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Help Identifying SS Uniform

Article about: So, I found this photo among my deceased grandparent-in-laws' personal effects - along with family photos, wedding photos, etc. My grandmother-in-law was from Bavaria, and her husband was fr

  1. #1

    Default Help Identifying SS Uniform



    So, I found this photo among my deceased grandparent-in-laws' personal effects - along with family photos, wedding photos, etc. My grandmother-in-law was from Bavaria, and her husband was from Austria somewhere. It was obviously a family photo of someone close to the family.

    My in-laws are very sensitive to the family history, and refuse to talk about it at all. The family story is that my grandparents met in a concentration camp--which may or may not be true, or at least be misleading. We had always assumed they meant as prisoners, they might not have.

    So, long story short(ish), is there any way to tell which "branch" of the SS this person was in? (Allgemeine, Totenkopfverbände, Waffen, Sicherheitsdienst?)

    Unfortunately the revealing collar tab is on the other side, and the waffenfarbe is, well, in black and white.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    As you mentioned, te first key would be a view of the right collar tab. It would be quite rare for an Allgemeine SS NCO to be wearing a gray tunic. It is more likely the man is Waffen SS but could also be assigned to the other two. An interesting aspect of the picture is the cap strap which is not the typical SS form jointed in the middle but more the Wehrmacht pattern strap.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  4. #3
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    I noticed that cap as well Bob, that's a mad mad cap, love how it was formed and the eagle wings bent in. Given they were reportedly in a camp perhaps it is SS-TV?

  5. #4

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    Hi doug-
    It certainly would not be the first time guards passed themselves off as prisoners. The cap certainly has a very interesting shape. Jeffrey, welcome to the forum !
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  6. #5
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    Jeffrey Rasmussen may wish to make an request to the Deutsche Dienststelle (Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt)). I understand that they will only provide information from service records to family members, so I assume that the request would have to come from Mrs Rasmussen. Its not a quick process - a few months ago I helped a friend (whose late father was a soldier in the German army, who settled in England after the war) after a month or so a letter came from Berlin acknowledging the on-line request but warning that the processing time was at least ten months. I understand that, with luck, one will eventually receive photocopies of original records. They charge for the copies but the cost is quite moderate (20 Euro?).

    Regards,

    Philip

  7. #6

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    Thanks everyone! I may go that route DrPMC, though I'll have to do a bit more digging first. Like I said, the family is pretty hush hush about it, and get offended easily when I even bring it up. I'm not sure if this was a great uncle or what, let alone a name.

    Just from a uniform history standpoint, I found the cap fascinating as well! The leather strap in front is the two buckle design with no connector in front. It appears to be the same one found here: Third Reich Sturmriemen for Schirmmütze. Different from that found here: Stabswache de Euros:

    I don't know if that speaks to the time period, or "branch", or manufacturer, or what, but it's interesting. I also love the wear of the cover and bent eagle's wings. I wonder if that was a stylistic choice or a certain style of wear for a particular unit or affiliation (sort of how modern naval aviatiors will put a dip in their garrison covers).

  8. #7

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    Quote by Jeffrey Rasmussen View Post
    Thanks everyone! I may go that route DrPMC, though I'll have to do a bit more digging first. Like I said, the family is pretty hush hush about it, and get offended easily when I even bring it up. I'm not sure if this was a great uncle or what, let alone a name.

    Just from a uniform history standpoint, I found the cap fascinating as well! The leather strap in front is the two buckle design with no connector in front. It appears to be the same one found here: Third Reich Sturmriemen for Schirmmütze. Different from that found here: Stabswache de Euros:

    I don't know if that speaks to the time period, or "branch", or manufacturer, or what, but it's interesting. I also love the wear of the cover and bent eagle's wings. I wonder if that was a stylistic choice or a certain style of wear for a particular unit or affiliation (sort of how modern naval aviatiors will put a dip in their garrison covers).
    It would be easier to hire an American professional researcher to look for a file as the U. S. National Archives holds files on nearly all SS men. Michael Constandy at Westmoreland Research is an excellent choice. You only pay if they have results. It would be highly unlikely that it would run more than $150. This of course is predicated on the fact that he did not change his name following the war and emigrating.
    The shape of the cap is a personal choice and has no unit affiliation. The chin strap is likely a replacement and what was available was used. In 1943, the Germans were not worried or considering a collector market in 2013.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  9. #8
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    There is nothing really remarkable or unique about a WSS NCO wearing a Heer chinstrap on his cap or even bending the eagle to such extremes.
    Period photos show such anomalies occurring quite frequently.
    Never the less, it's very nice to see this portrait and welcome to the forum.

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