I have a dilemma .........

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by liverpool annie, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    What do you say to somebody who asks you to find somebody for them ... and you find information that in your opinion is very difficult to pass on ??

    The information is readily available on the internet ... should I just tell them to look it up themselves or tell it in the gentlest way possible ?

    Teddy J Ponczka
    Flight Engineer
    SSgt, U.S. Army Air Forces

    6th Bomber Squadron, 29th Bomber Group, Very Heavy

    Entered the Service from: Pennsylvania
    June 02, 1945 - KIA
    Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
    Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial Honolulu, Hawaii
    Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

    The Crew > 29th Bomb Group > 6th Bomber Squadron
  2. Brian S

    Brian S Guest

    What to say

    It can be difficult Annie,but first I would ask exactly what they know or what has been rumoured.
    Then if you think you can give the information direct do so.If not send them the Link.
    The desire to know what happened is usually strong enough to overcome any distressing circumstances regarding a death.
    I am speaking from my own personal experience.

    Good Luck
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Unfortunately you have been asked to research a particularly sad and terrible incident, and unlike for a "normal" casualty, the recipient of this information will, obviously, be even more distressed.

    But as Brian has sad, not knowing could be equally distressing. It depends upon what they were told, whether they were kept informed of post-war investigations etc. Sadly, even the solace of a war crimes trial and punishment is denied bo post war politics.

    It's a tough one but if it was me then I would want to know.
  4. ABMM

    ABMM New Member

    Annie, if the person requesting the information is an elderly or a particularly close relative with clearly no idea of the specifics of SSGT Ponczka's fate, I would refrain from giving details about what happened. Let them keep their memories of Teddy as a young man rather than haunt them with nightmarish thoughts of how his last hours might have been.

    If the person can use Google, then they already know and may have dealt with the issue already.

    RIP SSG Ponczka.

    Lest we forget... seriously.
  5. Brian S

    Brian S Guest

    Bad News

    If the person already knew why would they ask.

    There must be a need to know if they are still asking questions after 60+yrs.
    Play it by ear Annie.
  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Well I've invited him over here .... and I did ask him on the phone if he knew anything ... but he knows nothing :eek:hwell:

    so my plan is .... I'll go gently into it and give him the casualty post first and then sit him at the computer and show him what I found - and leave him alone there for a while !

    I've already printed stuff out so .... I'll give him that to take home and inwardly digest ( if he wants it ! )!

    I'll let you know what happens .... thanks for your suggestions !

    Just as an aside ... personally I would want to know ... then I'd do everything I could to find out more .... but thats me !! :eek:hwell:
  7. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    I think that everyone is different and would not necessarily deduce that still asking questions 60 years later means they will be prepared for the horrific truth. They may well be expecting to hear of beatings and the like but isn't this in a totally different league? Honestly if it were someone close to me I'm not at all sure that I would want the whole truth. To read of this amount of suffering to someone that I don't know is bad enough but if it were my loved one .....
    Maybe I'm just a coward. I've only just started to read the Holocaust section and it is haunting me.

    Best of luck Annie. I'm glad that it is a "face to face" and I'm sure that you will be guided by your own reading of the situation.
  8. Brian S

    Brian S Guest


    I was in that position in 1992 and not ready for the answer I got after 3yrs of questions.
    The truth really hurt but it was what I needed to know. My truth came through the Post in an envelope marked M.O.D. but only after my M.P. intervened on my behalf.

    Since that time I have been in the same position as Annie a great many times.
  9. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Well I fed him dinner and gave him a glass of wine and we talked about the war ! then we talked specifically about POW's ..... I told him that the deaths of some were described in a very graphic manner and that his airman was described that way ..... he asked if he was beheaded and I said no ..... so then he said he wanted to read !!

    We lit a candle and he read ... and then he sat back in the chair with a big sigh !! we talked for about an hour or so about everything .... he thanked me and I gave him the manila folder with the stuff I had copied earlier for him to read at a later date ! ..... he said he was glad I had told him the truth ! so there we are - I was getting all stressed out unneccessarily !!

  10. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I am glad it all worked out Annie. Well done on dealing with the situation so sensitively
  11. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Thanks K .... I worried because he was a 78 year old man and I didn't want to cause him any distress ... but I should have realised at that age ... he'd been around the block a few times !! :)

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