Scope and Contents
The Sally Appel papers consist of the writings, war camp documents, correspondence, photographs, and publications (including a complete run the newspaper, Der Vergessene Michel) relating to Sally Appel, a German soldier held prisoner by the French during World War I. While a prisoner, Appel was permitted by the French camp commandant to create the newspaper, Der Vergessene Michel, 14 issues of which were lettered and illustrated on mimeograph masters and published between October 1919 and January 1920.
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Use and Copyright
This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright. Therefore, permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository and the copyright holder.
Biographical / Historical
Sally Appel became fluent in French before the war (it is thought he studied for a time in France and taught on his return to Germany: note the certification dated September 25, 1916), and seems to have been stationed as a translator at a German prisoner of war camp for French officers at Osnabruck in 1916. At a later time he was sent to France, was captured, and spent the remainder of the war in a prison camp in Tagnon.
Appel was permitted to edit and publish a camp newsletter, DER VERGESSENE MICHEL. Fourteen multi-page issues dated between October, 1919 and January, 1920 were published by a mimeograph process. They contain essays and poems accompanied by a good many drawings and much comment on the musical and theatrical activities also permitted in the camp. The collection also contains photographs and photographic postcards depicting prisoners at work in mining operations and the sets and costumes of their theatrical productions.
Prisoners were not permitted to write to family in Germany, but Appel knew that his fiancé’s sister Helene. (Mrs. B. M. Bloch) had earlier immigrated to the United States and lived in Tulsa. His 1919 letter to her was a means of informing his family of his whereabouts.
Appel died in 1934 at the age of 42 (in part, because of having been gassed during the war). His wife and their son, 4 l/2 when his father died left Germany in 1938 and lived for some years in New York City. Sophie Appel later joined her sister in Tulsa.
1.5 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 oversize box)
Language of Materials