This World War 2 Unteroffizier Hermann Machold POW ephemera lot is
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He confirms he is healthy, has a job in the POW Camp and that he can't wait to see his family again soon.
The material in this rare Third Reich POW ephemera lot really gives a very good insight into the daily life of a German Prisoner of War in 1944, 1945 and 1946. Unteroffizier Hermann Machold was born on 30 July 1924 and was fighting in Italy when he was captured by the American Army early in 1944. There is an official Red Cross letter dated 20 June 1944 (shown left) informing Machold's family in Germany that he was a POW. It gave information on how to write to him via the Red Cross in Algiers. The letter was signed Heil Hitler! by a lady, a Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK) Hauptführerin in Berlin. Since the first letter from German POW Hermann Machold (American POW number 81G-229441, Company 11) in this lot is dated 26 April 1944, the family already knew his was a prisoner when the DRK letter arrived at their house on Viktorgasse 18 in Wien, Germany (the 2nd largest city in Hitler's Greater Germany, now Vienna in Austria).
There is even a blue print (shown at the bottom of this web page) of an excellent hand drawn 14-1/2 x 19 inch architect/engineering type drawing of a view of the Rocky Mountains and showing Kriegsgefangenenlager "Carson" Colorado in the foreground.
The letters on official Prisoner of War stationary and POW postcards were all addressed to his father and mother in Wien.
In his first letters dated 26 April 1944 after arrival at Camp Carson in Colorado he writes about his health, his fellow prisoners, the POW accommodations at Camp Carson in Colorado at an altitude of 2000 m (6560 ft - still snow on the sport field when he arrived in late April 1944), and he requested packages and math books! The letter dated 21 May 1944 is to his mother and contains wishes for a happy Mother's Day and he apologized for causing her anxiety when he was listed as Missing in Action after his capture. He also requested a photo of her.
On a POW card dated 7 June 1944 he informed his parents that he had ordered books in Germany and asked them to deduct the amount on the bill from his own bank account. He also wrote that he was anxious about the future - he apparently had already heard about the Allied invasion in Normandy the day before he wrote.
A postcard dated 6 July 1944 tells of his employment in the camp laundry facilities and that he still has not received anything from his family. He advised them they can send mail using regular air mail, instead of free German POW mail.
From a POW letter dated 16 July 1944, it is clear he had still not received any mail from his family and that was quite worried about the situation in his hometown. In other correspondence he writes about learning English, his engineering classes, daily activities, etc. There is also a Christmas card from 1944/45 to his family, printed by the YMCA for German POWs!
The mail from home situation clearly did not improve even after World War II had officially ended as there is an official Red Cross leaflet that POWs who had not heard from their families for over three months could fill out. It is dated 8 November 1945 and 21 year old Hermann Machold is clearly worried about the well-being of his family in Wien. By that time Vienna, like Berlin, was similarly subdivided and the central district administered jointly by the Allied Control Council (United States, Soviet Union, England and France).
This lot also includes two official Red Cross EXPRESS leaflets (left). They are dated 11 January 1946 and 24 January 1946 acknowledging receipt of telegrams from home.
This material chronicles Machold's arrival in the USA, incarceration at Camp Carson in Colorado in 1944 and 1945, his technical schooling, free time, sports, entertainment, two Christmases in the USA, yearning for home, and his last months as a POW in Great Britain. There are postcards and letters (censored by both US and German censors) from Machold to his family in Germany, photos of him and his fellow POWs, Christmas and New Year's programs for 1944 and 1945 assembled and printed by the German POWs at Camp Carson and a Pictorial Guide of Colorado Springs (partly in German!) and the Rocky Mountains.
By 18 April 1946 he was at POW Camp 121 in Great Britain, happy that less water now separated him from his family. Now Gefangenennummer B 135583, he was employed at a farm but still did not know for how long. In a POW letter dated 25 April 1946 he wrote about a terrible lice problem in camp, being bored and that he was killing time by hiking and bird watching. He also requested a photo of his father. His father sent the photo as in a letter dated 26 May 1946 Hermann Machold thanked him and also congratulated his father on a business success. He also promised to help out in his father's business after his return home.
Clearly frustrated that he was still a POW, he lamented to his mother in a letter dated 5 May 1946 that he had not seen her for 5 years, he felt bad about it, was still bored and that aside from his labor service (by then he was a painter) lived from meal to meal. He also informed his mother that he planned to work in some sort of teaching capacity when he got back home, as he learned to love that in the USA.
In June 1946 he had been moved to a sub-camp, 121. German PW Working Camp, Scriven Hall Camp at Knaresborough in Yorkshire. He liked this camp better than the main camp, and wrote about his new desk job in the Camp Office of Labor, also an improvement. Interestingly, he had noticed the big difference between American English and British English!
Apparently Machold was reunited with his family in Vienna sometime in June or July of 1946 as there are no more letters after 9 June 1946.
In letters dated 19 May and 9 June 1946 he answered questions from his family and confirmed which / how many letters he received. It also made him happy that letters from home only take about two weeks to reach him.
WEIHNACHTEN 1944 (Christmas 1944)
Black & white, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 24 pages, in German. This publication was printed for the men in Hermann Machold Maschinenbau und Bautechnik classes (machine design and civil engineering) and as there are two lists of POW names (79 names total) on page 1 and 2. Each list has a header with the quote Ohne Fleiss kein Preis! (literal translation: Without diligence, no Award!, meaning success never comes easily) accompanied by illustrations of technical drawing tools and gears. Machold is number 5 in the list on the second page.
There are also lyrics to Christmas songs and poems in this publication as well as Christmas related hand-drawn illustrations.
LAGER RUNDSCHAU Frohe Weihnachten 1945 (Christmas 1945)
Color cover, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 26 pages, in German.
Religious introduction titled "Peace on Earth" by Karl C. Teufel, Captain C.M.P., Assistant Executive Officer. This is followed by articles about the uncertain future for Prisoners of War, how to deal with the sadness and embarrassment about past actions, the long absence from home and family life and not knowing how family and loved ones will react to them after coming home, tiredness of being behind barbed wire for three years, and the future responsibility of POWs to give back when returning to civilian life - energy, patience and hard work will be required.
The publication also includes a Christmas message from Pope Pius XII, the American plan for rebuilding the German State, fighting hunger in Germany, realizing the Potsdam Accords. There is news about slowly removing German POWs from the American labor service so they can go home, restoring telephone and telegram service in Germany (the same system in all four occupied zones), an explanation of the US Constitution as well as the results in dollars of the Red Cross charity collection in the POW Camp, sport results, theater and film schedules and church services during the holidays.
LAGER RUNDSCHAU Ein Frohes Neues Jahr 1945 (A Happy New Year 1945)
Two-Color cover, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 20 pages, in German.
Starts with an article titled "Fateful Year 1945", a recap of the end of World War II, questioning the battle until the end that caused so much damage to Germany, its population, industry and morale and what the future will hold for homeless and stateless Germans, and the unknown fate of so many Wehrmacht soldiers.
There are articles about political changes in Germany under the four Allies, education in POW camps (the goal was that every German POW should speak English when leaving the US for home), US history and laws, lots of sports and theater news. There is also a very interesting article with Communist undertones by Karl Morgenstern about the German fate, German rights for laborers, etc. as well as crossword puzzles and sporting match results.
PICTORIAL GUIDE OF COLORADO SPRINGS AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
7-1/4 x 10-1/2, 48 pages, with PW Camp Carson AEO Censored stamp on title page. Has an introduction in Germany by Dr. Lloyd Shaw of the Cheyenne Mountain School and photos of Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds, Colorado Springs, an aerial view of Camp Carson, Camp Carson POWs at work, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Will Rogers Shrine, coals and gold mining, etc.
This Unteroffizier Hermann Machold POW ephemera lot also includes five 7-1/2 x 9-1/2 inch black & white photos. Two photos show groups of POWs of the Bautechnik (civil engineering) class, the others are scenes from theater performances by the Kriegsgefangenen or POWs. There are also five smaller photographs of POWs (many in drag) during theater performances.
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NAZI POW LOT CAMP CARSON COLORADO USA
A RARE THIRD REICH LOT OF A NAZI UNTEROFFIZIER WHO WAS CAPTURED BY THE AMERICANS EARLY IN 1944 AND WHO BECAME A POW IN THE USA AND ENGLAND