NewsLocal News


Suitcase traveled through history to be returned to family of German POW

Found in an attic in Youngstown
Posted at 12:27 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 07:48:31-04

YOUNGSTOWN, NY (WKBW-TV) — Ken Kathan found an old suitcase when he was cleaning out his parents attic in Youngstown. It turned out that it had been made by a German POW at Fort Niagara in the 1940's.

His quest to discover the history of the suitcase led Ken to POW historian Suzanne Dietz. She was able to track down the prisoner. Ken was soon in contact with Willi Kraml, the son of the POW who made the wooden case.

Ken was just going to send the case to Willi, but it turned out that he was planning a visit to the area. The two men met up at Fort Niagara and Ken presented the suitcase to Willi.

During the presentation Ken said "Two men crossed paths, we don't know the circumstances, but during those meetings, a suitcase made by Willi's father was given to my Dad."

Willi who now lives in Austria says that he may donate the suitcase to a history museum in his father's home town.