The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered [11]  |  Archives [1] 
 
Witamy, Guest  |  Members
Home / History   111

Polish conscripts to German army



gjene 12 | 189    
23 Mar 2014  #61

To king Athelstan
Define wrong side. From those that fought for Germany, Russia or Japan everyone else was on the wrong side. But from the families of the personnel that fought, regardless of which army these people were in, you were on the wrong side.


kanekenny    
4 Apr 2014  #62

Thanks for the info, but I already have this address and have now received his records. His Polish war records state that he was forcibly conscripted into the German Army in May 1943 and served with them for 13 months, which means that he lived under German occupation for 4 years, then he became a prisoner of war but no other information about where he was held. The records also state that his parents were both Polish and not German. It also states that he didn't get to Italy till after Monte Cassino, but it does states that he fought at the battle for Ancona and the battle for Bologna where he won the Cross of Valour.

I have requested his records from Berlin for when he was in the German Army, and hopefully they will have info about his stay in the prisoner of war camp. I have also requested his brothers war records 'Adolf Herman' who was already in the German Army at the start of the war and died on 25 October 1939, just 7 weeks after the start of the war. I have his death certificate but it does not state the cause of death, so I don't know whether he was killed in action or died in some other way. It will take Berlin 12 months to find their records and the cost is between 8 and 30 Euros (British records cost £30).

He has two other brothers but I don't know their names and I have inquired whether they were in the German army as well. I do know that they both survived the war and both died in separate motorcycle accidents a few years apart.

I would be every greatfull If you have any info on Polish conscripts into the German Army.
steved - | 1    
8 Apr 2014  #63

I have just found this site and there are some very moving posts.
I believe my father and his brother were conscripted into the German army, neither would really talk about the war very much. They were born in the town of Gostynin near Lodz, three brothers, the youngest one was shot by a Russian officer for being cheeky.

After serving in the German army dad then joined the Polish army, I am not sure how this happened but he did mention Anders sometime's, after the war he came to a camp in Guildford I believe and stayed in England for the rest of his life.

He passed away in Nov 2013 at the age of 91, having never felt he could return to Poland. We are planing a trip to Gostynin in May to scatter his ashes and try and find the younger brothers grave, and the house they lived in.

So many terrible things happened to people during these times, we cannot begin to understand or judge when we have never experienced such hardship and cruelty, we are free to go where we like, say what we like, talk to whoever we like.

I wish I could have found out more from Dad when he was alive but like many I guess it was so painful to remember and talk about, it would be good to hear from others with similar stories as I am very interested in finding out more about exactly what happened and why.
kasia1403    
22 Apr 2014  #64

My Dad, Antoni Biesiekirski was also at Askern Miner's hostel.
Polipol    
15 May 2014  #65

Your words brought tears to my eyes. My father too was forced to join the German Army but when the Allies invaded he joined the Polish Army. He was taken from his home in Lodz vovoidship at the age of 16. He too stayed in England after the War as he was warned not to return by his mother. He revisited in 1967 but his mother passed away in 1963. He sadly died aged 82.

I am amazed that after what ultimately the German state did (regardless of the fact at the time they were Nazi's) to so many people they have the bare faced cheek to charge relatives trying to piece together their families past.
TheOther 5 | 3,092    
15 May 2014  #66

I am amazed that after what ultimately the German state did (regardless of the fact at the time they were Nazi's) to so many people they have the bare faced cheek to charge relatives trying to piece together their families past.

You have no clue what you're talking about, dude. State archives, the protestant and catholic churches, civil registration offices, other government agencies - they all charge for genealogical information. Not only in Germany, but also in Poland, the US and many other countries around the world. Why would Germany be obliged to pay for someone else's research and give away document copies for free that date back to the 1500's for example? Because of the Nazis? Sure... :)

I'm against charging for these things in general because they are public property in my eyes, but to demand that Germany makes an exception because of what happened in WW2 is just plain BS.
Harry 78 | 13,528    
15 May 2014  #67

I'm against charging for these things in general because they are public property in my eyes

The charge is for the time needed to check the archives, not for the information itself.

to demand that Germany makes an exception because of what happened in WW2 is just plain BS.

I agree entirely.
TheOther 5 | 3,092    
15 May 2014  #68

The charge is for the time needed to check the archives, not for the information itself.

Depends how you look at it. The invoice is usually split up into labor (for research) plus extra costs for copies, notarized transcripts and the like.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569    
19 May 2014  #69

I'm against charging for these things in general because they are public property in my eyes, but to demand that Germany makes an exception because of what happened in WW2 is just plain BS.

Good to see that you're still fighting the good fight and being respectful as always.
jon357 67 | 12,725    
19 May 2014  #70

I'm against charging for these things in general because they are public property in my eyes, but to demand that Germany makes an exception because of what happened in WW2 is just plain BS.

Exactly.

In any case, so many records were destroyed during those terrible times.
hethNic    
22 May 2014  #71

I have just discovered my Polish Grandfather was conscripted into the German army too. He was from Katowice, Silesia. All I know is that he was taken to a labour camp in Germany and from there signed up to the German army. He eventualy got captured by Americans at Cherbourg and taken to the UK where he lived the rest of his life. I am trying to find out more about it but I have read that most of the Poles in the German army had some sort of German heritage, I havent discovered anything about this yet but I am looking into my surname which is Nic but on some of my Grandads records it was spelt Nitsz which sounds more like a German name.
TheOther 5 | 3,092    
22 May 2014  #72

Have you seen these already?

familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bsurname%3ANitsz

Nitsz might be the Hungarian or Galician variation of the German name Nitsche.
HethNic    
23 May 2014  #73

Thanks yes I have looked into it there are quite a few records of Nic from Hungary and Slovakia too. I am trying to figure out why he would of been conscripted into the wehrmacht from a labour camp I can't seem to find much info on this particular situation as most people unfortunately ended up staying in that situation until the war ended or died there.
TheOther 5 | 3,092    
23 May 2014  #74

Either this...

wollheim-memorial.de/en/herkunft_und_anzahl_auslaendischer_zivilarbeiterinnen_und_zwangsarbeiterinnen

and he was forced to work for the Wehrmacht, or your grandfather was a so-called 'Volksdeutscher'.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksdeutsche
HethNic    
23 May 2014  #75

It's possible he was forced into it from a labour camp as I think he was at the labour camp for about 4 years before he was conscripted at a place called liegnitz so that probably makes more sense. Thanks for your help it is so interesting researching it
TheOther 5 | 3,092    
24 May 2014  #76

Leignitz was close to the concentration camp Gross-Rosen approx. 60km south of Breslau.
Mike69    
22 Sep 2014  #77

Was he captured by the Americans 1 November 1944 to the end of the war? Northern France to Stuttgart Germany? My grandfather was First Generation Born in USA he would talk to my Great Grandparents in Polish. He was 1st Sargent, they were on night march. He heard a group of men whispering in Polish, he yelled out in Polish we are Americans! Come out! When they came out it was a Platoon of Polish conscripts.
HethNic    
27 Sep 2014  #78

He was captured at an earlier date think it was September 1944 I think it was on the last day of the battle of Normandy
HStrozyk    
15 Nov 2014  #79

Hi, my father was also conscripted from Katowice in Silesia in October 1943, just after his 18th birthday. Apparently new recruits were used for occupation duties before being sent into combat areas, and dad spent his in Toulouse, and then Nice, according to the official records from Deutsche Dienststellee. We have photos of him in Nice. The German records don't show what happened to him after that, but from the British records we know that he was sent to Normandy, because he was captured by the Americans just outside Cherbourg, then sent to England (we have his POW form from the Brits.), and then as part of a Polish brigade up to Scotland where he stayed after the war - for the same reasons as your father stayed - and married my Mum. I got some good information from the author of a webpage on division148, Jean-Loup Gassend, who has just published a book about the German occupation of the Riviera, Operation Dragoon. He has first-hand accounts from Poles like my Dad who were sent to Nice.
Hughey    
21 Dec 2014  #80

I have a few vague details of my grandad and am looking to gain more information. He was in a forced labour camp working on a farm before the German invasion. After the invasion he was in a panzer regiment in Africa and was found inside a burning tank. He joined the polish army and was a dispatch rider in Italy. After the war he lived in England and worked in a coal mine. Got married and immigrated to Australia in the 60s. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Harry 78 | 13,528    
22 Dec 2014  #81

He joined the polish army and was a dispatch rider in Italy.

If your grandfather was in the Western Command Polish army, these people will have his records:
APC MS Support - Disclosures 5
Building 59
RAF Northolt
West End Road
RUISLIP
HA4 6NG
Tel: 0208 8338603
Fax: 0208 8338866
Email: NOR-PolishDiscOffice@mod.uk

After the war he lived in England and worked in a coal mine.

I would very much expect that he was in the Polish Resettlement Corps. You can find lots of information about the PRC at this excellent website polishresettlementcampsintheuk.co.uk

He was in a forced labour camp working on a farm before the German invasion.

Sounds like he'd done something to annoy the Polish junta (the Polish government in the years before the war really was very unpleasant, right down to the concentration camp at Bereza Kartuska that some Poles still insist was just a "seclusion camp"), in other words he was most probably a good bloke.

After the invasion he was in a panzer regiment in Africa and was found inside a burning tank.

There were more than a few Poles in the Afrika Korp. According to Col Kuropieska, the post-war military attache at the Polish embassy in London, all of his staff had been chosen from a Polish repatriation camp and all had served in the Afrika Korps. But your grandfather would have been one of the few Poles who changed sides before D-Day (of the 89,000 Poles who served in both German and western command Polish armed forces, only 4,500 joined western command Polish armed forces before D-Day).

Got married and immigrated to Australia in the 60s.

A ten-pound tourist! I wonder when he took British citizenship (his emigration to Australia in that decade very much suggests that he had British nationality when he left UK).

Got to say that there's a lot to like about the sound of your grandfather.
Paulina 8 | 1,378    
22 Dec 2014  #82

Sounds like he'd done something to annoy the Polish junta (the Polish government in the years before the war really was very unpleasant, right down to the concentration camp at Bereza Kartuska that some Poles still insist was just a "seclusion camp"), in other words he was most probably a good bloke.

Bereza Kartuska camp was a camp for political prisoners.
"Prisoners included members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Polish Communist Party (KPP) and National Radical Camp (ONR), as well as members of the People's Party (SL) and Polish Socialist Party (PPS). The detainees included Bolesław Piasecki and, for some dozen days, the journalist Stanisław Mackiewicz (the latter, paradoxically, a warm supporter of the prison's establishment). Also a number of Belarusians who had resisted Polonization found themselves in the camp.

The first inmates - Polish ONR activists - arrived on July 17, 1934. A few days later, OUN activists arrived: Roman Shukhevych, Dmytro Hrytsai and Volodymyr Yaniv.By August 1939, Ukrainians constituted 17 percent of prisoners."

If Hughey is interested he can read the rest here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bereza_Kartuska_prison#Inmates

Got to say that there's a lot to like about the sound of your grandfather.

Unless he was a member of ONR, imho :)

in other words he was most probably a good bloke

Or an ordinary criminal (55% of inmates in 1938 and 41% in 1939) or financial criminal (6% of inmates in 1939).
Harry 78 | 13,528    
22 Dec 2014  #83

Bereza Kartuska camp was a camp for political prisoners.

According to non-interested sources both before and after WWII it was a concentration camp. People are welcome to claim that it was just a 'place of isolation' but their claims are as valid as a claim that SS-Sonderkommando Sobibor was just a 'special unit'.

Or an ordinary criminal (55% of inmates in 1938 and 41% in 1939) or financial criminal (6% of inmates in 1939).

You seem to miss the fact that Hughey's grandfather wasn't in BK (or that a lot of people who were officially there for one thing were in reality there for quite another thing).

Unless he was a member of ONR

He's quite unlikely to have been ONR: the Nazis tended to put ex-ONR types on the eastern front, where they could join in with the glorious fight against the vile Jewish Bolshevik menace, or, for the initial stages of the war, leave them in place in Polad, for operations such as the 1940 Easter pogrom in Warsaw.

The fact that he served in Africa suggests that he may have been one of the ones the Germans were slightly less sure about. Possibly he was one of the men who was given the choice between joining the German army or becoming a Fremdarbeiter (although I think that that choice started to be given a bit late for him to have been in a panzer in the north Africa campaign).

The first step would certainly be to check the records of the western command Polish armed forces; more than a few Poles who changed sides were very open about which unit they had served in, even when (although I do want to stress that I'm not saying this is the case with Hughey's grandfather) it was very much in their interests to lie about it, e.g. ex-SS members who had committed war crimes.
Paulina 8 | 1,378    
22 Dec 2014  #84

According to non-interested sources both before and after WWII it was a concentration camp.

I'm not sure how this would contradict a statement that it was a camp for political prisoners? After all, mainly political prisoners were sent there.

German concentration camps were initially created to hold political opponents and union organizers, so what's your problem?
Although I must say that when I think of the term "concentration camp" I usually think of some mass of people imprisoned based on nationality, race, like the concentration camps used by the U.S. against Native Americans and by the British in the Second Boer War and, and, of course, by the Nazis for Jews.

You seem to miss the fact that Hughey's grandfather wasn't in BK

Then were was he? And how do you know he wasn't?

(or that a lot of people who were officially there for one thing were in reality there for quite another thing).

Meaning?

He's quite unlikely to have been ONR

Probably you're right, if what he meant by "before the German invasion" was 1939 and the guy was held in Bereza Kartuska (ONR members were detained up to 1935). But if he was held in Bereza Kartuska he could still be just an ordinary criminal.
Hughey    
22 Dec 2014  #85

Thanks for the info guys, he will be 90 next year and still goes to the dawn service and marches in the Anzac parade. I find his life very interesting, but he doesn't talk much and don't really want to bombard him with a million questions. He was born in Bytom. His surname is Dymeck. He has whip marks on his back from the forced labour camp, you can still see them now. and a massive scar on his side from when his tank was hit. He said he rode an Indian motorbike in Italy and he was there during the battle of Monte Carlo.
Paulina 8 | 1,378    
22 Dec 2014  #86

He was born in Bytom. His surname is Dymeck. He has whip marks on his back from the forced labour camp

Did he live in Bytom too? Bytom was in Germany before the German invasion on Poland in 1939. It could have been a Nazi concentration camp then...

Monte Carlo

Monte Cassino ;)
Hughey    
22 Dec 2014  #87

Not sure, but most likely lived there. Yes Monte Cassino not carlo. I just did a quick search on Bytom, the city has a lot of history.
Harry 78 | 13,528    
22 Dec 2014  #88

He said he rode an Indian motorbike in Italy and he was there during the battle of Monte Carlo.

Get in touch with the British MOD at the address above, they should have his records. Also, he may be eligible for medals which he hasn't claimed.

I find his life very interesting, but he doesn't talk much and don't really want to bombard him with a million questions.

You really should think about asking him if you can record his memories of those years, they're important for family history at the very least.
Paulina 8 | 1,378    
22 Dec 2014  #89

Not sure, but most likely lived there. Yes Monte Cassino not carlo. I just did a quick search on Bytom, the city has a lot of history.

Yes, my guess also would be that he probably lived in Bytom - it was one of two cities in interwar Germany that had a Polish middle school (grammar school). I must say that when I've read your comment in which you wrote that "he was in a forced labour camp working on a farm" my first association was with a Nazi concentration camp and I was even going to ask you whether he was born in Germany... So it's probably it.

I guess Harry was right after all - there's probably a lot to like about your grandfather, he was most likely a very good bloke indeed :)

You really should think about asking him if you can record his memories of those years, they're important for family history at the very least.

I agree... After he'll pass away you may regret about not asking him...
Hughey    
22 Dec 2014  #90

My auntie has sat down with him to document his life. He never talked about the war prior to my grans death 2 years ago, she wouldn't let him. I'd like to get hold of his service records from both German and Polish army's. I will get in touch with my auntie and see what he has told her.




Home / History / Polish conscripts to German army
Click this icon to move up back to the quoted message. Bold Italic [quote]

 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary and unique username or login and post as a member.