Mary I wanted to tell her that Mr. Norton was taken from Siegburg to Waldbrol, Germany when the Allies got close to Siegburg.

 

Jean J

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Christoph and Mary,

 

I am looking through more notes I had regarding Nina's research and discovery of Sister Edeltrud. Sister Edeltrud was there with her parents and younger brother. She spent the last period of WW2 on the Michaelsberg in Siegburg. She told Nina that the wounded soldiers were brought to Arnsberg.

 

What a mistake that I did not go to Germany to meet Sister Edeltrud. This research was going on in Jan. 2011. And she even told Nina that she will include me in her prayers.

 

Boy am I sad. I am going to prioritize and see if any of the crew on the downed Maruder plane are alive.

 

Jean J

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Christoph,

 

I am getting out a few of the original documents with the postmarks and one of them has translated Gefangenennummer:-- with No. du prisonnier under it. My Dad has handwritten in this space 13012. Now obviously the Americans did not give him that number. I wonder how that number was generated? And how could 1 Camp know what number to use if other Camps were using numbers. Did each Camp get a block/range of numbers to use? Maybe there really were lists kept at each Camp?

 

Oh so many questions...

 

Tomorrow I will scan a couple of the seals.

 

Bye for now,

Jean J

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Jean

I just got a book this morning about the abbey, including an article written by sister Edeltrud Koch! So I can say, here are people having heard from her.

I'm afraid she hasn't written much about the POWs, I will translate some parts and post them here.

 

Steinfeld is a small village in the Eifel west of the Rhine. The small abbey there was built in 1958/59. They have a website: www.benediktinerinnen-steinfeld.de, if you cannot read the text you can watch the pictures :blink:

 

Christoph

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Christoph,

 

You are something! I apologize for not having learned German. What a mistake.

 

Is this a book I can purchase? I realize it is written in German.

 

What an exciting discovery! And I appreciate anything you translate from it.

 

The photos you sent of her last Abbey were beautiful.

 

I wonder if her younger brother is still alive. He may have no personal memories of that era of their life but maybe she shared things with him. I would love to hear memories about her. She was so sweet to respond to Nina.

 

More to follow,

Jean J

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Oops, I have found the button to attach files :pdt12: . But kmz-files are not allowed :pdt:

 

My father has already tried to take look on the find book, but at the archive they are on vacation this week. He will try again as he is quiet interested himself.

 

Christoph

 

I'd have to think about that one Christoph, for I have to be wary of really large files, for I only have so much storage on my server at present time. Right now we only allow some image files such as jpgs, and document files such as pdfs. Even then the file size is still limited.

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Marion, If Christopher can email me the files, my husband can put them up on a server that we have. If that is a solution, let me know. You can tell me how long we should leave it up - a few months or whatever. Thank You, as always, for managing this great site! It is obvious that you are passionate for the War and the Veterans and for helping others!

 

Christoph, I have 3 of the postmarks for you. My husband set up a server with the postmarks on it after he scanned them and made them readable. Here is the link to them.

 

www.jjworld.com/images/POWLetter1.jpg

 

 

www.jjworld.com/images/POWLetter2.jpg

 

 

www.jjworld.com/images/POWLetter3.jpg

 

I am still thinking of Sister Edeltrud Koch, and so sad. I would love to go to her Abbey in Steinfeld. The flights are so full right now and it is so hard to leave Mom. But still thinking of it ...

 

Jean J

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Jean, that's sounds like a great idea. Thanks for jumping in and helping!

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Jean,

 

Good news, stop beeing sad!

 

I also googled for Sister Edeltrud Koch and found the obituary notice, but saw it came from southern Germany. Koch is a very common name, so I called the benedictines in Steinfeld and asked for her. Sister Gracia there told me that Sister Edeltrud Koch still lives there beeing the oldest of the sisters. She remembers a lot but doesn’t hear well, so she said speaking to Sister Edeltrud on phone was not recommended. Sister Gracia asked to send a letter and she is shure that Sister Edeltrud will be happy to receive it and to answer it.

 

You will find her address on the website of the cloister. If you want, you can write the letter as message to me, I would translate it and return it so you could send it yourself, if you do not want to ask your german friends.

 

Christoph

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The book "Oben auf dem Berg" in which Sister Edeltrud has written some pages is edited by Dr Andrea Korte-Böger from the Siegburg archive and availble as e-book at amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Oben-Berg-German-Edition-ebook/dp/B007MAFUD8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339791277&sr=8-2&keywords=oben+auf+dem+berg

 

Interesting that the e-book is only available via amzon.com and not amazon.de, but because of all the pictures I like my hardcopy, also from amazon;-)

 

Christoph

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Guys I still can not believe the good news that Christoph has delivered!!

 

Marion, I am honored to be able to help you out! You see and realize how much you help me and others!!! The first thing is you will have to send the files to me (and you have my email address). Then my husband, Steve, will put the file/files up on the Server and will provide a link to that file. Steve needs to know from you where to send those links so people can get them.

 

Now Christoph I am still in shock! Thank goodness you dug deeper to see what you could find out.

 

If my husband and I were able to get to the Abbey, would it be possible for you (and maybe your Dad would want to come too) to meet us there? I would certainly reimburse you. I am thinking of ways to do this.

 

I am also thinking of what to write in a letter.

 

I am going to call the Nortons now. And I have already sent Nina a message responding to her message of sadness over her death (which was caused by my incorrect message.). Nina is moving back from NYC to Berlin in a couple of weeks. Maybe she would want to join us there as well.

 

Wow! I am still in shock. ( I did work on the Dryden puzzle today because of the now non deceased Sister.)

 

Bye for the moment,

Jean J

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Of course we could meet at the or other abbey.

 

In the mentioned book is a description of the air raid on 28th Dec 1944 written by Sister Edeltrud which (the air raid, not Edeltrud) destroyed big parts of the abbey though it was marked with a big red cross on the roof and the allied forces knew there were POW. Germany made a complaint in Geneva to clear the reason, and the British apologized, the abbey was bombed by mistake, they wanted to hit the railway station, they said. I didn't know there were such complaints and answers in WWII!

 

Already before they started winding up the hospital, the casualties were postponed to Arnsberg, they were replaced by severely wounded soldiers from the front.

 

When the Americans came in April, the last Sisters and friars should be brought into internment camps, writes Sister Edeltrud. An Armenian POW called Daniel who was medicated at the hospital tried to negotiate with the Americans and told them how good he was treated there. He was successful and the soldiers disengaged.

 

I found another text also mentioning sister Edeltrud as source. It says that the first chief of the hospital was surgeon major (?) Dr Schlickum. When he was the first there must have been others, I think. There was also a Senior County Medical Officer of Health, Dr Bange, but I'm not shure whether he came from the miltitary hospital in the Abbey, from the "normal" hospital or the county council.

 

Christoph

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Christoph,

 

The book still can not be ordered or the Kindle version yet, from what I can see. But with your information I will regularly check to see when it is available. Thank you very much.

 

In the photo the mortuary is the 1st curved door on the left. It is the door that is between the 1st 2 cars on the left. My Dad felt pretty sure of that when he saw the shape of the door and its location. I am having difficulty attaching the photo to this entry. So I will ask Marion.

 

Marion, my husband said I need to ask, " how do I upload media to the website"

 

Next thing that I referred to and want to send you is the Red Cross Map of the Camps. You will see that Siegburg is not on there! Once I learn how to attach a scanned item I will do this one too.

 

And I am still stunned over the Sister news! Thank You ever so much Christoph! I am trying to figure out what to do....

 

Jean J

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Well, what a day and now a night for you Christoper!

 

So happy that we can work out a trip with you to meet the Sister. And I loved reading what she wrote and you so kindly interpreted.

 

I was thinking that I recently borrowed a book from a Polish gal whose parents were in work Camps in the War. She knew how passionate I was about the War and my Dad's story and so she has loaned me a book whose title is International Tracing Service. Catalogue of Camps and prisons in German and German Occupied Territories Sept. 1939 to May 1945. It is hard to scan but I will attach a few of the pages that I did scan when I know how to do so. You might be able to figure out what you want me to look for in there. Also maybe I would bring it to Germany when I meet you so then you could figure out what part/parts would be useful for you. Actually it is pretty big and heavy.

 

Now I am surprised like you are about the Red Cross on roof and that episode. I know Dad was furious that the Red Cross was not sending anything there. Fascinating!

 

Jean J

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I can't find it now, doh, but someone asked about uploading files. If you are posting to a brand new topic, the upload files button will be in the lower left hand corner. However only certain files can be uploaded and there is a 2 MG limit on each file.

 

If you are replying to this topic and want to upload, then simply click on the MORE REPLY OPTIONS button and...

 

More help is in the HELP SECTION of this forum, for tips on how to do everything.

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