Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

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bilboleslie
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Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 21 Feb 2021 22:33

I picked up an interesting "collection" at an estate sale in Portland, OR. All issued to an American by the name of

James Howell Johnson, Jr. (sometimes J. Howell Johnson)

o 1937-38 Hungarian student ID

o 11/16/1939 Prague (Czech) faculty ID card.

o 12/12/1939 Germany student ID membership card

o 1940 student ID card, Czech

o 1/1/44 Germany "control card for international mail."



I've been researching.

He next appears in Feb, 1945 when he boarded the ship Gripsholm, which departed Marseilles, France, arrived New York 2/21/15

With him was his wife, Margareta (sometimes Margarete) Ruth Johnson, born in Beuthen (sp?), Germany,

and his son, Stefan Karl Johnson (sometimes Stefan K.T. Johnson), aged 3. Stefan was born in Germany.

Can you imagine the reaction of the people on the ship? What was this American doing in France at this time?



I also got Stefan's dog tags, which I would guess were issued 1960s.



Isn't this curious? What was an American doing as a student in Czech/Hungary/Germany during WWII, up to and

apparently including 1944 ?



By rights, this guy should have been called up for duty. He was born in 1919, I think.



This guy is NOT related to Lt. Gen James Howell Johnson, nor to Col. James Howell Johnson III



Would welcome suggestions on how to research this further. When I can find something to write about,

I write for history magazines. But this one has me stumped.



This guy died in 1/1974 in Spokane.



I bought the stuff, apparently, from his son Stefan's estate sale. Stefan may have (once) been in a PNW rock band

called "The Floaters."
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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 22 Feb 2021 00:16

Ehhh,IMO something not good about the whole grouping, based on dates you posted.

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 22 Feb 2021 00:18

weird, 3 different photo ids with the exact same pic??? frm 3 differet times, departments, locations?? I call BS

bilboleslie
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 22 Feb 2021 00:32

Mark, In that era, as well as much later, when someone traveled abroad they often took a supply of photos with them. Photos frequently weren't taken by the "school" or government agency. It was that way when I went to Saudi Arabia - I took a supply of photos, which were used on all kinds of different documents created during my entire stay. My driver's license, for example, and my camp ID card, and My scuba certification card, all had the same photo as my passport. I had to provide the photos - the agencies offered no photo service. And while it's theoretically possible that someone would try to forge these kind of docs, it's a lot of work to forge docs in three languages in order to create a batch of documents that were thrown into a drawer for 70 years. I paid $25 or $30 for, (paid to the estate of his dead son.) Plus, as I said, I know the man was there - I have a ship's passenger list showing him boarding in Marseilles in Feb, 1945 to return to the states. And I have the three of them settling in PA (note unique spelling of son Stefan's name - and his two middle initials) and the new wife's first name spelling (Margareta). And I have found his wife in both the states, and crossing into Canada. I am confident that they are kosher - but why was he there?

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 22 Feb 2021 01:36

bilboleslie wrote:
22 Feb 2021 00:32
Mark, In that era, as well as much later, when someone traveled abroad they often took a supply of photos with them. Photos frequently weren't taken by the "school" or government agency. It was that way when I went to Saudi Arabia - I took a supply of photos, which were used on all kinds of different documents created during my entire stay. My driver's license, for example, and my camp ID card, and My scuba certification card, all had the same photo as my passport. I had to provide the photos - the agencies offered no photo service. And while it's theoretically possible that someone would try to forge these kind of docs, it's a lot of work to forge docs in three languages in order to create a batch of documents that were thrown into a drawer for 70 years. I paid $25 or $30 for, (paid to the estate of his dead son.) Plus, as I said, I know the man was there - I have a ship's passenger list showing him boarding in Marseilles in Feb, 1945 to return to the states. And I have the three of them settling in PA (note unique spelling of son Stefan's name - and his two middle initials) and the new wife's first name spelling (Margareta). And I have found his wife in both the states, and crossing into Canada. I am confident that they are kosher - but why was he there?
Thank you for the photo copy infomation, but I will stand by my above post and opinion concerning the 3 different cards with same pic.As for why wold someone fake such items, money!! Who knows, and you do not, know what or where this grouping was in the beginning, as you bought it from an estate sale, I woild like to be shot down in my opinions though, so offer pics of all the items, backs a swell, if wrong, I will of course admit, and will learn in the process.Please post pics of items and reverse as well

bilboleslie
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 22 Feb 2021 20:57

ok
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bilboleslie
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 22 Feb 2021 21:04

Here are some more photos.

BTW, while I appreciate an occasional distraction, my original post wasn't about "real or fake." It was about how I could go about researching this man. As I said, I KNOW that he was in Europe during WWII, and that he left in Feb 1945, bringing home with him a German wife and three year old son. The ships passenger list and U.S. immigration records support this. How would you go about researching him, and what took him to Europe?
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ihoyos
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by ihoyos » 11 Mar 2021 20:06

May be this guy was not American, and Johnson was not his name.
Bhahhaha yeppers.. I like the part about him and German War bride in Feb.45!!!!!!leaving on ship to USA from France port of call. IN AWAR!! Germany letting Americans leave??in 1945.Febuary? What a pile of crap.. and we are to believe that

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 12 Mar 2021 03:38

bilboleslie wrote:
22 Feb 2021 21:04
Here are some more photos.

BTW, while I appreciate an occasional distraction, my original post wasn't about "real or fake." It was about how I could go about researching this man. As I said, I KNOW that he was in Europe during WWII, and that he left in Feb 1945, bringing home with him a German wife and three year old son. The ships passenger list and U.S. immigration records support this. How would you go about researching him, and what took him to Europe?
Oh man, it aint going to hapen as the whole story is nonsense BS. NO German ship bound for USA was in Feb.of 45 during the height of tyhe war.And there was NO American civilians in Germany allowed to live, and the BS about a German war bride is&^^$$^&&(

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stril
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by stril » 12 Mar 2021 21:12

Hello
Oh man, it aint going to hapen as the whole story is nonsense BS. NO German ship bound for USA was in Feb.of 45 during the height of tyhe war.And there was NO American civilians in Germany allowed to live, and the BS about a German war bride is&^^$$^&&(
It might be more to this story than you know. Its one of the lesser known stories from the war. Gripsholm wasnt german, it was a swedish ship working for the US goverment. I think its a interesting story, and the man in question might be worth looking into.
From wikipedia :
From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of State chartered Gripsholm as an exchange and repatriation ship, carrying Japanese[4] and German nationals to exchange points where she then picked up US and Canadian citizens (and British married to Americans or Canadians) to bring home to the USA and Canada. In this service she sailed under the auspices of the International Red Cross, with a Swedish captain and crew. The ship made 12 round trips, carrying a total of 27,712 repatriates. Exchanges took place at neutral ports; at Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique or Mormugoa (now Goa) in Portuguese India with the Japanese, and Stockholm or Lisbon with the Germans.
regards
stril
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Gripsholm_(1924)
https://encyclopedia.densho.org/The_Gri ... Exchanges/

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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 13 Mar 2021 20:39

stril wrote:
12 Mar 2021 21:12
Hello
Oh man, it aint going to hapen as the whole story is nonsense BS. NO German ship bound for USA was in Feb.of 45 during the height of tyhe war.And there was NO American civilians in Germany allowed to live, and the BS about a German war bride is&^^$$^&&(
It might be more to this story than you know. Its one of the lesser known stories from the war. Gripsholm wasnt german, it was a swedish ship working for the US goverment. I think its a interesting story, and the man in question might be worth looking into.
From wikipedia :
From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of State chartered Gripsholm as an exchange and repatriation ship, carrying Japanese[4] and German nationals to exchange points where she then picked up US and Canadian citizens (and British married to Americans or Canadians) to bring home to the USA and Canada. In this service she sailed under the auspices of the International Red Cross, with a Swedish captain and crew. The ship made 12 round trips, carrying a total of 27,712 repatriates. Exchanges took place at neutral ports; at Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique or Mormugoa (now Goa) in Portuguese India with the Japanese, and Stockholm or Lisbon with the Germans.
regards
stril
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Gripsholm_(1924)
https://encyclopedia.densho.org/The_Gri ... Exchanges/
Hmm, I might owe the poster a apology after I do some research,and maybe i SHOT MY MOUTH OFF PREMATURALY.

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Max
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Max » 15 Mar 2021 10:07

Maybe you have seen this already?
https://www.spokeo.com/purchase?pid=201 ... 6355051849
Cheers
Max
Greetings from the Wide Brown.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Mar 2021 12:02

Hi bilboleslie,

More on the circumstances of Gripsholm's voyage from Marseilles on 8 February 1945: https://www.salship.se/fox/fear_itself.htm

It was part of an internee exchange. Imagine how happy the lucky Germans going the other way must have been in February 1945!

There may be more in the book mentioned: Fear Itself: Inside the Roundup of German Americans during World War II. by Stephen Fox.

Passenger lists must also exist.

Congratulations. It looks as though you have acquired a little bit of American history. I suspect it has more museum than monetary value, though.

Sid

bilboleslie
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 23 Mar 2021 01:40

Sid Guttridge wrote:
15 Mar 2021 12:02
Hi bilboleslie,

More on the circumstances of Gripsholm's voyage from Marseilles on 8 February 1945: https://www.salship.se/fox/fear_itself.htm

It was part of an internee exchange. Imagine how happy the lucky Germans going the other way must have been in February 1945!

There may be more in the book mentioned: Fear Itself: Inside the Roundup of German Americans during World War II. by Stephen Fox.

Passenger lists must also exist.

Congratulations. It looks as though you have acquired a little bit of American history. I suspect it has more museum than monetary value, though.

Sid
Sid, this is a great source of information, something I'd never heard about. Some guy above said "there were no Americans in occupied Europe."
Yep, there were, hundreds, or thousands. thanks for sharing.

bilboleslie
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Re: Estate Sale Find - How to research this batch? Czech, Hungary, Germany... Suggestions?

Post by bilboleslie » 23 Mar 2021 01:44

stril wrote:
12 Mar 2021 21:12
Hello
Oh man, it aint going to hapen as the whole story is nonsense BS. NO German ship bound for USA was in Feb.of 45 during the height of tyhe war.And there was NO American civilians in Germany allowed to live, and the BS about a German war bride is&^^$$^&&(
It might be more to this story than you know. Its one of the lesser known stories from the war. Gripsholm wasnt german, it was a swedish ship working for the US goverment. I think its a interesting story, and the man in question might be worth looking into.
From wikipedia :
From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of State chartered Gripsholm as an exchange and repatriation ship, carrying Japanese[4] and German nationals to exchange points where she then picked up US and Canadian citizens (and British married to Americans or Canadians) to bring home to the USA and Canada. In this service she sailed under the auspices of the International Red Cross, with a Swedish captain and crew. The ship made 12 round trips, carrying a total of 27,712 repatriates. Exchanges took place at neutral ports; at Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique or Mormugoa (now Goa) in Portuguese India with the Japanese, and Stockholm or Lisbon with the Germans.
regards
stril
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Gripsholm_(1924)
https://encyclopedia.densho.org/The_Gri ... Exchanges/
Thanks for sharing. I had no clue about these repatriation voyages. We heard "there were no Americans in occupied Europe." But, yes, there were...thousands. Thanks again.

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