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Collateral Damage 1944 - Brandenburg (D)

to Chronological Entry    > > > > > > > > BOMBS AND FIRE, BUT THE POST ARRIVES PUNCTUALLY ON TIME



Not everyone could be home to perform there handicrafts. Engelbert Johan Walhof (1907-1989) for example, was forced to leave his family for forced labor in Germany. The first postcard to his sister Cornelia, married to Arie Peters,  was dated May 31, 1942; the last one, August 13, 1944. The postcards are not very informative; not surprising given the censorship. The topics mostly concern food: for instance that preferably stale bread is to be sent; fresh bread happens to become mouldy during transport. The return to his family is made possible by the bombings of the Allies. In the last postcard from August 13, 1944 he describes still neutral in tone, that he survived the bombing, but no longer has food or clothing. The last parcel posted by his sister has indeed arrived, but is "cremated". Engelbert Johan Walhof came back home alive, though somewhat traumatized, despite the neutral tone of his postcards .

  • Images left: above, a copy of the address side of the last postcard sent from burning Germany; below, a brief description of the bombing, with a post-scriptum "your package has been received but was cremated". The strange thing is that despite all the devastations, the postal services continued to operate punctually. Images provided conditionally by the heirs Cornelia Walhof .