(1944)

3

Interesting find at garage sale- Pat’s letter teddy bear

O.k so while i was at my part time, this church from across our apartment was having a yard sale, my sister tells me she found a cute teddy bear and has gotten it for me, she paid 50 cents for it. Little did we knew that this little teddy bear hold a incredible secrets.

The teddy bear, or as I call him, Pappi, had writing all over him. At first we thought it was some scribble made by little kids, but the more we examined it closely it was an old writing wishing someone well. One thing we noticed is that the teddy bear was presented at 4/15/1944. Guys this teddy is like 73 years old.

There is so much thing that is unusual about Pappi, and here are couple of things we figured out so far.

-It was gifted to a girl name Patula, but everyone calls her Pat. And according to the letters she was a sweet and swell gal.

-All the letters where indicating that she was going away somewhere, one writer stated that they will soon meet at Tulsa.

-Pappi was signed by 25 different people, who really treasured Pat.

- Black inks turn brown over long period of time, so this is as legit as it can get.

-Pappi’s design is highly unusual for a teddy who is from 40′s. He has no sign indicating that he was manufactured. (Such as logo print, or a button with company name engraved to it) Not only that he was made with a cloth instead of being covered with fur like the rest of the teddy from that time period.

Here is an example of type of teddy bear that was common in that time frame, a popular one from the 1940 was the Steiff teddy bears.)

-There is a high indication that Pappi has been hand made by someone from scratch, likely with a sewing machine. Whoever made him ran out of materials and left his arm in a simple floppy design, again i shall mention, is a unusual design choice compare to a popular designs.

-We know for the fact that, Pat adored this bear and treasured it, keeping it such incredible condition for past 70 years.

-It’s possible that Pat is no longer with us.

-And my sister and I know for a fact that Pat’s family saw no value in it and decided to simply toss it at a yard sale.

It’s sad to see such wonderful thing to be thrown out like this, honestly this teddy bear belongs in a museum, not because how old or unusual it is but because of the love put in by the 25 different people and the owner who took such good care of it for seven decades.

But for now, I think this teddy deserves some cuddling.

Whelp, where ever you are Ms.Pat, I adore this really strange, mysterious and sentimental teddy, Pappi gets to see sunshine and travels with me now.

2

March 24th 1944: The ‘Great Escape’

On this day in 1944, a group of Allied prisoners of war staged a daring escape attempt from the German prisoner of war camp at Stalag Luft III. This camp, located in what is now Poland, held captured Allied pilots mostly from Britain and the United States. In 1943, an Escape Committee under the leadership of Squadron Leader Roger Bushell of the RAF, supervised prisoners surreptitiously digging three 30 foot tunnels out of the camp, which they nicknamed ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’. The tunnels led to woods beyond the camp and were remarkably sophisticated - lined with wood, and equipped with rudimentary ventilation and electric lighting. The successful construction of the tunnels was particularly impressive as the Stalag Luft III camp was designed to make it extremely difficult to tunnel out as the barracks were raised and the area had a sandy subsoil. ‘Tom’ was discovered by the Germans in September 1943, and ‘Dick’ was abandoned to be used as a dirt depository, leaving ‘Harry’ as the prisoners’ only hope. By the time of the escape, American prisoners who had assisted in tunneling had been relocated to a different compound, making the escapeees mostly British and Commonwealth citizens. 200 airmen had planned to make their escape through the ‘Harry’ tunnel, but on the night of March 24th 1944, only 76 managed to escape the camp before they were discovered by the guards. However, only three of the escapees - Norwegians Per Bergsland and Jens Müller and Dutchman Bram van der Stok - found their freedom. The remaining 73 were recaptured, and 50 of them, including Bushell, were executed by the Gestapo on Adolf Hitler’s orders, while the rest were sent to other camps. While the escape was generally a failure, it helped boost morale among prisoners of war, and has become enshrined in popular memory due to its fictionalised depiction in the 1963 film The Great Escape.

“Three bloody deep, bloody long tunnels will be dug – Tom, Dick, and Harry. One will succeed!”
- Roger Bushell