8/25/11

I NEVER SAW HER AGAIN


I bought this photo for a dollar. Actually, when looking through the messy stack of photos at the antique store I threw this one back in the pile until I saw the back.

Click on image to see it larger.

Alan’s post for this weeks Sepia Saturday makes mention how the photo he’s shown “is one of those photographs you can almost read like a book.” He’s right; sometimes one photo tells a story far bigger than the tiny piece of tattered paper.


Click on image to see it larger.

This is a mystery that most likely will never be solved. The photo is not particularly interesting, but turn it over and you step into someone’s nightmare.

There’s simply so much on the back that I can’t decipher all of it. I get bits and pieces like quick cuts in a movie. Something horrible happened, but I can’t completely make sense of it. I’ll leave it to you to see if you can read the lines, let alone read between them.

“Never saw her again”

This is my contribution to this weeks Sepia Saturday.

23 comments:

  1. This is fascinating, such a story, here is what I made out and it looks like 2 different writings are on here. So I pieced them with what it appears goes together.

    "When I got back to my apt. a truck full of germans was in front of it and they brought maid down and put her in truck and I never saw her again. You knew her also. She worked with us at the atlantic club."

    "Day I applied for my passport. I hoped by having a passport, that if we were invaded I would be allowed to stay there! I did not want to go home!"

    Im to sleepy 3AM

    I also am intriqued by writings on backs of photos. So much more going on here then just seeing this woman posing next to a tree, what happened to her? What truck was she put in and why?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh that is some photograph - and that is some tale on the back. Germans in Panama, mystery, suspense. You don't need to write the book - it is all there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It lookd like the larger writing was the original label, stating that it is taken on the day she applied for her passport. thene there are smaller notes written around it, referring to invasion and rounding up. I wonder if the writer s the subject of the photo, or the girl never to be seen again. It certainly stops you in your tracks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes this is one of those photos youd love to see on some documentary show tracing down the story behind it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fascinating and a seemingly tragic story. If only the photograph could talk.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What mystery? During World War 2 German and Italian resident aliens wern't allowed to live in special military zones. What could have been more special than the Canal Zone? The ability of the allied nations to move fleets and war material from Atlantic to Pacific was vital to the war effort. I suspect this lady was a long time U.S. resident who was trying to get citizenship and a U.S. passport so that she could stay put and not have to go back to the U.S. or even face deportation to Europe. Someone she knew had just been arrested, up late, depressed, and maybe a bit drunk, worrying if she was next.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WJY, excellent analysis. I know Panama was under US control. My question is were there Germans operating there in some official manner that would allow them to pick up other Germans?

    I guess the mystery is if this photo is of the woman who was taken or simply a photo of the woman who saw the other taken. I don't think we'll ever know.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very interesting. It would be good to know what the Germans were doing there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That truly is a fascinating story!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I believe it's one complete story; started writing a caption, then realized s/he wanted to write more so started at the top again in smaller writing and continued in between the first lines. I'm sure that's what several of you also assume, it just wasn't quite said. So:
    ------------
    On day I applied for my passport -- Panama. I hoped, by having a passport, that if we were invaded, I would be allowed to stay there! I did NOT want to go home! When I got back to my apt. a truck full of Germans was in front of it (arrow to “my apt.”) & they brought maid down & put her in truck & I never saw her again. You knew her also – she worked with us at the Atlantic Club.

    (I’m too sleepy, 3AM.)
    ---------------
    I would think the photo is of the writer, as the main caption, written first, was all about the writer. The maid's story was written afterward. Same pen, but kind of an afterthought. Not that it didn't matter, but that the writer didn't plan to write that at first.

    I found 3 postcards for the Atlantic Club in Colon, Panama, in the 1930s and 40s, in this Ebay search: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=Club+atlantic+panama&_sacat=0&_odkw=Club+atlantic&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some seriously good sleuthing going on here. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Without doubt, one of the most fascinating Sepia Saturday posts I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow!Wow! That's A Mess Of Angry Writing! I Hope Whoever Wrote Felt Better For Writing It?

    ReplyDelete
  14. It really does stop you in your tracks, this one. A mystery, but a sobering one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's quite a story for only a dollar. I too, like the writing on the back of photos and postcards and the way it alters my view of the picture. A very intriguing post - thank you. Jo

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fascinating story and a wonderful post, made even better by the variety of insightful comments.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, what a story this photo has. It gave me goosebumps.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I thank all who got wrapped up in this story and added your insightful posts! It made this very special.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Another splendid mystery! Perhaps we need a new category for tales of mystery that also have a photo. Well done too for all the internet detectives.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Quite a discussion went on there. A fascinating story. I have nothing to add just enjoying wondering what could have happened. An enchanting card.
    QMM

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow! What a writing prompt this is; it makes my mind swirl with possibilities. I wonder what really happened?

    I really enjoyed the detailed post above this one, about Mr. Cusack. Thanks for all the hard work and research that you put into it; it is a interesting piece of history. Hopefully you will find the city!

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is an excellent find! Once you discover a treasure like this it changes how you look at abandoned photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great job "Savethephotos". I almost got that far with the messages. I've never had the fortune of finding a photo with that significance. Thanks for sharing T&L!

    ReplyDelete