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I am trying to find out more about a group of German prisoners of war who worked on my grandparents farm in the north of England in the late 1940s. I have letters which they sent from Germany in the late 40s/early 50s but nothing after that. I suspect all of them are now dead but I'd like to be able to tell their children/grandchildren more about their time in England. with just names and addresses from the late 1940s, how do people suggest I proceed?

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  • What information do you have about them? Birthdate, place of birth? An address from the letters they sent you? – kutschkem May 18 at 13:26
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It is a noble cause to inform family members about the wartime captivity of their ancestors.

However, it will be difficult. If none of the former prisoners later became a public figure, there will be hardly any publicly viewable information about them. Genealogical databases are not relevant in Germany for the period of interest. Civil status registers are only available online to a limited extent (almost exclusively Ancestry.com). The time span covered (births mostly only up to the beginning of the 20th century, marriages up to the 1930s and deaths mostly only up to the 1950s, more rarely up to the 1980s) then makes it difficult.

I would scan the letters and post them online (not behind a paywall) with the names involved and wait to see if they find anyone's interest. If there is a story to tell about the farm and the prisoners, I would put it online as well.

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