About Yankel Czapkowsky, WWI POW
Yankel served in the Russian Army during World War I. He was in the Second Army, 6th Corps, Fourth Infantry Division, Second Brigade, 16th Regiment, 1st Battalion, 1st Company. His regiment invaded East Prussia on August 23, 1914, passing through his home town of Myszyniec, and reached Bischofsburg on April 25th. Being horredously lead by General Samsonov, it was routed by the German 36th Infantry Division and th Landwehr Brigade on the 26th and the remaining fragments of the Russian Second Army beat a hasty retreat back to the Russian/Polish border. General Samsonov committed suicide on the 27th.
Of the original Second Army of 150,000 men who invaded on the 23rd, only 10,000 made it back across the border. 96,000 (including Yankel) were captured, 30,000 were killed, and 15,000 went missing. The photograph above was taken at the Numayer a Quais Prisoner of War Camp where Yankel was held by the Germans. These photographs were in the possession of his sister Fanny Czapkowski Dorfman who passed them to her son Harold. We have no other information about Yankel.
Adam Brown March 7, 2008