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S010674 SS WEHRPASS "SS Obershutze Konrad Schultheiss" Ceremonial Guard Unit Waffen SS".

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the OKW Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the WEDs, 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. The Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), basically followed the same system but had instituted their own Ergänzungsstelle der Waffen-SS, (Replacement Centers of the Armed-SS), under the control of SS-Obergruppenführer Gottlob-Christian Berger of the SS-Hauptamt, (SS-Main Office), and in theory, could only recruit personnel on a voluntary basis although many personnel were "press-ganged" into service. 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). 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. 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. Of Interest: As the war continued and man-power shortages became severe the standard criteria for acceptance into the Waffen-SS was decreased dramatically and numerous personnel who would have been unacceptable in 1939 were readily accepted into service with the Waffen-SS. By the end of the war more then half of all the personnel serving in the Waffen-SS were non-Germans. 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)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A wartime SS Wehrpass belonging to Konrad Schultheiss who was originated from Bonyhád is a town in Tolna County in Southwestern Hungary. He was a Ceremonial guard unit Waffen-SS. He belonged to the 2/ SS Wachbatallion Prague 2 as a Guard at Theresienstadt prison and Prague castle.

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