S023259 SS/POLIZEI SOLDBUCH. (Soldbuch)

BACKGROUND: With the reintroduction of conscription in 1935, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), activated the Wehrersatzdienststelle, (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. On induction to active military service the Wehrpass was exchanged at the recruitment office for the Soldbuch, (Pay Book), which remained in the recipients possession as his official military identification document. The recruitment office would retain the Wehrpass and chronicle the individuals 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. Of Note: Regulations to have a photo of the recipient placed in the Soldbuch wasn’t enacted until 1943. The 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). 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 conscripted 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. On acceptance into full-time or auxiliary police service individuals were issued a Dienstausweis, (Service Identification Card), for use as identification and a Dienstpass (Service Pass), for internal administration to record the individuals police service record. Service with the police did not exempt individuals from auxiliary military service and when called for service with the Wehrmachtgefolge, (Armed Forces Retinue), the civil police were issued a specific police Soldbuch. As a result of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointment as Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), in June 1936, all police agencies within Germany came under his control and quite often when called for service with the Wehrmachtgefolge the civil police personnel would be issued an SS Soldbuch. Of Note: Civil police serving as military auxiliaries were not considered military police and were generally employed in the rear areas to assist in controlling the general populace and anti-partisan actions, although as the war drew closer and closer to the home front they quite often found themselves in combat in the front lines.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 5 7/8" x 4 1/8", forty page book with a mid-weight, light grey, card stock cover with black, handwritten and purple inkstamped SS runes and black printed Latin script, "Soldbuch zugleich Personalausweis" (Pay Book & Personal Identity Document), with two outer border stripes. The cover has a period replaced, glued on, strip of reinforcing paper to the stapled seam. The interior of the front cover has a dual inkstamped, black and white photograph of the recipient wearing a police uniform, glued in place. The first internal page has handwritten and black printed entries that list the individual’s police rank that appears to be, "Rev. Oberwachtmeister d. Schz. d. Res.". The printed script states that the individual was authorized to carry a firearm and that he was to be given any assistance from military authorities as required. The second internal page has handwritten and inkstamped entries that indicate the individual was called up for service on, "6. September 1944", and assigned to, "Kommando der Schutzpolizei Wilhelmshaven", (Detached Unit National Protection Police Wilhelmshaven), and the entry has the authorizing signature of a, "Rev. Oberstleutnant d. Schp.", with the appropriate, "Polizeipräsident Wilhelmshaven", (Chief of Police Wilhelmshaven), inkstamp. Additional entries include, personal statistics, next-of-kin, clothing, equipment and weapons issue, vaccinations and a security check. Award entries indicate the individual had been awarded a War Merit Cross 2ND Class with swords and a Black Wound Badge. Another entry seems to indicate the individual was a member of the NSV, NS-Volkswohlfahrt, (National Socialist-People’s Social Welfare Organization), from 1940 to 1945 and also served with the "Arbeitsfront", (Labor Front), from 1938 to 1945. The final entry, dated, "30. 11. 45", seems to indicate the individual was assigned as a "Gendarmerie", (Rural Policeman), by the allies after the war. All the entries have the appropriate authorizing signatures and/or inkstamps. Interestingly the SS runes on the front cover and at least one inkstamp with a swastika remain while the other swastikas have been blotted out. The book is in overall good condition with minor age yellowing although most of the internal pages have separated from the cover they are all included.

GRADE ***1/4                             PRICE $185.00

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