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Found A Box Of My Grandpa's Old Wwii Pictures... Speechless As To What I Found... Nws


AtlanticFit
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My Grandad died a couple of years ago right before my daughter was born. After his passing, my family went through the emotional process of emptying his house. Since I am the only male to carry on the family name, all of the old stuff that held any kind of historical significance to our name was given to me. I am the type of person who copes with emotionally devastating situations by detaching. I have often been accused of being too indifferent or too neutral in situations when I should care more. Perhaps its caused by the tragedies I experienced as a child? I may never know. That being said; The reason I am posting this is because, today, I finally grieved my Grandfather's passing, three years after his death.

I was in my attic early this morning doing some summer cleaning, with the intention of preparing for a yard sale next weekend. I came across the rubermaid container with some of the old stuff from my grandfather's house. I intended only to sift through it out of curiosity. There was an old family bible. Various black and white pictures, some war medals, a child's clothing ect... (One interesting thing I found was a receipt for the use of a slave soldier during the war of 1812, the wax seal was still intact. But that's another story for another day.) But, at the bottom of the box was an old album with black and white photos glued to black paper. Inside, I found various pictures of my grandad from the war. Most of them were pictures of his buddies, the places they saw in Europe, various battle sites, and other seemingly unimportant things. What I found on the last few pages will stay with me the rest of my life.

In today's world, we have become desensitized to death and violence. We see news reports of planes going down. Kids shooting up schools, movies project violence, but it never really hits home until it happens to you or someone you love. Let the following serve as a reminder that we are selfish. We always take the path of attacking those who have different religious/social/political views from our own, solely out of need for self justification or the illusion of self preservation. When we, as a society, let our ego get in the way, hate breeds. May this also remind us that the majority isn't always right. What some might perceive as "best" for the many, may be tragic for the few. Is the sorrow of this tragedy worth the comfort for those who feel threaded by difference? Is the ends worth the means?

A little background before I post the pictures. My grandpa was in the "Rolling W" 89th Infantry Division. They fought in Europe during the war. The 89th is mostly known for being the first US troops to liberate a concentration camp from the Nazis. They liberated a small camp close to the more well known Buchenwald called: Ohrdruf. As far as I know, concentration camps were mostly speculation spawned from aerial photos and the resistance up until this point as far as the allies were concerned. These photos might be some of the first ever taken by an allied soldier on the ground. Unless there are other copies of these floating around out there, this is also likely the first time they have ever been posted on the internet.

This first picture had some writing on the back side of the page that says it the man with the object in his mouth was the camp officer who, in a bout of desperation, dressed himself in civilian clothing when he realized his unit was being overrun. The man was shouting in German incessantly at the soldiers after he had been captured. One of the platoon leaders picked up a block of wood, shoved it in his mouth, and more or less told him to STFU.

I realize this post is getting long winded, so I will let the rest of pictures speak for themselves. I don't think much really needs to be said. A silent prayer for the fallen should be sufficient. I apologize in advance for the bad quality, I also had to pull out my 6 year old scanner from the attic to get these.

I final word of warning... If you are disturbed easily by death or pictures of sorrow. DO NOT LOOK...

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Edited by DirtyBirdKert
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A lot of people have been saying the people in the Middle East and other violent regions are inherently inferior to Europe and North America (north of the Rio Grande) due to the relative peace and stability they enjoy now but stuff like this is a reminder that if a people are put under massive pressure, be it economic, social, foreign, etc., then any people are fully capable of committing horrendous crimes when they buy into the promises of mad men.

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A lot of people have been saying the people in the Middle East and other violent regions are inherently inferior to Europe and North America (north of the Rio Grande) due to the relative peace and stability they enjoy now but stuff like this is a reminder that if a people are put under massive pressure, be it economic, social, foreign, etc., then any people are fully capable of committing horrendous crimes when they buy into the promises of mad men.

It should also be noted that some of the people in the Middle East who are pushing the current conflict prefer to deny the atrocities in Europe. Largely due to hatred of the Jews, which is the trait they share with the Europeans in question (and, some would argue, the Europeans of today).

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It should also be noted that some of the people in the Middle East who are pushing the current conflict prefer to deny the atrocities in Europe. Largely due to hatred of the Jews, which is the trait they share with the Europeans in question (and, some would argue, the Europeans of today).

I've seen some of it first hand. I go to school with a number of middle easterners and they use Hitler references a lot. I had to jump on one the other day and remind her that a lot of Americans died because of that guy and because of their sacrifice she's here and not hiding under some burka somewhere.

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Dude make sure that stuff gets archived. Not sure if you want to keep em or pass it on to your kids but if nothing else pass some copies on to a historian. An archive for the 89th or even a Holocaust museum would love to have these. A picture lost is history lost.

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Dude make sure that stuff gets archived. Not sure if you want to keep em or pass it on to your kids but if nothing else pass some copies on to a historian. An archive for the 89th or even a Holocaust museum would love to have these. A picture lost is history lost.

I was going to say the same thing, this is like hitting the historical lottery. I have a lot of WW2 type memorabilia myself, my grandfather fought in the Pacific theater and I have many amazing pictures of his time in places like Midway, New Guinea etc.

On the other side of the family I have a great uncle that was in the 4th infantry division that liberated Paris, he was at Utah beach on D day and the Battle of the Bulge.He came back from the war with a ton of souvenirs that he shipped home. Since he had no kids of his own he left this stuff to me knowing I am an amateur historian. I have it all in a big trunk in my attic, been sitting there for years.

One of the things is a huge Nazi flag that he captured when they moved into the Reich. It is approx 50 x 30 ft. It kind of gives me the creeps having it in the house, I am considering selling it on Ebay, it is probably worth a small fortune. Some German medals/decorations lots of pictures and different neat stuff.

I myself am considering having the photos archived. Some of them will blow your mind.

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I was going to say the same thing, this is like hitting the historical lottery. I have a lot of WW2 type memorabilia myself, my grandfather fought in the Pacific theater and I have many amazing pictures of his time in places like Midway, New Guinea etc.

On the other side of the family I have a great uncle that was in the 4th infantry division that liberated Paris, he was at Utah beach on D day and the Battle of the Bulge.He came back from the war with a ton of souvenirs that he shipped home. Since he had no kids of his own he left this stuff to me knowing I am an amateur historian. I have it all in a big trunk in my attic, been sitting there for years.

One of the things is a huge Nazi flag that he captured when they moved into the Reich. It is approx 50 x 30 ft. It kind of gives me the creeps having it in the house, I am considering selling it on Ebay, it is probably worth a small fortune. Some German medals/decorations lots of pictures and different neat stuff.

I myself am considering having the photos archived. Some of them will blow your mind.

I found a few more Nazi related things in there as well. The most surprising of which, is an SS officer's dress dagger. The handle appears to be ebony. It has the iron eagle engraved on the hilt along with the SS lightning bolts. There is an enscription on the blade that reads "Meine Ehre Heibt Treue", which I think translates into "My honor is loyalty". I'll post some pics of it when I get home this afternoon.

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Nothing but respect for your grandfather. My dad was in Pensacola in the Marines the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. They were on a train to San Diego that night. He was on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and saw the flag on top of Mt Suribachi on Iwo Jima. He was on Okinawa preparing for a land invasion of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped.

I cannot imagine facing and seeing what the people who fought in that war and all others have seen. Freedom truly does have a very high price.

To your grandfather, my dad and the others who have served, thank you and God bless you. We are truly in your debt.

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Dude that dagger is worth a fortune. One of the most absolutely most prized items of WW2 collectors. I would think is worth anywhere from 3-10K.

In my limited research of them, I have found that there are 4 versions of them:

- A Brown Oak Handled "SA" version with Ernst Rohm's signature engraved on the back (Most Common)

- A Black Ebony Handled "SS" Version with with Ernst Rohm's signature ground off the back (Uncommon) (They gathered these up from all of the SS men after the Night of the Long Knives, when the SS purged the SA and Rohm. They ground off the sig and gave them back to the SS men. I believe that this is what I have)

- A Black Ebony Handled "SS" Version with with Ernst Rohm's signature still engraved on the back on the back (Very rare. Not many still around, as most were collected and ground)

- A Black Ebony Handled "SS" Version with with Henrich Himmler's signature engraved on the back (Most rare of all, only 200 were ever made and were presented to the SS men directly responsible for the purge of the SA during the Night of the Long Knives. These don't show up on auction very often, but when they do they go for about $35k - $40k)

I wonder if it is possible to find out who was issued the dagger based on the serial #

Yes, I have contacted a guy in Germany who has access to the SS records archive and provides a research service. You get A nice presentation package about the person that owned it, their military background, their family life ect... I heard back from him, he said that hes going to the archive early next week, and he will look. If I find anything out, Ill post it here.

Edited by DirtyBirdKert
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