January 27 – Harry Tylinski

There are those days for which I don’t have to surf the net for interesting historical events. E.g. November 9 was a day like that.

And today is another one. A combination of “excessive” history classes in school and just plainly being German those events are stored in my mind and not even a formatting of the brain would get rid of it.

Today in 1859 the future King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany Wilhelm II. is born as Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Preussen in Berlin. He belongs to the House of Hohenzollern and is the grandchild of not only of Emperor Wilhelm I. but also of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. If you are interested in his family tree: he was also a first cousin-in-law of Tsar Nicholas II. of Russia.

The second historical event for today happened on January 27, 1945. It is the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz by the Russian Red Army.

Auschwitz was a complex of three camps: the main camp as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Auschwitz-Monowitz. Within 5 years from 1940 to 1945 Nazi Germany killed at least 1,1 mn Jews, 140.000 Polish, 20.000 Sinti, 20.000 Roma, 10.000 soviet prisoners of war and 10.000 prisoners of war of other nationalities at Auschwitz only. Following World War II Auschwitz became a symbol for the Shoa.

Today the remains of the complex which form a Museum are a UNESCO World Heritage site called “Auschwitz-Birkenau – deutsches nationalsozialistisches Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager“.

Well, following a topic like this it is hard to move on to my family tree. But I think the best we can do to honour our ancestors is to remember them.

We move to my mother’s side for this one. Parts of her family come from East Prussia, which is part of Poland today.

My Mom’s uncle, my greatuncle Harry TYLINSKI is born on January 27, 1920 in Korschen, East Prussia (today: Korsze in Poland). Harry was the next older brother of my grandma.

Compared to the prologue my “real” family post will be rather short. Because unfortunately he just had a short life.

Like many other young men his age he joined (or had to join, who can tell the difference) the German Navy during WWII.

He is lost at sea in the Strait of Kerch in the Black Sea (today’s Ukraine) on March 14, 1943.

I found his name on the Laboe Naval Memorial in Kiel, Germany. And he is also registered with the “Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V“.

That is

[quote]

a humanitarian organization which is charged by the Federal Republic of taking care of registering the German war dead abroad and to ensuring that it is updated and monitored

[end quote]

If you search for German ancestors / cousins who fought and got killed in WWII, their page is great. They have a search function for war memorial cemetaries they maintain.

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