Thought for the day

"The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period." -- Thomas Jefferson, Democracy in America

Hans-Georg Henke, a sixteen-year-old German anti-aircraft soldier of the Hitler Youth, is taken prisoner in the German state of Hessen. He was a member of the anti-aircraft squad of the Luftwaffe, who burst into tears as the world scattered around him.

 

His father died in 1938, but when his mother died in 1944, leaving the family destitute, Hans-Georg had to find work to support the family. At the age of 15, he joined the Luftwaffe.

 

According to the story Henke maintained throughout his life, he was based in Stettin with a battery of 88 mm guns. As the Soviets advanced, the German army was pushed back towards Rostock. It was here that the Soviets finally captured their unit, that these photographs were taken.

 

The alternate story is given by American photojournalist John Floria. He alleges that he took these photographs in Hessen, in the village of Hüttenberg-Rechtenbach, which is just north of Frankfurt am Main.

 

The area where Hans-Georg's photographs were taken is unquestionably Hessen. Many of the photographs taken clearly show the areas of the city that still exist today. Furthermore, as indicated by these photographs, he was wearing shoes when caught, as was later alleged, not with rags on his feet.