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A Wartime Log - POW Anthony J. Brianyk - Captured El Guettar


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I recently acquired this YMCA "A WARTIME LOG that belonged to Anthony Joseph Brianyk. According to the log Brianyk was captured at El Guettar on March 28, 1943 and he spent time in Stalag VII A Moosburg and Stalag III B Furstenberg. The log is filled with articles and drawings from the camp newspaper O.K.. The majority of the articles and poems are written by Frank Stebbing. There are also numerous original POW drawings that were published and cut out of the paper. Unfortunately, someone cut out the first 70 pages of the log...it looks like they were cut out long ago. I wonder if they were cut out by family members or by someone while he was still a POW.

 

As you can see there is an interesting cut out glued on the title page that reads, "PUNCH TOUGH SH.T TICKET GOOD FOR 1944 XMAS 1943 STALAG III B. On page 74 there is an entry that reads, "Flower Picked on Tunisian Plain Sat. March 29, 1943" and the flower is still present inside a plastic sleeve. That of course was the day after his capture. There is also three pieces of paper with a foil back folded into Vs on another page...any guesses??

 

This is the first of these logs I have ever seen in person.

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Two sided full page of camp newspaper O.K.. The paper is dated No. 56 -- May 28, 1944.

 

There are many more articles in the log, but that is all of the photos I have taken so far. Thank you for taking a look!

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Hello,

 

Thanks for sharing your log. I have found that logs to members of the army are encountered much less than logs to AAC guys. I have a Wartime log to a engineer who was captured on the same day and place. They guys may not have known each other but I am sure their paths crossed on thier pow odessy. There was a tough shinola ticket like yours with it but the seller pulled it before he listed the book. After I bought it he put a high price on the ticket and tried to take advantage of me. He them listed it on ebay and no one was interested. I made him a fair offer but he refused. Oh well. Anyway, that log has a black fabric cover with the soldiers stalag tag sewn on. He was also moved from 7A to 3B. Another unusual thing was that he found a old Russian bible and glued pages with illustartions on them to the back of every page in the log book. The log is about three times as thick as a standard one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What an incredible book! The drawings are amazing. I wonder at the thoughts that one might have on looking back at this book after having been "behind the wire"...the memories of what it was like, or the thankfulness of having it over and in the past...probably a lot of both.

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A few possibilities on the missing pages. Since the back of the page where the log starts is blank, he might have been a very generous guy and when he got the book, he tore out a bunch of pages to share with someone who did not get a book. There were thousands of POWs in these camps and just a few of these books to go around whenever they got a shipment to the camps. It wasn't like there was a welcome kit when the new POWs arrived where everyone got one of these books.

 

A friend of mine was one of the lucky few to get one of these books some time after he arrived at Stalag Luft 1. He said when the small shipment of books arrived, the ranking officer in each block got a book and then they held a lottery where one other man in each block had a chance to get a book. He was the lucky lottery winner.

 

I believe the German guards also routinely inspected the books to make sure they were not being used for nefarious purposes, no derogatory statements being made about the German hosts and such. I think in Stalag 1 they were not supposed to show the German's guns if they made drawings of the camp. My friend said the men with the books were always scared they would lose them or the Germans would take them away.

 

Marty

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