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The picture find of a lifetime

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sheepdawg
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The picture find of a lifetime

#1 Post by sheepdawg » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:29 am

I guess there are quite a few here my age whose fathers fought in WW2, I'm sure most of us would pester our fathers about their time in the war. My father was in the German Wehrmacht, one of the lucky ones who got conscripted when things started going bad for Herr Hitler. He was lucky that when he got out of boot camp he was shipped off to the west not the east. He didn't like talking about the war, it was tough dragging things out of him. Spending about a month on the front lines he saw some pretty awful things. I found out he was captured by the Americans near Metz, France in October of 1944. He'd talk about life in the POW camp, the Americans treated him pretty good especially after finding out my dad was a very accomplished artist. They put him to work painting things like their NCO and Officer's clubs, putting murals of pretty women on the walls. He said he had pretty women down pat by the time he was released. Well I always look at pictures of the fighting in France around this time, especially when Metz is mentioned. It was a big battle, one where Patton lost quite a few men. Anyway I'm looking through some things when I come across something from the Life Magazine archives, The Road to Metz Nov. 1944. Pictures by Life magazine photographer Ralph Morse. Morse was a very well known photographer taking some of the most famous pictures ever shown in Life. There was about 20 pictures and this one was one of the last. Lo and behold front row, second from the right, my father, looking down, hands on his lapels being marched off to POW camp. I'd know him anywhere but I needed some back up so I emailed my 82 year old cousin Ilse who lived with his family during and after the war. Asking her if she noticed anything about the picture she emailed back, "Sure, that's your father in the front row, I'd recognize those ears anywhere." "He looked a lot like my father."

What are the chances? How lucky can one get? Unfortunately my dad passed away in 1993 because I'd sure be asking him about this picture.
german POWs Metz.jpg
Allt du egentligen behöver i livet är en bra kvinna, en trofast hund och en fin gammal Mauser.

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vandle
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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#2 Post by vandle » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:43 am

How cool is that. What are the odds of finding a photo like that.

Unfortunately I don't have many photos of both my Grandfathers who served on the Eastern Front.
Both survived and ended up as POWs with the Americans and British. Much better options
than the Russians.
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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#3 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:36 am

sheepdawg wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:29 am
I guess there are quite a few here my age whose fathers fought in WW2, I'm sure most of us would pester our fathers about their time in the war. My father was in the German Wehrmacht, one of the lucky ones who got conscripted when things started going bad for Herr Hitler. He was lucky that when he got out of boot camp he was shipped off to the west not the east. He didn't like talking about the war, it was tough dragging things out of him. Spending about a month on the front lines he saw some pretty awful things. I found out he was captured by the Americans near Metz, France in October of 1944. He'd talk about life in the POW camp, the Americans treated him pretty good especially after finding out my dad was a very accomplished artist. They put him to work painting things like their NCO and Officer's clubs, putting murals of pretty women on the walls. He said he had pretty women down pat by the time he was released. Well I always look at pictures of the fighting in France around this time, especially when Metz is mentioned. It was a big battle, one where Patton lost quite a few men. Anyway I'm looking through some things when I come across something from the Life Magazine archives, The Road to Metz Nov. 1944. Pictures by Life magazine photographer Ralph Morse. Morse was a very well known photographer taking some of the most famous pictures ever shown in Life. There was about 20 pictures and this one was one of the last. Lo and behold front row, second from the right, my father, looking down, hands on his lapels being marched off to POW camp. I'd know him anywhere but I needed some back up so I emailed my 82 year old cousin Ilse who lived with his family during and after the war. Asking her if she noticed anything about the picture she emailed back, "Sure, that's your father in the front row, I'd recognize those ears anywhere." "He looked a lot like my father."

What are the chances? How lucky can one get? Unfortunately my dad passed away in 1993 because I'd sure be asking him about this picture.

german POWs Metz.jpg
Wow unreal tale and luck to have this photo..Nice that you know his areas of operations.

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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#4 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:37 am

vandle wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:43 am
How cool is that. What are the odds of finding a photo like that.

Unfortunately I don't have many photos of both my Grandfathers who served on the Eastern Front.
Both survived and ended up as POWs with the Americans and British. Much better options
than the Russians.
Are you able to tell where he was and how he got from the East to the West..??

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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#5 Post by DaleH » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:20 pm

What a great find! ‘Divine intervention’ I’d call it. Regardless of which side they were on ... we all revere and remember our WW2 Fathers; what they volunteered for or were asked to do is beyond the comprehension of the youths today.

Take Normandy, 18-year old kids (on both sides) facing rifle & machine gun fire and artillery. And today’s 18-year olds at some of the more Liberal colleges didn’t go to class for 3-4 days, but went to specially setup ‘safe’ and/or ‘sanctuary’ rooms as a result of the 2016 Presidential election. Idiots ...

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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#6 Post by vandle » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:52 pm

DaleH wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:20 pm
What a great find! ‘Divine intervention’ I’d call it. Regardless of which side they were on ... we all revere and remember our WW2 Fathers; what they volunteered for or were asked to do is beyond the comprehension of the youths today.

Take Normandy, 18-year old kids (on both sides) facing rifle & machine gun fire and artillery. And today’s 18-year olds at some of the more Liberal colleges didn’t go to class for 3-4 days, but went to specially setup ‘safe’ and/or ‘sanctuary’ rooms as a result of the 2016 Presidential election. Idiots ...
Kids are slightly misguided these days :lol:

They will be running our countries one day, glad I wont be around then.
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vandle
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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#7 Post by vandle » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:03 pm

indy1919a4 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:37 am
vandle wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:43 am
How cool is that. What are the odds of finding a photo like that.

Unfortunately I don't have many photos of both my Grandfathers who served on the Eastern Front.
Both survived and ended up as POWs with the Americans and British. Much better options
than the Russians.
Are you able to tell where he was and how he got from the East to the West..??
I'm in the process of getting their service records from the Bundesarchives in Germany.
One Grandfather was an officer in a supply unit. (He was the smart one) and my other
grandfather was a farmer so he ended up in the infantry.
One served in the Baltic Sea area and the other we are not sure about as he never spoke
about his experiences.

One said that in the POW camp they had British Guards and the POWS would cook the meals
and share it around, prisoners and guards as there was little food around.
After a while the guards cottoned on where their guard dogs were disappearing to.
Last edited by vandle on Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#8 Post by sowbelle » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:51 pm

Thank you for sharing that cool story

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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#9 Post by Rapidrob » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:16 pm

That is so nice to see a photo of your Dad during WWII.
My Dad was in combat for 5 years of WWII as a Tanker. He would not talk about it what so ever with me. I have photo's of destroyed German tanks but have no idea of the story behind them. As far as I know there are no photos of my Dad in WWII with any of my family members as they were sent home to his girlfriend who he did not marry after the war.
My Dad passed in '93 as well.
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Re: The picture find of a lifetime

#10 Post by Woody_be » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:58 pm

My family is now combining all photos of my grandfathers and both have written down their war stories after much begging from the family.both of my grandfathers never started talking about the war and never said more then " war is not pleasand". But once they started writing down they became very detail focussed. My german grandfather ended as a major and participated in the invasion of Belgium,France and Russia. My Belgian grandfather was sergant then POW then Belgian resistance and after the liberation of Belgium he joined the British Army to invade Germany.ImageImage

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