But it`s not that simple. Let me explain this by telling you about my own family. Both my parents were born in 1926, both in the lower Rhine area, next to the border to Holland, a quite rural area.
My mother`s father was a catholic, simple farmer who left his district exactly one time. He went to Verdun, got his share, went home and taught his 6 children to admire peace, respect others and to hate war. I remember him talking about May 1940, when he was working on his field and saw the Stukas flying to Holland. He raised his fist and shouted at them. Result? Mother`s only brother was a decorated P.T. boat commander who died in the Bay of Biskay, and my mother volunteered to join the German WAAF in 1943 when see was 17. She survived the raid on Hamburg, the fall of Berlin and arrived at home in August 45, after walking home the whole distance. She died in 2007 and always said that this was the best time of her life...
My father`s father was an educated electrial engineer. He was too young to fight in the Great War, studied and got a good job at the local energy provider. He joined the NSDAP in 1940 just to secure the next promotion. "They expected it" A real opportunist, who treated my Grandma very bad and beat his children.
Result? My father got his conscription call in 1943, age 17, left his glasses at home because he didn`t "want to shoot anybody", was wounded twice in Russia, "captured" lying in hospital by the Yanks in Koblenz in spring 45, who threw him out of his bed and put him in one of the infamous Rheinwiesenlager near Sinzig. When he came home, he was more dead than alive.
He didn`t tell much about the war, but taught us to hate it. He talked about the Russians with great respect and made clear that they knew that the Russians were just defending their country. His opinion about the Americans was devastating, though. "Leisure soldiers" who prefered to bomb cities from high above.
Believe me... it was not easy to find a balanced view on this war for me.
Been trying to work out the name but cant compare the letters to suetterlin examples on the net
Your honest description of your own family during the war is both concise and brave with no excuses for beliefs or actions taken during those heady, turbulent times.
I sincerely appreciate your openess on a subject which, in many families, is disregarded as shameful.
You may not have been a forum member very long, but your integrity, and knowledge of the german language, is a vital new part of this forum.
I look forward to many more posts from you sir!
Kind Regards, Ned.
'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.
I've also tried to translate the name in Sütterlin but the letters just don't match.
I will try another Type Style. Also it looks that he wrote his own fieldpost #
under his name. Also the lower Stamp on the envelope has a fieldpost# in it. Try one of the forums and ask those guys to match the # and year to a Unit.
That will help you in finding out where the guy was and what went on.
Good Luck with your research
Hi again guys,
I'm still struggling to find out the Soldiers name, despite it being written on the envelope! Lol. It's written in old fashioned German. It can be seen on page 2 of this thread.
If anyone can tell me the name, I'd be over the moon.
Some of you maye be interested to know that I've FINALLY solved the surname mystery!!
The gentleman's surname is Rindfleisch
I've exchanged a few emails with Klaus Postupa at one of the museums in Berlin. He's forwarded the letter to the military archives department in Freiburg, so hopefully I will be able to find out more about Rindfleisch, and hopefully return the letter to his family!
Wow Lee, I just read through this post. Pretty incredible story. Hopefully you are about to find out what happened to him. Since it's early in the war, I doubt it's going to be a happy ending. Almost six million of these poor guys didn't make it home. Thanks for posting.
Courage is not the lack of fear, it is the ability to take action, no matter the cost.
Cheers Jay, it's a very moving letter isn't it.
It's sad because he talks of how the Russians are running away, but in November 41, the worst was yet to come!