Finding further information on a German POW - Gerhard Paul Seifert

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Jacob Fenton, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Good morning Gentlechaps and Chapettes,

    My family tree research continues to grow so I've taken a step back to focus on the more obscure and mysterious members.
    One of them is a Gerhard Paul Seifert, who was married to a 2nd Great-Aunt of mine (Hilda Rose Oakley). From the stories that my mum told me, he was made a POW in WW2 and it is debated whether he was Wehrmacht or SS.
    He met my 2nd Great-Aunt during his time as a POW as she was a nurse and they soon became infatuated with each other, marrying in April 1948.

    If anyone has any resources that they can throw my way or any avenues I'm able to take, I'd really appreciate it. They were succeeded by a daughter, Veronica, but getting hold of her is a right pain in the arse.
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I have seen accounts that suggest that some German POWs were employed as hospital porters etc There is an item in the BBC Peoples War Archive about a German nurse who came over in 1945 at the end of the war to work in a British hospital and met and later married a German POW working there
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Paul G Seifert
    Registration Date: Apr 1948
    [May 1948]
    [Jun 1948]
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Hitchin
    Inferred County: Hertfordshire
    Spouse: Hilda R Oakley
    Volume Number: 4b
    Page Number: 306

    You would need to verify these details for example a copy of the marriage certificate will state his name (they appear to change in the records) and records how old he was at that time which will provide an approximate year of birth to verify or not the other records

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Gerhard Paul Seifert
    Death Age: 76
    Birth Date: 22 Jun 1927
    Registration Date: Aug 2003
    Registration district: Hitchin and Stevenage
    Inferred County: Hertfordshire
    Register Number: 17B
    District and Subdistrict: 534/1B
    Entry Number: 96

    There is more detail which you may know from your genealogy experience but I have not posted them as it is uncertain if these 2 are one and the same person

  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    You should consider applying to Swiss Red Cross in May via this link -

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    I’m aware of another forum member who applied with very little of the usual info required on the online application form - parents names, German Army number, date & place of capture, date & place of birth etc - and ICRC traced his papers. However if you get sight of the death and marriage certificates that TD has linked to you ought to be able to fill in a lot of the current gaps in your knowledge of his German antecedents.

    Good Luck

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  5. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Afternoon TD,

    These are indeed the same individuals. I've found, while searching via Ancestry and a few other geneology sites that there are discrepancies in the usage of 'Paul' being forename rather than Gerhard.
    He lived in the village of Weston (Hertfordshire), at 14th Friar Road if I'm not mistaken, where he lived to the ripe ol' age of 76. He was found in his pigeon shed as he used to race them. A unique profession, I'll grant you.
    I have a few census records on him and a marriage certificate so that is covered. It's the Post War and Pre-War stuff I am hungry for.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I guess his prewar life will be based in Germany and I cant even find a town to narrow it down to, so it looks as though you might have some visiting to do - maybe contact clubs or associations he was a member of, possibly other pigeon racers etc to find out s little more

    British Phone Books, 1880-1984
    Name: G P Seifert
    Address: 14 Friars Rd
    Publication Year: 1980
    Directory Place: Bedford, England
    Exchange: Weston
    Page Number: 616

    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  7. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    I've contacted the ICRC as Tullybrone but they shan't be responding any time soon due to a backlog of requested (set to kick off again on the 25th May).
    I'll continue to try and get in contact with my Great-Aunt Veronica (his only surviving daughter) to see whether she has some information on hand, which I assume she does.

    While that's in motion, I may see if there is any information lingering on German genealogy websites.
  8. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    It would help and might be more reasonable to have the place of birth as well.
    Otherwise the place to go is paying a fee with the Archives in Berlin.

    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    In my experience ICRC are quite consistent in replying to an enquiry made via the online application form (last available 20th January 2020) within 4 to 5 months.

    Not too long to wait compared to previous system that took me 14 months to get a reply.

    IMHO you can’t really complain though as it’s a free service.

    Jacob Fenton likes this.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    You mention Veronica as his only surviving daughter - in fact she was his only daughter - but I assume that Roger (his son) is no longer with us? Do any of his (Rogers) children have any documents, photos etc, as does perhaps Veronica. Obviously any small clue as to where he was born would prove almost priceless

    Lindele and Jacob Fenton like this.
  11. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    That's what I need realistically as that then opens a lot of doors.
    I'll see whether my Great-Aunt knows anything as you'd think she would.

  12. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    You have a fair point actually. I actually forgot about Roger. Roger is still with us so he's an able person to offer some kind of information!

  13. Jacob Fenton

    Jacob Fenton 22 y.o posh-ish Brit from Hertfordshire, England.

    Hi Steve,

    Is the online application form the same as sending an email? I have a sneaking suspicion that I missed that option haha.

  14. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    I think you will have an open ended waiting period for a reply if you haven’t used the approved application route.......

    The application window opens about 7am BST when a drop down application form appears on the site. Once completed you submit the form electronically and get an acknowledgement of safe receipt of the application form. The application window had closed by 10.30am 20th January due to the limit being reached.


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