Help to identify the text of a document stamp

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sirjahn
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Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 05 Jun 2013 18:02

In my research on the Rennes POW Hospital I have gotten several US Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPFs) that have death certificates for POWs at Rennes. These certificates are signed by the German Doctor in charge and counter-signed by the Allied Doctor as a witness. The document then is stamped with something. Unfortunately they are not very clear.

Does anyone have any idea on what the stamp says and what it represents?

The POW Hospital in Rennes was variously called Frontstalag 221, Stalag 221 W, Rennes EPS, Rennes Military Hospital but the stamp does not seem to have those type words on it. It looks like a 121 is on the top arc but the rest is pretty indecipherable to me. Does anyone have an example of a stamp like this?

My goal is to maybe identify the German Administrative Unit in charge of the hospital.

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Lynn R
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby Lynn R » 06 Jun 2013 02:33

Do all the stamps look the same? Do you have another copy where either the top or the bottom are more clear?

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John G.
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby John G. » 06 Jun 2013 13:04

The top line of the stamp does say "Frontstalag 121" (or whatever the number is).....the bottom line is usually a location (local Post office location) or feldposte number.... looks something like......."A U E A N A " ??? (but much to unclear to read properly)....(any small towns or districts near Rennes with similiar spelling...?)...

These were "official Administrative" rubber stamps....giving "authority" to the signature thus making it official. Often this is the same as the unit's "Feldposte" stamp.... a "Frontstalag" is a temp. holding camp for POWs before processing thm into more "permanent" Camps....in this case a "POW Hospital" (maybe) or at least the Stamp was from the POW camp...

Generally speaking, this form of document stamp is pretty typical it "format".....(straigth winged eagle/swas. with Unit title (or) around the "top arch" and the location (or feldposte number, etc.) around the bottom arch....

Hope this helps aittle...
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GregSingh
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby GregSingh » 06 Jun 2013 14:19

Frontstalag 181 was in Angers - about 100km south-east from Rennes.
Here is a map of all Frontstalags in France:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=214484139989097461027.0004988ea5e0a9d241854

So looks like those papers are not from Rennes, or Frontstalags moved from town to town over period of time...?
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

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sirjahn
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 06 Jun 2013 16:47

I count only 10 letters in the upper text first word. Frontstalag is 11 letters. It sort of looks like the spelling could be FRONTSALAG going on the assumption that it is for a FRONTSTALAG. Angers is 6 letters and I count 6 letters but the last letter doesn't look like an "s" and to me the second letter looks like a "u". This is my reading but I am not used to German text types. Could the text be in Sutterlin script? I don't recall any German script that would combine the S and T into one letter.

So far these are the clearest shots of the stamp from 3 different IDPFs. I have sent away for a couple of more IDPFs but no guarantee they will be any clearer. The first German Admin officer, Stabsarzt Lumpf, used the stamp and the later IDPFs signed by the new Admin officer, Oberstabsarzt Enzinger, do not have the stamp. My Father's one letter from the hospital was a preprinted POW letter form of the German's and it had Quimper Front-stalag 183 on the preprint and this was pencil struck out to put in Rennes Front-Stalag 221.

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John G.
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby John G. » 06 Jun 2013 18:06

"s + t" are combined (in Stalag).....thus the differant letter count....
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Lynn R
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby Lynn R » 07 Jun 2013 05:21

Have you tried contacting surviving members of the 508th? Author/508th veteran Zig Boroughs had another book published this year. In it he tells of a 508th member named Jack Schlegel who served as a translator for Dr. Enzinger and remained in contact with the doctor's family. Enzinger had helped Schlegel escape, avoiding transport to another camp, as Patton's troops approached.

I don't know if this is still current but past contact info for Boroughs was: phone 864-878-9523 or via e-mail at ralph.boroughs -at- att.net or postal mail P.O. Box 1131, Pickens, SC 29671

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sirjahn
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 07 Jun 2013 15:28

I have had conversations with Jack Schlegal and he gave me some good input but nothing on the German unit running the Hospital or the guards around it. I have multiple sources saying they were old Austrian and Latvian/Polish men who recognized that the war was coming to a close but still loyal to their government. I have tracked down several possible Landschutzen battalions that could have provided the guards and were in the Rennes area. Using Landschutzen as guards was consistent with other camps and stalags run in the captured territories.

However, there are no doctors in the Landschutzen organizations that I have been able to find. Therefore I assume that another German organization provided the medical personnel. This seems consistent with the POW reports from the hospital which indicated the guards were housed nearby and the German medical personnel came in each day by ambulance or truck. Bob Seachrist, pathfinder from the 101st was going to tell me the German organizations but he died before I could follow up to get the information from him.
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Moltke d. J.
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby Moltke d. J. » 17 Jun 2013 06:12

Did you check http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gliederungen/Kriegsgefangenenlager/Frontstalag.htm?

First reference date for Frontstalag 221 at Rennes is January 1943, does it fit? 'Außenstelle' means something like like a branch office or outpost (so it wasn't the main facility). Subordinated to Militärbefehlshaber Frankreich. That's not really helpful, MBF Frankreich was the highest guy in the chain of command http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milit%C3%A4rbefehlshaber#Frankreich.

Frank

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sirjahn
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 18 Jun 2013 18:10

Yes I have seen both of those sources but they fail to identify the unit that was running the stalags either as guards or hosptial personnel. I had a guy check the Bundesarchiv without success. MBF Frankreich was in general charge of the AO but I believe the Army Groups also had a play in here.

In and adjacent to Rennes were two POW transit points Frontstalag 133 and Frontstalag 221 with the hospital sometimes being called Frontstalag 221 W. I was just hoping that the death certificate stamp would help me find the German units involved.
Dale
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sirjahn
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 21 Nov 2013 16:01

Okay, got a POW ID Card from a POW Medic at Rennes and it has two stamp locations. It does look like Frontstalag 221 if you piece the two stamps together with the '2's seeming to be cruder than the other numbers. But the lettering at the bottom is still unclear.

Any new guesses? Click to get full photo.

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GregSingh
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby GregSingh » 22 Nov 2013 06:31

I think somebody already gave a hint.
Letters at the bottom of the stamp are: Außenst.
"st" looks exactly the same as "st" in the word Frontstalag at the top of the stamp.

So it is "Außenstelle".
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

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sirjahn
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Re: Help to identify the text of a document stamp

Postby sirjahn » 22 Nov 2013 20:56

Thanks that could be it. The Rennes Military Hospital was an Aussenstelle of Frontstalag 221 based in Bordeaux.
Dale
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