WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Who left these WW II photos at the Newport Post Office?



World War II Concentration Camp photos
Mysteriously left at the Newport Post Office

Information provided by Lincoln County Historical Society

MYSTERY SURROUNDS PHOTO ALBUM PAGE

On a recent trip to the Newport Post Office, Steve Wyatt, executive director of the Lincoln County Historical Society, found himself immersed in an small, unforeseen, history mystery that the public might be able to solve.

When the post office clerk discovered that Wyatt was from the Historical Society, she handed him a World War II era photo album page that someone had left in the post office lobby four months earlier. No one had come back to claim it, and the post office was not sure what to do with it.

According to Wyatt since there is no apparent local connection, the album page probably would not fit into the collection mission of the Society. “We would collect something like this only if it could be documented that it belonged to a local person who served in the war,” Wyatt explained.

Wyatt did a little research on the photos and determined that they probably were taken shortly after World War II, most likely at the liberation of the notorious Mauthausen-Gusin concentration camp in Passau, Lower Bavaria, Germany. Mauthausen-Gusin was one of the largest concentration camps in all of Germany, and one of the last to be liberated. A large percentage of its inmates were Soviet and Spanish intellectuals.

The clue in placing the origin of the photos was a snapshot of what appears to be a uniformed US soldier next to a directional street sign for “Passau” and “Deggendorf.” Deggendorf was a camp for displaced Jewish refugees after the war. At its peak the refugees there issued their own currency, established a cultural center, and circulated two newspapers. Other pictures on this album page show a mass funeral with two long rows of simple wooden caskets on freshly dug dirt.

“This page should either go back to its rightful owner or to a museum that is focused on World War II, concentration camps, or the history of this region of Germany,” Wyatt said. Anyone with information on or questions about this album page should contact Wyatt at the Lincoln County Historical Society, 541-265-7509.

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