POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Need help with translating WW1, Inter-War or WW2 related documents or information?
dusty_shelf
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POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 02 Jan 2018 02:18

Picked up a few more postcards from German POWs held at the cap at Clinton, Mississippi. Hoping to get help with translations. Thanks.

POW PC-1X.jpg


POW PC-2X.jpg


POW PC-3X.jpg
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dusty_shelf
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 02 Jan 2018 02:20

Three more...

POW PC-4X.jpg


POW PC-5X.jpg


POW PC-6X.jpg
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Hohlladung
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby Hohlladung » 09 Jan 2018 22:15

Hi,
As there is no reply yet, I give you a translation for the first three postcards.

The first one is a little bit strange, as this is the only one which is written with a typewritter instead of handwritten like the others ones.
Also it is rife with orthographic mistakes, wrong upper and lower cases and missing/wrong punctuation.

1)

Dear parents and siblings Clinton, the 1st. April
Have to write some lines to you and have to ask, how you all are doing. Hopefully everyone is well and healthy, but I want to hope the best, because regarding health I am doing well and I hope the same for you. I received a letter from my sister and written in there was, that she intends to get married. When I read the letter, I was in for a shock.
And now many greetings to you all from your son
Gerhard.
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

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Hohlladung
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby Hohlladung » 09 Jan 2018 22:35

2)

My dear ones!! Clinton. 29.September 1944
Quite many cordial greetings from far distance across the great sea is sending you today Arg. A few days ago I received mail from Pepi. I was quite delighted that he did not forget me. Many thanks for that. Received also mail from Klaus. So what's new at home? At the time you receive this postcard, you will be already in deep winter.
Arg!

3)

My dear ones!! Clinton, the 24.November 1944
First of all cordially greetings from far distance to you is sending Arg. I am always healthy and well and hope and wish the same for you. Yesterday I received mail from Marianne and was very happy about that. She wrote that a lot has changed at home and I would be surprised, if I come home. Yes, hopefully very soon, well this can't last forever. Yours Arg!

Best Regards
Armin
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 10 Jan 2018 00:15

Hi! Could the first one have been done through an interpreter or other non german "office" personel. The "geschwister" sounds very anglo-german to me :lol: Wouldn't think the prisoners would have had a typewriter for personal use either.

waleed

nichte
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby nichte » 10 Jan 2018 02:08

Armin, good job on the first three letters!
Not that important, but may I suggest that the name “Arg” could be “Irg”, when compared with the word “Ihr” in the letter? Irg is a first name, but not too common.

waleed, what you added could be correct,
but to address his siblings as "Geschwister" sounds normal to me, I still use this term myself.
Also, my father was a POW in several different camps in the United States, and when it was found out that
he could type, he was assigned to "office work" which included an very old type writer.
Not sure if he would have been able to use it for personal correspondence, though.

Hiltraut
-------------------------


Here is #4
14. Februar 1944. Liebe Hanna! Nach einer kl.Pause sollst Du heute
einen kurzen aber recht herl. Gruß haben. Ich habe in dieser
Zeit meinen Eltern u. Geschwistern die Bilder der Reihe nach
schicken müssen, da evtl. die Erlaubnis, Bilder zu ver-
schicken, zurückgezogen wird. Bald hörst Du im Brief wieder
mehr von mir. Ob ich Ostern wohl den ersten Gruß von Dir er-
warten kann? Paul Wegener hat schon elf Briefe erhalten.
Ich bin richtig neidisch u. enttäuscht zugleich. - Ich wünsche
Dir recht “frohe Ostereier” u. bleibe mit den herzl. Grüßen Dein Willi.
———————
14. February 1944. Dear Hanna! After a small break you shall receive
a short but heartfelt greeting today. These days I had to send the
pictures one by one to my parents and siblings,
as perhaps the permission to send pictures will be revoked. You
will hear more again from me soon in a letter. Do you think that
by Easter I may expect the first greeting from you? Paul Wegener
already received eleven letter. I am really jealous and disappointed
at the same time. - I wish you “happy easter eggs”
and remain with heartfelt greetings your Willi.



==============
Here is #5
17.4.44. Liebe Hanna! In der letzten Woche habe ich
eine ganze Menge Post von Dir erhalten; auch von
meinen Eltern u. 1 Bruder. - Durch raschelndes
Laub machen wir sicher noch einen Spaziergang.
- Wie weit waren denn Deine Gedanken am Weih-
nachtstage?! - Paul’s Schwiegervater hat also die
Grüße bestellt? Paul ist leider versetzt. - Deine
Bitte wird erfüllt: die Post kommt nach Haus. -
Hoffentl. kannst Du “richtig” lesen. - 1000 lb. Grüße Dein Willi.
———————
17. April 44. Dear Hanna! In the last couple of weeks
I received a whole bunch of mail from you; also from
my parents and one brother. - We will for sure take a walk
through rustling foliage yet..
- How far have your thoughts went on Christmas Day?!
- So, Paul’s father-in-law did send the regards? Unfortunately,
Pauls got transferred. - Your
request will be fulfilled: the mail comes home. -
I hope you are able to read “correctly”. - 1000 dear greetings, your Willi




===============
Here is #6
Liebe Eltern u. Schwester! Amerika, den 14. April 1944
Vor drei Tagen zurück haben mich wieder zwei Briefe
von Euch überrascht, dafür meinen herzlichsten Dank.
Wie ich daraus ersehe, geht es Euch noch gut. Dasselbe
ich auch von mir berichten kann. Lb. Eltern, schickt mir
kein Paket ich habe zu essen genug u. auch Bekleidung.
Ich weiß, daß Ihr mir doch was schicken wollt, aber seid so
gut u. schickt nichts, es ist alles unnötig. Lb. Eltern und Schwester,
zum Schluß die herzlichten Grüße von Eurem Sohn Alfred.
———————
Dear parents and sister! America, 14. April 1944
Three days ago I was surprised by two more letters
from you, for that my heartfelt thanks.
As I can see, you are still fine. The same
I can report about myself. Dear parents, do not
send me a packet as I have enough to eat and clothing as well.
I know you want to send me something, but please be so good
and send nothing, it all would be unnecessary. Dear parents and sister,
finally heartfelt greetings from your son Alfred.

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Hohlladung
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby Hohlladung » 10 Jan 2018 08:37

Hi,
@Waleed, thanks.

I had the same idea, the first letter was obviously "phonetic" written by someone else and then just signed by him.

@Hiltraut, thanks for translating the rest.

I was thinking that "Arg" is a short form/nickname, but you´re right, this is "Irg", which is the short form for "Girgl", a name I have never heard of before. Good work.

@dusty_shelf

All letters have something in common, they are all talking only general about greetings, health, family and so on. For sure there were regulations about what was allowed to forward on the postcards. Can you give us some more infos about camp rules regarding mail?
I suppose the inmates of Camp Clinton were mainly Afrika Korps POW´s ?

Best Regards
Armin
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

dusty_shelf
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 10 Jan 2018 16:00

Thanks to all who have helped with the translations of this correspondence!

Addressing a few questions that have been raised...

Enlisted POWs could mail 2 letters (letter sheets) and 4 postcards per month. Regulations stated the letters and cards had to be written in ink or typed. Pencil was not allowed. Also, the month in the date had to be written out. This may have been to avoid confusion between the month and day. There was no limit on the number of letters or postcards a prisoner could receive. Prisoners could also send home special postcards that displayed their photograph on one side. No message was included.

The typed postcard (#1) was sent by Gefreiter Gerhard Geiersbach. Depending on his duty within the camp, he could have had access to a typewriter. They were used by company leaders, compound leaders, canteen officers, and clerks. Postcards #2 and #3 were sent by Gefreiter Georg Buchauer. Could the signature be "Grg," short for Georg?

It is true all outgoing correspondence was heavily censored and so the writings are often bland. However, I have found some good "tidbits" as they related to POW life. One man wrote of having pet birds. Others speak of sporting events in which the prisoners participated. Sometimes you read of references to holiday observances. Being that there are no known diaries, journals, etc. for these men, their correspondence is the only written record from their time in the camp.

The vast majority of the POWs held at Clinton were "Afrika Korps." However, not long after the Allied landings in Western Europe, men taken in France and Belgium were sent back to the US, with some coming to Clinton.

history1
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby history1 » 10 Jan 2018 16:10

nichte wrote:Armin, good job on the first three letters!
Not that important, but may I suggest that the name “Arg” could be “Irg”, when compared with the word “Ihr” in the letter? Irg is a first name, but not too common.
[...]
Here is #4
14. Februar 1944. Liebe Hanna! Nach einer kl.Pause sollst Du heute
einen kurzen aber recht herzl. Gruß haben.[...]

:wink:

dusty_shelf
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 10 Jan 2018 18:47

Here is an example of a letter sheet. It is actually an outdated form that was still being used in the camps earlier in the war. Because of the length of the form, I could not scan the entire side. It is dated September 1943.

LetterSheet-1X.jpg
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dusty_shelf
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 10 Jan 2018 18:54

Here is an example of the last type of letter sheet used. Note that it has been checked for hidden writing, thus the blue streak across the page. Sometimes the censors would splatter the solution on the postcard or letter. Also, you will see at the top "German A." the prisoner had to indicate for which country he served and in what branch. "A" was for Army, ""AF" was for Air Force/Luftwaffe, and "N" for Navy/Kriegsmarines.

As with the first letter sheet, this one was too long to scan completely and so the top has been cut off. The letter is dated September 1944.

***I have yet to have these two letters translated. Often, because they allowed for more writing, the prisoner would disclose more about what he was doing in the camp.

LetterSheet-2X.jpg
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dusty_shelf
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby dusty_shelf » 10 Jan 2018 19:12

Here is a photo postcard from one of the Camp Clinton prisoners.

PhotoPC-1X.jpg


PhotoPC-2X.jpg
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Hohlladung
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby Hohlladung » 12 Jan 2018 17:07

Thanks for your reply, these are interesting informations.
The photo is also very interesting. If the photo was taken during the time at Camp Clinton, then the POW's obviously were allowed to wear their uniforms with medals, decorations, ranks, even the eagle with swastika. Surprising.

Best Regards
Armin
"Ihr verfluchten Racker, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" Friedrich, II. in der Schlacht von Kolin am 18.Juni 1757 zu seinen zurückgehenden Grenadieren.

history1
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Re: POW Postcards--Help With Translations

Postby history1 » 13 Jan 2018 11:31

Why should they not wear their uniform, Armin? And please don´t see this photo as representative/role model because of a single soldier with an EK ribbon and his rank insignia.
http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/art ... -1943-1946
It´s well known that they were treated far better in the US than in POW camps in the east. Though we know also that they also were robbed during their arrest before being shipped to the UK/USA. Viewed at least 20 vids from CriticalPast and British Pathé with US soldiers and their German POW on YT now and wasn´t able to make out only 5 POW with medails or orders. But surprisingly often German POW placed on front of jeeps and other vehicles as living shield.


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