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summ1



Joined: 30 Aug 2021
Replies: 1

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:26 am      Post subject: WWI: Russian POWs in barracks with Polish POWs
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Has anyone heard of the Russische Polnische Zivil Arbeit Abteilung? Or can you tell what type of uniforms these men are wearing?

My grandfather served in the Russian Army in WWI. He was a translator and so likely an officer. He was injured and sent to a hospital in Danzig (now Gdansk). Then he was sent to a POW camp, possibly in Austria. After the war he went to Ostrog, Poland (now in Ukraine), where he met his future wife. Both families were Jewish.

I have a photo of him in a group of POWs (see below) standing in front of a building holding several signs. One says "R.P.Z.A.A. 28" I've had the sign identified as German and as an abbreviation for: Russische Polnische Zivil Arbeit Abteilung. Google translate says is: Russian Polish Civil Labor Department. I don't know what the number 28 means.

There are also several small signs with numbers: "10" and "48"

Does anyone know about this Department? Or what the numbers mean?

Also, can you tell what type of uniforms the men are wearing? Their hats and coats are not all the same. I don't think anyone is wearing insignia but its hard to tell since the photo is so worn.

I've also attached another photo of 3 men who I think are POWs since they have no insignia on their uniforms. Any ideas on where the uniforms might be from?

Last, but not least: How/why would these guys have had personal photos taken in the middle of the war as POWs? They apparently were given copies to keep. I also have a solo pic of my grandfather, which was inscribed on the back "To Yakov Ropman". I don't know who he was, but somehow the pic was with my gf when he came to the US.

Thank you for any info at all!

PS: this is my first post, so please forgive any boo-boos...



Sol and 2 men in POW uniforms.jpg
 Description:
I think these are POW uniforms, as they have no insignia
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Sol and 2 men in POW uniforms.jpg



Sol in army group WWI_edited-1.jpg
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Closeup from large photo
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Sol in army group WWI_edited-1.jpg



Sol in army group WWI_edited-2.jpg
 Description:
Group of men in WWI POW camp; R.P.Z.A.A. 28
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Sol in army group WWI_edited-2.jpg


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