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Two Erkennungsmarken

Article about: Hello guys, I found these Erkennungsmarken two years ago in de Ardennes. They were, and still are, tied together with 2 little rings. I guess a soldier took them from 2 corpses and tied them

  1. #1

    Default Two Erkennungsmarken

    Hello guys,

    I found these Erkennungsmarken two years ago in de Ardennes. They were, and still are, tied together with 2 little rings. I guess a soldier took them from 2 corpses and tied them together. They were found in an US foxhole, I didn't find any human remains or clothes or anything. I already contacted the German authorities, since I think the EKM belong to the family and not to me. Unfortunately the Germans don't really co÷perate, they didn't want to help me find the names of these soldiers, but instead they demanded to give the EKM back to them since it was still property of the German state (wich I highly doubt). At least that's what they told me. Is there any chance I can find the names of these soldiers somewhere? I already know most of the text on the badges, namely:

    3. Kompanie Ausbildungs-Bataillon Flieger
    Ausbildungs Regiment 10
    No 357

    Grenadiers Ersatz Batallion 588
    Marsch Kompanie
    No 22
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    ian is offline

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    i think? the reason that the germans want you to give these to them is so that they can tell the family rather than you
    i dont think it is an afront to you i think it is juat that they see it as the right way to do it
    the germans in my experiance have to do things by the rules
    you know rubber stamp and all that

  4. #3
    ian is offline

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    oh and they would also return the ekm to the family
    but they dont realy explain them selfs very well
    cheers ian

  5. #4

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    Quote by ian View Post
    oh and they would also return the ekm to the family
    but they dont realy explain them selfs very well
    cheers ian
    Yes I know what you mean, but there's a big difference in treatment from case to case. I heard from some other guys that they contacted the same agency as I did, but they received a lot of info, also the name of the soldier. The agency even said they would try to find the family so that they could contact them about the find.

    Ofcourse, if the government gives it back to the families then it's ok.. But somehow I got the feeling the EKM will be put in some archive or something.

  6. #5
    ian is offline

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    yes i know what your saying here
    when you contact the german authorities they can behave strangely some times i think it depends on the personality of the person you spoke with as to how its delt with
    they can be more than helpfull or down right obstructive
    but you find that in all nations and all walks of life
    try again see if you can talk to someone who is more helpfull
    remember allso febuary is the start of --the start of the festival season in germany ( hang over mabe ?)
    please try them again they may suprise you cheers ian

  7. #6

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    Technically they shouldn't give any information- privacy laws protect it long after a person dies, and only closely-related family has the legal right to request it; my father had to have his aunt request her brother and cousin's service records- he couldn't despite being just one generation away and both had already passed away- the cousin in 1944.

    I have heard that indeed identity discs do remain the property of Germany- I doubt anyone's ever agreed that they could be considered spoils of war the way rifles and tanks are, especially in light of the incredible number of men still listed is missing in action. That being said, also given the number of discs that were lost, confiscated and dumped or just discarded by their owners at the end of the war, means there are literally millions of the things in the ground all over- and I know for a fact that they're found loose (i.e. no human remains) probably by the dozens or even hundreds each day. Those tell the authorities nothing so are of no real value to them for their formal work.

    The two you have, being lower halves and being bound together may be the 'record' of two men killed in action- the whole point of the single hole in the lower half was to be able to connect them after being collected from the dead so none would be lost. Whether or not the deaths were ever recorded may be the question here- them being bound in a haphazard way (just with a bit of wire) may suggest they'd been recently collected and not yet processed by the clerk in charge of such things (who would surely separate them?) and the men may indeed still be listed as missing- surely a terrible thing for families still. I suspect this may be the reason for the attitude of the person you talked with- the kind of work they do must surely get to one from time to time, especially given the rather nasty things some diggers in the east do (looting graves thus destroying any chance of ever identifying the fallen). Or the guy might just have been having a crappy day LOL

    If you return the halves they may indeed just be put in an archive since, as I say, they don't have funding to do all they probably want and should do, but what is the problem with that? You can't necessarily assume they'll be forgotten- I should think that if the case exists it would be gotten to eventually as time and funding allows- if they never have the discs, the case will never be addressed, right? Were it not for the circumstance, I'd say really they can't learn anything- a loose disc means nothing truly- but these connected bottom halves, as I say, do suggest more. They can't prove anything, but they're compelling. If you wanted to keep them for your collection, it's hard to say there's enough reason not to, but if you were already figuring to return them to the men's relatives, then whether or not it'd happen immediately or in the future- does that matter so much? Better to at least allow the opportunity, no? And really you shouldn't expect to get the information about the soldiers- as I say, that's properly protected private information as it is in any country.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  8. #7

    Default Re: Two Erkennungsmarken

    I don't know if these soldiers are listed as missing, but they are certainly killed in action. And yes I wanted to return them to the families because if I had a father or grandfather or any relative who died in WW2 I would really appreciate it if someone would return an id badge. So I will write another letter to the Germans, hoping that they will give a better/nicer reaction. I have searched a lot for relics on former battlefields, and this is one of my best finds in my opinion. Still I don't mind giving it away, but it would be nice to know something more than just a soldiers number. We'll see what happens

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