This is my Father amidst the ruins of Ulm, Germany, 1945. The war has ended. Dad spent a few months in Ulm working and waiting to be sent back home to the States. While in Ulm he was attached to the 7th Army, War Crimes Division. He had a special pass that allowed him to go into the prisons and homes to ask questions and gather information. My Father really wasn't very keen about this job. He felt sorry for the prison internees who were confused and scared, most were "ordinary" people. The few remaining homes were wrecked or deserted, with remnants of people's lives lying about.
Ulm, a city in Southern Germany on the Danube River, was heavily bombed during the war. The bombing targeted major supply depots, factories, barracks, etc. Twenty five thousand people were left homeless, 80% of the medieval city was destroyed, water craters covered the ground, rubble was so thick walking was almost impossible. The Ulm Munster (a stunning church) was left intact as the Allies utilized it as a navigational landmark.
My Dad had many photos showing the destroyed parts of the city. I thought about using them on this page, but decided to use them as a companion page to this one. Nevertheless, these photos were a main factor in the design elements of this layout. I wanted to create a grungy, broken type of background that reflected the destruction around my Dad. I smashed up a piece of an old brick into a powder and made a broken building type of template with molding paste onto which I sprinkled the brick powder. (what a mess!)
However, I wanted the main focus of this layout to reflect the relief, happiness and love I see in my Dad. He sent this photo to my Mom sometime in late summer 1945. Dad was not able to write to her much during the war. I have little of his own handwritten items. But on the back of this photograph he wrote "Smiling Only For You.........Ulm . Germany 1945". I made a copy of this and used it as my title. Behind this there is a pull out copy of his war crimes pass.
Many personal items are also on this page. There are 4 military buttons that were Dad's. The two on the right under the title were from French clothing issue. (Dad was in the Signal Corp, liaison attached to the Free French Army). The two in the lower left were from some U.S. Army shirts of his. There are three old German coins, the smallest is a Nazi Reich pfenning 1942, next a Deutsches Reich Rentenpfenning 1924, then a Deutsches Reich pfenning 1917, all brought back by Dad. Just above the old coins is a cancelled postage stamp from the WW2 era that my Mom saved. The cancel message is: "Food Will Win The War Don't Waste It." Also on the page is one of my Dad's old keys from his old key stash. On the bottom of the layout I've inserted little copies of my Dad's writing stating where he is in place and time....Ulm, Germany 1945. Dad passed away almost 4 years ago, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him and miss him. This layout is going into the WW2 album I am making.
This is my entry for the June Heritage Challenge. I have done the twist which is to do a layout honoring Father, Grandfather, or any male in the family.