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Commemorative Gehstock

Article about: Just picked this up today, the seller promises to send me more info about the former owner soon. What can we tell about his service from the stock itself though? Below the figure is the name

  1. #1
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    Default Commemorative Gehstock

    Just picked this up today, the seller promises to send me more info about the former owner soon. What can we tell about his service from the stock itself though?
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    Below the figure is the name "Tauber", and below the Iron Cross is the name "Kustrin" (Küstrin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which was a scene of heavy fighting in 1945. I'm a bit confused if the "oder" is referring to "Frankfurt an Oder" or if he's trying to say that maybe he earned his Iron Cross in either Kustrin or Frankfurt an Oder, but wasn't sure exactly where he was?

    Next, we have the St. Hubertus Deer, which is from the Ardennes region I believe? Perhaps our man fought in the Ardennes?

    Under the deer is Berlin, Wien, Stetten, Linz, Wels, and Grottental, presumably where his unit traveled after the Ardennes?
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    Next, he carves a bullet and "5:6 Mai 1945" Heavy Fighting?
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    This part has me stumped though. I can't figure out this symbol for the life of me. Covert Swastika? Covert SS runes? The seller implied an SS connection, as sellers tend to do, but I'd like to stick to what the object actually says. What do you guys think?
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    Next he writes "7 Mai Gefangenschaft" and "Neuhofen a. Kr.", "8 Mai Kematen", and "9 Mai Lambach a. Tr", all places in Austria I believe. Click image for larger version. 

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    "6 Juni" was a happy day for our man because he was released! "Entlassen" above the heart, and "Heim zur Mami" (Wie süss! I probably would have written "Endlich, Heim zur Mami" given how many Feldzüge he served on though!)Click image for larger version. 

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    Next we have a dedication to a Kamerad?
    "Wally" and "Wolfgang" entwined in Oakleaves. "Wally" is also the name on the bleeding, arrow-struck heart, is Wally our protagonist? The Herr "Tauber", or is he an object of affection for "Wolfgang"? Or am I reading too much into the symbols? Kameradschaft? Is "Wally" a German name? A very dear friend that he lost? Maybe we'll never know.Click image for larger version. 

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    Near the bottom is a snake:
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    And finally, the various "Feldzuge" that he served on! Wow, right?
    Last edited by Eddie; 12-30-2011 at 07:42 PM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Commemorative Gehstock

    Wow, indeed. An interesting item and thanks for sharing. A few observations:

    Quote by doomtown View Post
    Below the figure is the name "Tauber", and below the Iron Cross is the name "Kustrin" [...] which was a scene of heavy fighting in 1945. I'm a bit confused if the "oder" is referring to "Frankfurt an Oder" or if he's trying to say that maybe he earned his Iron Cross in either Kustrin or Frankfurt an Oder, but wasn't sure exactly where he was?
    No, the answer is simpler: The name of the river Oder is part of the geographical designation for Küstrin. In German it is known as Küstrin an der Oder, in Polish as Kostrzyn nad Odrą, meaning the same: Küstrin/Kostrzyn-by-the-Oder.

    Quote by doomtown View Post
    Next, we have the St. Hubertus Deer, which is from the Ardennes region I believe? Perhaps our man fought in the Ardennes?
    I don't think it has anything to do with the Ardennes. (And surely the cane's owner would not have forgotten to list participation in the Ardennes Offensive on the listing of his campaigns.) Maybe the symbol has something to do with hunting or with the unit he fought in. (As for the origins of the Hubertushirsch and its relevance in connection with hunting, please see: Cap badge? )


    Quote by doomtown View Post
    This part has me stumped though. I can't figure out this symbol for the life of me. Covert Swastika? Covert SS runes? The seller implied an SS connection, as sellers tend to do, but I'd like to stick to what the object actually says. What do you guys think?
    Sorry, can't figure out that one, either.


    Quote by doomtown View Post
    Next he writes "7 Mai Gefangenschaft" and "Neuhofen a. Kr.", "8 Mai Kematen", and "9 Mai Lambach a. Tr", all places in Austria I believe.
    Yes, that's right: Neuhofen an der Krems, Kematen and Lambach an der Traun, all in Upper Austria. See: Neuhofen an der Krems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , Kematen an der Krems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Lambach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )


    Quote by doomtown View Post
    Next we have a dedication to a Kamerad?
    "Wally" and "Wolfgang" entwined in Oakleaves. "Wally" is also the name on the bleeding, arrow-struck heart, is Wally our protagonist? The Herr "Tauber", or is he an object of affection for "Wolfgang"? Or am I reading too much into the symbols? Kameradschaft? Is "Wally" a German name? A very dear friend that he lost?
    Surely not a comrade: In English, "Wally" is a short/affectionate form of "Walter" or "Wallace" and thus a male name; in German, "Wally" or "Walli" is a shortened form of Walburga and a female name. So, Wally would appear to have been the man's wife or girlfriend. (With the heart struck by Cupid's arrow symbolizing their love.)

  4. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Commemorative Gehstock

    I think this was probably made in a POW camp or certainly postwar , so called Wolchow Stocks were very popular during the war and i have quite a few but due to the late war entries i believe this was done after hostilities ceased , no time for sitting carving during those last few weeks of the War , but very nice all the same !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Commemorative Gehstock

    Thank you HPL2008!
    I've been to Frankfurt an Oder, and I once walked across a bridge directly into Poland with no interference, and found it strange to think of the land as once being German. I felt as though I could feel the battles that has been waged there. Slightly spooky to be honest. I had never heard of Küstrin before though. I find it interesting that it actually was a Fortress. I wonder why he chose to carve his piece with that as the lead motif. I also wonder if he had been awarded the Iron Cross first or second class; given the number of Schlachtfelde, it's possible that he earned a few awards. I agree that he probably wasn't in the Ardennes, and that it would have been listed on his Stock. Perhaps Küstrin is "Osten", which would make more sense given the areas that he visited afterwards. Maybe his last major mission, and hence it's top billing on his Stock. "Walburga", I have to say that I never met a "Walburga" when I lived in Germany, probably not a very common name anymore. I like to think about this gentleman carving this after the war, making sure not carve any now forbidden symbols into his new Stock, but proud of the numerous battlefields that he served on. I have to say, I know that the Germans served almost continusly, but this guy served a lot, and from early on as well. I wish "Wolfgang" could tell us himself. My favorite part though, is that he takes time to carve that he's coming home to Mommy after all that. Thanks for the replies gentlemen.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Commemorative Gehstock

    Quote by doomtown View Post
    "Walburga", I have to say that I never met a "Walburga" when I lived in Germany, probably not a very common name anymore.
    Yes, that's right; this is a rather archaic name and has not been very popular or common for a long time.
    By the way, I forgot to mention that "Wally" can also be short for "Waltraud", which is also somewhat old-fashioned these days, although still a bit more common than Walburga.

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