Zusammenbruch im Osten
Collapse in the East
Date of Creation
GenrePublications & Ephemera
Administrative/Biographical HistoryMaurice Smith was born in Winnipeg circa 1924; he was in Grade 10 when the Second World War started. He volunteered to serve with the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and was trained as a soldier. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Smith was on embarkation leave in Winnipeg. Within weeks he was sent overseas; the Canadian Army needed infantry men, so he remustered and trained for infantry. Private Smith was a reinforcement in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry regiment during the invasion of Italy. He was part of the First Canadian Army during the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945. After the cessation of hostilities, Smith bartered for Nazi pins and badges, trading them for cigarettes. His regiment escorted Nazi soldiers home to Germany, and guarded German army supply dumps, where he picked up more memorabilia and a naval flag. After Smith’s regiment was sent home, he stayed and was attached to the British Army of the Rhine and transferred to Paris, France to work on movement control as part of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.
Extent & Medium1 document : 11 x 17.5 cm
Scope & ContentDocument is a circular distributed by airplane to German soldiers in Italy, found by Maurice Smith in a field at the front lines of the Second World War in Northeast Italy. Roughly translated: front: “Collapse in the East, Russia begins on the 11th of January the great offensive … Russia was on the 18th of January on the German border.” Back: “Why are you still in Italy? The Russians are now on the Silesian border.”
Archival HistoryItem was previously assigned the following unique identifier: 93.08.0149