H055562 WEHRPASS, SOLDBUCH & DOCUMENT GROUPING. (Wehrpaß, Soldbuch und Urkunde Gruppe) 

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the OKW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the WED’s, Wehrersatzdienststelle, (Military Recruiting Offices), throughout Germany to process and administer the call up procedure. When individuals received their registration notice they were to report to the appropriate recruitment center where they would be issued a Wehrpass, (Military Pass), until they were inducted into active duty. Starting in the autumn of 1939, when an individual was inducted into active military service the Wehrpass was exchanged at the recruitment office for the Soldbuch, (Pay Book), which remained in the recipient’s possession as his official military identification document. The recruitment office would retain the Wehrpass and chronicle the individual’s active service record in it. Generally if the individual was killed in battle the Wehrpass would be forwarded to his next-of-kin as a memento of his service time, while the Soldbuch would be returned to the appropriate recruiting office, for inclusion in the individual’s official records. The Wehrpass was issued in three, slightly different, variants with minor modifications with the first pattern being circa 1934-1938, the second pattern circa 1938-1945 and the third pattern circa 1942-1945. Regulations concerning handling of the Soldbuch were quite strict and although an individual had to present his Soldbuch to higher ranking, military police and guard personnel, as requested, the Soldbuch was not to leave the owner’s sight and be returned immediately after examined. The only instance, besides death, that regulations permitted a Soldbuch to leave the recipient’s possession was in the case of legal arrest. Of Note: Heer, (Army), Luftwaffe, (Air {Weapon} Force), and Waffen-SS, Schutz-Staffel, (Armed-Protection Squad), security and precaution regulations to have a photograph of the recipient placed in the Soldbuch wasn’t enacted until mid-November 1943, while Kriegsmarine, (War Navy), regulations decreed the Soldbuch's were to have the recipient’s photograph applied as early as September 1941. The Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS regulations stated that training units have the photographs applied in the Soldbuch by April 1944 and combat units by December 1944, although the regulations were not always strictly adhered to. Of Note: It appears that the majority of Soldbuch's and Wehrpass's were manufactured by the Metten & Co, Nationaler Werbedruck firm of Berlin SW 61, (Metten & Company National Recruiting/Enlistment Printing, 61 Southwest Berlin). Of Interest: The Reich conscription laws of 1935 dictated that each of the three branches of service would be allocated a percentage of the available recruits according to their manpower requirements with the army being allotted the lions share of roughly 66% of eligible personnel followed by the Luftwaffe who were accorded roughly 25% with the Kriegsmarine receiving the remaining 9% of personnel. Also Of Interest: In January 1945 the Ergänzungsstelle der Waffen-SS was combined with the army’s Wehrersatzdienststelle and was renamed Ergänzungsstellen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS, (Replacement Centers of the Army and the Armed-SS).

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 5 3/4" x 4 1/4", (14.6 cm x 10.8 cm), fifty-four page, second pattern, (circa 1938-45), Wehrpass with a charcoal grey printed Wehrmacht style eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in its talons and Gothic script, "Wehrpaß", to the slightly crinkle textured, mid-weight, grey card stock cover. The cover also has a stapled seam with grey reinforcement tape and the handwritten recipient’s name. The first internal page has handwritten and inkstamped entries that indicate the recipient registered for military service in, "Berlin-Wilmersdorf", on, "27. 2. 1939", and the entry has the authorizing signature of a, "Kapitän z. S.", and, Wehrbezirkskommandeur", (Military Recruiting District Commander), with the appropriate, "Wehrbezirks-kommando", (Military Recruiting District Headquarters), inkstamp. The second internal page has a dual inkstamped, signed, black and white photograph of the recipient in civilian clothes rivetted in place. Further entries show that the individual volunteered for service, specifically requesting service with, "II. Panzer Rgt. 31", (2ND Company 31ST Armored Regiment), which was an integral component of the 5TH Panzer Division. On volunteering the individual was found fit and assigned to "Ersatz-Reserve I", indicating he was under thirty-five years old, untrained and not called up for active service at that time. Additional entries indicate the individual served with a RAD, Reichs Arbeits Dienst, (National Labor Service), unit in April and May 1939, and was transferred to, "Luftwaffenbaukomp. 10/See",(Air {Weapon} Force, 10TH Sea? Construction Company), on, "26. Aug. 1939", which appears to have been valid as military service. On 2. Dez. 1939", the individual was released from the, "Luft. Bau-Bataillons-Stab", (Staff/Headquarters Company (Air {Weapon} Force Construction battalion), and returned to his recruiting office on, "3. 12. 1940", was found fit and assigned to, "4./Pz.Ers. Abt. 5", (4TH Company 5TH Armored Replacement Battalion). Additional unit entries indicate the individual served in eleven other units including, "3./Pz.-Lehr-Rgt. Wünsdorf", (3RD Company Armored Training/Demonstration Regiment located in Wünsdorf, {which was home of the Armored Corps Training School}), and, "4 [Panzer] Rg./Führer-Begl.Btl.", (4TH Armored Regiment Führer, {Hitler}, Escort Battalion), both very prestigious units, until his final assignment on, "16. 4. 45", to, "2./Pz Div. N. A. 89", (2ND Company Armored Division 89TH Signals Unit). Training entries indicate the individual was given weapons training on the, "Karab.. 98k", (Carbine 98 short), "Mg 34, 13", (Machine Gun {model} 34 and 13), "Pistl 08", (Pistol {model 08} Luger), the, "Mg 37t", (Machine Gun {model 37} Czechoslovakian) and other weapons. Additional training entries seem to indicate the individual received driver training achieving his class one, two and three licences and also received training as a, "Schreiber", (Clerical worker). Promotional entries indicate the individual was promoted to the rank of, "Gefreiten", on, "1. 8. 41", to the rank of, "Obergefreiten" on, "1. 12. 42" and to the rank of, "Unteroffizier", on, "1. 3. 45". Award entries indicate the individual was bestowed a Driver’s Proficiency Badge in bronze on, "1. 5. 44", a Panzer Assault Badge on, "24. 12. 44", an Iron Cross 2ND class on, "16. 4. 45", and a black Wound Badge, on, "16. 4. 45". The book has a glued in sheet of paper with typed and handwritten active service entries that indicate the individual served in a security capacity in northern France in early and mid-1943, in a security capacity in central and southern Italy in mid- to late 1943, and in the Russian campaign from December 1943 to June 1944. The book has a couple of hospital entries indicating the individual was hospitalized for a broken shin bone and wounds to his lower leg and calf on "11. 7. 41", before being discharged from the hospital on, "26. 9. 41". Other entries include personal statistics, next-of-kin, a medical examination, award of an DLRG, Deutsche Lebens Rettungs Gemeinschaft, (German Live Saving Community/Association), certificate and linguistic fluency in English and French. One, mostly illegible, handwritten entry is dated, "23. 5. 45", two weeks after the end of the war, and appears to be his official discharge from military service. Interestingly there doesn’t appear to have been any attempt at de-nazifying the book. All the entries have the appropriate authorizing signatures and/or inkstamps. The pages show minor age yellowing but are all intact. The Soldbuch is a roughly, 5 3/4" x 4 1/4", (14.6 cm x 10.8 cm), twenty-four page book with a horizontally, crinkle textured, mid-weight, tan card stock cover with a black printed Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), style eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted, swastika in it’s talons and Gothic script, "Soldbuch zugleich Personalausweiss", (Pay Book & Personal Identity Document), with two outer border lines, and a taped seam. The inside front cover has no photograph of the recipient or any evidence that one was ever applied. The book has numerous handwritten and inkstamped entries and the first internal page has a handwritten notation that appears to be, "Ersatz-Austertigung", indicating the book was a replacement. Interestingly, the second word, "Austertigung", appears to be misspelled, as it has no literal translation? Entries indicate the book was issued to the same recipient as the above Wehrpass, on, "24. 2. 1943", with the rank listed as, "Obergefreiter", and the individual was serving with, "2. Marsch Pz. Ers.-Abt 5", (2ND Company 6TH Trained Armored Replacement Unit). The entry has the authorizing signature of a, "Oberlt. u. Kp-Führer", and the unit’s inkstamp. Other entries include clothing and equipment issue, vaccinations, two security checks, supplementary pay, pay rate and raise and a furlough. One of the supplementary pay entries includes the notation, "EWGG", indicating, Einsatz Wehrmacht Gebührnis Gesetz, (Armed Forces Law governing special assignment compensation) while another entry has the notation, "Marschverpflegung", (March/Transportation Rations). A hospital entry reiterates the hospital entries in the Wehrpass, (broken shin bone and wounds to his lower leg and calf). Other entries list the individual’s personal statistics including his next-of-kin. Interestingly the latest date in the book is, "1. 12. 1943", while dated entries in the Wehrpass run up until, "23. 5. 45", which would seem to indicate the individual would have been issued a third Soldbuch? All the entries have the appropriate authorizing signatures and/or inkstamps. The pages show minor age yellowing but are all intact. The additional documents included a roughly, 13" x 8", (33cm x 20.3cm), mid-weight paper, allied, "Control Form D.2 Certificate of Discharge", sheet with black printed English text and typed particulars. The text indicate’s the individual was officially released from military service on, "23rd May 1945". Also included are a two German text allied discharge forms. Also included are a DLRG, (German Live Saving Community/Association), Grundschein, (Basic Certificate) with the corresponding lapel pin, a RJA, Reichsjugendsportabzeichen, (National Youth Sports Badge), certificate booklet with the corresponding lapel pin and both of the certificate booklets have photographs of the same recipient, wearing an HJ, Hitler Jugend, (Hitler Youth), shirt with kerchief. Another document is a Deutsches Radsport-Jugend-Abzeichen in Bronze", (German Wheel/Bicycle Sports Youth Badge in Bronze), qualification booklet. The final document is a, "Deutscher Reichskreigerbund", (German National Association of Veterans), membership/dues booklet which belong to the father of the other documents. Nice, researchable document grouping.

GRADE ***3/4                             PRICE $700.00 (Or Best Offer)

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