Captured German Nurse?

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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Annelie
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Captured German Nurse?

Post by Annelie » 01 Dec 2008 13:32

Nurse? Among many photos is this particuliar one which I found interesting.


http://www.ww2incolor.com/german/german-nurse.jpg.html
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Guymauve
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by Guymauve » 07 Dec 2008 10:16

Hi
This photo belongs to the set "Calvados" on Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosnorm ... 001620413/
You can also read the history of these captured nurses.
Cheers

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by Heimatschuss » 03 Jan 2009 00:16

Hello Annelie,

I think the woman in question is a Frau Wist. She was a piano player working for the Wehrmacht Truppenbetreuung (german equivalent of USO) that was captured in Cherbourg by the Americans.

The posting of guymauve leads to an astonishing photo collection containing a total of three pics from a POW exchange in Normandy. (Many thanks for that link, guymauve! :D )
POW exchange 1.jpg
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosnorm ... 001620413/
POW exchange 3.jpg
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosnorm ... 001620413/

My French has deteriorated considerably over the years but as far as I understand the captions these women were captured in a Cherbourg hospital and then were handed back to the German authorities on July 2nd, 1944 near Caumont.

This reminded me of an exchange of female POWs mentioned in passing by Carell (1960, p.192). Carell provides some details of two women exchanged after the fall of Cherbourg, a Marinestabshelferin Ursula Bräutigam and said Frau Wist. Both were captured on June 26th, 1944 in Cherbourg-Octeville when the command bunker of the Seekommandant Normandie Rear Admiral Hennecke surrendered.

Frau Wist had performed with a group of musicians in the Cherbourg naval officers' mess on the evening of June 5th, 1944. (Carell, 1960, pp.21). As it seems the musicians were unable to return to Germany due to the invasion fighting and got stuck in Cherbourg.

Bräutigam was assistant to a Lt. Blume, an aide of Admiral Hennecke. Carell (1960, p.190) mentions her later working as an auxiliary nurse in the underground hospital in Octeville during the siege of Cherbourg. The role played by Frau Wist in Hennecke’s bunker remains unclear in Carell’s book.

Photo POW_exchange_1.jpg shows tree different types of women. To the left there are three DRK nurses. Veterans of the Eastern Front as their campaign ribbons indicate.
POW exchange 1 zoom.jpg
Source: http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.c ... ID=1743641

The two women in the centre are presumably helfs of some kind because of their uniform ties. Helfs with dark skirts are Kriegsmarine auxiliaries in general so the women to the right may be Bräutigam. (With the hodgepodge of uniforms worn by female Kriegsmarine members that's not more than an educated guess admittedly.)

The two women on the right appear to be civilians due to their clothes though the bright jacket seems to be an officer's summer jacket. Carell (1960, p.22) writes that both Bräutigam and Wist were young so the lady with the handbag has to be Wist.


References:
Carell, P.
Sie kommen!
Stalling Verlag Oldenburg, 1960 (Licensed edition of Deutscher Bücherbund)

Best regards
Torsten



Jan, 9: Corrected June 2nd to July 2nd
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Last edited by Heimatschuss on 09 Jan 2009 14:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Simon K
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by Simon K » 03 Jan 2009 00:20

Frau Wist has the best WW2 legs I have seen in many years of "research" :D :wink:

That first pic is great.

ignacioosacar
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by ignacioosacar » 03 Feb 2009 14:38

Absolutely! I agree ! What happened with her ?

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by Heimatschuss » 31 Aug 2010 20:43

Hello ignacioosacar,

sorry but I don't know what happened to Frau Wist later. But at least now we have her full name, Herta Wist from Karlsruhe. French researcher Patrick Peccatte did a great job earlier this year and has unearthed a lot of new material including additional photos: http://blog.tuquoque.com/post/2010/01/1 ... erendipite

There were actually two exchanges on July 2nd and July 9th, 1944 involving a total of sixteen German nurses. Both exchanges took place on the road between Balleroy and Caumont and received quite some press coverage in Allied countries.

Exchange on July 2nd, 1944

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette (July 3rd, 1944)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 20,1229355

St Petersburgh Times (July 3rd, 1944)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Dd ... 3955&hl=en

The Milwaukee Journal (July 3rd,1944)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 451,763158

The Canberra Times (July, 4th 1944)
http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2681709

The Age of Melbourne (July, 4th 1944)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 688,126934

The Binghamton Press (July 5th, 1944)
http://tinyurl.com/2ws4jlc

The Time (July, 10th 1944)
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 81,00.html


Exchange on July 9th, 1944

The Sydney Morning Herald (July 11th, 1944)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 55,4728894

The Binghamton Press (July 14th, 1944)
http://tinyurl.com/2ugnmg9

One of the ambulance drivers involved in the second transfer also recalled this event in an interview decades later:
http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturd ... nter.shtml

More stuff on the affair seems to be here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlq/4465958607/ but my French really isn't good enough these days for so much text.

Best regards
Torsten

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Captured German Nurse?

Post by Heimatschuss » 31 Aug 2010 22:21

Hi again,

I think I've just managed to filter Herta's husband out of the internet ether. Various sources, for example Carell (1960, p.22) said he was a Kriegsmarine officer with the rank of Korvettenkapitän [Lt. Commander].

Found the following guy:
Wist Karl KKapt.ing. 01.09.42. "ADMIRAL SCHEER".E-ing.(12.39-08.41). 03.08.1907 Magdeburg Crew of 1927/28
http://forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/index. ... _next=prev
22. Marinekraftfahrabteilung
[Naval Truck Battalion 22; Torsten]
Formed in Cherbourg in Normandy in July 1943 and subordinate to the Seekommandant Normandie. It was surrendered in July 1944.
Kommandeur
Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) Karl Wist (00 Jul 1943-05 Jul 1944)
http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=11899

Seems we have a perfect match here, more could not be asked for. 8-)

Best regards
Torsten

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