Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 16:57

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Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 17:48

wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 16:57
.
opi mountain0010.jpg
I think this photo could be from the mountain ranges of the Caucasus?

Which regiment did your Grandfather serve with?
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Last edited by Volyn on 10 Oct 2018 18:31, edited 1 time in total.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 18:03

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 17:48
wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 16:57
.
opi mountain0010.jpg

I think this photo could be from the mountain ranges of the Caucuses?

Which regiment did your Grandfather serve with?
I believe he may have been in the 1st Mountain Division but i'm not entirely sure. I'm still trying to figure it all out piece it all together.
I know for sure that he fought in france, Italy, Poland (he was present during the invasion of Poland and witnessed the round up of the Jews), Greece, n africa and russia. He was a pow of the British in egypt and wasn't released until 1947 or 1948... id like to know why he was held so long.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 18:31

wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 16:57
I believe he may have been in the 1st Mountain Division but i'm not entirely sure. I'm still trying to figure it all out piece it all together. I know for sure that he fought in France, Italy, Poland (he was present during the invasion of Poland and witnessed the round up of the Jews), Greece, N Africa and Russia. He was a pow of the British in Egypt and wasn't released until 1947 or 1948... id like to know why he was held so long.
If you know the dates when he was in each campaign that will make it easier to learn his combat route; the more details that you start with the faster it will go.

Do you know his dates of service in the German Army?

If he was in 1st Mountain Division then he was in the Caucasus Mountains (Operation Edelweiss) - that matches the photo of the soldiers on the mountain.

Here are some links for you to read:
https://www.axishistory.com/books/books ... -division
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... ebDiv1.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Mount ... Wehrmacht)

This photo is definitely Southern Ukraine, probably headed towards the Caucasus region.
frankreich50002.jpg



These two photos are from Rymanów, Poland (you added the first photo, I found the second photo online). Your photo is probably taken prior to their engagement at the Battle of Lwów (1939).
poland.opi company 25.19390001.jpg
z18550742V.jpg
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Last edited by Volyn on 11 Oct 2018 11:35, edited 2 times in total.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 19:05

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 18:31
wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 16:57
I believe he may have been in the 1st Mountain Division but i'm not entirely sure. I'm still trying to figure it all out piece it all together. I know for sure that he fought in France, Italy, Poland (he was present during the invasion of Poland and witnessed the round up of the Jews), Greece, N Africa and Russia. He was a pow of the British in Egypt and wasn't released until 1947 or 1948... id like to know why he was held so long.
If you know the dates when he was in each campaign that will make it easier to learn his combat route; the more details that you start with the faster it will go.

Do you know his dates of service in the German Army?

If he was in 1st Mountain Division then he was in the Caucasus Mountains (Operation Edelweiss) - that matches the photo of the soldiers on the mountain.

Here are some links for you to read:
https://www.axishistory.com/books/books ... -division
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... ebDiv1.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Mount ... Wehrmacht)

This photo is definitely Southern Ukraine, probably headed towards the Caucasus region.
frankreich50002.jpg




These two photos are from Rzeszow, Poland (you added the first photo, I found the second photo online).
poland.opi company 25.19390001.jpgz18550742V.jpg
Here is what I can gather from dates on some of his photos:

1937- Sailed to New York from Hamburg
1938- Alps
1939- Poland (211 is written on the back of photo)
1941- Photo taken of him standing by a river (Rhine?)
8/25/1942- Taganrog
1944- Berlin (from identification photo)
1947- Egypt prison camp

I also believe that he was in Italy at the time that the Italians surrendered to the allies. I'm sorry that I don't know more concrete details. Thank you so much for your help.
Last edited by wbfamily on 10 Oct 2018 19:18, edited 1 time in total.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 19:16

8/25/1942 - Taganrog
This city is 71Km West of Rostov-on-Don so we can definitely place him in Southern Ukraine on the way to the Caucasus region. You can get a lot more details about his movements by reviewing the combat records of his Division or other articles written about the 1st Mountain Division. Since this was a famous unit in WW2 there should be enough information available to give you a decent idea about what his tangential war experiences were like.

If you can determine his battalion then you can learn more about when, where and what he was actually doing. The German government has kept the records for these soldiers, it may be worth your time to read online about the process required to contact the correct department and get copies of his records.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 19:24

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 19:16
8/25/1942 - Taganrog
This city is 71Km West of Rostov-on-Don so we can definitely place him in Southern Ukraine on the way to the Caucasus region. You can get a lot more details about his movements by reviewing the combat records of his Division or other articles written about the 1st Mountain Division. Since this was a famous unit in WW2 there should be enough information available to give you a decent idea about what his tangential war experiences were like.

If you can determine his battalion then you can learn more about when, where and what he was actually doing. The German government has kept the records for these soldiers, it may be worth your time to read online about the process required to contact the correct department and get copies of his records.
This is such great info!
Do the numbers written on the back of the photos mean anything to you? 211 or 393?
I have reached out to the Wast and the red cross but they weren't able to find anything about him. I'll keep trying.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 19:33

Do the numbers written on the back of the photos mean anything to you? 211 or 393?
They might be regiment, battalion or company numbers, but the order of battle for the 1st Mountain Division does not have them listed as part of their grouping, so they could mean something else. Which photo has the 211 on the back?

When and where was he taken captive by the British? His division actually surrendered to the Americans in Austria in May 1945.

This photo is a French soldier POW from their African colonies - they were used in WW1 as well.
frankreich90003.jpg
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wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 19:47

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 19:33
Do the numbers written on the back of the photos mean anything to you? 211 or 393?
They might be regiment, battalion or company numbers, but the order of battle for the 1st Mountain Division does not have them listed as part of their grouping, so they could mean something else. Which photo has the 211 on the back?

When and where was he taken captive by the British? His division actually surrendered to the Americans in Austria in May 1945.

This photo is a French soldier POW from their African colonies - they were used in WW1 as well.
frankreich90003.jpg
211 is written on the photos from poland. However, the 1s look more like symbols. Maybe it is 2ss (if high german) or 277 instead of 211.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 20:00

wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 19:47
211 is written on the photos from poland. However, the 1s look more like symbols. Maybe it is 2ss (if high german) or 277 instead of 211.
Can you post the images? Also, when/where did your grandfather get captured?

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 20:56

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 20:00
wbfamily wrote:
10 Oct 2018 19:47
211 is written on the photos from poland. However, the 1s look more like symbols. Maybe it is 2ss (if high german) or 277 instead of 211.
Can you post the images? Also, when/where did your grandfather get captured?
I don't have the image on hand, but here is another inscription that I already have scanned.
This is written on the back of a mountain scene photograph. If you look at the "4" in the middle of the photo, you will see the letter or number that is confusing me. Is it a 1? In old german handwriting, it could be an "s". I have no idea what anything on the back of this photo says or means. Do you?

I believe he was captured in Italy, escaped, then made it back to berlin only to be captured again, but let me make a phone call to clarify that info before you quote me on it.
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Last edited by wbfamily on 10 Oct 2018 20:59, edited 1 time in total.

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 20:59

I found out which POW camp it is - 380 Fanara/Bitter Lake.

http://www.canalzoners.co.uk/POW%20Camp ... 20Egyt.htm

They were held until 1947 for several reasons:
1. Search for war criminals.
2. Organizational and transportation problems (it was often easier to supply and maintain camps than to transfer prisoners).
3. Concerns about the deterioration of the situation in Germany (additional unemployment for feeding).
4. They were economically useful.
5. The repatriation lasted a long time and the Italians took precedence.

Regarding the latter - Prisoners held by Great Britain began to leave in 1946 (probably in September). It lasted almost two years.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 21:05

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 20:59
I found out which POW camp it is - 380 Fanara/Bitter Lake.

http://www.canalzoners.co.uk/POW%20Camp ... 20Egyt.htm

They were held until 1947 for several reasons:
1. Search for war criminals.
2. Organizational and transportation problems (it was often easier to supply and maintain camps than to transfer prisoners).
3. Concerns about the deterioration of the situation in Germany (additional unemployment for feeding).
4. They were economically useful.
5. The repatriation lasted a long time and the Italians took precedence.

Regarding the latter - Prisoners held by Great Britian began to leave in 1946 (probably in September). It lasted almost two years.
Aaah!!! Thank you!
Now, if he was a war criminal (which I don't believe he was), is it possibly the reason that I can't find records of him anywhere? In case you'd like to know, his name is Walter Kurt Beynun born 3/19/1917

Volyn
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by Volyn » 10 Oct 2018 21:08

He probably was not a war criminal, he just wasn't a high priority for getting sent back to Germany until 1948. I will see what I can discover, do you know where he was living when he joined the Wehrmacht?

Do you know what his military profession was - infantry, engineer, etc.?

Also, I think this photo is Green Island - at the mouth of the Suez Canal.
afrika1.jpg
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Last edited by Volyn on 11 Oct 2018 13:03, edited 3 times in total.

wbfamily
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Re: Help with grandfather's photos. Any info, please!

Post by wbfamily » 10 Oct 2018 21:13

Volyn wrote:
10 Oct 2018 21:08
He probably was not a war criminal, he just wasn't a high priority for getting sent back to Germany until 1947. I will see what I can discover, do you know where he was living when he joined the Wehrmacht?

Do you know what his military profession was - infantry, engineer, etc.?
He was living in Berlin when he joined and was an engineer. One of his duties was to establish communication lines in the Alps.

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