A POW notice was sent from the Nazis to Maria Wilhelmina Siersema-van Erp on May 15, 1942, saying what she should send to her husband and why he had been taken into custody. Klaas Siersema was imprisoned at Oflag XIII-B, a prisoner of war camp for officers that was at the time in Hammelburg, Germany. I am not sure of his exact rank at the time, but I’ll add it to this post if I am able to narrow it down. Later, he or someone he knew drew this sketch of the camp. Although I can’t read them, I did want to share them in case anyone else can. Here are photos/scans of the letters he sent back, in order of postmark:
June, 1, 1942
Front of the postcard from Klaas “Niek” Siersema at the Oflag XIII-B prisoner of war camp in 1942.
Back of the postcard from Klaas “Niek” Siersema at the Oflag XIII-B prisoner of war camp in 1942.
June 26, 2014
Front of a letter from Klaas “Niek” Siersema at the Oflag XIII-B prisoner of war camp in 1942.
Letter from Klaas “Niek” Siersema at the Oflag XIII-B prisoner of war camp in 1942.
July 8, 1942
Letter front from Klaas Siersema at Oflag XIII-B in 1942.
Notice on POW stationary saying it’s only for prisoner of war use and they must write on the line. The words are in German and Polish.
A letter written in pencil from Klaas Siersema to his wife while he was a prisoner at Oflag XIII-B in 1942.
Inside the sketchbook of my great-great-grandfather, Gerrit Siersema, this drawing from 1942 was stored until I found it recently and scanned it. Aside from the signature, which I cannot make out, the translation of the writing along the bottom reads, “Recollection of Oflag XIII-B 15-5-1942 — 6-7-1942.” (Thanks to cousin Anje Belmon for that!)
This is interesting for two reasons. One, because Oflag 13 B was a prisoner-of-war camp during WWII, and, two, because the 15th of May in 1942 is the date on POW notices sent from the Nazis to both Maria Wilhelmina van Erp and Helena de Wit — my grandfather Johan Siersema’s step-mother and biological mother. Both Johan and his father were at one point prisoners of war.
Anyway, I cannot make out the signature on this sketch, nor the signature on the notice that was sent to Helena, but if anyone else wants to give it a go and leave your thoughts in the comments, I would be interested to read them.
UPDATE: I took a closer look Nov. 27, 2014 at the POW letters from Klaas Siersema to his wife and determined that he was kept at Oflag IIIX-B during this period. He was called Niek, and the signature on this images looks to start with an N.