Friday, September 28, 2007

Escaped POW Opened Bookstore in Chicago

One of the more interesting stories I've come across since finishing Guests Behind the Barbed Wire is that of Reinhold Pabel. Pabel was a member of the 115th Panzer Grenadiers who was captured and sent to a POW camp in Illinois. He escaped in 1945, made his way to Chicago, and eventually became the quiet proprietor of a bookstore on Chicago's North Side under the name of Philip Brick. He was captured by the FBI in 1953 and, after many headlines, returned to Germany.

Jim Reed, owner of Reed Books: The Museum of Fond Memories in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, told me about the book Pabel wrote about his experiences--Enemies Are Human--and sold me a copy of the out-of-print volume. It was fascinating reading, and Jim wondered out loud what had ever happened to Pabel. I was curious, too, and found an article on the Internet in a Chicago-style "what ever happened to" column.

It turns out Antiquariat Reinhold Pabel is still in the book business, now in Hamburg, Germany. His motto is, "Name the book--We'll get it!" and the website for his bookstore carries the following notice at the bottom: Gegruendet 1948 in Chicago, Illinois (founded in 1948 in Chicago, Illinois).


Geo said...

reinhold pabel is now deceased,

Geo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Chicago Schlager Music Review said...

I was amazed to learn that some 300 German POWs were housed in a former CCC camp in the Forest Preserve just South of Euclid Rd., near the Des Plaines River in Des Plaines.

They were apparently very well treated by the nearby farmers and businessmen (many of the German-Americans) for whom they worked.

I'm going to try to locate the site of the former "Camp Pine" to see if any remnants of it exist.