Visit by Barbara Jane Hannon to the DOK on 24.10.2023

Barbara, a lady from Iowa, came to the DOK unannounced and was shown around the exhibition by her colleague from reception. Like Tom Dolan, she came to Barth by chance and knew nothing about the DOK and the memorials beforehand. By chance, I also came to the DOK shortly afterwards and met her there, walking through the exhibition with great emotion. I offered her a guided tour, during which she told me that her father, Lt. Georg Hannon, was a navigator in a B17 bomber and had to bail out on January 11, 1944 near Aschersleben after being shot at by German fighters. He then came to Barth via the DuLag in Oberusel.

After a tour of the DOK and the Stalag memorial and airfield, she gave me her book, Letters from World War II, which she also signed. It is about her parents. She had just successfully presented it at the Frankfurt Book Fair. It contains a lot of information about Georg’s time in the USAAF and in the Stalag. The many copies of original documents that her father brought home are particularly interesting. Some things I didn’t know before, for example that letters from relatives always came to Barth via Stalag Luft III (Sagan), while the parcels were delivered directly to Stalag Luft I.

Set against the backdrop of a world at war, “Letters from World War II” is a gripping tale that weaves together the experiences of Hannon’s parents with the historical events that shaped their destinies. At the heart of the story is the incredible bond between a courageous Navigator, Hannon’s father, who fearlessly took to the skies on daring bombing missions over Germany, and a resilient mother, whose unwavering support and love sustained him from afar.

The narrative takes an exhilarating turn when fate intervenes, and the Navigator is shot down, becoming a Prisoner of War in the hands of the Germans. Through the letters they exchanged, a vivid and intimate account of their emotions, struggles, and hopes emerges, painting a vivid portrait of the challenges faced by the couple and an entire generation caught in the throes of global conflict.

“Letters from World War II” is a window into a world marked by sacrifice, courage, and an unbreakable spirit. From a treasure trove of authentic letters, historical war telegrams, and meticulously preserved documents, Hannon’s work is a testament to the power of love, resilience, and the unyielding human spirit. (