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Manuscripts by Subject - Military - #10902

Title: Ernst J. Pohlig

Dates: 1914-1981

Collection Number: MSS 10902

Quantity: 2.5 feet and digital scans of a 48 page photograph album

Abstract: Consists of correspondence and forms regarding Pohlig’s immigration and citizenship status, his account of the events leading up to his internment, documentation of his career with the U.S. Army and search for employment after internment, application for reimbursement of travel expenses for his family’s move to Bismarck (ND) after his discharge from the Army, documents and certificates spanning his time in the Merchant Marines in the 1930s to his death in 1981, his diary/date book (in German), notebook with notes and illustrations on navigation, a speech delivered  on Memorial Day 1981 at the Turtle Lake American Legion Post (ND), programs from Pohlig’s time in New York, newspaper articles about Pohlig, article “Das Chamäleon” (The Chameleon: from the Life of a German) (in German), a variety of published and printed material and photographs.

The papers also include digital scans of a 48 page photograph album of images taken by Pohlig while interned at Fort Lincoln in Bismarck (ND) from May 1941 to July 1943. The album documents life at the camp, Pohlig’s friends and peers, staff, facilities and events. An inventory of images in the album is located in this document.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Ernst’s daughters Helen and Karen Pohlig in November 2003.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: 2003-P-016 Ernst J. Pohlig Fort Lincoln Photograph Album was added to the collection in May 2014. Please see the collection note below for more information about the album. Artifacts were transferred to the Museum Division of the SHSND in June 2006 and several publications were transferred from the collection in May 2014.

Related Manuscript Collections:
10871 Hans J. Jung
20998 Toyojiro Suzuki
21132 Fort Lincoln World War II Internment Camp

Related Photograph Collections:
00996 Fort Lincoln Internment Camp

Digital Album Notes: These notes were taken by SHSND staff while digitizing the photograph album on October 31, 2003 at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. After scanning, the photograph album was returned to the donors.

The Fort Lincoln Internment Camp album cover is ca. 10 1/4 x 12 3/4 inches. Pages are ca. 10 x 12 inches and are black photo album pages. The photos are mounted with black paper corners. The photos are of various sizes, with many about 3 x 4 inches. The first 8 sheets – 16 pages – are photos of New York City. Following that are a blank sheet and a sheet with one small unidentified image. The next page is a photo of the dog "Patty."

The next 25 sheets are related to Fort Lincoln Internment Camp with the exception of the last page which has four images of the SS Columbus burning (1939). The content of the Fort Lincoln Internment Camp pages was scanned at 600 dpi, grayscale, at 100%. The content is in the order that it is in the album. The pages with images of New York City were not scanned.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Ernst Johann Albert Willie Pohlig was born to Ernst Hermann and Anneliese (Anna Elizabeth Katharina) (Goebel) Pohlig November 15, 1914, at Darmstadt, Germany. He lived with his parents and younger brother at Langenberg, Rhineland, until his parents’ divorce in 1919. From then until 1933, he lived with his mother at Darmstadt where he attended public and high school. In 1933 he moved in with this father, and became a seaman. In 1936 he was drafted into the German Navy, and served one year on a Minesweeper. In 1938, as the conditions in Germany grew increasingly tense, and after several clashes with his father about the Nazipolitic, Pohlig moved out of his father’s house.

In January 1939 he was hired on board the Panamanian tanker J. H. Senior, owned and operated by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. On August 31, they docked at Norfolk (VA) to undergo repairs. On September 1, the crew was relieved by American seamen and Pohlig and others were up on shore in a hotel at Norfolk. After four months, they were transferred to New York to wait for a possible shipment back to Germany. From this point until May 7, 1941, Pohlig’s living expenses were paid by the Standard Oil Company. He was granted a hearing on January 16, 1941 before an Immigration Inspector at Ellis Island, where he expressed his wish to remain in the United States Permanently and applied for pre-examination but did not receive a final order. He was arrested on May 7, 1941 and detained at Fort Lincoln.

He married Edel Andersen November 13, 1944 in Tacoma, Washington. He was inducted in the army at Fort Snelling (MN), served in the South Pacific as a Technical Sergeant in the 361st Harbor Craft Co., Transportation Corps. He was discharged at Fort Lewis (WA) on February 6, 1946. In February 1946 Ernst, Edel, and their daughter Dorothy Ada moved back to Bismarck (ND). Ernst and Edel had two more daughters, Karen and Helen. After the war, Ernst worked as a foreman of the floor covering department at Vantine’s Paint and glass; he retired in December 1979. Pohlig was elected commander of Lloyd Spetz American Legion Post No. 1 in 1974 and also served as 5th District American Legion Commander. He died June 15, 1981.

Sources:
“Ernest Pohlig,” Bismarck Tribune, June 16, 1981, page 11
“Former Internee is Legion’s New Chief,” Bismarck Tribune, May 16, 1974, page 28
MSS 10902 Ernst J. Pohlig Papers, State Historical Society of North Dakota

INVENTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN DIGITAL ALBUM

Photograph number/description

10902-001 "Patty," (dog) Fort Lincoln, 1942
10902-002 Watchtower at evening, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-003 Watchtower at evening, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-004 Fort Lincoln main entrance, ca. 1941-1943
10902-005 View from south of Fort Lincoln towards the fort and Bismarck ND, ca. 1941-1943
10902-006 Missouri River near Bismarck (ND), ca. 1941-1943
10902-007 Camp Street along the fence, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-008 Part of the barracks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-009 "Main Street," Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-010 Flagpole outside fence, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-011 Tree lined street at camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-012 View down street, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-013 Wachner, Ernst Pohlig, Ferdinand Hacker and Müsing in carpentry shop, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-014 Völkers, Holz and Brunning in blacksmith shop, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-015 Giertz and Stingelhammer baking bread in bakery Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-016 Men repairing shoes in shoe repair shop Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-017 Male nurses and others on lawn, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-018 Unidentified, Pohlig, Edward Drewello, and Herbie on porch, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-019 Unidentified men and Edward Drewello on porch Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-020 Herbie and Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-021 Herbie in garden, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-022 Ernst Pohlig in garden, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-023 Herbie, Edward Drewello, and unidentified, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-024 Kapt'ns Regge and Thiele, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-025 Willi Nebel playing tennis, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-026 Unidentified man with dog, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-027 Unidentified man, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-028 Ferdinand Hacker and Walter Linné, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-029 "Shorty" and Ernst Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943-1943
10902-030 Walter Linné, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-031 Ferdinand Hacker and Walter Linné, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943-1943
10902-032 Ferdinand Hacker, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-033 Painting by Müsing of a ship at sea, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-034 Painting by Ferdinand Hacker of a woman and two dogs, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-035 Wachner, Karstens and Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-036 Group in booth outside carpenter shop, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-037 Group outside carpenter shop, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-038 Hospital, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-039 Ernst Pohlig leaning against tree, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-040 Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-041 Heino, Unger, Ernst Pohlig, Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-042 Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-043 Unidentified man, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-044 Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-045 Ernst Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-046 Edward Drewello and Taeuheff, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-047 Ernst Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-048 The band portrait, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-049 The band performing, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-050 Visitors for show, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-051 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-052 Visitors for show, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-053 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-054 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-055 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-056 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-057 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-058 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-059 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-060 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-061 Theatrical performance, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-062 "The Officials": Fort Lincoln staff and guards, ca. 1941-1943
10902-063 Living quarters, Fort Lincoln, fall 1941
10902-064 New barracks going up, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-065 Guardhouse, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-066 Living quarters, Fort Lincoln, fall 1941
10902-067 Sawing in carpentry shop, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-068 Hospital, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-069 "The Hospital gang," Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-070 Mr. Flannigan (officer in charge of the hospital) at desk, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-071 "The Hospital gang," Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-072 Patients and attendants at hospital, Fort Lincoln, December 1941
10902-073 Patients and attendants at hospital, Fort Lincoln, December 1941
10902-074 Patients and attendants at hospital, Fort Lincoln, December 1941
10902-075 Patients and attendants at hospital, Fort Lincoln, December 1941
10902-076 Rofalsky and "Strolch" (dog), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-077 Walking between fences, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-078 "Brownnoses" (men washing car), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-079 Men working in hospital kitchen, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-080 Men working in hospital kitchen, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-081 "At ease" (Ernst Pohlig at desk), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-082 Dr. Borowika and his only friends (dogs), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-083 "Rowdy" (dog), January 8, 1942
10902-084 Man seated by Christmas tree (could be Pohlig), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-085 Pohlig, unidentified men and dog, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-086 Highway Bridge across the Missouri River, Bismarck (ND), ca. 1941-1943
10902-087 North Dakota State Capitol, Bismarck (ND), ca. 1941-1943
10902-088 "Outside the fence," ca. 1941-1943
10902-089 Tree lined street by fence, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-090 "The Big Ward" (hospital), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-091 Soccer field, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-092 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-093 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-094 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-095 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-096 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-097 Washing dishes, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-098 Feeding the hungry, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-099 Feeding the hungry, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-100 Food service, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-101 Man at machine making bratwurst, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-102 Peter and his bologna, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-103 "Spuds" (men peeling potatoes), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-104 View from kitchen toward mess hall, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-105 Kitchen and cooks, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-106 Food storage, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-107 Procession celebrating the first rye bread baked in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-108 Procession celebrating the first rye bread baked in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-109 Procession celebrating the first rye bread baked in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-110 Procession celebrating the first rye bread baked in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-111 Men putting loaves of bread in the oven, bakery, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-112 "The Kaptains," Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-113 Laundry, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-114 "The escape tunnel," Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-115 New barracks going up (construction), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-116 New barracks going up(construction),  Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-117 New barracks going up (construction), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-118 Mr. Robert Flannigan and his mother, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-119 Mr. Robert Flannigan and his mother, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-120 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-121 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-122 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-123 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-124 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-125 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-126 Blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-127 Men outside in blizzard, Fort Lincoln, winter of 1942-1943
10902-128 Badlands (ND), ca. 1943
10902-129 Badlands (ND), ca. 1943
10902-130 Badlands (ND), ca. 1943
10902-131 Badlands (ND), ca. 1943
10902-132 View of a North Dakota highway, ca. 1943
10902-133 Badlands (ND), ca. 1943
10902-134 View of haystacks in a field (ND), ca. 1943
10902-135 Winter scene in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-136 Winter scene in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-137 Winter scene in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-138 Winter scene in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-139 Winter scene in camp, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-140 Men outside building, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-141 Picking string beans, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-142 Visitors at a show, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-143 Car parked on street outside hospital, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-144 Swimming pool, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-145 Main entrance to Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-146 Two unidentified men standing by car, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-147 Painting by Ferdinand Hacker of a woman and two dogs, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-148 Nightstand in room with photograph and art, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-149 Painting by Müsing of a ship at sea, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-150 Edward Drewello and unidentified men, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-151 Four men playing cards, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-152 Four unidentified men in room, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-153 Unidentified man, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-154 Ernst Pohlig standing on road, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-155 Wachner, Karstens and Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-156 Edward Drewello and others seated at table, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-157 Edward Drewello, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-158 Ernst Pohlig, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-159 Puppy with camera, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-160 "Patty" (dog), Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-161 Three men seated in garage ready for the theater, Fort Lincoln, ca. 1941-1943
10902-162 "Patty" (dog) and her twelve pups, Fort Lincoln, 1943
10902-163 Man with "Patty" (dog) and her twelve pups, Fort Lincoln, 1943
10902-164 "Patty" (dog) and her twelve pups, Fort Lincoln, 1943
10902-165 Three men on automobile, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), August 1942
10902-166 Three men standing beside block fort, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), August 1942
10902-167 Three men standing beside block fort, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), August 1942
10902-168 Unidentified man outside building at Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, August 1942
10902-169 Three men outside earth lodge, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), August 1942
10902-170 Unidentified man sitting beside grill, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Fort McKeen (Fort Abraham Lincoln), August 1942
10902-171 Unidentified man sitting on tree branch, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-172 Three unidentified men, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-173 Three unidentified men, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-174 Three unidentified men and view of Missouri River, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-175 Unidentified man, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-176 Unidentified man, could be Ernst Pohlig, Mr. Hickle, Seifert, or Heino, Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-177 View of the Missouri River from Sibley Island Park, Bismarck (ND), August 1942
10902-178 Burning of the SS Columbus, 400 miles off the east coast, December 1939
10902-179 Burning of the SS Columbus, 400 miles off the east coast, December 1939
10902-180 Burning of the SS Columbus, 400 miles off the east coast, December 1939
10902-181 Burning of the SS Columbus, 400 miles off the east coast, December 1939

BOX / FOLDER INVENTORY

Box 1:
1 Correspondence and forms to and from Pohlig while at Fort Lincoln regarding his immigration and citizenship status, and his request to join the United States Army. Also includes his story in his own words, 1941-1944
2 Correspondence and forms to and from Pohlig after internment that document his career with the U.S. Army, attempts to seek employment with Standard Oil and to serve in the Merchant Marine,  and application for adjusted compensation from the State of North Dakota, 1945-1950
3 Correspondence, receipts and forms regarding his application for reimbursement of travel expenses for his wife and child from Tacoma (WA) to Bismarck (ND) after his discharge from the Army, 1946
4 Documents and certificates: German passport, Army “essential date” form, copy of his birth certificate (with transcription), Army identification cards and passes, social security cards,  honorable discharge certificate, Harbor Craft Training Group certificate, American Legion Certificates, United States passport, copy of his death certificate, 1914-1981
5 Seaman (Merchant Marine) and German Navy papers, including J. H. Senior identification card, 1933-1939
6 Diary/Date book (in German), 1942-1943
7 Notebook with notes and illustrations on navigation, 1930s?
8 Speech presented Memorial Day 1981 at the Turtle Lake American Legion Post (ND)
9 Programs from Pohlig’s time in New York, ca. 1940-1941
10 Newspaper articles about Pohlig, 1974-1981
11 Typed article “Das Chamäleon” (The Chameleon: from the Life of a German) (in German), author unknown, ca. 1957
12 dpa-brief, Hamburg, July 28, 1971
13 Newspapers, newspaper clippings and published articles (in German and English):  about the SS Pamir, wartime articles, NATO, 1940s-1950s
14 Bibles and prayer book

Box 2: Photographs
10902-182            Ernst Pohlig and others marching in American Legion parade, ca. 1970s
10902-183            Unidentified man aboard a ship (possibly Pohlig), ca. 1940s
10902-184            Portrait of the 361 T. C. HarborCraft Company, Camp Gordon Johnston (FL), May 1945 (individuals identified on paper with photograph)

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