From Leonold to Bohus in Serbia war prison, no sender address:
And what might be Gustav to Bohus in Zajecar Serbia, 1915:
|Two letters 1||#868511|
„Dear Bohouš and Gustav
I expected an answer from you to my card which I wrote to you; we were glad to hear you were all right and that you thought of us; here we´ve got nothing new but almost everyone is in good health; on the other hand our neighbour Toník Dudek who was married to Mařka Mearčíková, was accompanied to the grave by us today; Alois is waiting for a news from you; Frantik is on a three days leave from ´Hora´, he is in ´Profesience Hore´,“ (´Hora´ is written with capital letter in original, perhaps it´s a part of the geographical name ´Profesience Hore´ but I´m not sure if I read it correct, most probably not and it makes no sense to me) „ if you receive the card I will be writing more; I hope you are doing fine and we will be looking forward“ (maybe „to seing you“) „ with farewell and regards from the whole family and from me as well
Your Leopold *** “
(family name illegible, maybe beginning with M, but the first name is definitely Leopold)
I hope I decipehered the card right because the sentences in text are not separated (I separeted them by semicolons) and the writer´s utterance is a little bit confused.
by JPleski, 2017-04-11, 15:55 Spam? 168.1.23...
Thank you. I get a sense that this Gustav is an army friend, because he refers to Bohous as "kolego" in other letters. They appear to be in the same war prison. There is a postcard and photo from Gustav so perhaps later we can see if there are clues. Who this Leopold is and how he knows both of them, plus the uncle Frantisek is a mystery. I don't recognise the surname. And I don't know who Alois is.
Parts of the text are very odd. The only Hora I know is "Hora Kutna" where Bohus undertook army training. I assume it's the region of Kutna Hora which is not far from Chotebor. Profesience hore is very strange, it doesn't even look Czech.
It's an odd letter. Perhaps he's just a military colleague. It's a pity there's no sender address or date on that one, it might have helped clarify the context.
I'd be interested in knowing if the writer of this card is the same Gustav mentioned in the above letters:
|Two letters 2||#868653|
I´ve been ill for a considerable time; I am lying in artillery barracks; I am terribly weak; for a long time I´ve been unconscious with fever; now I´m starting to exist a little bit and to remember ... Svoboda and all the friends.“ (something non-transparent followed by family name Svoboda, maybe it could be ´give regards to Svoboda and all the friends´) „Nobody is allowed to visit me here, so write to me.“
Text just partially transparent, it should be an address: „... Artillery Barracks, room No 5, ... Gustav ??? (the name looks like Gustav)
Note to room No 5 - in the original I could read "5. soba", "soba" is the Serbian for "room" ("izba" in Slovak, "pokoj" in Czech)
Compared with the next card signed Gustav, the handwriting is totally different, I doubt it is the same writer.
by JPleski, 2017-04-14, 02:09 Spam? 168.1.53....
Thank you. Can you read the date at all? It looks like 1915.
|Date in letter 2||#868721|
Well, it looks like "2 břez. 1915", "břez." being an abbreviation of "březen" = March, so the date should be March 2nd, 1915.
To: „Mr. Bohumil Pleskač
K. u. K. Garnison Spital 9“ (= Imperial and Royal Garrison Hospital 9)
„II Barak“ (= Block or Building No 2 ) „4. Abt.“ (Abt. = Abteilung /in German/ = 4th ward /meaning a department within hospital)
„Cilli“ (= German name for Slovenian town Celje)
„****“ (I can´t make it out, though it looks like ´Styro***´something)
Date: „Siegersdorf 18/XI 16“ = November 18, 1916 (or at least I hope so)
„My dearest colleague!
With a cordial remembrance I´m sending you our personnel“
(I don´t know the context, maybe it´s better to say ´our troop´)
Now the sentence continues in original „zastoupený při expedici ***“– I´m not sure of the meaning of „zastoupený“ , of course, if I make it out right, it can mean either 1 „deputised“, „filled/ stood in“ „covered“ (by sb.) or 2 „blocked“, „barred“ (by sb.), so the phrase could be put as „deputised at the expedition ***“ or „blocked at the expedition ***“ (and I really can´t read the word ***)
„As far as my staying is concerned, there is nothing new and there is no end of the war in sight, it makes everybody sad the most. Otherwise I could feel happy.
With cordial regards and kisses
Sentence in the bottom left corner – illegible, if I still were able to make it out, I´ll fill it in later.
by JPleski, 2017-04-15, 02:34 Spam? 168.1.6...
How curious! So you think really think this is a different Gustav to the one who was so sick in the Serbia prison camp 18 months before? I thought the way he wrote the very long y and g looked very similar.
It seems that Bohouš was in a Celje Austro-Hungarian hospital in Nov 1916, but he was a Knjaževač Serbia prison camp until Aug 1915, and then appears in a Padula Italy prison camp in Jun 1917. I wonder if he was in prison all that time.
I've checked a letter from Natalka to Bohouš in 1916 and the place she wrote to is Cilli Stýrsko. Perhaps Celje Slovenia was under control of the Austrian region of Styria during the empire days. And perhaps the Serbian army had occupied it by 1916.
|Photocard - Styria||#868773|
I´m sorry, yesterday I had little time to dig in deeper. You´re right, it´s definitely Styria and Cilli/Celje was a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, namely of the region of Styria which was devided between Austria and Slovenia after the WW1 .
As far as Gustav is concerned, I only can tell that the handwriting in the two cards is totally different. I´m not a graphologist but even if we suppose that the handwriting of a man who is seriously ill can be changed, it can be changed to a certain extent only, not totally, unless maybe he used his other hand for writing. Or we can also speculate that he was so weak to write a card that he asked somebody else to do it for him. The difference is clear in the details such as writing of individual letters or caron (haček) or the way how expressions "artileriski kasarna" or "ležim artilerisky kasernech" are written, the spelling is wrong. the second phrase without a preposition and it looks like these words of foreign origin in Czech were written by a person who did not know how to put them down, i.e. by a lower educated person, whereas the Gustav with the beautiful handwriting must have been a highly educated man.
Finally, Bohouš was a prisoner of war at various places or he lied in the Austrian military hospital in between: this could be caused by exchange and repatriation of war prisoners. And after the injured or the ill had recovered, they were sent again to the front.
This is my modest guess.
by JPleski, 2017-04-15, 19:07 Spam? 168.1.53....
Your reasoning makes sense to me. It's likely there were two people named Gustav. I also read that there was a massive outbreak of Typhus in 1915, and about 150,000 people died in Serbia. Perhaps that's what happened to this man. It seemed he had something contagious as he wasn't allowed visitors. Anyway, that's all there is of Gustav letters I'm sorry to say.
by JPleski, 2017-04-15, 19:14 Spam? 168.1.53....
One other thing I was wondering, with the closing phrase, "With cordial regards and kisses", is that a typical expression that people used in those days? It does seem a little unusual that a soldier would use this phrase to close a letter to a military colleague, though I appreciate there are likely cultural differences that I'm not familiar with.
|With cordial regards and kisses||#868896|
Well, the original says "Srdečně tě zdraví a líbá Gustav" which was a normal closing formula in those times although I really don´t know if this was used between men, too. The word-by-word translation would be "Gustav is sending you regards and is kissing you" which sounds funny in English of course and it wouldn´t be used by an English speaking person. So I tried to use the typicall English closing formula preserving the meaning of the Czech phrase.
One more note to your guess - "Perhaps Celje Slovenia was under control of the Austrian region of Styria during the empire days. And perhaps the Serbian army had occupied it by 1916. " This part of current Slovenia was a part of Austrian-Hungarian Empire (particularly of Austria), as I have mentioned before, until 1918 and it was not controlled by the Serbian army at all. Bohouš was lying in Cilli in the Austrian-Hungarian military hospital, as the Gustav´s card address says, in "K.u.K Garnison Spital", where "K.u.K." is an abbreviation of "kaiserlich und königlich", i.e. "imperial and royal" (garrison hospital). You must understand that Austria was an empire and Hungary was a kingdom, creating one state together. So Bohouš was not a war prisoner when he was in Cilli. It means that after the prison time in 1915 he must have been repatriated by his mother country, cured in this hospital and then perhaps sent back to the front.
by JPleski, 2017-04-19, 11:17 Spam? 168.1.6...
Yes I see. So it's likely he was taken prisoner twice, once in Serbia in 1915, and the second time in Italy in 1917. And in 1916 he was just fighting on the Austro-Hungarian side, where he was wounded.
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