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Translate German Death Card

Article about: I picked this card up at a local auction this weekend, I honestly was surprised to find it tucked in a cookbook that I ended up paying \\$1 for. It was a win/win situation because I got to kee

  1. #1

    Default Translate German Death Card

    I picked this card up at a local auction this weekend, I honestly was surprised to find it tucked in a cookbook that I ended up paying $1 for.

    It was a win/win situation because I got to keep the card and my wife got a new cookbook from her loving husband

    If its not too much trouble I was wondering if anyone on the forum could translate the card. Just curious to see where he was KIA (I'm guessing Ostfront)

    Many thanks as always
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  3. #2


    Under his picture it says "He gave his life for the life of his Fatherland" On the other side, it says he was a farmers son, and a gefreiter(lance corporal) in a grenadier regiment who died on 23 February 1943 in the heavy fighting in the east, northern area. I don't get a couple of the words in the last sentence though, but that's the gist of it. My German is a bit old, sorry if I goofed

  4. #3


    Thanks for the translation!

    What is his full name?

  5. #4


    His full name is "Andreas Otteneder". I wish I could see a middle name but unfortunately there is none on this card.
    Best Regards,

  6. #5


    'Killed in the East in the Northern Orel region'?

  7. #6


    Orel would refer to Ukraine?

  8. #7


    Orel or Oryol [Орёл] is in Russia. It was occupied by the Wehrmacht from 1941 to 1943 and liberated after the Battle of Kursk.

    Here's a full translation of the text on the right page:

    "Memory in prayer

    of our unforgettable, dear

    Andreas Otteneder

    Farmer's son from Ed
    Gefreiter in a grenadier regiment

    who, on 22 February 1943,
    met with a hero's death for
    the fatherland during
    the heavy fighting in the east
    north of Orel in the 21st year of his life

    Farewell! A hard parting word,
    yet off I went with a glad spirit.
    In a faraway land, in fervent battle,
    I had often thought of you:
    And looked forward to the reunion.
    Now I rest in foreign soil
    and am with God in the Father's house.
    So console yourself, look heavenward,
    what God does, that is done well,
    what you wish for, is that which I already have
    Heaven is a soldier's reward.

    Haas, Peterskirchen

    (The text in the lower half of the card is in rhyme, which is obviously lost in the translation.)

    Haas is the name of the card's printers. Ed and Peterskirchen are both component localities of the rural municipality of Dietersburg near Pfarrkirchen in Lower Bavaria.

    By the way: A Google search tells me that there is still a farmers' family by the name of Otteneder living in Ed. For example, here's an article from a regional paper about the 60th wedding anniversary of Max and Kreszenz Otteneder of Ed:

    Dietersburg: Seit 60 Jahren ein Ehepaar

    Max was born in 1926 as the eleventh and youngest child of Ludwig and Karolina Otteneder and was drafted at 17 years of age. After two years as a POW, he returned home in 1945. He is almost certainly related to Andreas; perhaps he's his brother.

  9. #8


    Thank you for the in-depth translation my friend. Its amazing to know some history behind the mans face. I too am a son of a farmer, and cannot imagine what it would have been like to sacrifice so much.

    I have another question for you then. Would it be appropriate in a German's perspective to track this family down and send them this card?

    Many thanks again!

  10. #9
    MAP is online now


    Others may disagree, but I would say yes. It's really a personal issue for people. Some may want to forget and others may cherish a token to remember a loved one.

    but how a death card got here? I doubt it was a souvenir brought back by a GI. If he was one of 11 kids, it's always possible a relative moved to the US....

    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  11. #10


    Its a possibility that more than one sibling perished in the war. I would love to find the address of a family member so that I could send "Andreas" back to German.

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