This Libyan boy, presumably with grandfather, was photograph by an unidentified soldier in the Afrika Korps in 1941 or 42. Hitler's insertion of German troops prevented an Italian collapse and set up the sea-saw campaign in the Western Desert. Unlike the Arabs to the west of Libya, the Libans saw the British as potential liberators. The Italians had conducted a brutal colonial war during the 1920s to turn Libya into a compliant colony. A CIH reader believes he know who the two Libyans were. Our reader asked, "I wonder if you can help me. I noted the image which may show my relatives from Libya who disappeared in Germany during World War II. Could you please please please provide any additional information about it such as who they are, when it was taken, who the photographer was, and what was being depicted." Unfortuntnely we do not have any additional information beyond what is in the caption. We certainy know the date, becuse Hitler began sending German troops into Itlanian occupied Libya to prevent it from falling to the British (March 1941). And the retreating Afrika Korps after the defeat at El Alamein withdrew from Libya (December 1942). So the photograph had to be take in 1941 or 42. We think 1941 is more likely. Photographs like this were most likely to be taken by newly arroved soldiers. German soldiers were very proud of what they were doing and many kept photo albums. This snapshot came from one of those albums, although we do not know the soldier's name. We have no idea as to what is being depicted. We asked our reder why they were transported to Germany. The reply was, "This is a very good question.
The answer is from my grand mother. She told us the story that my grandfather Omar Haddad (presumably the boy in the photo) and his father Mohamed Haddad were arrested and taken to be jailed in Germany, but the reason is unknown. I believe my grandmother's story because she married Omar after the War. Then after 12 years in Germany then returned to Libya. They left his father Mohamed burried there. Omar joined the Mujahideen in the fight against the Italians and was killed in southern Libya at the age of 38 years.
We have no photos for any of them. we thought this immage might be them." Here we are confused. If Omar was killed fighting the Italians, it proban;y would have been during the 1920s, years before the the photograph was taken by a Grman soldier. .
Haddad, Ezzelarab. Email message (October 10, 2012).
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