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Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

Article about: Hello and thanks for this excellent forum. I am researching the identity of a Nazi officer, whose house my grandfather helped secure during the war. My Grandfather served with the 630th Medi

  1. #1
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    Hello and thanks for this excellent forum. I am researching the identity of a Nazi officer, whose house my grandfather helped secure during the war. My Grandfather served with the 630th Medical Clearing Company and at one point they were told to go into this guy's house, see if anyone was inside, check for any documents of importance, etc.

    When they got inside the officer and his whole family were dead by their own hands.

    Below are some pictures of his that they took. The first image has two views of him. The right picture says "This is an officer of the S.S. troops (over).

    The second image has the back, which in my grandfather's hand reads "This is one of Hitlers pigs that done his dirty work for him. This man was under Himmler. The hat he has on in this picture is now mine."

    The third picture is my grandfather, wearing the hat, which we still have.

    Using the resources of this site, I have been able to detect that the man is an SS Officer based on the arm band and hat. This also fits the mention of Himmler that my grandfather wrote. Plus he won a Gold Sport medal (on his left breast pocket), but that is all I can tell so far. We have a bunch of other pictures of the guy, his family and other German Army images that are interesting, but not of any use in figuring out who he might be.

    Any help or thoughts about how I might be able to find out who he was would be greatly appreciated. If any of the other pictures would be of use or interest, I could put them up too. I didn't want to suck up too much space in my first post.
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  3. #2
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    Mr. Brown, thanks for your reply!

    I just took these photos of the hat today to post for you. I'd be interested to know if you thought it was Waffen, which I understand to mean a more "political" branch. In person, I would call it an olive green with cream colored piping and then a black visor and band, set off by silver braided ropes. Inside there is a plastic triangle, which I understand was to keep sweat off the hat. There are no markings or stamps that I can find.

    I also scanned what I think is among the most interesting of the officer's family photos. It looks like some kind of party - maybe New Years or even just Oktoberfest. The officer is on the lower right. Across what looks like a cummerbund, appears to be the word "Leppee" in script, but it maybe be other letters too. I can't find anything matching that either - or that could just be nothing.

    I also posted another page of the album that has the officer's son in his youth uniform, we have some of his belonging, including his knife.

    And to end, Mr. Brown, take a look at my grandfather's name on his dogtag. Thanks for helping out another Brown!










  4. #3
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    Yup, his name was Brown alright. Since I am his grandson and namesake, you may have to stand in line.

    Do you know of any directory or other resource where it might be possible to find out the officer's name and maybe even address of where he was living? It might be an interesting side trip to go find this house next time I am over there. Finding out the name is most what I am after. If the office was more junior, that might make it more difficult. But the guy was clearly important and of some resources based on the pictures and my grandfather's description of his house, grounds and possessions.

    My grandfather's unit stayed in that house for a while and we have a bunch of really great photos of him from that time. We also have other items from the house - some of pretty good size - and it would be fascinating to see the place now.

    The figure you give for the hat is far higher than I had expected. When my grandfather passed on in 2001, we sold the guns he had from the war - not really wanting the in the house. At the time, that collector had offered $3,000 USD for the hat and photographs. We were not interested in selling them, so I am glad we held off.

    Thanks so much, cousin.

  5. #4
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    Oh interesting. You think the hat the officer is wearing is not the same hat. It sure looks the same to me, but by no means would I say it is 100%. The coloring in the photos is too sepia / gray to be certain.

    I agree with you on the setting of provenance. Finding out the officers name is, in part, also toward that end.

    Very helpful of you. Cheers!

  6. #5
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    I've looked in the hat for any marks as best as I can. The inside rim is rather brittle and I don't want to tear it further.

    The hat in the photo does look a lot darker. I just assumed it was the color tone of the aged picture. But you are far more expert. Which means even if I find the guy's name from the photo, we won't know if the hat was his unless we could determine that he once held whatever position that hat identifies.

    Other then being a waffen hat, is there anything else determinable from it?

  7. #6
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    Yes, the band around the whole cap just above the visor is velvet.

    None of the photos indicate a town, but I will look at them again. There are so many that posting them all may be too much, but I'll look for the best.

    Also, gramps was in the 630th Medical Clearing Co., but I can't find anything on the web about where they may have been. I know for sure he was in Cologne because he always talked about that city and we have a lot of pictures of the Cathedral after the bombing. We have some nice pictures of him at the top of the steps under the massive arched doorways.

    I'll look at them all again now.

  8. #7
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    I saw the pin and medals too, but could not make anything from them, except that the tie pin was a Nazi swastika.

    I just went through the pictures and scanned any with any lettering on any buildings. None of them are at all legible or come up with anything seeming on point if I google it. I also scanned a typed sheet of the 630th's activities and one other page of pictures of my gramps with his hat that are uncolored. The typed sheet indicates where his unit was while in Germany, so that may be of some help.

    The pictures are mostly glued to a very brittle paper, although in some cases it looks like wallpaper was used - gramps was into recycling before it was cool. haha








  9. #8
    tfurtado
    ?

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    I think that gramps thought this was the guy's hat from that house and he did like wearing it. We also have those boots from the very top left picture and he'd put them and the hat on sometimes for a laugh.

    Looking now at the way the cap looks on the officer guy looks and then at gramps, I think you are correct about them being different hats. Even with the sepia coloring, the guy's hat looks all the same color and too dark.

    No diary, sadly. For all those years when we had him around it was always great to listen to stories. He was such a history buff too, but mostly on local things, more so than his time in the war anyway. Still, of course we should have all been much more aware of the passing of all this information that would go with him. We have just one member of his generation in my family - my 94 year old uncle, who commanded several tank destroyers and was in the Bulge as well as having gone ashore on D Day.

    Anyway, in just a few hours here we have uncovered a truth that we had been mistaken about for all these years. Amazing! And all thanks to a guy named Brown no less.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    The key to identifying the first officer in the black uniform lies in unit designations worn on the collar and possibly cuff. Here is an example of such a uniform with the regimental number which correlated to a place in Germany.
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    damit, basta.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Is there any way to ID an SS Officer?

    This is the kind of cap the man in the early pictures has in wear.
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    damit, basta.

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