Winkler, Eduard Friedrich (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 18523
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 155, Number Of Items 6
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

German airman served with German Air Force in Germany and France, 1942-1945; captured by British troops, 3/1945. POW in GB, 1945-1948

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Hamburg, Germany, 1920-1936: family and education; father's experience in First World War and membership of National Socialist Party; Winkler's membership of Air Sport Club. Recollections of period as engineer in aircraft factories in Harburg, Germany and Graudens, Poland, 1936-1942: improvement in factory conditions; work as aircraft builder apprentice; types of aircraft built in factory; effects of colour blindness on not becoming aircrew with German Air Force; reasons for father's death, 1937; father's attitude to Nazi Party after 1933; relationship with Jewish employer; transfer to aircraft in Graudens, Poland, 1942; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939; question of persecution of Germans in Poland, 1939; question of how Socialists and Communists becoming political turncoats in Hamburg after 1933. REEL 2 Continues: start of Allied bombing of Hamburg ca 1942; character of air raid shelters in Hamburg; quality inspection job in Graudens factory; incidents of aircraft sabotage; living conditions in barracks, Graudens; relations with Poles and British POWs in Grauden area. Period working on armament of Me 262 in Saxony, 1944. Recollections of period with German Air Force in France and Germany, 1942-1945: role as armourer, 1942; drill training in Cambrai-Douai area, France, 1942; period at German Air Force Armoury Training School, Dresden; servicing weapons at Berlin-Doberitz, ca 1943; transfer to coastal defence duties with German Air Force Field Division, Dunkirk; attempts to get dance band music from BBC; trip wire defences on beach. REEL 3 Continues: defences at Bray Dunes, 1944; Spitfire attack, 1944; move to training camp in Bordeaux area, spring 1944; move to Arles for air defence, summer 1944; transfer to Germany for work on Me 262; re-grouping camp at Bergen bei Celle and reaction to not being sent to Eastern Front; move to Arnhem, late 1944; danger from faulty V1; paratrooper training in Germany, late 1944; stationing at Emmerich winter 1944-1945; under shell fire Riess on River Rhine; period in nunnery at Kavernheim; capture by British troops, Winnekendonk, 2/3/1945. Recollections of period as POW in Belgium and France, 1945-1946: confinement in cellar, Tilburg, Netherlands; nature of interrogation methods. REEL 4 Continues: period in POW camp in Brussels; work parties in Caen and Audrieux, Normandy; change in level of treatment of German POWs after VE Day; business he started selling lighters; camps in Ranville-Bayeux area; move to Jabbecke POW camp, Belgium; policy of camp commandant to feed German POWs on diet German Jews in concentration camp had been given, early 1946. Recollection of period as POW in GB, 1946-1948: arrival in Tilbury, 19/5/1946; building up of strength of POWs, Leicester, summer 1946; anti-German behaviour of civilians in Leicester, summer 1946; farm work in Yorkshire Dales area; relations with civilians in Yorkshire Dales; shooting rabbits with farmer; contact with home; clock and watch repairs carried out for civilians, 1946-1947; nature of relations between POWs and civilians. REEL 5 Continues: job as interpreter at Roos POW camp, Withernsea; story of meeting his first wife in Withernsea, 1947; banning of POWs from port of Hull; clock repairing business; transfer to Fort Godwin POW Camp, Kilnsea; sea defence work, 1947; advice from South African officer about POWs learning English; learning English; farm work in East Riding; German POWs disbelief about conditions in concentration camps; quarry work at Skipton, 1/1948; winter conditions, winter 1947- 1948; release from captivity 12/1948. Period as ex POW in GB, 1949-1951: farm work in Rugeley; return to East Riding; problems ex German POWs had getting work in industry; settling down in GB and naturalisation, 1951. Attitude to having served in Second World War. Story of how he got into trouble with authorities in Germany for playing English dance music. REEL 6 Continues: Attitude to having settled in GB since 1951 including sense of now being an Englishman and his contributions to English life.

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