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Josef Baur papers

Document | Accession Number: 2017.675.1

The Josef Baur papers consists of correspondence, identification documents, photographs, and two photo albums relating to Josef Baur (b. 1907) and his family. The papers relate to Josef Baur’s military experiences as a member of the Police Battalion 131 and the 14th SS Police Regiment during World War II. The majority of the correspondence is between Josef Baur and his wife, Agnes Baur (b. 1910) and written from 1940 and 1943. Several letters sent by Josef included photographs. Agnes numbered both the letters and photographs then placed the photographs in albums with the correlating number of the letter it arrived with next to the image.

The “Kriegserinnerungen” photo album, May 1940-circa December 1940 depicts Josef Baur and the Police Battalion 131’s experiences in Denmark and Norway. The album includes images of the battalion’s swearing in ceremony in Berlin and their departure from Nuremberg, Germany. The candid photographs include images of soldiers traveling on a ship to Norway, German soldiers exercising and socializing, their encampments and accommodations, visits to a silver fox farm and sculpture garden in Norway, images of Norwegian civilians, the graves of German soldiers, and German soldiers celebrating a winter holiday (likely Christmas) in their barracks, 1940. Landscape photographs of various towns and cities include Aarhus, Denmark, Hjørring, Denmark, Lærdal, Norway, Sogndal, Norway, Bergen, Norway, and Oslo, Norway.

The untitled second photo album contains images of the battalion’s deployment to the Eastern Front in 1941 until early 1942 when they were recalled from the frontlines. The candid photographs include images of soldiers loading trucks and trains for the battalion’s departure in Würzburg, Germany, their accommodations in Frödau, Poland, soldiers playing soccer, and their encamped in a forest in Giby, Poland. Images of German-occupied Grodno, Poland (now Grodno, Belarus) include German soldiers among the ruins of Grodno, civilians attending a church service, a group of Jewish men and women wearing armbands and standing in a line, and a German soldier arresting two Jewish women. The album also includes images of Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania), photographs of Jewish prisoners near Novoyel'nya, Belarus forcibly removing a statue of Lenin, Russian civilians, the burning of civilian houses, soldiers interrogating prisoners, a graveyard for German soldiers in Rudnya, Russia, and entry to the ghetto of Vitebsk other various scenes in the town (now Viciebsk, Belarus). Also included are pictures of an encampment of either Roma or Sinti people, including women and children, near Demidov, Russia.

The loose photographs include images of Josef Baur, his wife Agnes and their son, and other German members of the member of the Police Battalion 131 and the 14th SS Police Regiment. The candid photographs of soldiers, civilians, and landscapes were taken while Baur served throughout Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and southern France. Some of the images directly correlate with the images found within the two photo albums. The loose photographs are arranged by year and some include annotations.

inclusive:  circa 1930-1954
3 boxes
2 oversize boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection. The acquisition of this collection was made possible by the Philip and Janet Levin Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-07-14 14:14:43
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