Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hi all,
It's been a while since I last posted here. For a variety of reasons, I've had to put this aside. In the meantime, however, I have been in contact with a number of people, including some of you who have posted comments here. I've also had a few more potential leads on information, and may have more to post in the near future.

One person I've recently made an acquaintance with is a grad student in Munich, Christian Höschler, who is writing his Master's thesis on the DP camp at Bad Aibling. In my conversations with him, it is clear that there is no coherent archive for this facility. That means you are the memory of this place, for now.

If you have any information about his research, or have anything to contribute, he would appreciate it if you could contact him at

He has also been good enough to share information on some of the topics I've mentioned here before, which I will pass along in the future.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New leads, right under my nose

A few days ago, I was having dinner with my mother, niece, nephew and kids and the topic of my dead end with the Diocese of Davenport came up. As it turned out, the person my mother had spoken to when she contacted them a few years ago was the same person I had contacted. Our outcomes had been the same. She mentioned that the contact person told her that the St. Vincent House, where my father had stayed when sent to Davenport was closed down decades ago and no records were available. She indicated that it was surprising as my father had been featured in a newspaper advertisement encouraging the public to take in displaced orphans from Europe. I asked when she'd seen that. She said, "Oh, it's at home, upstairs in the safe."

I nearly choked. She knew I was doing this research, but had never mentioned anything about this. I asked if there was anything else. My nephew piped up: "Oh yeah, there's all kinds of stuff on him."

I nearly choked again.

When I get a chance, I'll post any relevant and useful info I find.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Hi all. It's been a while since I've last posted anything. Unfortunately, time and leads have not been abundant for me in the last few months. I chased a few dead ends, but little has come of it for now. For instance, I recently contacted the Diocese of Davenport, IA about their part in the resettlement of displaced children and if they had any information on my father. They do not have many detailed records readily available, but my inquiry did yield some other leads to chase down for the 1950-55 period of my research.

MLL, whom I mentioned before, called me recently about a researcher in Britain with whom she and some other former relief workers at Bad Aibling had a brief reunion last month. I'll post my findings when I follow up with him.

I did finish Helen Epstein's Children of the Holocaust. It is an excellent book, and I will post my thoughts on it at a later time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Due to a sudden lack of spare time, I've not been able to do much digging around lately, so I really have nothing to add right now. Stay tuned, and I hope to be able to provide an update in the near future. I have a break from school in a few weeks—I should have more research by then.

When I haven't been studying JAVA development and network security, I've been reading Children of the Holocaust by Helen Epstein. It's a fascinating, and at times wrenching, read. While my father was not directly victimized by the Holocaust (to my knowledge), it does give some very clear insights into the psychology of those who lived during that era. It also shows how these events have effected those of my generation who grew up with this history hanging over our heads.

Thanks for your patience, and please check back.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Polish forced laborers

In my entry "Where Is Iwacewicze?" I asked how Poles would have ended up migrating to Nazi-controlled Germany. I found this article below on a Polish family that had been forceably evacuated to Germany as agricultural laborers. There was a kind of labor tribute exacted on subjugated populations. This sheds some light on how my father might have been separated from his original family, or how Mrs. Proniewicz and family had been moved to Weiden.

The Suschinsky Family, at the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

General Research notes, 2/18/07

On Friday, 2/16/07, I spoke briefly with MLL, who used to work at the IRO Children's Village in Bad Aibling, and now resides in the US. She had no recollection of my father (he would have been one of about 500 children there, so that was expected). We still had an enlightening conversation about the IRO facility at Bad Aibling and the lot of those children who were sent to the US. I hope to keep in touch and find out more.

On Monday, 2/19/07, I'll be mailing off an application to the Red Cross' International Tracing Service to see if they have any records.

This week I found a listing at the Albert Eintstein Archive of a correspondence between Fr. Emil Komora and Albert Einstein in 1940. Fr. Komora is listed as my father's legal guardian on his intake form at Boy's Town, near Omaha. The AEA archivist who responded to my query indicated no relevant information, but I am trying to see if I can get any background info about Fr. Komora or any refugee organizations he worked with. The archivist I emailed wrote back on 2/19 that there is no relevant information of any kind in the correspondence in question—another dead end.

Here's a picture of the Children's Center at Prien, where my father was turned over to UNRRA custody:

There was another DP Children's Center nearby at Kloster Indersdorf, which I will also try to research. This photo came from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's online photo archives. I'll post an article on the IRO Children's Center at Prien when I get more information about it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Displaced Persons Camps in Germany

I recently found this site ( which is an info exchange about UNRRA/IRO's Displaced Persons camps in Central Europe after WW2. My father lived at the following ones in Germany:
1946- Camp Hammerweg, Weiden
3/1947- Prien
9/1947- Aglasterhausen
11/48- Bad Aibling

It was at Prien that his former guardian, Mrs. Proniewicz, turned him over to UNRRA custody. Many of the experiences Dad has talked about, playing on former battlefields, collecting war artifacts, stumbling into a former concentration camp, probabaly occurred during the transit period of 3/1947-11/48.

I'm a little unsure about this timeline, taken from his UNRRA registration form, however. Dad mentioned Aglasterhausen as a sorting facility, probably for repatriation purposes. According to his account, the staff was sorting between German, Polish and Russian children. As he was apprehensive of the Russian staff, and could barely understand them, he chose to tell them he was German, so he could stay where he was. However, he has indicated that he considered Bad Aibling/Rosenheim his home.

His memory of life in Bad Aibling, however, wasn't much happier. He has told me of at least 2 attempts to run away. During one period a family in nearby Rosenheim took him in. He doesn't have an accurate sense of how long he was with them before he was returned to the IRO camp at Bad Aibling.

I would like to hear from anyone who has any information about the above facilities.