Jakob Onnenga

Co. 60

Early Life:

Jacob Onnenga was born on the27.09.1896 in Loquard.

On the 15.10.1917 he joined the Army. But he did not want to, because he had a lover at home, Geelke Heikes. In all the letters he wrote to her, he told her of his hopes that he would not need to go into the battlefield.

Life during the war:

On the 16.03.1916 he was recruited into the third company with his cousin, Jan. At the beginning of June 1916, he was posted to Posen, but it was unclear when he would have to enter the battlefield.

On the 08.07.1916 he was on his way to France and on the 17.08.1916 he is enlisted in the sixth regiment. He moved to the first company on the 10.09.1916 and writes to Geelke in a letter where he outlines that he wants the war to end.

Four times he tried to go home on vacation, but he never got the approval.

On the 10.08.1917 he was shot in the head and died a hero’s death.
He is buried in grave 8206 in “Langemark“, Belgium.

He was not pleased with the war, but was persuaded to fight for the fatherland and to leave his home and family.

Field post:

Warthelager, 18.6.1916 [.....] last week we received our equipment, but we don’t know when we have to enter the field.

Goldberg, 8.7.1916 [.....] Today we drive at 5 o’clock to France. Don’t worry.

France, 17.8.1916 [.....] We have been transferred to the 6th regiment, like I told you before. Now we have reached the front trench and we can rest a little bit again. Hopefully this horrible war ends soon so that the murder and bloodshed ceases and we return home as winners.

Cöln-Deutz, 4.8.1917 [Köln am Rhein] I send you best morning greetings from colonge. Soon it will end. In hope of a happy meet again. Greetings to all! your Jakob

My story

My name is Lisa Paprotny I am 16 years old and I am from Frankfurt, Germany. As our teacher told us about the project I didn't realize how important the Project would be for me. I hadn't much information about my soldier, but still with the information I had I felt somehow connected with him and I was expectant to see where he fought and where he's buried. But as we visited the graveyard "Langemark" sadly I didn't find his grave.

In my opinion this project is very important, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in it. I was impressed how my emotions changed when I entered the graveyards, but the most depressed I felt was when we went in the trench. I imagined how it must have been inside those narrow paths. We saw many places, where sad thing happened, but also, we went to the parliament in Brussels.

With this project you occupy a lot with WW1, deepen your knowledge and you get to hear the opinion of people from another country about it. Also with this project the time during WW1 won't pass into oblivion and the soldiers, who fought and died won't get pushed into the background, because each student will remember their own "adopted soldier" in a special way.