Faber Family

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Sunkisdgrl
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Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 13 Mar 2011 18:23

I recently found some family pictures of my Great-Grandmother. Her name was Faye (Fee) Faber and it appears that she and her immediate family were Luftwaffe Officers and staff, they were originally from Holland.

The pictures are all marked "WBZ". The first picture attached is signed Claas Faber, I believe he was Faye's father, her mother and brother are also in Luftwaffe uniform. The picture of the building is on the inside cover of an album of Luftwaffe Officers and Staff, I've been trying to place the building but haven't been able to, hopefully it's known to someone?

Any information or help would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to piece together my family's history. Thanks very much in advance for any assistance.

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 13 Mar 2011 18:29

Pictures...
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Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 13 Mar 2011 22:00

Additional Picts...
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Larry D.
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Larry D. » 14 Mar 2011 00:51

Hi s.k.g.,

The photos are a mix of Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe. The abbreviation WBZ (or Wbz) is given as "Wetterbezirkszentrale" or Meteorological District Center. The building is typical of hundreds of similar buildings constructed on Luftwaffe bases during the 1930's and perhaps also on some naval bases, so identifying the specific installation will be very difficult if not impossible. The rank of the individuals in the last couple of photos should help some of the photo enthusiasts here identify them. But aside from that, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. I'm sure you have already checked the captions on the photos as well as other supporting documentation that was with them, but you might take another look for some additional clues because the pictures in of themselves are not going to provide sufficient information to answer your questions.

Larry D.

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 14 Mar 2011 02:21

Thanks very much Larry D. You're right that these are a small part of a larger collection and the Meteorological District Center would make sense with some of the other pictures here. Since this all belonged to my Great-Grandmother and judging by the captions, I would assume that she traveled quite a bit during WWII, staying in Frankfurt and the building pictured for quite some time. I have not been able to get the captions on the backs translated, the handwriting is very difficult on most. There are several hundred pictures so I've pulled out some additional examples of uniforms and captions. Any kind of assistance gives me more information than I had before so I do appreciate it very much. Intresting, but very shortly after WWII ended Faye came to the US and married my Jewish Great-Grandfather, who lived in Berlin and produced fake French passports for Jewish citizens until he came to the US in late 1939. The first picture I have that he sent her is dated 1931, Berlin.

Thanks again, Cammie
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Larry D.
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Larry D. » 14 Mar 2011 14:17

Hi Cammie,

The first photo top left says “Rüdesheim 1944” – this is a picturesque town and tourist destination overlooking the Rhine about 24 kilometers west of Wiesbaden and Mainz.
Top right: “August 1943”.
Lower right: “Do I see someone similar to Mama in this picture?”
Lower left: “My dear (Kälke?) from Raphael. Your (????).”

The next photo (guy with glasses and a woman on either side) is a Luftwaffe major.

The group photo includes the same Luftwaffe major and the two girls in uniform on either side of him wear the crossed cannons of the Flakartillerie (antiaircraft) with the single chevron below indicating they have the rank of Luftwaffen-Helferin or Flakwaffen-Helferin. That was the lowest female rank and was the equivalent of a private or private first class.

Now we are getting somewhere. This last photo very strongly suggests it is of the headquarters staff of a Flakscheinwerfer-Abteilung or Batterie (antiaircraft searchlight battalion or battery) located in the Wiesbaden-Mainz-Rüdesheim area in 1944. The Flak searchlight units used mainly a small contingent of older Luftwaffe males and a large contingent of Luftwaffe females. That whole area was packed thick with Flak units in 1943-45. The girls crewed the big searchlights and operated the Kommandogerät (predictor, range-finding and sighting equipment).

So this should help a bit. But this also means “WBZ” may mean something completely different than what I said. It may have nothing to do with the weather service but rather be the abbreviation of a photo shop that developed the pictures. It could also be an abbreviation for “Wehrmacht Bild Zensor” (Armed Forces Photo Censor). The mail and photos of German armed forces personnel were subject to review by censors to make sure nothing classified was being intentionally or unintentionally passed through the mail system.

Larry

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 14 Mar 2011 16:48

Larry, thank you so very much for for being understanding and patient of my inexpertise in this area of history. WWII wasn't talked about in my family, as it was just too close to home. My Grandmother adopted me and raised me so I didn't have the benefit of being able to ask a parent who was far removed from the War about our family's experiences. Only upon finding all of these things did I even find out that about the Nazi affilation or the fake passports and I had the privlidge of knowing both my great-grandparents, clearly I should've paid more attention when they were trying to teach me German as a child!

I have to take my kids out for the day, but when we get back this evening I will post some additional pictures that I think will confirm your theory of Faye being anti-aircraft in that area. A great many of the pictures have captions with the three locations that you mentioned. My hope is to gather enough information to be able to not only piece together our family story but also request the service records from the German government, if that's possible. So again, thank you so very much, no one here locally has been of any assistance except to offer me money for the collection, getting information has been like pulling teeth, so your help is greatly appreciated.
Cammie

Larry D.
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Larry D. » 14 Mar 2011 17:32

Glad to be of help, Cammie. Names, places and dates are like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The more there are the clearer the picture and the easier it is to fit the pieces together. When we have gone as far as we can go, I'll let you know how to approach the German government for service details. There are no "service records" as we would think of them for Luftwaffe enlisted personnel, but WASt in Berlin does have some information that they make available to relatives.

Larry

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 15 Mar 2011 20:33

Hi Larry, I think I'm getting better at taking pictures of pictures, lots of practice here lately :D Here are a couple more of Faye in her duties and (to my untrained eye) some additional higher ranking men in uniform. The single man in the picture below has a cross on his jacket that I don't see on any of the men he is standing with in other pictures, I've seen this before but not sure if there is any significance. There are probably some better pictures of his dagger that I could also find if it would be helpful? I have so many pictures of him it would be helpful to have more information about him, again, I believe it would be Faye's father, Claas pictured above. There are also some additional captions, one on a picture of two lower ranking women with a building in the distance, not very exciting but the location is Frankfurt, so maybe some clue there? The other caption is on the back of one in a set of wedding pictures of a Faber family member, an officer maybe? It looks like a nice wedding after looking through the Weddings thread on this forum.

I would appreciate any advice you could provide on contacting the proper German offices for any records that might be available. I would also like to request information for my maternal Great-Grandfather, Otto Wilhelm Hertel, as I have some of his personal items also, even though I didn't know him personally. This is the only information I have been able to find about him online http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/ddr/DDRAngeklengfr.htm. If you have any advice on how to find anything further I would deeply appreciate it. Thanks so much again, Cammie
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Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 15 Mar 2011 21:06

Also, do you or does anyone else recognize the Major in the earlier photo that you had mentioned?

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Last edited by Sunkisdgrl on 15 Mar 2011 21:20, edited 1 time in total.

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 15 Mar 2011 21:11

Last Pictures:
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Larry D.
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Larry D. » 16 Mar 2011 13:27

Hi Cammie,

Here is some more information from your latest batch of photos:

1st image – caption: although the photo was taken in Frankfurt, the last sentence says, “On to the school in Kreuznach (Bad Kreuznach) 1942.” Kreuznach is just south of the Wiesbaden-Mainz area. Unfortunately, I cannot identify any Luftwaffe schools located there. However, there was a small, little-used airstrip at Ippesheim/6 km NE of Kreuznach where the Luftwaffe might have set up some sort of temporary local training program for Flak personnel.
2nd image – group of 6: the male is a Luftwaffe Leutnant (Lt.). The device is distance measuring or survey equipment item, probably used in training Flak personnel.
3rd image – globe-like device in front: I’m stumped! I have no idea what this “thing” is.
4th image – group of 5 with tripod device: no idea – but why are the girls in civvies?
5th image – first wedding photo: the only revealing item is the Dutch military helmets. The groom is wearing a full-dress uniform – probably Dutch – but it would take a Dutch uniform specialist to provide details.
6th image – second wedding photo: as above.
7th image – caption: the wedding pair – taken in Haarlem/Netherlands 11 (November?) 1939.
8th image – group of 7 on stone wall: two Luftwaffe officers, the second from the right probably a major, although his rank patch is not very distinctive, with what appears to be a wound ribbon between the first and second button on his tunic.
9th image – German naval officer with dagger: white cross not identified but it is of the type used for German Red Cross Decorations and German social welfare decorations. The difference is that those all had the Adler (eagle) clutching a swastika affixed to the front of it. I could not determine his rank either because his cuff bands are behind his back. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say it denotes naval medical or rescue personnel, but you would need an authority on German naval uniforms to be sure. You can find them at: ( http://gmic.co.uk/ ). About a third of the way down the table of contents menu you will find “Germany: Third Reich: Kriegsmarine Awards and Militaria.” After registering, post you question about the strange, plain white cross on the officer’s tunic about where a DKiG would be worn.
10th image – group of 4 with truck (the unit ambulance?) and dog on hood: the item of value in this photo is the license plate number, WL 258 111. The “WL” stands for “Wehrmacht – Luftwaffe”. There are some history buffs who have data bases with these numbers who might be able to identify where the vehicle was assigned using the first three numbers (258). You could try searching for “license plate numbers” here on this web site to see if there is thread you can re-open and ask for help with WL 258 111. You could also go to site ( http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/index.php ) and check there as there are license plate experts among the regulars on that site.

Here is where to go for official information from the German government. You will need your relative’s full name and date of birth plus any other information you can furnish such as place of birth, branch of service, etc.

WASt Berlin:
Deutsche Dienststelle
(formerly Wehrmachts-Auskunftsstelle)
Eichborndamm 167-179, 13403 Berlin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_D ... lle_(WASt)
http://dd-wast.javabase.de/
http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/ ... ost2719364 (This thread discusses the difficulties facing the collector who attempts to obtain information about TR individuals from WASt and BA-MA Freiburg.)

Hope that helps!

Larry

Sunkisdgrl
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 16 Mar 2011 20:15

Larry, thanks again so much! I now have much more direction to head in. After looking at the links for WASt the only question I have is that my family members didn't die in the War, I have pictures of them all years after the War as well. Would WASt be the correct place to contact still? I do have passports for them and a family tree with birthdates so I should be able to provide decent information there. I would think that there might be some surviving literary information on the Majors pictured if I can ID them, since they are not family? Some of the pictures are captioned Ippesheim, so I think you would be correct about that small airstrip. The civillian clothes are common throughout the pictures I have here, there are some with 5-10+ people and maybe only one or two with uniform on. There's one picture of some women in their civillian clothes smoking outside in the sun with only Faye in uniform looking like she just sat down to visit to a for a moment, that would be one example. When I opened these pictures they were a mismash of time periods so in organizing them so I've tried to use uniforms and backgrounds to determine where they belong.

I'll start researching different areas as you mentioned (locations, equiptment, the plate number, ect.), make a trip to the libary and see what else I can put together. Thank you again so very much, you've been amazingly helpful and I do appreciate your time.

Cammie

Larry D.
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Re: Faber Family

Post by Larry D. » 17 Mar 2011 00:01

Cammie wrote in part:
After looking at the links for WASt the only question I have is that my family members didn't die in the War, I have pictures of them all years after the War as well. Would WASt be the correct place to contact still?
Yes, WASt is still the place. They do not need to have died in the war. The only requirement is that the person served in the German armed forces (Wehrmacht) during the war and that you are entitled to the information as a surviving relative. Contact them by e-mail but it may take a couple of months for a reply. The wheels of bureaucracy grind very slowly.

Good luck, Cammie!

Larry

Sunkisdgrl
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Posts: 31
Joined: 13 Mar 2011 17:08

Re: Faber Family

Post by Sunkisdgrl » 17 Mar 2011 05:10

Thanks, I wasn't sure about WASt by their instructions.
Re: 3rd image – globe-like device in front: I’m stumped! I have no idea what this “thing” is
After thinking about it for a minute, if it's training for sighting equipment then they would need something to practice "seeing". A balloon maybe?

Sorry for the placement of this thread, I would think it belongs elsewhere?

Thanks again! Cammie

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