Jean Hood's Website

Why Am I Still Here?

The Story of Paul Titz, a German Merchant Seaman and POW in WWII
 Die Geschichte von Paul Titz, ein deutscher Seemann der Handelsmarine und Kriegsgefangener im zweiten Weltkrieg
Foreword by Nick Hewett, 

Front Cover
The background shows the address side of the first letter written from Canada
Back cover
The back cover image shows Paul on the Gonzenheim in Oslo in March 1941

This book has been a labour of sheer love, a story that deserves to be told. Since the book was completed, I've done radio interviews and there has been print media interest both here and in Germany.A German version is also available.
 Dieses Buch war eine Arbeit der reinen Liebe, eine Geschichte, die ich zu erzählen hatte. Seit das Buch fertig war, habe ich Radiointerviews gemacht und es gab Printmedieninteresse sowohl hier als auch in Deutschland. Eine deutsche Version ist auch verfügbar.
It's based around the letters of Paul Titz, a young merchant seaman from the town of Düren who, as the captain's steward on the scout ship Gonzenheim, ex Kongsfjord, took part in Operation Rheinübung in 1941. After the interception of the Gonzenheim by HMS Neptune, HMS Nelson and Swordfish of 825 Squadron embarked in HMS Victorious, and despite not being armed and never having fired a shot in anger - he became a POW for more than five years, including for seventeen months after VE day. He moved from the camp at Donaldson's College, Edinburgh, to Knavesmire, York, and from thence to Canada. He was held along with other Enemy Merchant Seamen at Farnham and Sherbrooke in Quebec and at Monteith, Ontario, before returning to the UK only to die in wretched circumstances at No. 23 Camp, Farnham. Derbyshire just before he was likely to have been repatriated,
As well as reconstructing Paul's story, the book is also about the progression of the research, on the basis that I am often asked "How did you find all that information?" I wanted to show just how you can use anything from archives to  newspapers old and new in order to add pieces to the jigsaw, and that you don't have to belong to an academic institution.
 Paul Titz, aus der Stadt Düren, war ein junger Seeman der Handelsmarine, der Kapitäns Steward auf dem Spahschiff Gonzenheim. In 1941 nahm er an der Operation Rheinübung teil. Nach dem Abhören des Gonzenheims verbrachte er mehr als fünf Jahren als Kriegsgefangener.   Seine erste Kriegsgefangenenlagern wurden in Großbritannien. Dann war er nach Kanada geschickt, und 1946 kehrte er nach England zurück. Er starb unter mysteriösen Umständen im November 1946 bevor er nach Hause zurückgeführt werden könnte.
Pauls Schwester mir erlaubt, seine Briefe zu übersetzen, und ich bin ihr sehr dankbar.
The book is only available in print (this is to protect the material that Paul's family so generously allowed me to publish) direct from me, so please use the contact form below.
Die deutsche Übersetzung

Es wurden sehr wenige Exemplare der deutschen Übersetzung gedruckt. Diese waren vor allem für die Familie von Paul und für Museen. Wenn Sie die englische Version bestellen, erhalten Sie ein PDF der deutschen Version.Die deutsche Version enthält zahlreiche Updates!

Book size  14.8cms x 21cms (half A4)
Pages: 79 including notes & index, plus a booklet of updates.
Images:  26 B/W
Cover: paperback, colour.
Binding: perfect binding, not stapled
ISBN: I did not apply for one because of the ridiculously large amount it would have added to this small print run. So you can't get it through Waterstones, W H Smith or Amazon.
Price: £6.50
Postage & Packing : 1st Class UK £2; 1st class UK signed for £3; Western Europe £4.50. For other areas, please enquire.
 Payment by cheque  (UK only) or sterling bank transfer, please.

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 I have already given my first talk on the subject of Paul Titz, and it went down very well. Quotes from Paul's letters, which I could read against the background of his photographs/photocards allowed the audience to empathise deeply with him. 








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