Saturday, February 04, 2006

My grandfather never talked about the war

My grandfather passed in the mid 90's. Before he died, we would talk about his time in World War II. He would never give details, except for the French “war wife” thing. All he would ever tell me was which battles he participated in, which cities he visited, and who his friends were. He never told me if he killed anyone. He never told me about his friends who had died. He would only say that war was ugly, and that I should avoid it.

I know he landed at Normandy. I know he liberated Paris and then moved on to liberate Germany. I had a chance to follow his campaign maps when I was living in France a few years ago. I visited many of the places he had been. Auschwitz was on the map, I did not get a chance to see it.

His wife passed a few months ago. After her death, I started a family history project aimed at gathering various pictures and documents pertaining to our family history and digitizing them. I intend to produce DVD copies for my family; only, the DVD is going to take a long time to produce. My first batch of pictures came from my grandfather’s briefcase; his war pictures. I had never seen them before.

I came across this picture while sorting through some loose pictures. I realized that I was looking at a man (not my Grandfather) in front of a death camp crematorium, while holding a tray of teeth. There are other pictures, some quite disturbing, like a gallows with a stack of cordwood in the background. I understand why my grandfather would have kept these things to himself.

I’ll publish more photos as I go.

*** Update ***
This photo appreas to be of the Buchenwald Crematorium Ovens

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lisa bearbower said...

It is hard to imagine that some people try to say this never happend. This war was very hard on grandpa. The last few years he would cry when speaking of what he saw.

beautifulatrocities said...

Jesus, he landed at Normandy? That was a hellhole! Brave guy!

freethoughtmom said...

My grandfather never talked about it either.

thanks for sharing, mojoey.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have shaken your grandfathers hand........