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Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.

Article about: There are two separate letters in today’s post. The first letter was written by a Josef Hirtreiter, he was a German Soldier serving with the Pioneer Battalion 223 within the 223rd Infantry

  1. #1

    Default Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.

    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    There are two separate letters in today’s post. The first letter was written by a Josef Hirtreiter, he was a German Soldier serving with the Pioneer Battalion 223 within the 223rd Infantry Division. He would be killed in Kharkov on September 4th 1943. Parts of his letter are burnt by fire.

    The 2nd Letter was written by Josef’s wife, Paula Hirtreiter.

    The first letter, written by Josef while taking part in the Siege of Leningrad, reads:

    “ Russia, 13. November 1942

    My dear, good Paula,

    After a long time, I have longed to receive your dear letter. It was a great joy for me when I received a letter from you from home today, Friday, November 13. Dear Paula, thank you very much for that.

    I have been eagerly awaiting and reading your letter and have learned many things from your letter from home. Dear Paula, with longing and a joyful heart I reach for the pen to write you a few lines.

    You write how much you would like to talk to me again and I can't believe it when I think about where I am right now, how I got here.

    I know it cost a lot of money back then, but there was a time when you could still come to me and I could come to you to see each other and talk to each other. That was still a nice time in Riesa. I think back to the Sundays when we could be together and what you brought me and everything you did for me.

    Dear Paula, I can sympathize with you, but unfortunately it's all over. I have a word or two to say about the news from your neighborhood. It's strange what some people come up with and think they can do anything. I don't know what's wrong with Mayor Seissnitz, but his behavior is mean. There's always something going on at home and there are still people who are obviously doing too well.

    I, on the other hand, know what war means. At home, many people don't know what it means to have no food, no bed, no peace and quiet and not to be able to be with their wife and children at home. Many have no idea what it means that an enemy bullet can hit you at any moment.

    We are 16 men here who have been assigned to the company as replacements. After a few days, 6 of my men had to go to the front, and within a week we had 2 of these 6 men who were lost and a dead comrade who we have now laid to rest with full military honors.

    Dear Paula, this war is tearing everything apart and destroying everything …Damaged by fire… and takes many sons from father and mother, from women and children.
    Many a young comrade has to give up his hopeful life. Here, the human being is worth nothing. It doesn't matter what he does, it's all about deprivation, sorrow and misery.

    We are still in the same place as I wrote to you before. We are in a hut with 10 men and in addition there are 13 men from the infantry who are coming back from the front and have been relieved. Our entire group is only 25 men.

    The accommodation here is about the same size as our little room at home and we can hardly move around here. It's impossible and uncomfortable. And you don't have peace day or night. The lice and bedbugs....Damaged by fire… everything is lice-ridden and once you have these beasts on your body you can't get rid of them.

    Dear Paula, it is the fate of every single person to have to go through something like this and who knows what else you will experience.

    It goes without saying that it is a misery for every German who has to lose his life here to see how many disgusting people are walking around here on God's earth. These conditions in Russia are atrocious.

    Dear Paula, I hope and wish that I will return to you and my dear children back home, God willing. We've had frost here for 8 days and temperatures as low as -15 degrees. There's no snow here yet, but it's good that the ground is frozen because the mud is gone now.

    Dear Paula, you write that you have sent 3 packages to me, but I have not received one yet and hope that they will still arrive. I say my heartfelt thanks to you for everything.
    Hopefully this letter will arrive. All the best, farewell, many kisses and greetings, your Josef. “
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    The letter written by Paula to her Husband Josef, was written 6 days before Josef would be killed in action. He would not receive it before his death and her letter would be returned to her. It reads:

    “ Dennheritz, August 29, 1943

    Our dear, good daddy!

    It’s Sunday, stormy and gloomy all day, so it’s a day to be sad. The children are all playing here in our living room and my head is burning because you know what it’s like when the 3 children are together and playing.

    Yesterday I received your dear letter of August 15 from Kovel. I've always had a dull feeling inside of me. My good, thank you for writing me during the trip, but where are you now? We are eagerly awaiting your next letter to find out where you are.

    On Thursday we had a military training with the soldiers from Zwickau and people said, the poor soldiers. I have to think about you and what you have to do and do without. What was just a military exercise here is serious with you.

    It was quite interesting to see how the planes came. First came the reconnaissance planes, then the bombers and from the other side the fighter planes. There were also tanks.

    Manfred and Gotthilf were unlucky because they had to sit in school because teacher Dittrich had no sympathy for the boys. If it had been the pupil Israel (a Jew), the teacher would have let him out.

    We don't know if you'll keep your field post number. I would have baked you a sand cake, but I'm not sure if I should send the package.

    There is no possibility to buy tobacco products, because the shops are all empty and many even close their shops. The men here are all in a bad mood and Ilse says that her father is always in a bad mood when he doesn't have anything to smoke.

    You are no longer allowed to show women's cards and you can now throw them in the oven. It is becoming more and more apparent that this war has been going on for 4 years. There were many here who believed that the war would end in August because we had two full moons. August came to an end and there is still no end of the war.

    Today we think a lot about winter and I hear your words in my mind when you said that you dread having to spend another winter in Russia.

    Since you've been gone, I often feel like you're standing or walking next to me and I feel like I could talk to you. The longing for you makes me sick and I don't like food anymore. I could only vomit all day.

    Yesterday I baked 2 apple pies. Then I had to think of you and I lost my appetite. The kids finally ate apples this year. The apples are from the Hochmuth ́s and it would be nice if I could send you some, but I don't dare because the apples spoil before they are with you.

    In the living room we have a lot of flies and you can only see black. The children beat many fly’s to death. Supposedly you should put up tomato cabbage, because the flies would sit on it, but so far I don't see a fly on the tomato cabbage.

    It's midnight now, I'm going to feed the rabbits and then go to bed. Yesterday afternoon we threshed grain at Hochmuth's, but not much will be ready. He went to Dresden on Friday and won't be back until tomorrow.

    Today I heard on the radio that the King of Bulgaria has died. We have air raid alarms every night, but nothing serious has happened yet.

    May God be your protector, out there in enemy territory. I greet you warmly and full of love and longing, your Paula and the children. Goodbye at home. As soon as I have a message from you where you are, I will send you a card. “
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.
    Paula would receive a letter notifying her of her husband’s death. It reads:

    “ 15. October 1943

    Dear Mrs. Hirtreiter!

    I have the heavy duty to inform you now that your husband died a hero’s death for the Führer and the people on September 4th 1943.

    Please accept from the bottom of my heart my condolences on this heavy loss. I can give you the comforting assurance that it was a quick death. A serious wound to the head tore him from our ranks. He had been wounded before, but only slightly, and was fatally wounded while bandaging.

    I first received this report from the comrade who had bandaged your husband and was wounded himself. So it happened that your husband was initially considered missing. An attempt to rescue him was no longer possible due to the heavy shelling and so he had to be abandoned with a heavy heart.

    We wish you, Mrs. Hirtreiter, that you remain brave and strong despite this heavy loss. Your husband will also remain in good memory with us. Be assured of our constant helpfulness and accept all good wishes for you and your children, your devoted E. Bormann “

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  3. #2

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    Hi JB.

    Another very interesting and poignant piece of social history, thank you for sharing it with us.

    Name: Josef Hirtreiter
    Rank: Gefreiter
    Birth Date: 7 October 1908
    Birth Place: Thananger Straubing
    Military Unit: 12./Kompanie Pionier Bataillon 223
    Death Date: 4 September 1943
    Death Place: Bei Shurawli, 14km Nordnordwestl Walki

    His cause of death is simply noted as Gefallen (Killed in action).

    Two WW2 Era German Letters. One written by a German Soldier Less than a Year before he would be Killed in Action. The other written by his wife 6 days before his death.

    Josef Hirtreiter has not yet been transferred to a military cemetery set up by the Volksbund.
    According to the information available to us, his grave is currently in the following place: Shurawli - Ukraine.

    Kind regards,

    Will.

  4. #3

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    Great, great job.
    Thanks for this post.

    Regards
    Santi

  5. #4

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    Hey Will,

    Thank you for the additional information!

    Good day,
    JB

    - - ------- - -

    My pleasure!

    Good day,
    JB

  6. #5
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    Hello, this is a very interesting letter that correctly depicts the conditions of life for the soldiers. congratulations. Best regards: Peeloo

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