A Mother's Letter

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WCM2020
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A Mother's Letter

Post by WCM2020 » 15 Oct 2020 02:35

Reading "Tragedy of the Faithful," the history of the Third SS-Panzer Korps by Wilhelm Tieke I am struck by a letter written by the mother of one of the unit's fallen members. It appears near the end of the book and it leaves me thinking about the families of soldiers whose fates remain unknown to this day. Yes, there are families on all sides of the conflict who were left wondering what happened to their sons or fathers or husbands or boyfriends in combat. Yet for German families, like their Russian counterparts, the scale and ferocity of the fighting meant that there must be hundreds of thousands if not millions of families who could write the same letter. That not only convey the grief of this mother's unanswered question about what happened, but also the depth and breadth of her loss. Specifically, I cannot help but wonder how she endured and what ever became of the rest of her life. Here is the letter, written by on 23 January, 1947:
Dear Herr Kauerauf:
We received your letter of 30 December (1946) and thank you deeply for it. We had already learned the sad news of the death of our beloved Adolf from two of his comrades. It is very sad to us that our dear son had to be killed right at the end after he had served with such inspired devotion in the heaviest fighting. We have received nothing officially, since his death came during the sad time of the desperate collapse. We have had to make a great sacrifice. Of our four children, we have lost three.
Our son, Walter, was killed on 23 September 1944 in action as a battery commander with this Sturmgeschutz Abteilung during the heavy fighting at Arnhem. He is buried in Bocholt on the German-Dutch border.
Our only daughter died giving birth to her fourth child in April 1945. She too, was a victim of this unfortunate war. As a result, I had a heart attack. It was too much for my nerves. With God's help I have had a good recovery, but the loss and the longing for my dear children prevents me from feeling happy at any time.
God gave us a burden, but he also helps us to carry it. That I have learned in rich measure! I often feel bitter sorrow that our soldiers, who have done so much and given their all with upright hearts, are now condemned. They were heroes in the truest sense, both those who have fallen and those who yet live. They gave their best for their fatherland and their fellow men. I often think how my sons would have suffered over the sad and dismal end.
Dear Herr Kauerauf, I thank you from my heart for your sympathy. I wish you all the best in yoru path through life.
Heartfelt best wishes from the mother of Adolf,
Frau Eugenie Grimminger
***'
Where and who are the descendants of this mother and this family? It is a long-shot, but I post in hopes that perhaps somebody has a lead.

history1
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Re: A Mother's Letter

Post by history1 » 15 Oct 2020 08:42

Nachname/last name: Grimminger
Vorname/first name:Walter
Dienstgrad/rank: Leutnant/Second Lieutenant
Geburtsdatum/DOB: 15.08.1919
Geburtsort/POB: Schwäbisch Gmünd [Baden-Württemberg, Germany]
Todes-/Vermisstendatum/KIA-MIA: 23.09.1944
Todes-/Vermisstenort/Location of KIA-MIA: nicht verzeichnet/not recorded

Walter Grimminger is burried on the military cemetery in Bocholt.
Grave location: Block E1, row 13 grave 202
Source: https://www.volksbund.de/graebersuche/d ... d15bf9e5e2

I wonder why you didn´t post the address of Eugenie Grimminger, WCM2020? It´s Schwäbisch Gmünd, Olgastraße 59.
Don´t you think that it would make easier to find descendants with this information?
What it looks like nowadays:
https://goo.gl/maps/NRHi6raaYETompfB8
The "Olgastraße" got renamed into "Rektor-Klaus-Straße" in 1958.
Possible descendants:
https://www.dastelefonbuch.de/Personen/ ... Gm%C3%BCnd
[...] She too, was a victim of this unfortunate war. As a result, I had a heart attack. It was too much for my nerves. [...]
But in "Armor Battles of the Waffen SS: 1943-45" by Will Fey the same letter reads
[...] She too, was a victim of this unfortunate war. All this was too much for my nerves. I had a brain seizure. [...]
and
" I often think how my sons would have suffered over the sad and dismal end.
is in Fey´s book:
I often think how my son would have suffered very badly because of the sad and hopeless end.
Source: https://books.google.at/books?id=8piGeF ... er&f=false

WCM2020
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Joined: 31 Dec 2019 21:05
Location: USA

Re: A Mother's Letter

Post by WCM2020 » 15 Oct 2020 13:49

Thanks for the quick and intriguing reply, History1. I am eager to pursue the links you have provided here.
I posted the letter verbatim as it appears in Tieke's book. It is intriguing that Tieke's version mentions a "heart attack" and references "sons." Obviously I don't know what her medical problem was, but it is clear she had two sons as you indicate that Walter does have a recorded grave. And in her letter she mentions him and Adolf.
As for the address, there is no reference to it in the letter as it appears in Tieke's book.
Please let me know if you uncover additional information.

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