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A most unusual relic!

Started by siege1863 , Jan 28 2009 10:29 AM

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#1 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:29 AM

The first photo was taken at the WWII German POW camp located a few miles from where I live. It is of the "ceremonial" tree that was located inside of the prisoner compound. The second photo is of the same tree taken some twelve years ago. Using the photos, I was able to locate the footings of the guard tower in the background and remove one of the uprights still buried in the ground. It is sitting in my closet.

tree1.jpeg

tree2.jpeg

#2 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:31 AM

Here is another view taken from further away. For this gathering, the prisoners have hung their "ceremonial shield" (a rune) on the tree. Unfortunately, I do not know the event. It could be a Christmas since there are no leaves on the tree making it a winter scene.


tree3.jpeg

Edited by siege1863, 28 January 2009 - 10:56 AM.


#3 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:32 AM

In April 1996, the tree blew down in a storm. A year later, I got to thinking about the tree and the shield. Using details from the photos, I was able to determine where the shield had hung. As I had hoped, the hanger was still there! After some careful cutting and chopping, I was able to remove it. It was fashioned from an old lag bolt.


tree4.jpeg

tree5.jpeg

tree6.jpeg

Edited by siege1863, 28 January 2009 - 10:33 AM.


#4 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

In April 1996, was the reunion of some two dozen of the former POWs. The day after the ceremonial tree blew down they visited the camp site. Here are a few of the men posed in front of the tree.


tree7.jpeg

#5 Bluehawk

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif Wow...

#6 Teamski

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:08 AM

Amazing, amazing story!! Well done on the recovery and documentation! The fact that the tree blew down was pretty coincidental, hey? I am really impressed! You are my kinda peep!

-Ski

#7 BOLO

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:25 AM

finding the tree with the hanging bolt still stuck in it is a one in a million find, is this on public land ?

#8 FightenIrish35

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:45 AM

that sure is an unusual and awesome relic http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#9 Anders Heintz

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:49 AM

What a great story!

You sure have a keen eye to see the sheild and then have the insight to think about how it was hung, and then go find the hanger! Very impressive and a great piece to add to your collection.

#10 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:32 PM

A fascinating story & find!

#11 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:40 PM

One other thing I did while I still had access to the tree was to gather some of the branches that measured about an 1" in diameter. I hope some day to slice them into wooden "tokens" and in some way mark them with the camp name, etc. All evidence of the tree is long gone and only these few relics and my photo-documentation exist.

#12 Brian Keith

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:01 PM

Cool, Good job saving a small slice of history.
BKW

#13 grenadebaron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:47 PM

Great story. I am also interested in German Pow Camps.
There were so 3 located close to were I live.
My wife and myself are working on a book about POW Camps
in Northern Illinois.
Back in the early 60's when I was in the Boy Scouts I slept in
one of the old POW barracks at Camp Pine.
Went there last year, the barracks are long gone but the base of
the fireplace was still there.
026.JPG

#14 Teamski

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:52 PM

Vanishing history.... Pretty sad stuff, I say. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crybaby.gif

-Ski

#15 grenadebaron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:18 PM

Here a little bit more on Camp Pine

Camp Pine
On the northwest boarder of what is today Mount Prospect is a Cook County forest preserve. On the eastern side of the Des Plaines River (near the intersection of Euclid and River Road) was a WWII German POW camp called Camp Pine. Around 200 German soldiers were held here through the war, living in 5 barracks with a mess tent. Many of them worked outside of the camp at local farms and some worked at Pesche's flowers. After the war, the buildings from this camp were used by girl and boy scout troops.

#16 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:32 PM

Here is a more recent "relic" from the camp. When the former POWs were here for the reunion in 1996, we had commemorative t-shirts made. While everyone was wearing their's, I thought of a better way to mark the occasion--I mounted it on a board and had all eighteen men autograph it. They were so flattered to be asked! Those who spoke English helped me to account for each man and to explain to them what I was wanting. Soon, I hope to have the t-shirt framed, along with a group photo and the list of names.

PWAutoShirt.jpg

#17 siege1863

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:54 PM

Here are two views of Camp Clinton, a 3000-enlisted prisoner camp with 150+ buildings. It also had a special compound for the German generals held in the US. Thirty-five generals and one admiral were held at Clinton at one time or another. The first view is from one of the guard towers overlooking the segregation area. In the background are barrack buildings in Compound 2 (left) and Compound 1 (right). The second view is from the same tower looking down the road that bisected Compound 2. You can see the prisoners marching in formation.

Stockade1web.jpg

Stockade2web.jpg

#18 grenadebaron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:45 PM

Your t-shirt is very nice.
I am jealous

#19 grenadebaron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:55 PM

Here's a another POW Camp.
I have never heard of the name other than Hampshire POW Camp.
img423.jpg

#20 grenadebaron

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:56 PM

The German POW'S would work in the bean and corn fields
When they had finished picking the beans then the corn they would work in this canning plant.
img426.jpg


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