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Monday 18th October 2021  

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German magazine, Quorn POW Camp, edition 1, early August 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 first edition of the magazine from early August 1947. Using the contents page as a guide this magazine covers the following:

Page 3 – This first page is addressed ‘To the Repatriarch’. It indicates that it is a new magazine and is going to contain a bit of everything and asks them what they want in the magazine.

Page 4 – ‘The Other Side’. A reflection on the wider situation they are in.

Page 6 – ‘Logic of Fate’ A political and philosophical piece.

Page 7 – ‘Children 1947’ by Herbert Lestiboudois. Having heard from his sister Ursula who has two young children, he says that she has not heard from her husband for two years. He talks about the awful games the children play as a result of what they hear. Their pretend games include vying with each other about missing husbands, dead husbands and husbands ‘taken by the Russians.

Page 9 – ‘The future education of the German youth’. Deals with the uncertainty, their involvement in crime, sexual diseases, the high suicide rate and how many didn’t return.

Page 11 – ‘Thunderstorm’ A poem

Page 12 - Incident in Hospital’ A funny story

Page 15 – A drawing of Mountsorrel Buttercross

Page 17 – ‘Horizon 5 miles’ A description of Mountsorrel

Page 19 – ‘The Red Thread: Europe and the International’ Discussions about the future for a united Europe and a European federation

Page 21 – A poem about a fox

Page 22 – ‘On the Bookboard’ Book reviews

Page 24 – ‘On the Edge’ A few comments and continuations of articles from previous pages.

 download PDF This artefact is a PDF document
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 missing information Missing information: Could you translate the full article on page 17, ‘A description of Mountsorrel’?
Please email us at: team2021@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2021-10-01
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman, translation assistance from Dave Collier
 Artefact ID: 2468

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