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Can you identify this POW camp?


Drover
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Hi Pals. I wonder if anyone can identify this German (?) POW camp. There is no clue on the back of the card as it is blank.

I hope the picture appears as I've spent all afternoon trying to sort it out!

Many thanks

Jim

post-27638-1230672788.jpg

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Any more revealing information on the back side? Photographer's stamp etc?

Hi Egbert. Nothing on the back apart from lines for the address. The only photographer's mark is the 40 in the diamond at the lower left hand corner on the front. I wonder what 39 and 41 look like!

Many thanks and regards

Jim

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Jim,

I have been through my entire collection looking for something similar without success. I have also looked at Cecile's site (lots of new photographs) but again nothing that has that diamond mark.

Doug

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Hi all

I have had a "play" with the image and tried to clean it up a little, here are 3 different versions

1917.jpg

1917edited.jpg

191711.jpg

I will say one thing about the camp...it is remarkably clean!

I can find no real "uniformity" of uniforms although there does appear to be a few white or very light coloured jackets and these appear to be associated with a head dress that looks remarkably like a "Fez"

I can see one man who looks like he is wearing a French uniform...well it seems similar to a Gendarme's one anyway.(Just right of centre, by himself on the rail-line area just to the right of the main body of men). There also appears to be a man (low left of centre near lawn patch) wearing a white/light jacket and a French style Kepi hat. I can see possibly 2 "British" style uniforms, complete with cap

There also appear to be no obvious guards amongst the men.

I am wondering if this is a camp in the Balkan region??????, just a guess given the amount of "fez" present.

There is washing being done in the back left of shot and there is what appears to be a farmhouse in the background, but everything is generic and I can find nothing definitive to ID the area....maybe someone else can see things that I cant.

Regards and Happy 2009

Brian

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Wow, what a remarkeable job on the photo!

:blush::blush: Errr.... I cheated a bit Egbert...worked on a slightly better quality version emailed to me by Jim. :P

Brian

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Errr.... I cheated a bit Egbert...worked on a slightly better quality version emailed to me by Jim. :P

Brian

Wow, what a remarkeable job to keep your honesty :lol:

P.S. From the landscape: it reminds me of the Northern German plains from n/Ruhrgebiet up to Baltic Sea/North Sea

The signs on the parade ground to the right obviously show barrack no's 21,22,23 etc. The PoWs living in these quarters had to line up behind their no. for identification/accountability purposes

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Sorry Egbert but there is no decipherable writing anywhere on the picture other than the numbered poles..I have looked..HARD!!!!

The only things that might be clearly identifiable are the wire insulators..maybe they have a size/shape that is native to one area....A long shot I know but stranger things have been known;

and possibly the two sentry boxes clearly marked with the chevron design... unique to one area perhaps/??????

Brian

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I think what we are looking at is posssibly the parcel reception area. Parcels arrive by narrow gauge railway and these guys are waiting for a train to unload. My first thought on possible location was somewhere like Parchim, which I think is the same area Egbert has suggested. I have studied the two photographs of Parchim I have and the monopitch building in the foreground together with the wide open spaces are typical of Parchim. Even the insulators look identical! However all of the four photographs I have are (two are of prisoners) do not have that photographers mark (oops make that three. I have just identified one of the prisoner photographs as from Wiedenborstel which must be a sub camp of Parchim)

The sentry boxes I think are typically German and not local.

And yes it certainly looks like a sign below the chimney, with writing.

Doug

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That sort of marking is common on sentry boxes all over the world. However the brackets with the insulators have a slight Germanic feel (pick up a set of poles for trackside on a German model railway and you'll see what I mean).

The two men standing on the boardwalk in front of the sentry box look very like German officers but the man with what appears to be a very large valise some way to their left looks like a Turkish civilian. Most odd.

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I'm not sure if it is a narrow gauge railway there. The top straight line is the top wire from the poles and the other lines look more like a road or path, although there are what appear to be sleepers but they are very close together.

What do you think the tripod "scupltures" are in the middle of the grassed areas? There is one almost hidden under the X of Xmas. I'd love to know what the signpost above the S of Xmas says. Keep off the grass perhaps!

Also, what is in the fenced area in the top right corner? Piles of wood maybe?

Thanks all for your interest in this pic!

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The tripods are homecrafted genuine German bird houses.....

and yes you're right: there is no RR track, the upper -what appers to be a tarck- is indeed a power line and next to the duckbords is only a very shallow drainage ditch.

So the building could also very well be the camp Commissary/PX

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The fenced area in the back looks like piles of firewood for the furnaces in the various barracks.

P.S. Who gives up first????

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The fenced area in the back looks like piles of firewood for the furnaces in the various barracks.

P.S. Who gives up first????

Thought it looked more like coal

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At first I thought there was a narrow gauge railline in the shot too, but close examination shoots that theory down..no railway there.

The fenced back area does appear to be piles of firewood rather than coal or similar.

I wouldn't put too much reliance on the object being a valise Centurian. I too thought it was one, but on re-examining the original shot, whatever it is is pixelated. I think what we have is an illusion due to the casual way the man is standing, with his coat draped over his arm. Add to that the clear illusion that this is a railway platform (it isn't) and our brain fills in the blanks...well that is MY theory :wacko:

It is interesting that you think it may show a "PX" or refectory Egbert, as this is also my thought....I was actually in the middle of typing this into a response several hours ago when my computer had a dummyspit and decided to have a little unplanned "holiday" Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Spent hours running diagnostic programs trying to find the problem. I thought my harddrive had s**t itself but all appears well now...never did find out what caused it!

Anyhow keep supplying suggestions, even I am getting more curious about this place now!!!

Brian

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The windows at the end of the building are all barred - cells rather than a PX?

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I almost give up. I have looked through about 1500 images now but nothing is obvious. The fact that the card has the message on it in English possibly means that there were a significant number of "English" PoWs to make it worthwhile to the photographer. I would have though that there must be other copies around.

The insulators in many camps appear to be mounted on timber cross bars whereas these are not. Parchim has the same arrangement, however it is probably not unique.

The trees may also help. These do not appear to be the pine trees that just about every camp visited by the American Embassy was surrounded by.

The term commonly used for the PX would be canteen and that is possibly what the sign says, at least something similar. The notice underneath then may be a list of items and prices?

Doug

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As I said earlier that type of curved bracket was pretty generic in Europe especially Germany. Pick up a Tamiya 1/35 accessories set of telegraph/power poles for diaramas with your WW2 German tank and you'll see that they arfe identical - so not much help there.

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I don't think the PX idea will fly somehow. Thinking about it, where would the prisoners get or KEEP money from??? Then again...given the casualness of people in the the area and the extreme neatness, could this be the guards' private area???

Also if this is a christmas picture, it certainly wasn't TAKEN at christmas anywhere in Europe that I know of...No snow/ice/sleet etc and men in shirt sleeves. Obviously taken at some other time of year.

The board in the "cutaway" part of the building has no recognisable/identifiable writing but does seem to be a list. There are four distinct columns of writing. Despite tantalising suggestion of writing on the hanging sign, checking the original shot shows nothing but random pixelation...I have tried to enhance it many different ways but the original "information" is not on the picture so although it may look like particular letters are on it..they are not!

The area is undulating land, but there appear to be no major hills or mountains etc in view. The farmhouse in the background actually appears to be 2 co-joined buildings, probably thatch roofed and pretty generic I would think.

I have been trying to think outside the box to get anything that might ID an area for this camp...so far BLANK!

If there are any horticulturalists present, anything special about the background trees????? The scrawny one extreme left of shot at the top appears to be a gum tree???? Unusual in Europe I would have thought..if it IS so!

Grrrrr..so frustrating :(

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Many thanks for your interest and comments on this very frustrating card.

Some further thoughts:

Landscape: appears to be on side of wooded valley. There seems to be a straight row of shrubs/ bushes behind the two houses (to the right of the building on the perimeter fence) heading to the NE corner of the photo. Might this be the line of a road or railway track?

Vegetation: Deciduous trees rather than pine forest – in leaf. Plants in flower beds quite small. I think that its May or June. The Xmas 1917 was probably added later, perhaps much (years) later to sell more copies of the original card.

Camp layout: the four visible marker signs on the parade ground read from left to right 24, 23, 22, 21 which suggests that the other 20 posts extend in a straight line off the right of the picture for some distance which means that ‘our’ building is at least 100 metres from what may be the main gate. The row of wooden duckboards suggests that there is little or no vehicle traffic to the building.

Mrs P-H mentions that Hammelburg Camp was on sloping ground on the right bank of the River Saale, but the one PC I have of this camp doesn’t relate to the one in front of us, although I realise that the camp would have covered many acres. Anyone seen other pics of this camp?

Whatever the photographer did to attract attention certainly worked. I can only see one man looking the other way. Presumably the photo was taken from the top of a water tower.

POW were paid for work done, usually in camp specific notes which could (only) be spent in the PX.

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