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Tuesday 19th October 2021  

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German magazine, Quorn POW Camp, edition 3, early September 1947

During 2021 three magazines turned up on a flea market stall in Germany which were produced by German prisoners of war at Quorn POW camp in 1947. The magazine was called ‘Keibitz’ which although translates literally in German as ‘Lapwing’, also has figurative meanings originating in German/Romany, such as ‘onlooker’, ‘lookout’ or someone who imposes themselves or their opinions whether or not they are wanted. It is thought, possibly somewhat speculatively, that the men writing magazine used the term in its ‘onlooker’ or ‘bystander’ connotation, as they may have felt that they were living a bystander life until they were finally sent back to Germany.

At this stage the prisoners were waiting to be repatriated, but it was a slow process as Germany was not in a position to take them back. The magazines cover many topics, including the boredom, frustration, wondering what the future holds, poems book reviews, notes about local villages etc.

These are an amazing find as it wasn’t known such a magazine was produced or existed. Despite the limited amount of translation carried out so far, it is fascinating to get an insight into the lives of the prisoners and how they were feeling. It is hoped that to get full translations of some of the articles at a later date.

Attached is a scan of the third edition of the magazine from early September 1947. Using the contents page as a guide this magazine covers the following:

Page 1 – This is in the form of a letter to ‘Repatriation’ and how long they have been waiting. Towards the end it asks the men to let him know what they think of the magazine. Transcription with thanks to Danny Kreft:
Dear Repatriarch!
Finally you’re there! I’ve been waiting for you for weeks. I’m sorry that everything is so busy at the moment; if you’d come three days earlier, you’d have been more fortunate, as the whole camp was empty then. But in this century of crises in housing, food, finance, education and energy, these are things you need to take into account. Therefore don’t get down about it, rather “take it easy”. And in this “Taking it easy” I can help. If you would like a bit of a change, in the coming days of waiting around, from the everlastingly mean conversations, then take a look through the following pages and share opinions with me on World and Camp history.

And when you’ve done that, please write to me. Tell me what you didn’t like in the magazine, what you’d alter, or even what you liked. Maybe I can do what you want next time (you’ll definitely hear from me again before your departure!)

So, leaf through, read and nose through the big and the small things on the following pages, then you’ll be (like me) a true busybody.

Page 2 – ‘Encounters with Britons’ About relationships with Britain, not personal encounters.

Page 4 – ‘The Red Thread: Free from Fear and Need’ Talks about the principles set out in the Atlantic Charter, respect for other people, freedoms.

Page 6 – ‘Hate’ by Arnold Hitzer. A bleak article that discusses life in Germany after the war under the Russians. About Germans being taken from their homes and villages in Poland and the many atrocities. Page 8 has more about the future and looking forwards.

Page 9 – ‘It’s Your Turn’ a poem by Martin Kessel.

Page 10 – ‘The Snake’ Complaints about the delays in repatriation and likening it to a snake growing ever longer.

Page 12 - ‘Horizon 5 miles’ A description of Barrow upon Soar including some of its history.

Page 14 – ‘Youth and Politics’ Wonders how the youth of postwar Germany will react to politics, whether they will work together, find solutions etc. Includes thoughts for the future.

Page 15 – A pen drawing in sepia of Quorn POW Camp

Page 18 – ‘Vote – but how?’ Choosing a different voting system.

Page 19 – ‘The Hall’ A story by Erwin Piscator. Seems to be about the life of a building as it gradually decays.

Page 21 – ‘Against the Potato (Colorado) Beetle’ by Dr Herbert L Schrader. All about the Colorado Beetle and getting rid of it.

Page 22 – ‘His name was Hermann’ by Guenter Casper. Thoughts about paperwork and bureaucracy.

Page 25 – ‘On the Bookboard’ Book reviews.

Page 26 – ‘Lapwing Eggs’ Notes about some stones on the border between Germany and Holland followed by the continuations of articles from previous pages.

Page 28 – ‘Sport’ Comments on various sports (not local) including bull running and football in South America.

 download PDF This artefact is a PDF document
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 missing information Missing information: Could you translate the article on page 12?
Please email us at: team2021@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2021-10-01
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman, translation assistance from Dave Collier and Danny Kreft
 Artefact ID: 2466

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