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Camp near Siegberg Germany?


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#26 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

Christoph,

I did hear from the Eisenhower Library and they do not have the General Collins diary/information.  I will have to look elsewhere.

I am going to get one of Dad's original letters from Siegburg and have a better scan done of the address.  I will compare that address to his others and if there are additional addresses I will send them to you.

I am going to try to visit Mr. Norton and thus I will pursue the Collins information and the Siegburg addresses when I return.

I heard the Michaelsburg Abbey was closed last year because of a lack of funding.  I have not looked on the internet to see if it has reopened.

Also I have not yet done the translating of the documents that you sent.  I will do so after my return.

Thank you so much!

I am so grateful that this web site exists.

Jean J

#27 Christoph

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:33 PM

Jean,

the Benedictine friars were forced by the SS to leave the abbey in 1941 and came back already 1945, immediately after Siegburg's occupation by the 97th infantry division. They left the abbey last year because of personal and financial problems, but now another order has decided to come to Siegburg, the Discalced (shoeless) Carmelites.

I have written an e-mail to Siegburg's historical association concerning the POW camp, their chaimen are Siegburg's mayor and our county commissioner - I hope they know more details, if not, who else?

Christoph.

#28 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:58 AM

Christoph,

You are so kind to share with me that information.  And I am so excited that maybe, just maybe, you will find out more information.  It is really an almost impossible mission!

I did have a little success a couple of years ago when I contacted a few people in Siegburg.  I will find that info and send it to you after my trip.

I know at least one of the Comandants daughters survived the War because she contacted my Dad after the War.

I also know that when Dad escaped and was debriefed he gave the map that he made of the Cemetery to the Allies.  Dad put the dog tags of each of the men with them.  He had the Polish prisoners, who were good with wood, make crosses.  For the first few years after the War Dad got calls from the different families of the deceased men.  The USA must have put his name on their death certificates.  I have been unable to find the death certificates and the Map.

On our trip to Siegburg Dad tried to figure out where the Cemetery had been.  There was no marker anywhere.   We walked/drive the now paved path down from what he thought was the Morgue to where he thought the Cemetery would have been.  Dad reminded us that the winter of 1944/1945 was brutal and it was a long cold walk to the Cemetery.

I am so anxious to talk to Mr. Norton.  Mom is not doing great.  Maybe I can leave on Wednesday.

Bye for the moment,
Jean J

#29 marydurst

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:16 AM

This is incredible information!  More than I was ever able to get from the NARA or from the military!  Thank you all so very, very much.  This is so very important to me to find his camp.  I am travelling to Germany this summer so I hope to find more information in that trip.  I did, however, find a note pad of my father's with the names of 4 men, 2 names I recognize - Wesley Strong (from Massachusetts) who was in the labor camp with him and gave him a letter to his famly as he didn't think he was going to make it out.  He was shot across the back and had a terrible infection from it.  But, he did make it but has sinced passed. Also, the other name I recognize is Dave Thick of Kansas who I know was in the fox hole with my father when they were captured on December 23, 1944. He went to a different camp as I believe he did not need medical attention but my father did.  I did speak to SGT. Thick's children but they said their father never spoke of it, he had told his father-in-law about it when he first returned and would never speak about his experience after that one time.

The other two names I do not recognize are Austin Connon (spelling could be off) of Obrian, Florida and Mr. Dan Gibbs of Fort Worth, Texas.

Jean, I would be happy to talk to you about what I can remember. However, in a couple weeks I'm going to visit my oldest cousin (she is 31 years older than I am) and I'm hoping to learn her memories of anything my father may have said when he returned.  If I do get more information I will happily share it.  

Again, thank you all so much for helping.  Christoph, if you learn any more from the Seigberg historical association I would love to here it.  I have been told the NAZI's were excellent record keepers and I have to believe they have my father's name somewhere on  some document indicating when and where he was, I just have to find it.  I want to take my children and grandchildren on a pilgrimage to those places, I want them to know the strength he had and what he endured, what strength it took for us to be here.

Thank you so much!

#30 marydurst

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:42 AM

Hi Jean, The information I received is below (I have a friend from Germany who corresponded and translated for me)


From: Wollenhaupt, Jeanette
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 12:31 PM
To: Durst, Mary C.
Subject: Zwangsarbeit in Siegburg - Anfrage

He made a mistake.
Sprengmittelproduktionen, bei der Zwangsarbeiter und möglicherweise auch Kriegsgefangene eingesetzt waren, hat nur in Troisdorf bei der Firma Dynamit Nobel statt gefunden
Slaves and possible POW were used only in Troisdorf by “Dynamit Nobel”. In Siegburg.it happened during WW2.

Jeanette

From: Peter Zenker [mailto:dr.zenker@gmx.de]
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 2:00 AM
To: Wollenhaupt, Jeanette
Subject: AW: Zwangsarbeit in Siegburg - Anfrage

Sehr geehrte Frau Wollenhaupt,

da ich meinen Computersystem auf Windows 7 umgestellt habe und dabei alle Programme neu installieren musste, kann ich auf meine Mail, die ich Ihnen sandte, nicht mehr zugreifen.

In der Angelegenheit habe ich noch einmal mit dem Archiv in Siegburg gesprochen. Und ich stellte fest, dass mir in meiner Antwort an Sie, ein Fehler unterlaufen ist. Die Sprengmittelproduktionen, bei der Zwangsarbeiter und möglicherweise auch Kriegsgefangene eingesetzt waren, hat nur in Troisdorf bei der Firma Dynamit Nobel statt gefunden. Fälschlicherweise erwähnte ich auch die Munitionsfabrik in Siegburg. Diese produzierte jedoch nur in der Zeit des Ersten Weltkrieges.

Mit freundlichem Gruß

Dr. Peter Zenker


Dr. Peter Zenker   Tel. und Fax: +49(0)2241/95 96 86
Alte Poststraße 4 e-mail   : dr.zenker@gmx.de
53721 Siegburg     web : www.peter-zenker.de



Von: Wollenhaupt, Jeanette
Gesendet: Dienstag, 10. August 2010 18:53
An: dr.zenker@gmx.de
Cc: Durst, Mary C.
Betreff: [?? Probable Spam] Zwangsarbeit in Siegburg - Anfrage

Hallo Dr. Zenker:
Ich moechte gerne wissen, ob Ihr Dokument, Zwangsarbeit in Siegburg, auch in englischer Sprache erhaeltlich ist. Meine Bekannte in den Vereinigten Staaten benoetigt eine Uebersetzung, um die Suche nach ihrem Vater, ein amerikanischer Kriegsgefangener, fortzufuehren. Vielen Dank fuer Ihre Muehe!

Mit freundlichem Gruss,


Jeanette Wollenhaupt

From: Durst, Mary C.
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 9:18 AM
To: Wollenhaupt, Jeanette
Subject: FW: Allied POW held at Neugengamme or satellite camp

Hi Jeanette,

I need your help…. As you know I’m researching my father’s POW experience and Dr. Moller has provided links below… the problem is the historian that researched the history of slave labour of Siegburg document is all in German!  Do you know of any place on the web that will translate or do you see any place that says I can contact the author, Dr. Zinker, for a translation into English?  Siegburg http://www.peter-zen...Langfassung.pdf

#31 Christoph

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:56 PM

A correction of the translation of Dr Zenker's answer: The ammonition plant in Siegburg produced only in WWI, not II!

Mary: In which POW camp do you think your father was? Hoffnungsthal or Siegburg? If you'll visit Siegburg you're welcome to visit both places with me!

About the cemetery: There is one which was used only for the friars, beneth the rose garden. It is not open for visitors and not noticable from the outside. I don't know whether this cemetery was used in WWII while the friars were not there. A second one. the Old cemetery, is also quiet central but has been full already before WWI. The third cemetery is at the town boundary, here are also parts used as military cemetary, fields for political victims of the Nazis, for russian and other slave laborers and also for victims of the bomb war. I don't remember any graves of POW, but it some years ago that I was there to make some photos. Nevertheless, this third one may be the most promising one.

Christoph

While looking for a translation of a word I just found out what the Memorial Day is., so these photos are my part to think of the victims of war.

Posted Image

#32 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:47 PM

Hello Mary and Christoph!

Thank You Both so much for the recent information!

The Cemetery my Dad created or maybe someone else did, and when I find the map I will know.  I have found at Beltsville Archives records for 2 deceased Vets that my Dad's name was connected to.  That does not prove he buried them however, but I would assume that he did.

One was  Sgt. Edward G. Morlack and the document shows at Lazarette, Sieburg, Germany, o/a 26 Feb. '45 and other document shows Feb. 4 and that he was captured in Gerolstein.

And the other was Lt. Phillip Dryden and the document shows about March 1, 1945 Sieburg Lazarette, Germany.  Somewhere else in the document it shows that Dryden was a pilot of a B-26 aircraft and was shot down on 23 Dec. 1944 at Siegburg, Germay.

These 2 men I did a little research on.  Never got to finish it.

My Dad always referred to where he was as Stalag 6G.  He also refers in a letter home that he had been moved to a Military Hospital.  I forget exactly how he described it and do not dare leave the website for fear I will lose what I have written.

Anyhow, in my research it became obvious that where he was was not Stalag 6 G.  Infact, a gentleman that was Head of the Ex POW organization (after my Dad had died), I believe his name was Galanti (but again must check my records) had in his bio that he was at Stalag 6G.  I could not believe it.  Then I called him and discovered that he was in a different Camp and that Camp had a fire and they all had to move on.  I sent him a copy of a Red Cross map of the Camps that Mom had gotten from back then.  He had not seen one.

I am rushing around to leave, maybe by Fri.  If I can, I want to write a couple of more things today, but do not want to lose this one.

It is wonderful to know you all!

Jean J

#33 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:32 PM

Hello Again Christoph and Mary,

What my Dad wrote was "I have moved to a large hospital where there are some American wounded ...."

The lady who was so kind to help me here in the USA found this out:  The Sister who lived on Michaelsberg during the War and survived is Edltrud Koch.  She tried to contact her through the convent Benediktinnerinnen Steinfeld (not the one in Siegburg.)  She wrote that unfortunately, other testimonials in the convent are no longer alive.

My Dad said Nuns were living there, and he implied up above, when he was there.  He went with some Germans from the Hospital to a Red Cross facility to get packages.  He told the Germans there had to be a  Red Cross and they should have been sending things there.  Dad was furious at the Red Cross (or whomever was working there).  They went in a wood burning wagon/vehicle.  They loaded it up and when they returned to the Hospital he made sure the packages were split fairly with everyone including the Nuns and the Comandant etc.  

That lady who was so gracious to help me said she "found an association of the friends and
>> patrons of Michaelsberg (that the mountain where the abbey is situated)
>> and I wrote to them (till without response). Browsing through the web, I
>> found two books about the story of the Michaelsberg but I guess it is
>> not the focus on WW II but one definetly is about the religious life and
>> do not know that the other is about, it says 900 years of history. I
>> will try to get into touch with the authors, hoping they are still alive."

We were never able to find out anything else.  But wanted you to know the above.

I have to believe, with the way the German's keep records, that the WW2 story exists.  (I did geneaological research here and over there for years and the records were fabulous.) I wish the Comandant of the Hospital or his 2 daughters were alive!

Mary if we can narrow down the dates your Dad was at the Siegburg Hospital that would be great! I figure around March 3rd to the 7th? of 1945 from his diary but that may not make sense if he was there for a month after that and still had time to be in another Camp?  

As my Dad would say as he tried to find his War records and information about his time overseas,  "I was not a tourist, keeping track of places and dates."

I am off to go take care of Mom,

Jean J

Your Dad appears to have been captured during the Battle of the Bulge.  Dad, like the others, did not know the name of the Battle, but he writes that the conditions must be awful on the front lines and more and more were coming in.

#34 Christoph

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:33 PM

Jean

Stalag VI G has had, like the other Stalags too, several, hundreds of outposts, sub-branches and working commandos like Arb. Kdo 281 in Hoffnungsthal or Arb. Kdo. 35 in Bachem near Frechen, 333 also in Siegburg or 624 in Cologne, and it moved while the war. It is not so easy as I thought last year when writing my first posting here and it is very probable that two prisoners of Stalag VI G were in different camps.

Stalag means Stammlager, i.e. a camp for enlisted men and sergeants, run by the army. The VI is the number of the military sub district command in the area of today's North Rhine-Westphalia and parts of Lower saxony, and in this area were the camps A, B, C D, E, F, G, H, J and K.

The main camp Stalag VI G was in Bergisch Gladbach (Feb. - Sep. 1941), in Bonn-Duisdorf (Sep. 1941 - Dec. 1944), Hemer (Sep. - Dec. 1944) Arnoldsweiler (Dec. 1944) and Bergneustadt (Dec. 1944 - 1945).

Christoph

#35 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

Wow, Christoph!  Thank You!

One day I will use Google Maps and try to plot out where Dad was captured and which Stalag 6 G would have made sense for him to have gone to.  And then how close the Military Hospital is to it.  That will be fun and interesting to do.  i will let you know the results.

Again, Thank You,

Jean J

I

#36 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:36 PM

Look at all that has transpired here within the last few weeks. How wonderful!
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#37 Christoph

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:59 PM

I found new information about the abbey's archive. There were about 80,000 documents and books on the Michaelsberg, and most of them came to the archbishop's archive in Cologne (some to Rome) after the friar's departure. Before, they edited a "find book" with a table of contents which was ready in April 2012 and handed out to the archive managers of Siegburg and the county. The documents contain also information about the abbey's time as hospital, and the archbishops archive "is open for professional and hobby historians", and: The "find book" shall be published online in the internet!

I visited the Michaelsberg today, and the abbey's cemetary is only 50 m away from the rose garden, definitely not the one we are looking for. I was also one the new cemetary, but as written before only graves of russian and political victims. There is another cemetary in Siegburg-Kaldauen which have not visited until now, but there is a sign "Military cemetary", I'll have to go there and look, but this one is some kilometers away and not just "down that path".

Here three photos of the rose garden today evening: High walls on one side, deep walls on the other two sides and only a small entrance, it was easy to build a guarded camp here.

Posted Image

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#38 CaptO

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

Very Cool! Thanks for the pictures.
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#39 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:47 AM

Hello Corporal/Tec5, and Christoph, and Mary and Marion, and everyone,

Corporal/Tec 5, this seems truly UNBELIEVABLE and yet I know what you are saying is real!  Can you imagine if such a document exists - with history of the Abbey as a Hospital during WW2!

The pictures are beautiful and so respectful.

Dad's Cemetery was small and he felt it was now a small patch of grass that we located when we journeyed there with him in the 1980's.  At that time, it was very frustrating for Dad, that no one knew anything about the Abbey being used as a Hospital, and interesting to note Mr. Norton had the same experience.  He went back in 1986.  He told me that in our phone conversation.

I finally did pursue the B26 organization for 1st Lt. Philip C. Dryden.  They had the date in January and not Dec. and their web site did not show a location.  They did inform me of the cemetery where he is supposed to be buried.  They will forward the information I sent them to an Archivist who is supposed to contact me.  My  desire is to pay proper respect to Dryden and to be sure that anything known is properly recorded in his history.  Then there is a side issue:  if Dad buried him in this little homemade cemetery, when and by whom was he moved to this other cemetery over there.  Also will Dryden's outfit be able to tell us additional dates for when Siegburg was bombed.  However maybe the book that Corporal/Tec5 is aware of will have all of the dates!

I will look the name of the cemetery up and send another message to you all.

Regarding Sergeant Morlock, the document with the description of his death in Siegburg on about 4 February 1945, has also written on it "Memo of 1st Sgt. Dale M. McClara".  I contacted the outfit McClara was in and provided them a lttle of the info that I had.  I hope maybe to find out where and why he would have been writing this.

But in both of the cases of the 2 men the letter from the National Archives at College Park says they located 3 index references to statements given by my Dad.  They also say unfortunately they were unable to locate the case file ...

Bye for the moment,
Jean J

#40 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:52 AM

The cemetery where Dryden is buried is at Margraten.  And the B-26 Marauder Historical society also shows a Jan. 3rd date.  There is no way in the middle of the War that Dryden was moved to Margraten.

Jean J

#41 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

Good Evening Mary,

I have a question for you about your Dad.  Do you know when he first went to Europe?  By that I mean, had he been there long before he was captured.

What a great service he did for this country!   And the fact he wrote about his prison experiences is really incredible!

Bye for now,
Jean J

#42 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hello everyone!

I wanted to write this before I start my trek out tomorrow (hopefully I get to go.)   Mom seems strong enough for me to leave, and her Care Givers know what to do in my absence.

I had some success tracking down info on McClara.  He was captured probably in Jan. 1945 and he was wounded which means he might have been at Siegburg during his time as a prisoner.  He was at a POW camp that was liberated by the 78th Infantry Division and maybe that was the same camp where Mr. Norton was taken when he left Siegburg as the Allies approached.  ( Maybe Norton will even remember him.)

When I get some extra time, I will continue on that thread of research.

I have a question for Corporal/Tec5, about your entry :  "I found new information about the abbey's archive. There were about 80,000 documents and books on the Michaelsberg, and most of them came to the archbishop's archive in Cologne (some to Rome) after the friar's departure. Before, they edited a "find book" with a table of contents which was ready in April 2012 and handed out to the archive managers of Siegburg and the county. The documents contain also information about the abbey's time as hospital, and the archbishops archive "is open for professional and hobby historians", and: The "find book" shall be published online in the internet!"

Corporal/Tec5, if I was to go to Siegburg, would I be able at this time to actually examine the "find book"?  I do not write or speak German so I would need a translator.

I hope to check in to the web site while I am gone but responding may be tough.

Thank you all for your help and support.

Jean J

#43 Christoph

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:53 PM

Hello Jean!

I needed 2 days until I got that I am the Corporal/Tec5 in your postings, looks a like a promotion to higher rank due to more postings :pdt12:

I would like to examine that find book, too, so I have written e-mails to the archbishop's archive in Cologne, to the archive of the city of Siegburg and to the county's archive - one of them must answer!

Christoph

#44 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:54 PM

Yes, you can simply call him Christoph, which is his name and user name. Corporal/Tec 5 is simply a forum ranking, which goes up with the number of posts one makes here. :waving:

Jean, right now you are a private, and I'm sure you will quickly rise in the ranks! :clappin2:
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#45 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:09 AM

Oh Christoph,

I am so embarrassed!   You are being so kind and helpful and here I am thanking someone else!  But all along it was you!  So now I can say Thank You to you!  I really appreciate what you are doing!!!

And guess what?  Before I said I was leaving early AM, I wanted to verify the visit with Mr. Norton.  So I just called him.  It took all of my nerve to call him because he means so much to me in this puzzle of my Dad's life.  Mr. Norton said he was looking forward to meeting us!   He was such a gentleman, that he even asked my husband's name.

I just don't want to wear him out with questions.  But I have so much to ask!!!

You are up late for German time.  Thank you again!!!

Jean J

#46 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:27 AM

Marion you are a riot!  And I love your smiley faces.

Thank you so much for providing this web site!!!  How strange that you got that Siegburg posting.  The fact that Mary's Dad actually wrote something up is amazing!

Jean J

#47 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:07 AM

Jean, ya, we like to have fun here too! :bluejumper: Yes, I did catch on you were talking to Christoph, but it took me a bit, I have to admit. :clock:
I am so excited for you. I can't tell you (well you already know) how I felt each time something like this happened to me. I remember the first time I got to spend the weekend with a member of the 540th and his wife. What a thrill for me. I still cherish that moment. :love:
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#48 Christoph

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 08:08 PM

I got an answer from our county's archive director Dr Claudia Arndt today.

She writes that there is one copy of the find book "Archive of the Benedictines, Siegburg" in the archive of the Rhine-Sieg county, wherein also some files concerning the "reserve hospital Siegburg (1940-1945)" are listed. You can look at the find book in the archive's reading room from monday to thursday 0830 to 1230 and 1330 to 1600. The files themselves are in the archbishopric historical archive of Cologne and would have to be looked in there.

Christoph

#49 Jean Jacobson

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:05 PM

Hello Guys!

I literally just got in.  I called Mom first and then signed on to you all.  It will take me several days to sort out logically what I now know.  It truly is a crazy stroke of luck!  Mr. Norton and his wife could not have been kinder!  What lovely people!

Do I have more questions?  Yes!  But I hope to return and learn more - if I am ever that fortunate again.

Marion,  I can only imagine how thrilled you were to meet a 540th Vet and his wife.  What a proud day for you!  And your Dad!  He had to have been a Great Guy to have you as his daughter!

Christoph,  This is BIG news!  Am I allowed to ask you if I could pay you to examine what they have?

I doubt they will have lots of detail but II wonder if they even have lists of the Allied prisoners that came through there.  Maybe even Mary's Dad is listed.  I am especially interested in finding out the name of the Commandant and his family.

I am pretty confident that the Nun I mentioned several entries before this one, will remember my Dad, if only there was some way to get in touch with her.   I can send a War time photo of him.  As soon as Norton saw the photo, all doubt went away.

I also wonder if there are records on SS officers.  The one I am currently interested in is Duchow.  His brother was a Dentist in Corona, LI, New York.  Duchow was not at Siegburg.  Infact, Norton does not think there was any SS person there.

I actually think Mary's Dad's comment about the guy mentioning the Nun's knowledge of many languages was my Dad.  But he was not in for an exam, he was just there.  And that is something he would say.  And why would these prisoners know such a detail, but more to follow on that line of thinking.

So for now, I will unpack, go see Mom and do all of those kinds of things.

More to follow.  And I am anxious to read the new entries on the general site.

Jean J

#50 Christoph

Christoph

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:11 PM

I have asked my father to search everything about the hospital in the find book, he lives 150 meters beeline from the rose garden, 250 m from Siegburg's archive and 550 m from the county's archive - the idea to ask him came a bit late. He's a retiree colonel interested in (also local) history with a bit more time within the opening hours of the archives, but I cannot promise when he'll actually be having the time :clock: .

By then some pictures of our hill:


Christoph