Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Long Way From Home - Part 2

Another mail-related post today but one with an interesting twist. This PoW cover and letter was addressed to Erwin Stöckl, a German PoW based out of Medicine Hat's Camp 132. The letter, sent by Erwin's aunt, Magda, arrived in Canada in April 1944. It is unknown whether Erwin was at Camp 132 when he received this letter or whether he was working at an Ontario labour project.

Seven months later, in November 1944, Erwin was working at a labour project near Adams River, Ontario. On November 12, he and another PoW, Wolfgang Berter, left the camp either for a hike to explore the area or in an attempt to escape. A search was called for when the two men did not return by the evening but the search was eventually called off when the two men could not be found.

On May 26, 1945, the bodies of Stöckl and Berter were found by the Ontario Provincial Police, having died from exposure to the elements. The two men were initially interred in Kenora's Lake of the Woods Cemetery but were relocated to Kitchener, Ontario, where they remain today.

The letter was likely among Stöckl's personal effects returned to his family after his death.

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