15 Apr 21 A story from the collection of memorabilia
A story from the collection of memorabilia and memories of prisoners of the former POW camp Stalag VIII A
On February 14, 1945, Erna Riedel received two photos with Valentine’s Day wishes. They show the French prisoner of war Camille. In one photo he is standing in front of a wooden door, in the other one – in a meadow or field. In both cases, he is wearing a uniform.
On the back it is written: “A Madame Riedel avec ma plus profonde amitié” and “A Madame Riedel, en souvenir des heures agréables passees ensemble au Stalag VIII A” which means “in memory of my deep friendship” and “in memory of the pleasant hours spent together in Stalag VIIIA “.
We still have a few questions: How did Erna react to this Valentine? How well did the single mother from Görlitz and the prisoner of war know each other? Unfortunately, we do not know what was her working position in Stalag VIIIA, what was Camille’s surname and how his life turned out after February 14, 1945. We found out that Erna was trained as a tailor and worked in this profession in Görlitz in 1949.
The photographs of Camille were kindly given to us by Erna’s daughter-in-law.
The interview with Ms. Biebrach – Erna´s daughter-in- law was conducted by Dr. Klara-Maeve O´Reilly as part of the INTERREG project Poland-Saxony 2014-2020 under the title “To know and understand. Memory in the name of the future. Development of educational networks and civil society in the Polish-Saxon border region.”
The project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the INTERREG Poland – Saxony Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.