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MORE curious German photographs


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#1 jspitery

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:09 PM

I would really like some ones help on understanding what is going on in a selection of photographs I found in my grandfathers photo album.

They seem to depict some kind of ceremony in an outdoor square. Where men wearing some plain white uniforms are sitting on folding chairs with German officers all around them.

My Grandfather was a German soldier from 1939-1945. He was captured by the French and put in a POW camp which he escaped from and made his way back to Germany.

I'm wondering if what's pictured is a ceremony repatriating captured soldiers
back into German service.

I will post the photos soon if anyone is interested in helping me solve this mystery. I have added some more interesting photos from my grandfathers album. I'm looking forward to your comments .

Attached Files


Edited by jspitery, 08 July 2011 - 09:14 PM.
title to attract attention MORE Photos

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#2 Za Rodinu

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:19 PM

Well, bring the photos on, then.

Welcome to WW2Talk!
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#3 wowtank

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:24 PM

Was your Grandfather an officer or enlisted soldier ?
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#4 Drew5233

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:27 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum-Get 'em posted up !
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#5 jspitery

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:32 PM

What's the best way for me to post them on the Forum where every one can view them clearly?
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#6 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

Welcome jspitery,

It would be great to see you photos. thank you for offering to share them with us. I am anxious to see them.
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Sincerely yours,
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#7 jspitery

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:43 PM

Was your Grandfather an officer or enlisted soldier ?

He was enlisted. He actually was living in America from 1925-1938 and then decided to move his family back to Germany.
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#8 jspitery

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:44 PM

Welcome jspitery,

It would be great to see you photos. thank you for offering to share them with us. I am anxious to see them.

Great! I will Scan and post them all tonight, as soon as I get home.
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#9 Owen

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:22 PM

Click this link for instructions on how to post photos.
http://www.ww2talk.c...your-posts.html

Regards the white uniforms, we did have a thread here already showing those, can't find it now.
I believe German soldiers wore lightweight white uniforms when training.
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#10 jspitery

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:35 PM

This is the only picture I have of him in uniform.
I'll post the images I'm talking about tonight.

Can't wait to hear your comments.
Thanks

Attached Files


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#11 Owen

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:48 PM

pics of Germans in white here.
thanks to D for reminding me where they were.
http://www.ww2talk.c...779-post22.html
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#12 jspitery

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:17 AM

Here is a small group of the pictures. There are others on the same page of the album that show some kind of estate or military base near a lake. I'll post at another date. Looking forward to your comments.

The first image shows what looks like a group of German officers waiting to receive possibly medals that are sitting on the table just left of the officer standing, speaking to the seated officers. The soldiers seated on the right of the photo in the white uniforms are very skinny and withdrawn very unlike the rest of the group.

The second photo shows a group of soldiers marching, mixed with standard and white uniforms.

The third photo shows German officers seated with what I think are their wives and they appear to be waiting for something.

Any thoughts?

Attached Files


Edited by jspitery, 17 May 2011 - 07:04 PM.

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#13 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:35 AM

Have you posted these on any of the WWII German Military Sites? There are a few of them on the Internet who have some really knowledgeable people.

Here is one of the better sites,

Feldgrau.com - The German Armed Forces 1919-1945
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Sincerely yours,
PA.Dutchman
Son of T/Sgt. Ray "Bud" Heilman
11 TH F. A. 1937-40
Schofield Barracks
11 TH BGH 42 Sq.1940-45
Hickam 12/7/1941
AAC Armorer 911
P.U.C.

#14 jspitery

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:50 AM

thank you very much. I would like to trade stories with you about are dads.
My Dad was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborn 52nd inf.1944-45. I myself spent 13 years in Hawaii. I've worked as a civilian employee for the Navy at Pearl Harbor and spent a lot of time at Hickam and Schofield. I had the privilege of meeting many WW 2 vets there, including a few Dec 7 Pearl Harbor survivors.
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#15 Heimbrent

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:31 AM

This is the only picture I have of him in uniform.
I'll post the images I'm talking about tonight.

Can't wait to hear your comments.
Thanks


It's a Gefreiter's uniform.

Did I get that right: Your grandfather was in the German Heer and your father was in the 101st Airborne at the same time?!
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#16 Harry Ree

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:35 AM

He was enlisted. He actually was living in America from 1925-1938 and then decided to move his family back to Germany.


1938 era and the road to war.There were quite a number of Germans living in the US who were caught in Germany on holiday and were pressed into the German forces.

Obviously some returned to the fatherland and volunteered due to the nationalistic feeling prevailing at the time.

Interesting situation regarding father and son who could have met on the battlefield in Western Europe.Was there any chance of that?
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#17 PA. Dutchman

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 02:01 PM

The man who wrote this book is a long time friend of mine. Many many Germans migrated to this area over American's life time. Bob lived in Emmaus, Pennsylvania and nearly ever family had a son in the war and nearly all were of German decent but now were Red White and Blue through and through. He wrote a book of his time in the war in Europe.

Maybe 10 years ago he returned to a town his Unit liberated in Belgium. When the Inn Keeper found out Bob was in the first American troops to liberate their town he refused to accept payment for Bob's room and Bob stayed free at the Inn.

On the tour he ran into German troops he had fought against in the war, they were on tour as well. He speaks enough German that he was accepted and invited to the German Units Reunion the following year. He did attend and has been back to visit some of the men since.

Bob always said not every German soldier was a Nazi. Many were men who believed they were doing their duty.

I won't argue the point, he wrote this book. He still communicates with an Officer of the German Unit that invited him to their reunion.

Bob did not have any friends in the German Army on the battle field during WWII he has some now years after the war.

http://www.3ad.com/history/wwll/memoirs.pages/kauffman.pages/book.replacement.htm


Bob Kauffman joined the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment (AIR), Co D, in Normandy in mid-June, 1944, as a replacement for a rifleman who had been killed. Between then and May, 1945, he was wounded three times, twice hospitalized, and twice rejoined Co D. It is not an exaggeration to say that Kauffman's harrowing close-in experiences as an infantryman, and his close-calls with death, exceeded those of any Hollywood-portrayed soldier, real or fictional. How he somehow survived was nothing short of a miracle. This engrossing book will put you at his side, but, beware, this was a time when infantrymen did not have body armor and bullet-proof helmets. - Vic Damon, 3AD.com staff

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Sincerely yours,
PA.Dutchman
Son of T/Sgt. Ray "Bud" Heilman
11 TH F. A. 1937-40
Schofield Barracks
11 TH BGH 42 Sq.1940-45
Hickam 12/7/1941
AAC Armorer 911
P.U.C.

#18 jspitery

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:52 PM

Yes that's right!
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#19 jspitery

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:57 PM

My grandfather on my Moms side. So he could have met his future Father-In Law on the battlefield.
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#20 jspitery

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:07 PM

Was your Grandfather an officer or enlisted soldier ?

Have you seen the pictures I've posted?
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#21 Heimbrent

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:13 PM

Have you seen the pictures I've posted?


He could have been promoted (after the photograph was taken).
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#22 jspitery

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:16 PM

1938 era and the road to war.There were quite a number of Germans living in the US who were caught in Germany on holiday and were pressed into the German forces.

Obviously some returned to the fatherland and volunteered due to the nationalistic feeling prevailing at the time.

Interesting situation regarding father and son who could have met on the battlefield in Western Europe.Was there any chance of that?

My mother tells me that my grandfather (Opa) just wanted to visit Germany with his family in 1938, but my sisters and I think he was more a patriotic German. Even after leaving shattered Germany after the war and returning to America he never wanted to become an American citizen. In fact, in the last days of his life in 1970 he was diagnosed with heart decease he purposely went back to Germany to die.
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#23 jspitery

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:18 PM

Have you seen the pictures I posted?
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#24 Rav4

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 02:53 AM

Have you posted these on any of the WWII German Military Sites? There are a few of them on the Internet who have some really knowledgeable people.

Here is one of the better sites,

Feldgrau.com - The German Armed Forces 1919-1945


Thanks for the link. I have a photo that I have been trying to research and that site might be just the place to go. Thank again:)
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#25 jspitery

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:28 PM

He could have been promoted (after the photograph was taken).

You could be right. In the first photo you can see a small table with something on top of it
possibly medals to be presented. Before these pictures were taken my grandfather was captured by the French and became a POW there. He cut off one of his own toes to get into the infirmary which he escaped from and made his way back to Germany. I wish I knew more of the details. I have to try researching his military records.
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#26 Earthican

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:33 PM

I would really like some ones help on understanding what is going on in a selection of photographs I found in my grandfathers photo album.

They seem to depict some kind of ceremony in a outdoor square. Where men wearing some plain white uniforms are sitting on folding chairs with German officers all around them.

My Grandfather was a German soldier from 1940-1945. He was captured by the French and put in a POW camp which he escaped from and made his way back to Germany.

I'm wondering if what's pictured is a ceremony repatriating captured soldiers
back into German service.

I will post the photos soon if anyone is interested in helping me solve this mystery.


I don't think these photos are related to repatriating captured soldiers. Even though the uniforms are mixed, they appear complete. It's generally the case, that in captivity, it is not possible to replace worn and lost uniform items.

And captivity with the French could be particularly rough. I understand they put a lot of pressure on German captives to join the Foreign Legion.

In any case I think it was many years after the war before Germany had any sort of military service. Returned PoW's would probably be 'discharged', unceremoniously, by the occupying government.

Except for the mix of officers and enlisted, I would guess some sort of rest and recreation activity. Or perhaps some sort of relaxation time for his unit, perhaps during occupation duty.

Are the white uniforms an indication of an early war period?


And please pardon our distraction with your family story, it is fascinating. I assume you meant your father served with the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment (five-o-deuce)?


PA Dutchman - Thanks for the book link, I have only one other title from the armored infantry. When I find a few more titles, I will be ordering.
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#27 jspitery

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:48 PM

I don't think these photos are related to repatriating captured soldiers. Even though the uniforms are mixed, they appear complete. It's generally the case, that in captivity, it is not possible to replace worn and lost uniform items.

And captivity with the French could be particularly rough. I understand they put a lot of pressure on German captives to join the Foreign Legion.

In any case I think it was many years after the war before Germany had any sort of military service. Returned PoW's would probably be 'discharged', unceremoniously, by the occupying government.

Except for the mix of officers and enlisted, I would guess some sort of rest and recreation activity. Or perhaps some sort of relaxation time for his unit, perhaps during occupation duty.

Are the white uniforms an indication of an early war period?


And please pardon our distraction with your family story, it is fascinating. I assume you meant your father served with the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment (five-o-deuce)?


PA Dutchman - Thanks for the book link, I have only one other title from the armored infantry. When I find a few more titles, I will be ordering.

Wow, thanks for that information. It's very interesting that you mentioned a recreation activity. On the same page of his album are pictures of what looks like a resort on a lake.
I will post them tonight. As far as I know my Dad served in the 101st Airborn and the 52nd or 82nd infantry. I have to get his papers from my Mom. My Dad never served overseas the war in Europe ended the same month he finished his training.
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#28 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:24 PM

I think that you will find that the off white uniform is that used whilst training and working.

Regards
Tom
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#29 Earthican

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:29 PM

Re: german army white (ish) uniform

I'm still guessing that the white 'fatigue' uniform came about in the pre-war / early war period during the rapid expansion of the army. The US Army had a stop-gap, blue 'denim' fatigue uniform. I'm thinking an un-dyed uniform would be cheaper and quicker to produce on short notice. I expect to be proved wrong, but I can't seem to help speculating, it's actually kinda fun, apologies in advance.
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#30 Earthican

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:32 PM

As far as I know my Dad served in the 101st Airborn and the 52nd or 82nd infantry. I have to get his papers from my Mom. My Dad never served overseas the war in Europe ended the same month he finished his training.


IIRC, the 101st was deactivated in Germany and not reactivated as a training division until the 1950's. So your father probably served in the 82d.
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