The Elmhurst Press
[a major suburban Chicago, Illinois, newspaper]
October 28, 2005
Photographer's work shows life on front lines
By Jim Harris
Marvin Mischnick's Elmhurst home holds many reminders of his
service in the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Division in World War
Photo albums, newspaper clippings and books sit on the floor
and tables, all pieces of a part of history Mischnick, 86, helped
to document as the division's official photographer.
Some of Mischnick's work, taken on the front lines during
several campaigns in Europe, can now be seen for the first time
by the general public.
Several of Mischnick's photos were recently placed on the
Internet on www.3ad.com, a site devoted to the history of the
Third Armored Division.
More than 20 of his photos can be seen online, with more soon
expected to be added.
The news that he would have photos on the site was a surprise
to Mischnick, who does not own a computer and had only a slight
familiarity with the Internet, he said.
Mischnick was contacted earlier this year by Vic Damon, an
Army veteran and the site's Webmaster.
"(Damon) called me out of the blue and told me he was
going to come up this way to visit and wanted to see some of
the stuff I had," he said.
For Damon, getting permission to use the pictures and being
able to look through the hundreds of photos kept by Mischnick
was an honor. The Army owns the negatives but Mischnick has prints
and many of the original negatives are lost or hard to find.
Damon, a New Haven, Conn., resident and member of the 3rd
Armored Division from 1966 to 1969, first became aware of Mischnick's
work while working in the division's public information office.
Many of the WWII-era photos in the office's files were taken
by Mischnick, Damon said.
Damon reached Mischnick through an Army directory.
"It was like talking to a living legend because I was
so familiar with his photos," he added. "Being the
official photographer of (the division) was a well-respected
position to have."
Damon launched the Web site officially in 2003, after acquiring
a host of historical information and other photos of the division
The 3rd Armored Division, dubbed Spearhead, engaged in a number
of critical campaigns during the war, and was the first division
to enter Germany.
The division's exploits include fighting in the Battle of
the Bulge in December 1944, the capture of Cologne, Germany,
in March 1945, and the April 1945 liberation of the Nordhausen
concentration and slave labor camp in Paderborn, Germany.
The division formed during WWII and was deactivated in 1992.
Mischnick, an Elmhurst resident for more than 40 years and
a Chicago-area native, was drafted into the Army in July 1941,
and served until the conclusion of war in 1945.
Photography was a major part of Mischnick's life not only
during the war, but in his post-war career, as he worked as a
portrait and wedding photographer for many years.
Mischnick's work has also appeared in several books about
the 3rd Armored Division, as well as on war documentaries aired
on the History Channel.
Mischnick intends to donate some of his collection to the
Elmhurst Historical Museum.
"I'm glad my pictures could be publicized in any way,"
he said. "I want more people to see them, so they won't
forget history, and so they'll know about what we did. We need
to have all (WWII) veterans' stories told before they're lost