University of Oxford
2 files

Frantz Zaviska's Life as a POW

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 18:37 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

My father's diary started in April 1940. By the end of the year, he "ran out" of days to write on and, being a war prisoner, he could not buy a 1941 diary in the local shop. He therefore started the Year 1941 using January 1st 1940, meticulously crossing out and correcting each day of the week in the process.

When translating from French into English, I have tried to keep to my father's words as closely as possible.

As his days were filled with routine work tasks (barbed wire, forest clearing and so on), I only translated what seemed significant, sometimes adding a translator's note for clarity. I believe my father did not allow himself to fall apart, although he did feel miserable at times. He even learnt German. He was motivated by his will to survive and the hope of seeing his loved ones again.


Item list and details

M. Frantz Zaviska's diary (PDF file) including photos of identity-tags and demobilisation document on his release

Person the story/items relate to

M. Frantz Zaviska

Person who shared the story/items

Brigitte Branch (née Zaviska)

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

He was my father

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID