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Old 1st February 2016, 12:01
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Why sons and daughters do not write about their fathers (WW2 biographies)

Dear all,
The main idea of this thread came from the advice of John Beaman (below):
Originally Posted by Adriano Baumgartner
Herr Jochen PRIEN,
Firstly, I am a real fan of your work, really. (I only do have the full set about the JG53 History, though; but am interested on the JG 27 work of yours, since Obfw. Wilhelm Baumgartner seems to be from the same root of my Family, back in Switzerland...but this is another story).
Secondly: I know you wrote several books about the Luftwaffe, etc...but have you thought about writing about your father? I did not know he was a former veteran and highly decorated...Excuse me being curious, but had you talked about the war, I mean, when you were a kid, etc.?....or was it a difficult subject to talk about? Do you see, I have met only 4 former German WW2 veterans here in Brazil, one of them being Martin Drewes, back in 1996, one JG 27 airman shot down in 1945...a Ju 88 trainee pilot (who is still flying gliders) and a former NJG 2 and NJG 1 technician from Siemens that helped install the FuG 212 in the very first Nachtjagd aircraft (almost all of them passed away)...and this was Always a difficult topic to talk about. Of course, I am not a, they may have been suspicious, etc....
I understand this is an OFF topic question and is not related to the thread itself, but as a Latin American, I would like to understand if, during the 50's or 60's this was talked about, within the families of veterans...or if this was "verbotten" topic...

Again, please do let me express my admiration for your work and the tribute you did to all those Luftwaffe airmen, writing about their units and memories.

Adriano S. Baumgartner
Adriano, you ask some interesting questions, but I think this needs a new thread. Why don't you cut and past your thread into a new one>

I have been in contact, during the last 25 years with many veterans and veteran’s relatives (sons, daughter, etc.).
Very few of those sons and daughters ever thought about writing about their parents, even in England or the USA.

I asked that for Herr Jochen PRIEN whose work I admire, why he had never thought of writing a full biography of his father (who was a RK winner himself). I have also humbly suggested, on previous postings on this Forum, to the relatives of Hauptmann Otto Kittel (whose wreckage was found by a Researcher/Historian) and the relatives of Major Hans-Georg Bätcher (whom I believe, deserves an amazing biography) to write about them…

There are much more…on the British side, we do not have (yet) a full biography of the most successful night-fighter team: S/L Branse A. Burbridge, DSO, DFC and Bill Skelton, DSO, DFC. Another dozen (or plus) successful airmen have not being remembered so far…I mean, DSO winners, airmen that have flown more than 100 missions, etc…

One of the daughters I contacted, thankfully wrote two magnificent accounts about his father and her mother (whose fiancée, a Canadian pilot, was shot down in September 1944). Her work (Sara V. Mosher) is written with her heart. Please do me share the link: and http://65eastindiasquadron.blogspot....vieres-65.html

As a “book-lover” and “book-eater”, since a child, WHY there are so few books written by sons and daughters about their fathers? Was it, after WW2 (principally on the German and Russian side) a “Verbotten” or forbidden topic?
Thankfully we have seen (including on this Forum), several Russian Historians digging their WW2 Records and re-writing History, with professional cross-checking, etc.

I am aware (25 years researching), Gentlemen, that to write and Edit a book of this kind, we will face quite a lot of setbacks and difficulties, but the memories of those forgotten heroes should not be buried, simply.

Dear John Beaman, thank you for letting me start a new thread, on this topic. I understand this is still difficult to talk about this, most principally to those who took part on the events, or their relatives. Maybe this is why, after WW1 there were so few books of memories…I guess they simply wanted to forget what they saw and faced.

For instance, my great-grand uncle fought on Italy, in 1944-45, as a Second Sergeant; however it is very difficult to find details of his participation on the Second World War. I was trying to find more about the BAUMGARTNER(s) that have served in the Whermacht and Luftwaffe, during WW2…and thankfully have been helped by a dozen of Members on this fantastic Forum.

In Brazil, there was no “Official” preoccupation in interviewing our Infantry and Air Force men that served between 1943-45. As a consequence, we do have very very few memories nowadays published, even Squadron memories.
PLEASE, Herr Jochen Prien, I know you must be a very busy person, but why haven’t you thought about writing about your father’s memories, yet?

I remember the son of S/L Oxby, DSO, DFC, DFM on that Forum saying that he was finishing a book about his father. This example should, in my humble opinion, be followed by the sons, daughters, grand-sons and grand-daughters…so we will have History preserved and, as readers, more biographies to read, from different writers, etc…

Thank you to all members, and I do apologize if I have touched a “mined area” or have being misinterpreted (it can happen if one is not 100% proficient in the language…so this is my case).

Adriano S. Baumgartner
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