Bobingen (Swabian: Boobenge) is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It lies on the rivers Wertach and Singold, on the edge of the Augsburg-Westliche Wälder Nature Park, in Augsburg District, some 13 km south of Augsburg itself.
I am trying to find any information on a Polish priest, Fr. Edmund Chart, who was imprisoned in Dachau for about 4 years. I believe he was later in a camp in Bobingen, Germany, but I cannot find any information on such a camp.
My father, Edwin Gorak, was an enlisted soldier who served in the 45th Division of the U.S. Army from 1941 until 1945. He was among the liberating troops of Dachau in 1945. My father was born in Chicago, but his parents were from Poland. My father attended the Polish Catholic school in Chicago. He grew up speaking, reading, and writing Polish and continued those skills until his death in 2005.
On the day of the liberation of Dachau, my father was able to talk, in Polish, with the inmates there. In fact, after he started singing the Polish national anthem, he was told by his superiors to stop because the crowds behind the gate were getting too worked up. In my father’s words, written in 1996:
“After the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp, our unit went to Munich for about two months. I did not have any post-liberation duties in a D.P. camp. However, since I speak the Polish language, I made friends with many Polish D.P.s in the camp in Bobingen, Germany. There were several barracks occupied by Polish D.P.s. There was an equal amount of men and women ranging in age from 19 to 60. Among them was a Polish priest, Father Edmund Chart, who was the D.P. Camp Chaplain. One day he overheard my conversation of my telling the story how I talked to and sang in Polish with the Polish inmates of Dachau. Father Chart came over to me and said, ‘you are telling the truth – I am a witness to it since I was one of the prisoners in Dachau behind the wire enclosure. I was held in Dachau for almost 4 years.’
My father then wrote in his notes: “I took pictures of Father Edmund Chart and 13 Polish couples whom he married on Saturday in Sept., 1945. All of these D.P. Polish couples were not allowed to marry in Germany while being forced labor workers. … Father Chart performed the marriage ceremony. In the photo of Father Chart, alone, he is wearing a suit which I gave him – you can see it is noticeably too large for him. The suit was new. I took it from a German clothes factory. Since this D.P. camp in Bobingen, Germany was not run by any allied organization, the D.P.s depended mostly on hand-me-downs and food from the local U.S. Army units.”
My father was a regular G.I., drafted and attached to the 45th Div. their entire time overseas, a little over 2 years. What was unusual is that, completely on his own, he took about 800 (maybe more) photographs of his time with the 45th. What is more unusual is that most of his photographs have very explicit captions showing the “who, what, and where” of each photograph. I have all of my father’s photographs.
Was there a camp in Bobingen? Maybe my father spelled it wrong? My father did mention it was not a camp run by the Allies, so maybe that is why I cannot find any information about it. I would like to try to contact anyone who knows of Fr. Chart to get more information about him and to share these photos.
I am you can help me find information about a camp in Bobingen (or similar) and Fr. Chart. I believe he is the same Father Edmund Chart who wrote a book, and had published in 1946, listing the inmates who died at Dachau.