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Camp near Siegberg Germany?


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#1 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:34 AM

Mary Durst placed a request in our guestbook this week, and also became a member of our forum. I am placing this information here for all to see, and also attaching a document she supplied. I will be asking Mary to stop by and tell us about herself and her father. I'm hoping we can find information to help her in her quest.

Thanks, Marion

QUOTE
Thank you, Marion. I am searching for any information that may allow me to find the camp where my father was liberated on April 8, 1945. The historians near Siegberg, Germany said it may have been from the Ammunition Factory in Siegburg, or in the bordering town of Troisdorf. I would greatly appreciate any input or leads or information you may be able to provide regarding any American POWs that may have been liberated from either of those locations. I’ve also attached a transcript of my father talking about his capture and the camps where he was held.



Mary Durst

Attached Files


Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#2 marydurst

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 01:29 PM

Hi all! I am hoping you can tell me about any labor camps you liberated that contained American GI's held as POWs. The attached document describes the camps where my father was held but I am unable to confirm where he was liberated from and by whom.

My father didn't talk much about his captivity. I was born 10 years after my father was liberated, so the only reason I am here is because of my father's will to survive. My Dad, Walter Blair Brinegar, was in A Company of the 27th AIB/9th Armored Division. I have been researching his captivity in the hope of finding out where he was liberated from. I have been in contact with some WWII historians in Germany that suggested he may have been held in Ammunition Factory in Siegburg, or in the bordering town of Troisdorf. I believe your corp liberated that area on or around April 8, 1945 (that is the day my father said he was liberated).

My Dad passed 30 years ago, when I was much younger and didn't realize the significance of his experience. Now, that I am older and wiser, I want to commerate his life and his will to survive by finding the places where he was held and taking my children and grandchildren to those places. I want to make sure they never forget why they are here and to also make sure they tell their children and grandchildren.

If you have any information you believe may be relevant, please contact me. Thank you in advance for any assistance you provide. This is a quest and labor of love andhonor for my Dad.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Dad_Military2.jpg


#3 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 01:41 PM

Dear Mary:

Thanks for the photo too. I am going to start looking through the documents from April 1945, from the 540th Combat Engineer Regiment, to see if there is any mention. It could be any VI Corps unit, which includes MANY. I'll look to see if my dad's unit was anywhere in the area at the time.

Warmly,
Marion

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#4 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

I don't know how much of their actual history you know, but am also including some vital links for you.

http://www.history.a...-ob/9ad-eto.htm

http://www.ushmm.org...duleId=10006146

http://www.battleoft...armored_di.html

http://www.historysh...ion.cfm?did=209

http://www.google.co...ved=0CFgQ5wIwCg

http://www.eucmh.com...sion-1944-1945/

http://www.awon.org/...html?1277434327

http://www.criba.be/...c...my&Itemid=6

http://140.194.76.12...0-1-25/c-18.pdf
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#5 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:23 PM

Found this at NARA

Attached Thumbnails

  • Walter_Brinegar_POW.JPG

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#6 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:29 PM

You can contact NARA in Maryland and request specific dates of documents for his unit.

http://www.archives....park/index.html

These are detailed, official documents which the army kept during the war.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#7 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:59 PM

Mary:

From looking at the map, none of the VI Corps Engineer units were in that area. We were located south during March and April of 1945. In early April, the 540th were in and around Heidelberg, Germany.

More later, gotta work in our store in a couple of minutes...

Later...

Here's a map of VI Corps/7th Army movement, the first week of April, 45. Note how far north your father would be. The First and Third Armies were north of us. It would be one of their units who freed your father and his buddies.

http://www.6thcorpsc...ny5-18Apr45.jpg

http://maps.google.c...ved=0CBMQ8gEwAA

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#8 armored infantry

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:12 AM

QUOTE (marydurst @ Sep 4 2010, 06:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi all! I am hoping you can tell me about any labor camps you liberated that contained American GI's held as POWs. The attached document describes the camps where my father was held but I am unable to confirm where he was liberated from and by whom.

My father didn't talk much about his captivity. I was born 10 years after my father was liberated, so the only reason I am here is because of my father's will to survive. My Dad, Walter Blair Brinegar, was in A Company of the 27th AIB/9th Armored Division. I have been researching his captivity in the hope of finding out where he was liberated from. I have been in contact with some WWII historians in Germany that suggested he may have been held in Ammunition Factory in Siegburg, or in the bordering town of Troisdorf. I believe your corp liberated that area on or around April 8, 1945 (that is the day my father said he was liberated).

My Dad passed 30 years ago, when I was much younger and didn't realize the significance of his experience. Now, that I am older and wiser, I want to commerate his life and his will to survive by finding the places where he was held and taking my children and grandchildren to those places. I want to make sure they never forget why they are here and to also make sure they tell their children and grandchildren.

If you have any information you believe may be relevant, please contact me. Thank you in advance for any assistance you provide. This is a quest and labor of love andhonor for my Dad.


Mary,

Your father was liberated by Combat Command A, 13th Armored Division, the "Black Cats." On 8 April 1945 CCA captured Siegberg and nearby Troisdorf after CCB had by-passed that latter. It is fitting that your father, an armored infantryman, was liberated by his comrades of the Armored Force. At the time the 13th AD was attached to XVIII Corps, First Army, and operating on the left flank of the 97th Infantry Division.

Your father was probably on the roles of Stalag VIG as a POW although it appears from your comments he may have been one of those men who was out on a labor detail. Stalag VIG was closed out and moved several times during the war, and as near as I can tell was set up in or near the town of Bergeneustadt some miles to the east. You might want to follow up on the various locations of this POW camp, but it appears that at one time it was quite near Bonn, Germany.

Hope this helps.
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#9 Christoph

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:12 PM

I am living 4 km away from Siegburg. The ammonition factories in Siegburg closed already after WWI, the ones in Troisdorf are still working

The next POW camp to Siegburg was in Rösrath: Stalag VI G Arb-Kdo 281. Concededly this camp was freed not on 8 but on 12 April 1945, by taskforce Delnore of the 46th Tank Battalion, but German sources say that the German soldiers left the camp alone a few days before the Americans reached it. It was not only a camp for prisoners of war but also for foreign forced laborers. The next camps were in Bonn, about 20 km away and taken already on 8 March, and in Bergisch Gladbach which was taken on 13 April. Today there is a memorial stone and a cemetery for prisoners of war and forced laborers, and kind of child care center, where at least one of the old barracks is still in new use.

Translation of the memorial stone:
This was the POW camp Hoffnungsthal in the second world war, where people of different nationalities were victims of hunger, disease and violence. Their sufferings and their death urge for peace.

Christoph

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  • _Gedenkstein Rösrath.jpg

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#10 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 02:32 PM

Christoph:

First, welcome to our forum. Have been enjoying our email conversations.

Thanks for posting that information here for all our readers. Greatly appreciated.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#11 Christoph

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:17 PM

Hello,

I have looked for more information concerning the POW camp Hoffnungsthal:

There were 1500 POWs, 187 of them American soldiers when the camp was freed, most of them captured after "Market Garden".
Here you can find a German text with an aerial view of the camp in March 1945, on the roof of one of the buildings you can read "POW". These pages seem to come from a book of a local history association in Rösrath.

There is a memorial exhibition with a model of the camp, photos etc in a chapel near the camp, perhaps I can visit it this year.

This camp is also mentioned in a new book about the Wahner Heide (heathland), I'll try to translate a paragraph:
On 04-11-1945 the first American tanks came from Spich. The camp was already left and marauded. Some few German paratroopers still offered resistance for three days, then the Wahner Heide and the camp were taken without bigger defense.

I will try to get that book I have mentioned and contact the association and the exhibition whether they have lists of the prisoners or other useful information.

Christoph

Edit: Here another link with a photo of the remaining barack today and the Polish Marshal Kerlikov visiting the exhibition.

After reading the timeline I am quiet shure that the camp Hoffnungsthal is the one Mary Durst is looking for. The last link mentions also Italian prisoners.
The monastery in Siegburg is still a monastery (but no hospital), but the last 7 friars will leave this year.
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#12 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:42 PM

Good work. I'm sure Mary will be pleased with the results.
:armata_PDT_01:
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#13 armored infantry

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 08:04 PM

Do not praise too early...

Looking at the dates, he was perhaps in the camp in Bonn-Hardthöhe/Hardtberg), which was freed on the 8th. This camp was much bigger with ten-thousands of POWs. The area was later (1955)used for the German Department of Defense. There is also a memorial stone:
Secretary of defense inaugurating memorial stone

The next POW camp to Siegburg was in Rösrath: Stalag VI G Arb-Kdo 281. Concededly this camp was freed not on 8 but on 12 April 1945, by taskforce Delnore of the 46th Tank Battalion,

Christoph


Christoph,

The camp at Bonn-Hardthöhe/Hardtberg was liberated by the 1st Infantry Division between 7 and 10 March 1945, not April. This action eliminated German resistance west of the Rhine in the First Army area of operations.

The 46th Tank Battalion was organic to the 13th Armored Division. Any task force of an armored division was made up of the combined arms. To clairfy, this means the liberators of Rösrath: Stalag VI G Arb-Kdo 281 included units of the division other than the 46th Tank Battalion. Any attempt to determine the specifics of the liberation would require an examination of the reports and journals of those units, as well as the 46th Tank Battalion, and the combat command to which it was attached. Since CCB was refitting and reorganizing in the Dunnwald area on 11-12 April, the liberating parent unit was most likely CCA.

#14 Christoph

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:01 PM

Christoph,

The camp at Bonn-Hardthöhe/Hardtberg was liberated by the 1st Infantry Division between 7 and 10 March 1945, not April. This action eliminated German resistance west of the Rhine in the First Army area of operations.



:( :wacko: Of course

The 46th Tank Battalion was organic to the 13th Armored Division. Any task force of an armored division was made up of the combined arms. To clairfy, this means the liberators of Rösrath: Stalag VI G Arb-Kdo 281 included units of the division other than the 46th Tank Battalion. Any attempt to determine the specifics of the liberation would require an examination of the reports and journals of those units, as well as the 46th Tank Battalion, and the combat command to which it was attached. Since CCB was refitting and reorganizing in the Dunnwald area on 11-12 April, the liberating parent unit was most likely CCA.


I've found my information here:
History of the 46th Tank Battalion
For me it is not so clear whether the 67th Armored Infantry Battalion or the 46th Tank Battalion lost its A, B and D company and whether Task Force Sheffy and Task Force Feldman were parts of Taskforce Delnore or separate Taskforces. And I'm also not sure whether this is caused by the quality of the text or by my English.

Christoph
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Posted 27 April 2011 - 02:59 AM

:( :wacko: Of course



I've found my information here:
History of the 46th Tank Battalion
For me it is not so clear whether the 67th Armored Infantry Battalion or the 46th Tank Battalion lost its A, B and D company and whether Task Force Sheffy and Task Force Feldman were parts of Taskforce Delnore or separate Taskforces. And I'm also not sure whether this is caused by the quality of the text or by my English.

Christoph


Hi Christoph,

Thanks for the link. The History of the 46th Tank Bn. is typical of those written by units of armored divisions. Since we know CCB was busy, we are talking about CCA. The Order of Battle for CCA, as described in the History of the 46th Tank Bn. is as follows.

The primary combat units of Combat Command A are the 67th AIB, 46th Tank, and apparently the 498th AFA Bn. Two task forces were created, each built around the headquarters of the 67th AIB and 46th Tank. CCA and its task forces also had Cavalry (Mechanized) Armored Engineers, AAA units, Medical Detachments, Trucking Companies, Service Companies, etc. which are not mentioned in the history.

Task Force Satt was built around the headquarters of the 67th AIB, and consisted of A and B Companies of the 46th Tank along with A and B Companies of the 67th AIB.

Task Force Delinore was built around the headquarters of the 46th Tank and included: C Company 67th AIB and C Company 46th Tank, along with additional units of the types listed above.

D Company 46th Tank was probably not in CCA "Reserve," but were used as flanking units and security operations withing the combat command's interior line of communications. Why? Because D was a light tank company which was poorly suited to act as any sort of reserve, but perfectly capable of carrying out the types of missions I mentioned. Besides no commander worth his salt would keep a company of light tanks as the reserve for a combat command.

The 498th AFA Bn. belonged to CCA headquarters, and Armored Force doctrine and tactics required batteries of the supporting AFA Bn. to travel far forward in each column with other batteries farther back.

On 10 April, TF Delinore received A Company 124th Armored Engineer Bn. and a platoon of the 630th Tank Destroyer Bn. Task Force Delinore was then broken down into two sub-task forces, TF Sheffey and TF Feldman. A few days later we see TF Delinore augmented by the return of two tank companies, A and D, and A Company of the 67th AIB.

These were combined arms units in the purest sense, and were tailored by higher headquarters to best fulfill the mission given them. So as you can see, it is not possible for any individual unit of CCA to honestly claim credit for liberating any camp they may have come across.

Hope this helps.

Jim
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#16 Christoph

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:30 PM

Today I’ve found another short but interesting text concerning the POW camp Hoffnungsthal in the book „I must be a part of this war – a German American’s fight against Hitler…“ by Patricia Kollander and John O’Sullivan:

"As Korf and his men made their way north toward Düsseldorf, they liberated POW Camp Hoffnungsthal. They found close to 800 prisoners, 177 of whom were Americans captured during the Battle of the Bulge. Though Americans had been generally treated well at German POW camps, Hoffnungsthal marked an exception to the rule. Korf was prepared for the fact that wartime shortages could account for the poor condition of the inmates. But what he saw went beyond shortages. He described conditions as “gruesome”. He learned that prisoners had been wantonly abused. An American pilot who had shattered both legs parachuting from his plane was forced to walk to the camp and denied medical treatment. They also found thirty-three cases of dysentery. The prisoners were evacuated immediately."

Very interesting the description of the pilot, you remember the one Walter B Brinegar has described in the timeline file?

Moreover, Lt. Col. Delnore’s daughter has published his father’s letters from the war in the book “Victor’s war”, parts are shown by google books, but hte letters are very personal and don't describe any military yction.

Regards,
Christoph
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#17 Christoph

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 07:16 PM

And another one:
The Pharos, see pages 16/17: Captain Burnett, another captured pilot in Hoffnungsth)al!

Christoph

#18 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:56 PM

Hello! I found this web site last night because I was Googling to see if there was anything on Siegburg, Germany. It has been awhile, ( I did not realize how long), since I was struggling to find out more on Siegburg and the German Military Hospital there. I was stunned to find this entry and one on a gentleman, Pfc Jim Norton of Sheridan, Wyoming, who was interviewed by the Casper Star Newspaper on May 29, 2011.

I have contacted the Newspaper Newsroom and one of the ladies who is working on the project of which Jim Norton was a part. I have asked them to contact Mr. Norton and see if he will allow me to speak to him and I would like to go meet him and talk to him in person.

My Dad was at the Siegburg German Military Hospital (Michaelsburg Abbey) from approximately mid October to approximately mid March.

While talking about the War was basically forbidden in my youth because of the nightmares and behavioral problems it caused in my Dad, as we both got older he was able to tell me stories which included his time in Siegburg. He was very frustrated that the records in St. Louis were burned.

My Dad was in the 4th Division, 22nd Regiment, and was a Medic. His nickname was Moose.

I am currently overwhelmed with the care of my Mom who is frail and requires round the clock care. I will write more later but wanted to introduce myself and say Thank You for making a web site like this available.

Jean D. Jacobson

#19 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:20 PM

Dear Jean:

Welcome to the forum. So glad you found us and I'm glad you have the ball rolling. Hope you heara from Mr. Norton!

You can get a copy of your dad's discharge papers (most likely) from his local VA (STATE). Simply contact them via phone, email or letter and if possible, they will send you a copy of his discharge papers. This is how I acquired my father's.

http://www2.va.gov/d...center_flsh.asp

Please see our RESEARCH section for further help and suggestions
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#20 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

Hello Walt's Daughter!

I do have discharge papers and I really appreciate your kindness to offer the suggestion.

At some point,I will look through all of the items you refer to as possible sources for material.

The Newspaper said it could take them a few days before they have a chance to contact Mr. Norton.

Also at some point, I would like to talk to W.B. Brinegar's daughter. Our conversation might cause her to remember other things about Siegburg. Mr. Norton might also have an idea as to where Brinegar might have gone after Siegburg.

I am curious about which historians she talked to in or about Siegburg. I had a little luck finding someone to help me, but little is about it.

After 67 years, I now am aware of 4 men by name that were actually at that German Hospital: Mr. Norton, Mr. Brinegar, Gidrie (from Louisiana somewhere), and my Dad. The correspondence my Dad sent back from the Hospital shows an address of Stalag 6 G and Siegburg. But the Hospital was in a totally different place than the Prison Camp Stalag 6G.

Thank You again,
Jean J
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#21 Christoph

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:07 PM

Hello Jean J

The hospital in Siegburg was hit by several bombs on 6 March 1945, many patients were kolled. It closed on 18 March 45 because of heavy artillery barrage, the patients got avacuated.

Stalag 6G had several outposts, the one mentioned in my first posting above is 11 km away from the abbey. If you'd publish the address on the letter, we could (perhaps) look which outpost it was and where to search on.

Christoph

#22 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:20 AM

Hello Christoph!

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I have to figure out how to take the scanned document and send it on this site. How did you ever know so much about the hospital in Siegburg?

Now the latest news that I must share with you is that I decided not to wait for Mr. Norton to be notified by the Newspaper to see if I could call him. Instead I found his telephone number and called him. First I spoke to his wife and I knew then that I had found probably the one man that is still alive that was in that Siegburg Hospital. When Mr. Norton returned home he called me.

It is true Mr. Norton was there during the time my Dad was there! And believe it or not, he remembers my Dad!! It is so crazy after all of the years of hope and research! Mr. Norton even remembers my Dad was a big guy and "watched over all of us." He remembers more about him and also wondered what happened to him.

My Dad and another guy (Gidrie) told Norton and some others in the barracks that they were going to try to escape. Dad said he had a 45 pistol on him. Mr. Norton remembers wishing him luck!

Dad wanted to get to the Allied side to tell them not to bomb Siegburg because there were Allied prisoners at this German Military Hospital. My research has revealed that Siegburg was never bombed again after his debriefing with General Collins.

Mr. Norton noted that after Dad left, out of nowhere, they got their first delivery from the Red Cross! (That was one of the many things Dad accomplished in his debriefing.)

I plan to go visit Mr. Norton and his wife as soon as I can!

Do you happen to know more about Siegburg during the period of approximately Oct. 15th until the end of the War. The barracks where the Allied prisoners were located according to Mr. Norton were just below the Abbey.

I will work on scanning the document.

Jean Jacobson
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#23 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:16 AM

That is awesome news. You must feel on top of the world! So very happy you were able to make this direct connection. I can appreciate that.
  • marydurst likes this
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#24 Christoph

Christoph

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

Hello Jean!

That's fantastic! Your dad's escape was succesful? Could you write more concerning his debriefing with general Collins?

If you'd live only 5 km away from the abbey you would also know or find out some details I guess ;)

Thanks to your hint I found another hint to the camp below the abbey, but only that there was the camp behind barbwire and always guarded:
www.peter-zenker.de/documents/Zwangsarbeit_SU_Langfassung_300dpi.pdf (only in german, concerning forced labor in Siegburg and therefore not so easy to find when lookin for POW). The camp was in the "Rosengarten" (rose garden), but it wasn't a rose garden until 1958. There were several camps for forced laborers in Siegburg, but it seems as if some of them were also used as POW camps. I'm afraid that Siegburg's inhabitants were not curious enough to ask for details at that time...

Here: http://www.blattwelt...nr_8_bomben.pdf we have some information concerning the end of WWII in Siegburg, with an aerial photo of the city from march 45 (the hospital on the bottom right) - also only in german, sorry! Google can translate it via copy and paste, but the result is a bit odd.

If I find more, I'll write it here!

Christoph

#25 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:44 AM

Christoph, I wrote a really long response and then lost it because I left this site and wanted to test out the http address that I was including. I have never been part of a site like this before so I need to learn more. I am so irritated because I appear to have lost what I wrote and now do not have enough time to write it all again but I will try to write what I can.

Most importantly I want to tell you that your kindness in trying to help me is incredible!!

And I promised you
www.jjworld.com/images/POWLetter.tiff

I will let you know when and if I get any debriefing info.

Mr. Norton said there were 4 or 5 primitive barracks below the Abbey. The Americans were in 1 of them. He said there was a Guard. And your news on the March 8th bombing may fit into what my Dad said. The bombing bent the barbed wired fence and he and Gidrie both had the same thought - that they could escape. Dad said the Guard was asleep when they left.

I do not think these guys could have done much labor because they were wounded.

On our War Journey with my Dad he tried to figure out where the cemetery was located. The morgue was located inside the rounded door on the left as you go up the now driveway. Dad buried the bodies with their dogtags and made a map of the cemetery. He felt it was a long distance down that path to the cemetery. He gave that map to the Allies - maybe to General Collins himself.

There was a German Comandant of the Camp with 2 beautiful daughters. They lived in a large area in the basement.

A lady working for a German organization was able to find a Nun and someone else that was there during the War or knew about it. I will look through my notes and send the information to you.

Good night! And Thank You So much for trying to help me!

Jean J