In this centenary year of the start of the First World War, one of my ancestors fought on the side of the Austrians. My great great uncle Felix Kohn/Kerber was born on the 5th April 1894 to Rudolf Kohn and Gisela Löwenstein.
At the present time, I do not know when he joined the Army, but by the time he died on the 9th December 1917, he had been awarded the Silver Bravery Medal and the Karl-Truppen Cross.
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After being captured, Sidney remained
in the transit camp on Crete for five months before being moved to a permanent
camp.Eventually he was allowed to
receive post from home while he was in the transit camp.
When it was time
for Sidney to be moved to a more permanent camp in Germany, Sidney was shipped
from Crete to Greece and then he was moved on to Atheneum Greece to
Salonika. While he and the rest of the
prisoners were in Salonika, Sidney mentioned that the beds in which they were
given were full of bed bugs. To try and
prevent them they used to stand the beds in tins that were full of petrol. After Salonika Sidney and the other prisoners
were piled into cattle trucks and were transported to Silesia via Vienna on the
trans-continental railway. There were about 40 people in each truck and
apart from straw on the floor; there was nothing else in the trucks. Every so often the prisoners were allowed off
the trucks in order to go to the toilet.
Sidney arrived at Stalag VIIIB at Lam…
Thanks for yours of 21-8-42. Thank Margaret for her P.S. but tell her the only future I'm interested in at present seems hell of a long time coming. Glad to hear you passed your Exam, you see you can do it when you want to. They are not as hard as people make out. You seem to be having some lovely walks lately, the weather must be good. It has been here for quite a time, but seems to be breaking now a little. This afternoon we had a Boxing show & tonight I have been to a Choral Concert, both of which were very good. Well keep smiling dear. Be seeing you - Love - Sidney
In the middle of January 1943, Sidney sent a post card and letter to his parents and a letter to his fiance Amy. In January 1941, Sidney had obtained a marriage license for Amy and himself, but he never used it.
10th January 1943
Dearest mum & Dad,
I have only had 1 letter this week - Mothers of 26th Nov. Sorry to hear you are not getting my mail regularly - things seem to be so disorganised at present. This week has been one of continual snowfall as we have quite a depth on the ground now. Last night I went to a lecture - "Experences of a Reporter in New York" which was very good, and that is about all I have to tell you this week. I hope no-one has any ill effects from the Xmas Rush. I am still very well. Give my love to all - Your Loving Son - Sidney
16th January 1943
18th January 1943
It appears from this letter, that Amy has called off her engagement to Sidney and this is his reply to her.