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Gerhold

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  • Location
    England
  • Militaria Interests
    Interest in the 9te Infanterie Division - 36te Regiment. 363te VGD.
  1. Hi, I've been researching my fathers 'Kriegserfahrung' for many years now - albeit half-heartedly! I'll give you some background as to why his Wehrstammbuch is of interest to me. I was told (by a Kriegskamerad of his) that he had lost his Wehrpass and Soldbuch at a delousing he 'enjoyed' on arrival in England, at Kempton race course, in March 1945. When I actually pressed this issue with his comrade he was more forthcoming. He said that my dad had burned them! Asking him why, he said "because he had been in Russia, of course". He spent six months in a POW camp in Belgium and apparently had not disposed of them during that time. Whether he had become aware of the possibility he could be sent back to Russia on the basis that he (and many hundreds of thousands of others) could be held accountable for their part in anti-Jewish and anti-partisan operations in Russia from prisoners he had mingled with on the journey, I can only guess at. It's possible that he thought he could dispose of them 'safely' on reaching English soil and plead some form of excuse - their clothing was burnt at the delousing, which was an opportunity. I have the barest minimum of detail - he retained his citations for awards - so I have the dates for his woundings and when he received various awards for valour. I also have, from the Deutsche Dienstelle, in Berlin, the dates of his promotions. However all Regimental records were lost to bombing. There are microfilm copies of Divisional records in Maryland but the cost would outweigh the possible results - what I would want to find out is why and how he'd gained the various awards - the circumstances. I've opened a copy I'd made of 'German Military Identification Documents and Tags' (by Fredrick Clemens and Jason Pipes) in 2006 and noticed, at the bottom, a reference to a 'Wehrstammbuch'. As it was probably kept in Kassel (his Division (9te Infanterie) was in Wehrkreis IX) I wonder what might have happened to it. Your conversation suggests that these documents were kept in one location - distant from postings. The availability of them suggests that individual soldiers may have claimed them, post- war. He went back for demobilization in 1949 and it could be that he claimed it then but such a document was not in the ephemera he left at his death. Perhaps he might have disposed of that too - but it seems unlikely given that the Iron Curtain had been drawn by then. So, I suspect I'm asking the wrong people but any info. on where these documents were held (presumably in Kassel) and if they still might be held, unclaimed would be illuminating. I'm reasonably sure a small book wouldn't have survived but it's worth pursuing. Thanks for any perusal you give to this long post.
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