A gallery of photographs of German troops at leisure

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German troops at leisure




A barbecue for German troops
German soldiers with a requisitioned car - we are told that, unusually, the owner received compensation for the loss of the vehicle - £125
Outside the Grand Hotel which was commandeered by the Germans
At Gorey with another requisitioned car
A German choir in Bath Street in 1943
German soldiers relaxing in the sea
Photographs of 'British Bobbies' chatting happily to German soldiers were frequently taken for propaganda purposes. These Jersey policemen do not seem unwilling to pose for this picture at the bottom of Conway Street, which surfaced in 2023. Le Huquet's was a coal depot on the corner adjacent to the Pomme d'Or Hotel, which later acquired the property for expansion
German soldiers with a large lobster. As this story from the Facebook group Fortress Jersey reveals, such delicacies were soon to become the preserve of senior officers: Engelbert Hoppe, who was stationed at Infantry Strongpoint Corbiere, recalled that in August 1944 "Joszef the 'fisherman' came up to me and tried to explain in his broken German that there were ‘fish around for fine people’. I didn’t quite understand and asked him how he knew. He took me outside the bunker and pointed out that there were baskets attached to floating markers in the small bay on the south side of the causeway out to the lighthouse. These baskets were to catch ‘them fine fish’. Confused as to how fish could be caught in a basket, I rushed down to Mr Le Brocq and explained the situation. He told me that the catch in the baskets would be lobsters, a kind of shellfish with eight legs and two claws, and a delicacy when prepared. Looking it up in my dictionary, that I always had at hand, I found the German word Hummer for it. But I had never seen or eaten it. I promised to present one to Mr Le Brocq should we be able to catch any. I told Joszef to take the rowing boat whenever he needed it, with one or two of the crew. I would tell the lighthouse crew that he was fishing (I knew ‘in troubled waters’). A day later, in the early morning, Joszef came back from his fishing tour with two lobsters of blue/black colour in a pail. As soon as possible I went down to the tearoom, bringing the promised lobster. They invited me over for lunch and to show me how to prepare it. Joszef, of course, knew how to handle lobsters, and although two or three of the crew didn’t want to try it at first, they changed their minds after Joszef had poured boiling water over the lobster and cracked the shell. I went down to have my lunch and found that Mrs Le Brocq didn’t have the rough way of dealing with lobsters like Joszef. She opened the shell for me and I was enthusiastic about the wonderful meat. During the week four or five more lobsters were landed but then the ‘lobster season’ suddenly ended. The reason was simple. We later learnt that lobsters were meant for ‘Higher Headquarters’ so we lost that wonderful new source and never saw a basket again”
Germans with a commandeered motor cycle in Gorey Village

Frank Zuhorst's album

A selection of pictures from an album created by German soldier Frank Zuhorst

A German officer and nurses outside the Soldatenheim at Seafield, Millbrook

An album of photographs by a Soldatenheim resident

These photographs are from an album assembled by a German soldier living at the Soldatenheim in St Brelade's Bay - now, once again the St Brelade's Bay Hotel

A further album of photographs

These photographs were probably taken by an official photographer to chronicle the life of German soldiers in the only occupied British territory

Choirmaster

Ludwig Pitz was the choirmaster of the Inselchor (Island Choir), and was stationed in the Channel Islands with the German army as part of the occupying force. Musicians have a long historical role within the military, stretching into the Medieval period. Both Hitler and his propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, understood the importance of music as means of uniting Germany and instilling patriotic fervour within the population.

They placed special emphasis on producing recognisable and stirring music. "Die Fahne Hoch!" also known as the "Horst Wessel Song" was one of the most famous products of their efforts. In addition military-style bans could be found in almost every uniformed organisation in the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945.

In the Channel Islands, music served as both entertainment and a distraction for the German garrison and the local population. According to Brian Matthews, author of The Military Music and Bandsmen of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, "it befell the lot of the two military bands of the Luftwaffe and the Heer to provide light relief for both German garrisons and the civillian population alike."

Musical performances were frequent. One contemporary poster from Guernsey advertised concerts to be held "jeden Dienstag, Donnerstag und Samstag," (every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday).

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