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Walt's Daughter

Camp near Siegberg Germany?

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If you need help, let me know. You should simply be able to upload them, but if they are too large, it will let you know. If so, email them to me and I will upload them to the server.

 

All of you continue to astound me with the stories and your great discoveries. This is one hell of a topic!!!

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YEAH, looks like you did it!!!

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Hi Guys!

 

Mr. Norton was so interested as I read him the Waldbrol information over the telephone. It was so exciting to get to share this piece of history with him! He was not one of the ambulatory people. Then I mailed him copies of that and the latest information on the 3 gentleman that Christoph sent me and lots of other little things.

 

Last night I received in an email 2 photographs taken at the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum in Colorado and next week I will share them with you. Again I need my husband to help me get them in a form so that I can include them. One is a drawing of Life in a German Prison Camp and the other appears to be the Red Cross Map that I sent earlier in my posts on this site. I have to go back and see if it is up there.

 

Now I see that the word Lazarett must mean Hospital in German. And the map shows Lazarett VIG North of Stalag VIG and North of Cologne. Wonder what the G was for? This map has a legend that is a little different from the map I have and also it shows Camps for Airmen, Naval and Merchant Marine Camps, and Ground Force Officers Camps. The photo does not show what was on the back of the map. It does state that this map is Based on Information received to December 31, 1944 and my map says the same thing.

 

And still the question lingers - where did Dad run to when he left the Camp on March 15th, 1945? No luck yet finding debriefing information.

 

It is so hard to stop doing WW2 things but I had better for now,

Jean J

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Jean

I decribed the system of POW camps on page 2 of this thread in posting #34. The G ist just a "running letter" in a row from A to K in area VI.

 

I was on the cemetary again yesterday and there is nothing about prisoners of war, only new graves of the last 20 years and those of which I have made in posting #31.

 

Christoph

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Christoph,

 

I am so lucky and so grateful that you are there and working on this puzzle!

 

Thank you for referring me back to those postings.

 

I may have mentioned in a past entry that when we took Dad to Siegburg and tried to figure out where the cemetery was, and he remembered it was a long walk to the location, all we found that he thought could have been the place was a patch of nice green grass.

 

I need to write Ernst another note to see how his Grandson is doing and to see if he would like a photo of the Sisters. I can ask him to let me know when he thinks Mr. Stolz will be able to communicate with us. I have lots of questions and I am sure you do too. I wonder if Mr. Stolz personally went to the site and how he obtained his information. The fact he obtained information implies it is somewhere. Does the same information he found on Dryden exist for everyone and if so, where.

 

If you want, I can send you a photo of the Sisters off line, next week when Steve returns. Hopefully, we will all be going to see them, based on your schedule late Sept. or October. They were precious! I just saw the photos yesterday.

 

Speaking of photos, I wonder where the mortuary door was. The Sister said there was no mortuary but Dad knew he did certain work.

 

I better post this so I do not lose it because I want to go look at an earlier post where you commented on the door.

 

Bye for the moment,

Jean J

 

 

 

I

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Hello Christoph,

 

I am back. Well where the mortuary was actually located may never be known. All I know is from Dad's memory it had to be one of those rounded, Moorish type doors. Thank goodness I never bought a house with that style/shaped door.

 

I was even confused about the Abbey this time and I am eager to get out all of the old photos and the new. That photo I sent in the earlier post does show the building on the left as stone and not stuccoed over.

 

I want to locate a map of Siegburg from some point during or at the end of the War. I ordered it several years ago. I can figure out, actually Steve can figure out, how best to get it to you. I do not believe the military library that I purchased it from put a copyright or anything on it.

 

Well now I understand that POW's had numbers and I wonder about the ones who were liberated from Waldbrol. Where are their records and who did the administration of the liberation. The men had to be taken to other hospitals from there. Like Norton went to Paris. I doubt the hospitals in Paris would have the information or if they did, that it would be sorted in a way that it could be accessed on who came from Waldbrol.

 

I have so much more to comment on this but briefly Mr. Norton never joined the Ex POW organization in America. When I asked Mr. Norton his POW number recently, he said he did not know he had one. I do not know when Dad joined the POW organization, but he did, and he was always looking for members who had been at Siegburg. He never found any. He never had closure on what happened to all of the boys! or the Camp! or on anyone!

 

Your research on the Englishman shows even he, with those horrible problems lived. Did he get out before Dad was walked to Siegburg that fateful October day in 1944 or was he too one of the boys. Did the Englishmen get taken to Waldbrol or was he one of the ones that was too ill to move and found at Siegburg.

 

While unlikely maybe some of those that survived are still alive today. Mr. Norton was young and in good health and maybe there were others like him because it was the Battle of the Bulge that brought so many men to Siegburg. In some of Dad's Vmails home while he does not refer to the battle by name he talks about all of the new cases coming in and the conditions outside.

 

Gad I wonder too many things, but where was the SS Officer (Captain) physically located that directed cases to Siegburg. Was it just his outfit or other outfits in some geographic area that sent the men to Siegburg. Was there a central point, (where numbers might have been given) and if so is there history on that outfit. How do you locate SS Officers by name.

 

There was the Doctor, that we now know was SS. I assume the Commandant had to be. And I have the SS Captain's name that placed Dad at Siegburg. Is there a way to find information out on the Doctor that might lead to the Commandant.

 

If I go to the NARA Library at St. Louis, it could take days, but I could try to locate records on those that had been buried at Siegburg. And someday, I plan to do that, but now is there still any chance that someone is still alive that was there.

 

I am still trying to figure out what outfit debriefed Dad. No luck so far!

 

Gad, day seems like it is over and I must get to Mom's - bringing lunch.

 

Thank you for Everything Christoph!

Jean J

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I'm reading "The last Offensive" by charles B. MacDonald at the moment, downloaded here from the main site, and found the attached map in the book which shows the units arraund Siegburg in early April 45. I have marked Siegburg on the map.

 

Also from this book, page 366:

"In the course of the advance almost every division overran a number of military hospitals, and several units liberated prisoner-of-war camps. At Waldbroel, not far north of the Sieg River, the 78th Division freed 71 hospitalized American soldiers, only 2 of whom were able to walk. At Hemer the 7th Armored Division rescued 23,302 prisoners of war, most of them Russians, living under appalling conditions of filth, disease, and hunger. The only Americans, a group of 99, were in fair condition, having been assigned to the camp only a few days."

 

...but no word about Siegburg :wacko:

 

Christoph

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Christoph,

 

You are awesome! I have some MacDonald books and think they are great. I do not have the one you referred to and will look for it. And I will print the map.

 

I have been looking through books too for maps of what was going on around Siegburg that mid March of 1945. A few thoughts on other Divisions - maybe the 9th, but then have to find some kind of After Action Reports for them, so trying to narrow it down.

 

I am anxious to find and then send you the WW2 map of the area. Maybe it will give you a clue as to where the POW cemetery would have been located. It will be fascinating to hear what you think of how the town appeared to be then. Now that I have recently been to Siegburg (and I really like it there) I am anxious to again look over the map.

 

Bye for the moment,

Jean J

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I checked a lot of photos of dog tags and identity cards of prisoners of war in german camps, nearly all numbers are below 20,000, and all of them also name the camp, as we see it on your (Jean's) dad's letters. I found a german forum where this question is also discussed and all panelists agree that the numbers were given in the camp, unique only for the camp. Sometimes numbers were already given in a FRONTSTALAG near the front or a DULAG, but it seems as if the prisoners were normally not numbered before reaching the STALAG. On the POW identity card it looks as if they got the card quickly after beeing caught, but the numbers were filled in later.

 

Christoph

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Wow, Christoph, your messages always take a lot of time to digest!

 

The logic you propose on the numbering scheme makes sense. I was just thinking because Siegburg was a Hospital that they kept track of how many got sent there - but that would be too complicated to track and know that some had been moved out of the Hospital so there was room for more. I could keep coming up with lots of combinations of what ifs, and then Siegburg could have been unique in how it was handled anyway.

 

One way for me to get more info is for Mr. Norton to request his records and see if there is a POW # there. But may not be a POW # on whatever records exist. My Dad was conscious of his number and used it in later paperwork.

 

But I am optimistic - remember the After Action Report on the liberating of Waldprol - I have the name of the lady who typed them up for the 309th Infantry Regiment. Now since she did this in 2004 who knows what her condition is or what was her connection to want to do that labor of love. I left a message on a telephone answering machine over a week ago and said I would call back. I said that I wanted to thank her for preserving the information and making it so available.

 

I am going to post cause machine just acted funny.

 

JJ

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So back to the numbering scheme. It would make sense if a Camp had say a range of numbers like 13,000 to 14,000 that they could use. But those early men you found were # 11,000 and I can not imagine that they had over 2,000 more POW's that early on get taken all the way to Siegburg. But, ...

 

Will be interesting to see numbers of other prisoners in other Camps. I wonder if that AF gentleman that was in the plane with Dryden would know his number. And also a Medic's story that I unearthed and talked to the gentleman in Massachusetts. Actually I know some other Ex POW's and could pursue this numbering system at some future time and maybe get lucky so we could figure it out. I will put it in my "To Do" list.

 

Now back to the 309th Regiment - I had planned to ask the lady I was calling about the AAR (After Action Reports) if there was a central source or person where I could put in a request to learn more about the liberators and the Medical Detachment and their reports. Maybe I could really get lucky and someone would be alive. So that too is on my list.

 

However, last night at Mom's, the Care Giver, who knows of my WW2 interests showed me a book she had that was from 1944 -1945 and was printed by Eukerdruck K.-G. Marburg (Lahn), Germany. It was kind of like an address book (no stories on what they did during the War) on the 309th Regiment, Men of Diehard, and John H. Ondrick was the Col, Inf. Cmd. in the Care Givers past, she knew some families that were part of this outift. Pretty strange! So I will pursue this desire to learn more about the Waldbrol liberators through that source as well.

 

More to follow,

Jean J

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Now last but not least, as the expression goes, the disc with the Jan. 1945 Siegburg map has been located. Steve just printed it again, and I see the problem, as I think you will, that I need more North and West information.

 

Steve is setting it up so you can click the address to access the map.

 

I will send the address as soon as I get it.

 

Christoph, as always, Thank You so much for trying to solve all of the puzzles!!!

 

Jean J

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What a great map! Thanks for sharing that.

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Wow! Some years ago I bought a CD-ROM with historical maps of Siegburg and have placed them this evening here to look for such a map - but you've been faster. On the CD are maps of 1817, ...,1938 and 1948, but not this of 1945. They show exactly the same area and are also # 5209.

 

But I have some other older maps: the next one in the west Bonn (#5208) and in the north Lohmar/Wahlscheid (5109). Maybe some houses are missing, but the times were not running so fast then and the differences to 1945 shouldn't be too big.

 

When your father crossed the Sieg already in March, the bridges might still have been usable. If not, there are some fordable places, the Sieg is not so wide. Later nearly all bridges here were blown like the one to Mülldorf below which was recovered with a bailey bridge by the 1262nd Engineer Combat Battalion after the war.

 

Christoph

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Christoph and Marion,

 

Glad the map I had looked good to you both. I could not really benefit much from it when I got it, and filed it away. I recall it took a long time to get it and my research took me to a University that had the Map because they also had the War records on I believe it was Patton. I now have it in the queue to see if I can locate the purchase details - phone numbers etc. and then see what they have and if I can order the discs for the maps of areas next to the one above.

 

Christoph, thank you for attaching those maps. Steve asked if it was possible to get full image files of what you attached. He can not enlarge or print from a thumbnail. He said we can print (17 x 22 inch paper) the full image file and then mail them to you or bring them to you when we come this Fall.

 

I will be pretty busy the next 2 days but do have a couple of things to share and will try to jot them down later. Bye for the moment,

 

Jean J

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Hello!

 

Finally, one of the items I wanted to share with you was that in one of the letters from Dad to my Mom (that has the top part missing where he would have written the date), Dad writes "I have my P.W. number now - 13012 so be sure to use it on any letters you write."

 

It does not sound like he has just arrived but it appears it is early on in his time at the Michaelsburg Abbey.

 

Bye for the moment,

Jean J

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Christoph I have a question. I am trying to organize my piles of papers and I am looking at the Red Cross Map that my Mom got back in 1945. With my new knowledge that Lazarett means hospital, I do not think the Lazarett 6G on that map is our Siegburg/Michaelsburg Abbey?

 

If I go back and try to figure out on which entry I sent that map, I am afraid I will lose this message.

 

I also want to go back and look at the cousin's map. I know I have not sent it yet.

 

No one at the Univ. of Illinois has returned my call where I have requested information on additional maps that I can order like the Siegburg one. Maybe they are on holiday. I will try again at some point.

 

Jean J

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Jean

Yes, a Lazarett is a small military hospital. Civil and bigger military hosptals are called "Krankenhaus" - so the Bethesda Naval Hospital, also well known in Germany from NCIS and other TV series, is not a Lazarett.

 

And no, Siegburg is not on the map, and there are hundreds of camps and hospitals missing.As I have written somewhere above there were hundreds of inferior camps, work commandos to each main camp. The hospital on the Michaelsberg in Siegburg was such an inferior hospital for sure as there was only a small area in the abbey for the prisoners, the main area was reserved for german soldiers.

 

The prison camp picture is interesting, but I'm afraid better to allay than to inform the soldiers.

 

We got so much material and information, and with every answer two new questions...

 

Christoph

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Quick note, I contacted this amazing gal, Sue, whose Dad was with the 309th Regiment.

 

She is the one who personally keyed in the After Action Reports for the 309th. What a great service to humanity and for the history of the War.

 

She sent me some interesting things and more to follow tomorrow.

 

Jean J

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Now where to begin and as always so little time.

 

The Univ. of Ill. gentleman, Dan, (site with the maps) had left a telephone message for me and I finally happened to listen to messages. I talked to him today and he was so helpful and supportive. Next week he will look at the Bonn map and the other maps he has and see how they connect up to the Siegburg one I sent you all. I doubt Dad went East when he escaped. His sense of direction was not his best sense, but he had Gidrie who surely had a better sense of direction and most importantly they could look down from the Abbey and get some idea of which way to at least start running.

 

Dad knew how to swim (he had been a life guard for several summers in NY) if that was required getting over the Sieg River. I do not know about Gidrie and his swimming expertise. I do not know the depth of that River or the current, again, if that was the only way to get to the Rhine.

 

Dan also said he would check their records to see if perchance Dad ran into the outfits whose records they hold. So unlikely, but one never knows - look at this website and the Diary on Walter - that was truly unusual!! And finding Christoph was off the charts!!

 

Now the other piece of news that I was so anxious to share - Sue, the devoted daughter to the 309th Regiment and the men, communicated with lots of members. She has a letter from June of 2002 from a 309th gentleman and he tells about a battle on Hill 305 where he and others were wounded. He talks about the German Aid Station and then the First Field Station both taking very good care of them. And then he says it - they were taken to Waldbrol! So these guys were part of the 71 that were liberated from Waldbrol. This man according to Sue has been deceased a couple of years and in 2002 he says that 2 of the other gentlemen were now deceased.

 

There are a couple of additional names that I will see if Sue, when she has a chance, could see if they were still alive and healthy enough or willing to share their Waldbrol experiences. Who knows if they would know when the Siegburg boys came there or anything about them. But would be great to hear anything about Waldbrol!

 

More to share, but have no definite news on it, so will sign off for tonight.

 

Jean J

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