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My First Soldbuch

Article about: Hello folks. Having collected Wehrpasses for some time, I decided to pick up a couple of cheap Soldbucher a few weeks ago. I'm new to these, so will have trouble translating them. I will do

  1. #1

    Default My First Soldbuch

    Hello folks.

    Having collected Wehrpasses for some time, I decided to pick up a couple of cheap Soldbucher a few weeks ago. I'm new to these, so will have trouble translating them. I will do my best.

    His name was Johann Köhnen, born on the 27th December 1897 in the city of Koblenz. He worked as an official of some kind (having trouble with the handwriting) and was married to Maria Köhnen (geb. Becker). He was issued this document on 10th September 1943, in Metz. The cover appears to have been partially denazified.

    I've always had trouble with tracking unit movements in these identity documents, and the different layout in comparison to the Wehrpaß makes it that much harder to decode. He appears to have been hospitalized with stomach problems on several occasions, notably at a hospital in Warsaw in July 1944, just prior to the uprising in August. He was promoted twice during his service with the Wehrmacht, to Gefreiter on 1st December 1944, and to Obergefreiter on 1st February 1945. As to what units he served with specifically, where and when, I have no idea. the abbreviations of unit names have always stumped me.

    There is nothing special in this Soldbuch, as far as I know. But the idea of it spending the duration of Johann's service tucked in his pocket makes it that much more interesting to me. Wherever he went, whatever he experienced, this exact document was there with him. The smudged ink and water stains only add to that.

    My First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First SoldbuchMy First Soldbuch

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

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  3. #2

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    Quote by BrodieBartfast View Post
    He worked as an official of some kind (having trouble with the handwriting) and was married to Maria Köhnen (geb. Becker). He was issued this document on 10th September 1943, in Metz.
    The entries say:

    "Verw.Beamter [= Verwaltungsbeamter]
    Heizer R.Bahn [= Heizer Reichsbahn]"

    ["Administrative official
    Stoker, National Railways"]

    By the way, he was a WWI veteran decorated with the EKII and the Wound Badge in Black in the Great War and subsequently with the 1914/18 Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer.

  4. #3

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    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    The entries say:

    "Verw.Beamter [= Verwaltungsbeamter]
    Heizer R.Bahn [= Heizer Reichsbahn]"

    ["Administrative official
    Stoker, National Railways"]
    As always, your help is invaluable! Thank you.

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  5. #4

    Default

    Johnann was listed as wounded on the Prussian lists for October 1918:My First Soldbuch

    You can add this to your display perhaps?

  6. #5

    Default

    To decipher a Soldbuch you have to make a timeline of every entry and the units mentioned with those entries. It isn't as accurate as a Wehrpass as there is no handy 'from & to' dates so it tends to be something like "By 5th March 1940 he was serving with ABC but by 15th March he was in Feldlazarett XYZ".

    The only field unit he served with was 3.Kompanie of Pionier-Brücken-Bataillon 548 (Section C page 4) - a bridging unit. Based on the uniform issue pages, he had a kit issue in Metz on 22nd March 1944. Then within 2 months he was serving with the bridging unit and then 2 months after that he had left them and was in hospital, although based on the Lazarett pages he was in the medical system just a day after the date for his bridging units kit issue so he wasn't with them for very long. Prior to Metz he was serving in various training units.

  7. #6

    Default

    Here is a partial timeline I did for a Soldbuch a few years ago. Obviously the beauty of a timeline is that you can do it any way you wish - include the page numbers, keep it basic or jazz it up, use gothic script and keep the layout as similar to the Soldbuch as possible etc etc.

    My First Soldbuch

    And another partial example - not mine I hasten to add.

    My First Soldbuch

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote by hucks216 View Post
    To decipher a Soldbuch you have to make a timeline of every entry and the units mentioned with those entries. It isn't as accurate as a Wehrpass as there is no handy 'from & to' dates so it tends to be something like "By 5th March 1940 he was serving with ABC but by 15th March he was in Feldlazarett XYZ".

    The only field unit he served with was 3.Kompanie of Pionier-Brücken-Bataillon 548 (Section C page 4) - a bridging unit. Based on the uniform issue pages, he had a kit issue in Metz on 22nd March 1944. Then within 2 months he was serving with the bridging unit and then 2 months after that he had left them and was in hospital, although based on the Lazarett pages he was in the medical system just a day after the date for his bridging units kit issue so he wasn't with them for very long. Prior to Metz he was serving in various training units.
    Am I right in thinking he was hospitalised with Typhus fever in May 1944, bottom of page 9?

  9. #8

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    Quote by BlackCat1982 View Post
    Am I right in thinking he was hospitalised with Typhus fever in May 1944, bottom of page 9?
    No. The entries on page 9 are vaccinations.

    (Hospital treatments are on pages 12/13.)

  10. #9

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    Page 9 was for immunisation injections. Page 12 & 13 shows that he was in hospital with stomach problems.

  11. #10

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    I misread the reference on page 9 as Typhus fever? Thanks for correcting me.

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