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Watercolour sketch book of a German PoW in England.
These pictures are from a sketch book completed by a German prisoner of war called Friedrich Frauböse of Hildesheim while an inmate at the Glen Mill PoW camp in Oldham, Lancashire in 1945. The photos of them are by Mr James Farrell and are used with his kind permission. Jim recently purchased the book from an antique shop in Bristol.
The German translations are by me and Graeme Trayer. They are not absolutely correct, we need help to improve them. If anyone can, please drop me a line or leave a comment below.
Any words in brackets are my own notes.
The lead photo above shows the book’s cover and the images below are presented in the same order in which they appear in the book. (See the photo below by Friedrich’s son showing the same scene)
Please see this post for more about Glen Mill and a photo of the plaque also crafted by Friedrich Frauböse.
EDIT June 2016
Last month I had some email contact with the artist’s son, Fritz, who was surprised to see his father’s work reproduced here. Fritz referred to his dad as having a natural talent, adding that he also used to carve chess pieces and paint in oils. Friedrich spoke with his son often about his time in captivity at Glen Mill. Fritz has very kindly sent me three images, one of his father, his father’s PoW Index Card and the third image is a recent photo showing the Marktplatz at Hildesheim which adorns the cover of Friedrich’s book. They are copied here with kind permission of Fritz Frauböse.
1. Life in the camp with illustrations by Friedrich Frauböse
2. In the morning we are counted to make sure no-one is missing
3. At curfew the horn sounds and everyone goes to the toilet.
4. The policeman is on the ball and makes sure we save water. (policeman is a fellow prisoner, presumably a prisoner trusted to keep order in return for privileges. The expression, literally “on the wire” I have translated as meaning on the ball, a man who knows his stuff etc)
5. And when you wake in the morning every toilet seat soon has someone sat upon it. (Graeme determined Brille in this example means toilet seat and not spectacles)
6. The examination has its purpose and they go away fit for work.
7. The yard commander has us mostly bending over to pick up foreign cigarette butts.
8. (note from QB in comments below, the PoW looks to be telling the man standing up at the front to sit down)
9. Hammering or whistling to songs, and immediately someone shouts right of stage
(uncertain of this translation; is the shouting to cover up the sound of the hammer which is being used for something the British would put a stop to?)
10. These two don’t bet, they swap bread for cigarettes
11. Early in the morning when all are still asleep, one slowly causes a flood (not confident in this translation).
12. Making the beds is done very casually – this is how it goes on a Sunday.
13. not certain of the translation here; something about cake on Sunday being so good that no PoW will stay in bed?
14. If you have masses of bugs, you must go to the sick bay for powder. (revier; German military slang, an abbreviation of Krankenrevier, a sick bay in PoW camps usually staffed by fellow inmates)
15. Potato peeling is popular because you get helpings before and after.
16. Cleaning the latrines, as you can see, is very unpopular among POWs.
17. Cleanliness is a virtue, you can see here the brush and water.
18. The PoW is always on the hunt for a second helping.
19. Fashionable cuts don’t come into the question, the PoW wears short hair.
20. One sees the queue early or late whether one goes for washing or food.
21. A fright for the PoW was the move to Room E (whatever Room E was for)