Sunday, May 3, 2015

III - POW Documentation Issues

Dad is 3rd from the left

What is the issue with the official records I have to research ? I am learning the "rules of the road" researching a generation too late: Accuracy, transcription errors in the original documents,faded memories and correlation!

The one point that is clear on all documents,  Zygmunt Frackiewicz was captured on SEPTEMBER 19,1939.
  1. But where he was captured and at what battle\skirmish? The records gives 3 alternatives I want to understand.
  2. What was his military  assignment, unit, division?
  3. The history of his lengthy captivity as POW in numerous Stalags, Arbeitcommandos and other (forced/slave labor) camps is mind boggling. I want to chart a accurate time line and understand this part of his life.
These are the sources of the official and personal data I am using;
  • Polska Czerwony Krzyz (Polish Red Cross) from January 27, 2004
  • Central Museum of Prisoners of War Labinowice-Opole from January 27, 2004
  • Centraine Museum Jencow Wojennych w Lambinowicach-Opolu from March 3, 2015
  • Archive, Archiwun- Looking for Witnesses (Internet) May 14, 2008
  • Letter from step-sister Janina Wozniak from December 4, 1993
  • Sacred Heart class project project interview by Shannon Frackiewicz in 1998
  • A scribbled note I took for unknown reasons after many beers stating he was traded to the Germans by the Soviets in Hannover by the North Sea
  • 2016 addition resources came from Facebook sites "Kresy-Siberia group" "WWII Polski 2 Korpus" and ""
  • Many, many dead end letters and emails
One major issue in this document research is translation. The translation of Polish to Russia to German is not seamless and introduces error. Just in the initial document, his first name is spelled 3 ways and that sets the  stage for more inaccuracies. Not only is language the issue but overwhelmed and uninterested German and Russian captors cared little for accuracy in record keeping of the captured masses of"subhumans".
 Usually the Germans shot their prisoner so not to be burdened with them, so in many ways Dad was "lucky".


  1. Do you know if Janina Wozniak ever had relatives with her last name move to the States?

  2. After her "scolding" letter, there was no more communication. I figured she had died or become an invalid. I tried to confirm this for years through numerous sources in Poland as I had her address. No luck. Then I was at a factory in Poland for work, told my Janina search story. A young Polish lady at the NGK factory said she would help. I sent her an email when I got home, 1/2 hour later I got a reply. Family still lived at same address, specifically her grandson and family. So I don't think any more immigrated. By the way I think Janina is a beautiful name.

  3. Hi Roman....I was also recentley researching my grandfather who was from croatia and came to live in krakow around 1914. something that made progress poor was incorrect spelling of names......incorrect d.o.b.....even on his grave the d.o.b is wrong.....often i could not even decipher the writing at all...and defo had to buy a massive magnifying this must of been how it was in those days. I noted for example the way they wrote 1 looked like a 2 etc.....regards and best wishes to you.....I am ania michele znidericz from the ww2 group on facebook......dominik is my son.....and he has the account here