German soldier dies in Romania

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shellym
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German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 18 Nov 2007 04:47

I received a letter from the Deutsche Dienststelle informing me that my grandfather died on 13 March, 1945 in Romania - an exact place of death not known. It states he is buried
"Focsani/Militär Soldatenfriedhof Mina/Rumänien - gemeinshaftsgrab III"

I am asssuming he is buried in a mass grave in the military cemetery in Focsani?

Does anyone know which German units were in or around this area in March of 1943? I believe he had been in the Crimea at some time and had written to his wife stating that they were slowly making their way home. What that means I do not know? However, I would be interested to know of any battles/skirmishes that may have occurred in the region which may give me an idea of which unit he was in. I am assuming also that he would not have been buried too far from where he fell?

Cheers

Michelle

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Csaba Becze
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Postby Csaba Becze » 18 Nov 2007 08:22

Michelle,

If he died on 13 March, 1945 and was buried at Focsani, he evidently died in the big POW camp at Focsani (many prisoner of war's died there mostly because of illnesses)

Csaba

shellym
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Postby shellym » 18 Nov 2007 13:20

Csaba,

Thank you for such a prompt reply.

I never considered such a possibility. My family wasn't really sure how he died, only that his wife's mail was returned to him,saying he died for his country. I haven't been able to find out which regiment he served in, therefore it has been hard to track down his whereabouts, other than snippets of information passed down through the years.

Thank you again!

Michelle

Andreas
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Postby Andreas » 19 Nov 2007 11:53

This thread maybe relevant:

viewtopic.php?t=5750

All the best

Andreas

shellym
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Postby shellym » 19 Nov 2007 13:13

Hi Andreas,

I read the suggested thread - very interesting indeed. In fact, after a discussion with my father this very evening (the son of the soldier who died in Rumania), he told me he remembered his mother talking about the last couple of postcards she received from her husband at the front. One said that they were battling on despite being down to 200 men and then one before notification of his death that stated...things very desperate - down to only six men!.

It seems highly likely that he was involved in that awful mess.

Thanks and cheers

Michelle

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 30 Apr 2008 13:47

As a follow up to my earlier question, please see my post of 29 April titled 3. Kompanie Pionier-Ersatz Bataillon. New information has been recieved by me.

Regards

Michelle

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 18 Jul 2008 14:51

The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge has kindly sent me a photogrpah of Ludwig Abel's grave in Focsani.
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hhotzy
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby hhotzy » 11 Sep 2008 20:33

Hi Michelle,
I just saw your info request concerning your grandfather and Focsani. I don't have any specific info on the regiment he may have served in itself but have more details on the POW cementary as my father passed away there in 1946.
If you are interested I would be happy to send you further info but would need a mailing address as scanning the photos/letters would not suffice or be practical. If yes, please contact me off list at horsthotzy@gmail.com I am writing from Los Angeles, USA. Kind regards, Horst

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 10 Apr 2009 08:17

Thanks to all who helped me by providing links and information. I have been researching further. From army records, I believe my grandfather was in Pionier Bataillon 741 (feldpostnummer 40276) which was part of 11th Army. His sons tell me that he would write home describing the awful situation he and his fellow soldiers found themselves in, with the numbers in his unit diminishing rapidly and writing of a retreat and heading towards Hungary.

After reading up on the decimation of the Germans in Romania these comments make sense. I need some clarification though and perhaps someone could help me?

I understand most of the battles in Romania were over by early September 1944 and that all 14 German Divisions were destroyed, though some were later rebuilt. I think something like 98 000 German prisoners were taken, my grandfather amongst them - I think. You see his wife was sent a letter stating that her husband had died on 13 March, 1945, but I have found that he actually died in December 1945 as a POW in Focsani. Can anyone enlighten me on might have happened here? Is it possible that amidst all the chaos of retreating Germans, men dying and being captured that he may have been captured in March and no one in higher authority knowing his whereabouts? Or, were there other events that happened after March in or around Focsani that he may have been involved with before being captured? It is just that there is this gap of time between September 1944 and March 1945 when I can't find out where he was.

Also, is it possible to find out how to obtain information about the POW camp? Who would hold such records?

Cheers,
Michelle

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 10 Apr 2009 08:27

Apologies. A quick amendment: It was not the 11th Army. It was the 6th.

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 21 Jul 2009 00:31

Have found this old photo taken somewhere in Germany, probably near Berlin. I believe he was Gefreiter. His records show that in 1943 he was Obergefreiter.
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shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 17 May 2011 12:40

Is it possible to retrieve records of POW's who were in this camp in Romania? (see earlier posts in this thread)

"Focsani/Militär Soldatenfriedhof Mina/Rumänien - gemeinshaftsgrab III"

I was thrilled to receive a photograph of my grandfather's resting place at this cemetery, but questions remain unanswered still. Am I wasting my time trying to track down an organisation that holds such records, if indeed they still exist after the devastation of the war?


Michelle

Sid Guttridge
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby Sid Guttridge » 17 May 2011 13:21

If memory serves me correctly, the Romanians had to hand over German POWs to the Red Army.

This camp may have been administered by the USSR, even though it was in Romania.

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 20 May 2011 12:20

Thanks, any idea who in Russia administered these camps or POW's? Is it worthwhile trying to track further information?

shellym
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Re: German soldier dies in Romania

Postby shellym » 22 May 2012 08:16

I have just received another photo of my grandfather, Ludwig Abel. Can anyone recognise the symbols on his shoulder? His Feldpostnummer was 40276 and his final rank was obergefreiter. This photo was taken in 1939.
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