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Dom Hunt

Anton Driessen .(Drießen) GERMAN POW letters and pictures

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Dom Hunt
Posted (edited)

Hi All . Following the research on my  Grandads War April 18-June 19 . We unearthed lots of pictures and letters from German pows sent to my Grandfather, then to my mother. 

The first person I would like to show you and possibly try and see if he has any living relatives is the gentleman named in the title.

ANTON DRIESSEN.  Drießen (or Driessen).

My gd Guarded him at camp 314 after the war end. They became close through a love of music, my grandad himself playing the violin in the POW concert group!

 

He was the concert organist for POW camp 314  possibly Vitry le-Francois by the River Marne was the location of 314 POW Company’s Camp?

The picture with piano that has been hand painted in script with “314 Prisoners of War”,  he is the gentleman sat at the piano in the lighter Jacket.On the rear I assume is  his adress given to GD. Can anyone translate the other words?

 314.jpg.967add6062fcd5506011a4ccd61d6990.jpgthumbnail_IMG_7586.jpg.3b7824107fde72dbdaa196e9e8cbe6bb.jpgRear of picture to translate please?

 

From 1921-30 he worked as a cashier at an electrical works. .

We have 3 letters, the first written in beautiful writing which I have been able to get transcribed. This was sent to GD some weeks after the war ended , 15-12-19.

I will let you read it.

207406459_antonoriginal1.jpg.f6b996b1e26027760d8c456774aafa06.jpg1254987589_Antonoriginal2.jpg.242c6f90b2c040736cc528eb60f79b2b.jpg449588083_Antonoriginal3.jpg.7233fe7649634c83f7dd7af3fcc5f2b9.jpg1442061346_Antonoriginal4.jpg.3280cb280fec61b45c9223d7b5bff87f.jpg1738693711_Antontranslate1.jpg.9285c67ba63f987abe39c28d948cde37.jpg1629039655_antontranslate2.jpg.fc4f4018306cb3b8cb56798f12c55d01.jpg

I will add one of the others for you to read if you can (in german) but will add the translation as and when I get it. 

 

It seems Anton was a keen Organist and possibly did it for a living pre war and up to 1921

He was the organist at his local church.

 

A big thank you to @FROGSMILE for his invaluable  help and advice. 

 

Edited by Dom Hunt
error

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charlie962

fascinating.

amongst others, @charlie2 is good on PoWs and on German.

 

Charlie962

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AOK4

Hello,

 

The name is Drießen (or Driessen). I'll check whether I can find something.

 

Jan

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Dom Hunt

Thank You for that. I will edit title.

Here I have another letter from 1929 from Anton to my gf, this time I have not yet received the translated letter but perhaps some can read it? I will add this as soon as I get it.679471104_antonletter2.jpg.a8ae03426bc5af38657fc9bd2116588b.jpg541245350_thumbnail_IMG_7588antonletter2pg2.jpg.ed5fdfcf0079a2bfa58c1169ea989d32.jpg 

 

Here we have another picture of the concert party from POW 314.  Im pretty sure that is him on our right of the chaps with top hats, holding a candle stick?

concert.jpg.d3ed538cbcf31cf29c1a6a78b611df94.jpg

On the rear if this it is clearly dated 1 August 1919

 

1337849647_rearconcertpic.jpg.d4794438551b48e97b9c31e5ccf2b2f5.jpg

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Dom Hunt

 Thanks to @AOK4   (Jan) input It appears Anton was born in 1880.  Some picture which I believe are Anton.

The first is 1929 where he would be around 49  years old if him?

77290548_antonstreetcivil.jpg.75d66642777c1bd42683a49720f5520c.jpg

 

 

There is writing on the back signed I think, by Anton?

 

678501060_rearantonpic.jpg.c428ef82e1c7fc8382710e77b7d02a37.jpg

 

 

 

Also I think the soldier is his. striking likeness of chap at piano? Your thoughts? possibly 26/7 years old?

1466810987_antonpossible.jpg.329a87ca041799bd9fb4658b1fbeafab.jpg803644854_antonpossibly.jpg.7d2b1cb0517fda1d7960bc4ffcdbd5aa.jpg

 

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AOK4

The soldier in uniform is definitely taken during the war (obvious because of several elements), so if it is Anton, then he would be at least 34 years old.

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Dom Hunt
2 minutes ago, AOK4 said:

The soldier in uniform is definitely taken during the war (obvious because of several elements), so if it is Anton, then he would be at least 34 years old.

I stand corrected thank you. , my maths is bad this morning!  Yes between 34 and 38 possibly. 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

There is a striking facial resemblance to Anton so I do think that it is him.  Do you know if his family still lives around the Cologne area?  Perhaps they might like to see such photos if the family can be traced.  At such an age (mid 30s) I imagine that he was perhaps a member of a Reserve Unit.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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JWK
Posted (edited)

Here's the 1929 letter:


 

Quote

 

Würselen, 29th December 1929

 

Anton Drießen

Cashier

Würselen, Aachenerstrasse 10

Rheinland

 

My dearest friend Wilfred!

We were startled as by a thunderbolt out of a blue sky when, on Christmas day, we were surprised by your dear letter from England.

Many thanks for the devout wishes.

My wife and children and myself wish you also, with all our hearts, a happy New year as well as all the best for your entire life.

I also often think back to the carefree times at Etrun, if I wasn’t a family-father – who knows if I had ever returned to Germany. - Yes, the expression Kapellmeister is correct for conductor – only with the difference that here the violinist is the one leading.

I still have all the photographs from Etrun – but I haven’t any seen any of my comrades since 1919.

You [informal] have to take into consideration my dear friend, that from my house

 

I can throw my cooking utensils into the Netherlands, and for a few pennies I can drive into Belgium in one hour.

Yes, my dear friend, we have, after our release from you dear humane people, experienced all sorts of things here in occupied territory. -

I kept my position as organist for few more years, until 1921, but as a result of the inflation and similar calamities I changed professions – and I have been, for 9 years now, cashier at the Electricity Company. For the rest I’m part-time musician – am still organist in a small church. -

I now have a steady monthly income of more than 300 Mark but I can’t afford large expenditures.

I have to end now dear friend, maybe you are also married.-

Wish you all the best.

Don’t forget to visit me here in Germany one day, when you can afford it.

With heartfelt greetings,

your Anton

 

 

Edited by JWK

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JWK

And if you want to find descendants/family of Anton : good luck! There are hundreds of Drießen's.

Maybe this is a good place to start :

The "Culture Archives" of Würselen. They have a genealogy-archive (with baptism registers etc)

https://www.kulturarchiv-wuerselen.de/kontakt/

 

 

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

Great translation by JWK. What an excellent letter.

 

The Concert part man who looks like Anton to me is the man in the middle with the top hat and leather coat;

The soldier looks too young, unless it is a picture of him when doing his initial military service ? -nothing on the back of that photo ?

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Dom Hunt
1 hour ago, JWK said:

Here's the 1929 letter:


 

 

Thank you so much for that. It transpires that my Grandad had already done this? I have the letter shown which I thought was another letter from Anton, but wondered why there was no date on it?

 

It shows cooking utensils is actually steamer as in ship/paddle steamer, 

dear humane is  humain and kind.

1092606838_antongrandadtranscribe.jpg.6d83e69b44f30dc1414024b8a7327ff8.jpg

Thank you so much for your input and help. 

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Dom Hunt
2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

There is a striking facial resemblance to Anton so I do think that it is him.  Do you know if his family still lives around the Cologne area?  Perhaps they might like to see such photos if the family can be traced.  At such an age (mid 30s) I imagine that he was perhaps a member of a Reserve Unit.

I have no idea but hope this thread throws some light on it.?

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Dom Hunt
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

Great translation by JWK. What an excellent letter.

 

The Concert part man who looks like Anton to me is the man in the middle with the top hat and leather coat;

The soldier looks too young, unless it is a picture of him when doing his initial military service ? -nothing on the back of that photo ?

 

Charlie

Agree it could be ether. nothing on rear of uniformed Anton?

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charlie962
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

 At such an age (mid 30s) I imagine that he was perhaps a member of a Reserve Unit.

The various links posted by Jan in post4 confirm this

 

No 1 Company, 238 Reserve Infantry Regt.

Edited by charlie962

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

The various links posted by Jan in post4 confirm this

 

No 1 Company, 238 Reserve Infantry Regt.

 
Thanks Charlie, my apologies, I missed that.  There are two threads on virtually the same subject and it seems they’ve now been put in the same section, presumably by a mod, when this second one was supposed to be about interpreting/translating German letters into English.  It confused me a bit.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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JWK
4 hours ago, Dom Hunt said:

Thank you so much for that. It transpires that my Grandad had already done this? I have the letter shown which I thought was another letter from Anton, but wondered why there was no date on it?

 

It shows cooking utensils is actually steamer as in ship/paddle steamer, 

dear humane is  humain and kind.

 

Ah, I use dict.cc  for translating German to English, and they *think* (as do I) it's kitchen/cook ware.

Maybe I should have used "mess tin".

Anyway, Anton lived within a stone's/kitchen utensil's/mess tin's throw of the Netherlands.

 

And I didn't know "humain" was an English word (but then English is only my second language, and German my third)

 

Kochgeschirr.jpg.2ef946614b10bb42ac40cfecbf20f057.jpg

 

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Dom Hunt

I am not doubting your translation , merely comparing the words I thought you were doubting with the translation my Gf had done . I really appreciate you doing this as I always thought it was a separate letter . 
 I think what he was implying is it was easy to travel  And that is possibly him describing how he would Via a steamer ? 
Humain is the word transcribed but I would spell it Humane . 
 Again   Thank you for your help and sorry if we got our wires crossed . 

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JWK
Posted (edited)

 

Haha! :D No harm done. "No warmth without friction" as they say.

 

But it's truly great to see this connection between an English "superior" and his German "Prisoner of War' through music and the arts!

 

The "Cultural Archives" of Würselen I'm sure will be interested in your hoard of letters and photos.

And hopefully they'll be able to tell you more about your Arnold.

They have a genealogy-archive (with baptism registers etc), so maybe they can trace descendants. Or know someone who can. In those small towns there's always óne who's branded the "town historian".....

Arnold had children but what if they were all girls? You'd be fishing in a lake of many thousands of surnames.

There are 2 Drießen's listed in the phone book in these days, and one estate agent with that same last name, so who knows?

https://www.kulturarchiv-wuerselen.de/kontakt/

 

 

Edited by JWK

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, JWK said:

 

Haha! :D No harm done. "No warmth without friction" as they say.

 

But it's truly great to see this connection between an English "superior" and his German "Prisoner of War' through music and the arts!

 

The "Cultural Archives" of Würselen I'm sure will be interested in your hoard of letters and photos.

And hopefully they'll be able to tell you more about your Arnold.

They have a genealogy-archive (with baptism registers etc), so maybe they can trace descendants. Or know someone who can. In those small towns there's always óne who's branded the "town historian".....

Arnold had children but what if they were all girls? You'd be fishing in a lake of many thousands of surnames.

There are 2 Drießen's listed in the phone book in these days, and one estate agent with that same last name, so who knows?

https://www.kulturarchiv-wuerselen.de/kontakt/

 

 


Thank you for taking the time to translate JWK, it was very generous and the letter reveals a strong kameradenschafft I think.

 

I agree with you that it would be excellent if the letters and photos, or copies of them, could reach the Würselen Cultural Archives as a record of the humanity that existed between these men after a terrible war.  It would be good to think that future generations could see that such sentiments existed.  My experience is that the vast majority of Germans below the age of around 45-50 speak good English so Dom Hunt is unlikely to have any problem with communication if he emails Würselen.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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