My dear Dad,
I’m writing to you hoping that you received all my cards in spite of the problems with the mail.READ MORE
March 9, 1944
It wasn’t until last Sunday, March 5, that I received your letter of January 29. It had been censored!READ MORE
This is the first letter I’ve found that was mailed from France to a French laborer in Germany. The letter was addressed to Serge Brodig, who was in a lager (a barrack) in Berlin. The postage stamps bear Petain’s profile.READ MORE
Stöckenerstrasse 351, Stube 43 [351 Stöckener Street, Room 43]
Hannover, July 18, 1944
To all of my very dear ones,
I’m sending these few lines to you this evening, Tuesday, to give you my news, which is still as good as possible. READ MORE
My little adored Marie,
I see, my love, that you have received good news from Jeannot (Johnny). I’m happy about that, darling. READ MORE
I just finished reading Spandau: The Secret Diaries by Albert Speer. A friend loaned the book to me long ago; she heard Marcel had been imprisoned in Spandau, and thought the book might be of interest.
Albert Speer was Hitler’s architect and eventually became Minister of Armaments and War Production. During the post-war Nuremberg trial, Speer denounced Hitler, took responsibility for the use of forced labor, and was sentenced to a 20-year prison term. Many other Nazi leaders, including Fritz Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (that is, the man who was in charge of sending men like Marcel to Germany), were hanged.READ MORE
CP: Congratulations on the release of “Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee” (Sept 1. 2017, Kent State University Press). This fascinating story would have been entirely lost to time if you hadn’t put together these German and American puzzle pieces — congratulations! Tell us a bit about the mystery you solved:
AMA: Thank you, Carolyn! Actually, it was two mysteries, one on each continent.READ MORE
Library of Congress image USZ62-59134
Upper left: Before; Center: During. Lower right: After.
On this day seventy-three years ago, eighty-three Army Air Force B-17 bombers targeted Daimler’s Marienfelde factory. “The bombing is very effective,” the mission record stated, “and ten major [targets] are severely damaged during one of the best days that the Eighth [Air Force] experiences.”
If you’ve read “Marcel’s Letters,” you’ll know I scoured military mission records to find out how and when the factory where Marcel worked had been bombed. If you have the book, you can read the passage about the search—and this specific bombing raid—on pages 109–112. The photo above is first referenced at the bottom of page 110.
Vienna April 4, 1944
My very dear parents,
I come for a moment to give you some news from me which are very good for now. I am still in good health. I hope it is the same for you.
I was surprised, but delighted, that my translator could read this writing. To me, it almost looks like shorthand! But, she continues to work miracles.
What’s the first thing that caught my eye about this postcard from September, 1943? The unusual emerald green ink, of course!READ MORE
I presume this postcard was written by a Dutch laborer; clues include the date, the censor marks, the fact she was in Berlin. READ MORE
Earlier this year, my 91-year-old uncle, Allen Porter, was invited to be part of a panel of veterans at a WWII lecture at Fort Snelling. The topic was the liberation of the concentration camps. READ MORE