information about my father

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wozniakA
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

information about my father

Postby wozniakA » 07 Mar 2018 21:21

I am new to this so I hope people will bear with me. I am of Ukrainian descent--born in the USA. I have been/am looking for information concerning my father and his endeavours(?) (during WWII). I have some info but am not sure what is fact and what is 'fiction'---I am hoping to find someone who may be able to assist me or guide me to finding out the truth (or something that resembles the truth) about my father. If anyone is willing to try to help, I would be greatly appreciative. I patiently await a response. Thanx!

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Georg_S
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Re: information about my father

Postby Georg_S » 08 Mar 2018 10:44

Hello

Do you have anything - Unit, name, his commander etc. It´s difficult to help you without having any background info. There was a lot of men from Ukraine who volonteered to serve in the SS, unfortunately also a lot of the boys/men from Ukraine ended up as Guards in a lot of KL / KZ.

Best regards
Georg

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Prosper Vandenbroucke
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Re: information about my father

Postby Prosper Vandenbroucke » 08 Mar 2018 15:16

Hi,
Maybe was he a soldier into the 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (ukrain. Nr. 1) :
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... 14GDSS.htm
or in one of both Ukrainische Bataillone der Wehrmacht:
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... derung.htm
But as Georg says, difficult to help without the full name or any other background informations.
Kindly regards
Prosper :wink: :wink:
N.B. Sorry for my poor english, but's not my native language

wozniakA
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Re: information about my father

Postby wozniakA » 08 Mar 2018 17:11

Thank you for your responses. I have some information about my father but it's difficult (for me) to sort through it. I knew my father as Roman Wozniak but found out a little after his death (March 1995) that this was not his name---his 'birth name' was Mykola (about 95% sure) Markiw (about 75% sure; it could be spelled with a 'v', I guess). I am in possession of a birth/baptismal certificate for him but it is under the name Roman Wozniak: it states that he was born in Dobrohostiw/Drohobych on November 3, 1926. According to my god-father (who was a childhood friend of my father), my father was actually born closer to 1922 and that his real first name was Mykola (the last name he confirmed as Markiw, but only after a short pause and repeating of the name.). This pause has happened many times when I've asked others friends/acquaintances about my father's real name.
I was always told that he was in the 'division' but have found NO proof of this, other than talk from other 'division members'(?) around Cleveland area. The only thing that everybody (friends/acquaintances of father) does agree on is that he was a trusted/loyal member of OUN(b). According to my uncle, who only knew my father after the name change (my guess about 1944/1945), my father was part of the Ukrainian SS (whatever that actually means).
Well, I'm going to end this for now (I don not own a computer so I am doing this at work). I know it's not a lot but I do have more--including pictures, personal notes/writings, etc.
Thank you all for responding and willing to help; I greatly appreciate it.

wozniakA

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: information about my father

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 09 Mar 2018 17:19

well, if you are sure he was in SS division, he should have worn a tatoo under the left arm.

Maybe you can ask the OUN directly http://kmoun.info/

wozniakA
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Re: information about my father

Postby wozniakA » 09 Mar 2018 18:42

David
Thank you for your reply. I am not sure if my father being in the Ukrainian SS is fact or fiction; but I know for sure that he did not have a tattoo under his left arm (my god-father did have a tattoo; he even told me he had to wait over 5 years before USA let him into the country--had to vet him?). I will try the link that you included. One thing that has frustrated me for many years of searching is the answers I get from my father's friends/acquaintances: why do you want to know?, he was a good man, he was a good soldier, etc.. I guess I don't understand why people don't understand why I want to find out about my father's past; and then, 'good man'/'good soldier' doesn't help me; in reality, it makes me wonder about what he did.
I have a military-kind certificate/ID (Organization of Ukrainian Combatants, dated 1948/1949) that claims my father was a 'first sergeant'; but, again, this document has his picture but the name Roman Wozniak.
The reason that I believe that he was part of OUN is that this is the only information that is consistent from EVERYBODY that I've talked to; one friend of my father stated that he met my father in Munich in 1947 at OUN meeting--my father, along with my god-father, were bouncers/security at the door. Another 'clue' (so to speak) is that in the late 1970s/early1980s, my father chauffeured Mr. Jaroslaw Stetsko (former president of Ukraine for a short time in 1940s) around Cleveland (when he visited) and also would 'guard' my uncle's house (where Mr. Stetsko stayed) throughout the night.
I know for sure that Roman Wozniak is/was not his real name because I have letters written in the 1960s from his mother in Ukraine and in the text of the letters, his mother refers to him as 'my dearest son, Mykola'. Also, I am in possession of a photograph of soldiers/men in uniform that, on the back, states that it is a 'souvenir' for their friend 'Myk' from the 'Judenburg Camp Police' (though this picture helps me with my father's name, it adds more confusion about his whereabouts.
There was one thing that my father claimed happened during the war---he claimed that he was in an American-run POW camp and was able to escape by just walking out (I found/find this story to be very difficult to believe--never had anybody or anything confirm this).
Well, I guess that's about it for now---I do have other things/information (as well as several 'theories') but I feel like this is enough for now.
Thank you.

wozniakA

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Prosper Vandenbroucke
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Re: information about my father

Postby Prosper Vandenbroucke » 09 Mar 2018 20:53

Hello,
I think that "Judenburg" was in fact a satelite camp of the KL Mauthausen in Austria, located in Bretstein (near Judenburg) The camp was guarded by more tan 50 men belonging to the SS unit Totenkopf/Mauthausen

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: information about my father

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 09 Mar 2018 22:06

wozniakA wrote:There was one thing that my father claimed happened during the war---he claimed that he was in an American-run POW camp and was able to escape by just walking out (I found/find this story to be very difficult to believe--never had anybody or anything confirm this).

Well, it seems to me very plausible. Your father had no SS tatoo, he was not german, he was antisoviet. Ukrainian nationalists had many friends in US. This is how they came to live in USA after the war : like your father and his friends.

If your father's friends didnt want to talk a lot about wartime, maybe it is because they fear to follow the fate of John Demjanjuk. Maybe, they didnt want to hurt you : what if you learn that he served as death camp's guard ? To be a good soldier is one thing, to be a simple guard in death camp is maybe less glorious (?). But, maybe he was both (?).
I hope you'll find the truth.
Since you have his mother's letters, dont you have her adress/name in Ukraine by the time ?

wozniakA
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Re: information about my father

Postby wozniakA » 10 Mar 2018 17:12

David,
Yes, I do have the letters and her address/name in Ukraine. It's through/because of the letters that I found out my father's last name---but I was always under the impression that the USSR would read/analyze letters in order to find out about 'escaped' citizens (my mother stated this all the time); and that is why I'm not 100% sure of his last name---my first name was originally supposed to be Marko but there was a fear/paranoia(?) of the Soviets 'finding' him because of the name (again, according to my mother); it did become my middle name, though. I have always wondered if his last name was actually Marko (I saw a Mykola Marko name on a USSR/Russian 'list of Ukrainians' who deserted(?)) or something other than Markiw.
I do agree and fully understand the fear that Ukrainians felt post-war and how that would lead to secrecy, but I can't understand keeping these 'secrets' from me (his son), especially after my father died. Also, what really confuses me about the secrecy is this: my father would not share his past with me yet, when I was in my late teens, I was sent to an 'OUN camp'(?) (I guess it could be called 'paramilitary') where I, along with others, were taught military-type formations/techniques and other exercises, so to speak. I was never given an explanation for being sent there and, much to my regret (as they say: hindsight is 20/20), when I returned, I voiced my confusion about the whole situation, which seemed to anger my father.
I would also like to mention that I am under no delusions about what my father's past may or may not involve/include. I FULLY understand the time period and what it all entails---I guess I feel that, if anyone could/should have been 'let in' on his secretive past, it would/should have been me. I know it must sound petty and 'selfish', but growing up and hearing my friends (and cousins) speak so proudly of their fathers'/mothers' past, but not being able to offer anything about my father because I wasn't told---it hurt, especially since my father had Alzheimer's and very soon after the 'camp', he was unable to offer any information anymore (even if he wanted to).
Well, I guess that's enough for now. One last question I have: is it possible to post photographs, documents, etc.? I would like to post some things of my father that I have; just in case it 'rings a bell' with someone. I am not computer-savvy, so I would need some instructions/help to accomplish this.
Thank you to everybody for your responses and assistance.

wozniakA

GregSingh
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Re: information about my father

Postby GregSingh » 12 Mar 2018 07:06

Here is the "Judenburg camp police" photo provided by wozniakA.

In my opinion it is a post-war photo. Uniforms look like taken out from British Army stock with exception of belts and badges.
Caps and belts badges could be round Ukrainian trident ones, but it's only a speculation because details are not visible.

Judenburg group of camps (Dietersdorf, Kaserne, Kobenz, Liechtenstein, Murdorf) were DP (Displaced Persons) camps in Austria run by UNRRA under British Army supervision. That might explain uniforms.

Most of refugees in these camp were Ukrainian speaking only, so it would be practical to recruit some local young men to keep civil order.

BTW The person to whom this photo was given was called Mik, short for Микола (Mikola, Nikolai).
Looks like original spelling is with Russian и rather that Ukrainian i. Coincidentally it sounds like English Mick.

Judenburg camp police.jpg

Judenburg camp police2.jpg
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GregSingh
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Re: information about my father

Postby GregSingh » 13 Mar 2018 09:14

Another photo. This one is dated 1945 with the place quite possibly Зальцбург (Salzburg).
wozniakA's father is in the middle.

Salzburg 1945.jpg

Salzburg2 1945.jpg
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Askold
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Re: information about my father

Postby Askold » 13 Apr 2018 20:05

If Andy could do a large resolution scan of the first photo and zoom in on the sleeve patchy and collar tabs area - that would help a lot. Judging by this photo - your father was not an SS camp guard, but a member of Oxoronna Sotnia - Guard Company, formed from foreign members of the DiPi camps (Displaced Persons camps). Such companies were formed from the Baltic, Polish and Ukrainian nationalities to provide guard duties (more like auxillary services) to the Allies.

wozniakA
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Re: information about my father

Postby wozniakA » 16 Apr 2018 15:15

Askold,
I will try my best to get a better scan of that photo; I am not at all tech-savvy, so please be patient with me. I will also try to send other stuff I have and give you a 'rundown' of what I was told, found out, etc. about my father (it's all sort of 'generic', so to speak.)
Thanks for your willingness to help.

Andy


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