Marcels letters, p.34

Marcel's Letters, page 34


Marcel's Letters

Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode

  106 Deductions were made for lodging and food, and up to 30 percent of a worker’s wage might be withheld: Deductions: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 129–130; Wages withheld: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 118–123.

  106 East Workers were also not allowed to join French and German workers inside air-raid shelters: Vinen. The Unfree French, 310.

  107 Charity could be “suicidal”: Wachsmann. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 497.

  107 Men stood little chance of evading STO: Vinen. The Unfree French, 253.

  107 German officials “would enter French factories and choose workers”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 35.

  107 French police ruthlessly enforced summons: Vinen. The Unfree French, 253.

  107 “If he could not be found, a relative was conscripted in his place or his family was deprived of its ration cards”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 35.

  107 Five years in prison and a fine of up to thirty thousand francs: “Loi du 4 Septembre 1942 Relative à L’Utilisation et à L’Orientation de la Main-D’Oeuvre.” Journal Officiel de la République Française. 13 Septembre 1942. A 74, N220, page 3122.

  107 Radio broadcasts warned that the family members of those who evaded STO might face reprisal: Vinen. The Unfree French, 275.

  108 “STO was a one-way ticket”: Vinen. The Unfree French, 254.

  108 “‘contracts’ extended … for the duration of the war”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 88.

  108 Any foreigner leaving or entering Reich territory needed a police-issued visa: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 145.

  108 The tattered clothes covering Marcel’s back might have been painted with a red acetone X: Pantouvaki, Sofia. “Typology and Symbolism in Prisoners’ Concentration Camp Clothing during World War II.” PDF report posted on April, 2010.

  108 Bounties were paid for the arrest of fugitives: Hélion. They Shall Not Have Me, 400.

  108 Breaches of labor contracts could be punished by “hard labor, imprisonment or fine, and even, in serious cases, by the death sentence”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 81.

  109 The chapter Wolfgang provided on Daimler-Marienfelde listed the results of several aerial bombing raids: Hopman, et al. Zwangsarbeit bei Daimler-Benz (Forced Labor at Daimler-Benz), 210.

  110 During the first years of the war, strategic bombing raids of Germany and occupied Europe were conducted by the Royal Air Force: Davis, Richard G. Bombing The European Axis Powers: A Historical Digest of the Combined Bomber Offensive, 1939–1945. Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 2006, 49.

  110 By February 1944, Berlin had seen sixteen major raids: Royal Air Force,

  110 The US Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces joined the RAF in targeting aircraft factories and airfields across Germany: Davis. Bombing the European Axis Powers, 274.

  110 In the first week of March, the Eighth Air Force launched three major attacks on Berlin: Davis. Bombing the European Axis Powers, 274.

  110 A 125-mile-long column of 730 heavy bombers: Davis. Bombing the European Axis Powers, 303.

  110 US Library of Congress Archive: U.S. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Reading Room. Image Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-59134 “Aerial photo of strategic bombing by 8th USAF, World War II – panther tank plant at Berlin-Marienfelde,”

  111 From what I had been able to sort out, eighty-three of those B-17s targeted Daimler’s Marienfelde factory: Eighth Air Force Historical Society, Mission 524.

  111 “Eighth [Air Force] experiences”: Carter, Kit C. and Mueller, Robert. U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology 1941–1945. Washington DC: Center for Air Force History, 1991, 458.

  111 On February 3, more than one thousand B-17 bombers: Eighth Air Force Historical Society, Mission 817.;

  111 Dropped more than two thousand tons of explosives: Davis. Bombing the European Axis Powers, 519.

  111 Fires raged for days: Association Berliner Schlosses EV: War Damage 1945 and Demolition 1950.

  112 On March 24, 1945, one hundred and fifty B-17s: Second Bombardment Association:

  112 Damage made it “impossible for production to resume”: Per Daimler’s website, after the aerial attack of March 24, “The Marienfelde plant is so heavily damaged by an air raid that it is impossible for production to resume.” Archive No. 2002DIG90, 2002DIG91, 2002DIG92


  122 Why would a Dutchman mail a letter to Sweden emblazoned with the colors of the French flag?: The flag of the Netherlands also includes blue and red, though I did not make that association at the time.

  122 Within minutes I found a detailed report online about chemical censoring: Ennik, Franklin. “Secret Writing and Chemical Censoring of the Mails by the German Postal Authority.” Netherlands Philatelists of California, 40 Year Anniversary Booklet, 2010.

  124 The US government monitored mail for hidden messages during the war, too: Macrakis, Kristie. Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 218.


  137 I found a breadcrumb: a link to an eight-year-old magazine article: Skjong, Ingrid. “In Person” Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. February 2004, page 72.

  137 Furniture and interior design company:


  155 “Dear Denise”: The original letter included the line, “I am a graphic designer and over the last eight years I have been designing a font …” I was embarrassed to admit to Denise I had been working on the font for ten years; “eight years” has been removed to eliminate confusion. The original letter also said, “I understand [Marcel] lived to be eighty.” His age has been corrected to seventy-nine to eliminate confusion. Edits have been made throughout to reduce the overall length.


  186 Dixie searched permutations of the name I found: Dixie pieced together information from,, and


  205 Fish-shaped pencil loops ran along the bottom of the first page and continued on the top of the second: The page order is unusual in that the letter goes from the front page to the interior right, to the interior left, then to the back. For ease of understanding, I have shown the text as it was intended to be read, not in the order it appears.


  208 “Sully the sidewalk”: Hélion. They Shall Not Have Me, 204.

  208 French workers had been ordered to bring specific items with them. … They had been forewarned that opportunities to acquire clothes or shoes in Germany would be limited: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 100–101.

  210 Pens were sometimes confiscated: Hélion. They Shall Not Have Me, 112. Refers to French prisoners of war.

  210 In some camps, ink was forbidden: Hélion. They Shall Not Have Me, 149.


  213 “The only thing is, it’s going to take at least a month before you get it”: Wages were transferred through a central government system, which regulated exchange rates and disbursement schedules. The Germans encouraged workers to send money home as a way to limit goods consumed inside Germany (leaving more goods available for Germans). “The policy was, secondly, intended to have a favorable psychological effect, because it gave the worker the feeling that by his work and sacrifice he was able to take care of his family.” Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany,


  215 Three times per week, “special trains” transported workers from Paris: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 262.

  215 As the trains departed, the men often sang “La Marseillaise”: Vinen. The Unfree French, 97.

  215 “Strict precautions were taken to prevent them from escaping during the journey”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 41.

  215 Prisoners were not allowed to complain: Hélion. They Shall Not Have Me, 310–312.

  215 Rotten vegetables and kitchen waste: Wachsmann. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 211.


  222 Some people even pushed elderly relatives in baby carriages or wheelbarrows: Diamond. Fleeing Hitler: France 1940, 6. Book uses the word “pram.”

  223 Radios and bicycles were confiscated: Poznanski, Renée. Jews in France During World War II. Hanover and London: University Press of New England in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001, 206–207.

  223 Jews were prohibited from using cafés, markets, theaters, libraries, and public parks: Marrus, Michael R. and Paxton, Robert O. Vichy France and the Jews. New York: Schocken Books, 1983, 238.


  228 Two months before Marcel wrote that letter: Birtle, Andrew J. “Sicily: The US Army Campaigns of World War II.” U.S. Army Center of Military History, Publication 72–16.

  228 At one point, an especially cruel rumor swirled that Paris had been burned down and all relatives of men working in Germany had been shot: Vinen. The Unfree French, 310.


  234 Promises of furloughs after six or twelve months of satisfactory work had been dangled in front of French workers as a way to encourage compliance: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 144.

  234 5 to 10 percent of Frenchmen returned to Germany: Vinen. The Unfree French, 284.

  234 Leaves were canceled because the Germans were unwilling to lose their workers: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 148.

  234 Leaves were promised, but made logistically impossible by a “maze of regulations” and complex train schedules: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 147–148.


  236 Despite handwriting that clearly reads “8 mai 1944,” one historian of France has questioned whether this letter might have been unintentionally misdated (perhaps due to distraction or fatigue). He noted, “The comments about operations and the landing and being on their way to Paris all make it sound as if this was written after the June 6 [Normandy] landings.”


  237 “She is beautiful like the day in her beautiful white outfit”: I speculate Marcel is referring to a photo of Suzanne in a First Communion dress.


  248 Allen fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was awarded a Bronze Star for clearing a minefield while under enemy fire: Battle of the Bulge: Allen arrived at the front line on December 13, 1944 as part of the 303rd Engineering Battalion of the 78th Infantry Division. The Battle of the Bulge began three days later when the German offensive began. Allen was part of the 1st Army under General Parker. They were the most northern division of the 1st. When the Bulge came, they were cut off from the 1st and for a short while he was with the 9th Army. Bronze Star: This was awarded for his efforts securing the Schwammenauel Dam on the Roer River.


  251 A newspaper in Brittany had run an article about Marcel’s letters, Henry explained: Chélin, Marina. “Lettres. Expédiées des États-Unis 70 ans après.” Le Télégramme, Monday, October 8, 2012, Issue No. 20.923, page 40.

  255 Henry’s article: Samuel, Henry. “Wartime Letters of French Father in Nazi Labour Camp Resurface.” Paris: The Telegraph, October 11, 2012.


  275 Aaron speculated her petite size might have been a result of malnutrition during the war years: Taylor, Lynne. “The Black Market in Occupied Northern France, 1940-4.” Contemporary European History, Volume 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University, July 1997.

  280 The timelines and details of the various labor requisition laws were tangled inside my head, but I did not think the STO law from September 1942—the one that applied to any man between the age of eighteen and fifty—took effect until mid-March 1943: In actuality, I was confusing the request of the first law with the timing of the second law. The law of September 4, 1943, was implemented to meet Sauckel’s unfilled initial demand for 250,000 workers (implemented first as the Relève). Sauckel’s second request for workers was made in January 1944, with workers to be dispatched by mid-March; this was Law of February 16, 1943 that specifically applied to men born in 1920, 1921 and 1922.

  280 “(the Germans were particularly interested in skilled metallurgists)”: Vinen. The Unfree French, 198.

  283 A society that regarded deported workers as complicated others: Vinen. The Unfree French, 361–366 and Poulard. A French Slave in Nazi Germany, 128–132.

  283 Daimler donated twenty million deutschemarks … it did not constitute recognition of legal liability: Billstein, et al. Working for the Enemy, 236–237.

  283 A foundation was established: The Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future,

  284 Immunity from any future legal action: Law on the Creation of a Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future,” Section 16: “Exclusion from Claims.”

  284 Tax-deductible donations: Deutsche Welle staff (th). “German Fund Ends Payments to Nazi-Era Forced Laborers.” Deutsche Welle. June 11, 2007.

  284 The location was considered one of the best in the country: Vinen. The Unfree French, 348.

  285 Cooking oil, which had an official price of fifty francs per liter, sold for twenty times that—1,000 francs—on the black market: Lambin, J.-M. Histoire, Géographie, Initiation Économique, 3e. Paris: Hachette Education, 1993, 99.

  285 That amount equaled a month’s salary: Lambin. Histoire, Géographie, Initiation Économique, 3e, 99.

  287 The late summer of 1944 … Allies and Germans fought for control of the area: After heavy fighting in and around the city, Chartres was liberated on 18 August 1944, by the US 5th Infantry and the 7th Armored Divisions of the 3rd US Army.


  304 “Sometimes Marcel kept a bicycle in the back,” she said as she pointed to a cozy brasserie:

  309 Several fierce windstorms blew through France in late 1999: EQE Summary Report. “The European Storms Lothar and Martin, December 26–28, 1999.” Paris and London: EQE International, LTD.

  310 I thought of a black-and-white photo I had seen months earlier: “Retour des Déportés à la Libération.”

  310 Some did not get home until 1946: Vinen. The Unfree French, 364.

  310 Reception centers: Histoire d’une Période Noire; La Liberation des Camps et le Retour.


  312 Social media posts by or direct messages from the woman in Roseville: “they are there”: December 4, 2012; Less busy once the holidays were over: January 11, 2013; The woman did not respond: March 15, 2013; “kinda like having the luxury of time to play around on”: June 13, 2013; “Three days later”: June 16, 2013; Music festival: May 26, 2013; Hiking: July 11, 2013; Running club: June 13, 2013; White Bear Yacht Club: June 28, 2013;
“I could spend hours on”: August 30, 2014; Time was not unlimited: September 2014; Posts from France and Spain: December 2014–January 2015.

  319 Handwritten scribbles of … “January 4, 1992”: The handwritten notation was written as “4-1-92.” It has been spelled out to eliminate confusion.

  320 I entered a distribution agreement with P22: P22 Type Foundry,

  320 Timothy Matlack, the man whose lettering adorned the Declaration of Independence: Coelho, Chris. Timothy Matlack, Scribe of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson: McFarland, 2013.

  322 P22 Marcel Script had been one of twenty-four winners in their annual type design competition: Press announcement of New York Type Director’s Club 2014 award:



  Carolyn Porter, Marcel's Letters



Thank you for reading books on Archive.BookFrom.Net

Share this book with friends

Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up