Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

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mikkelstante
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Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 21 Feb 2021 22:02

Dear all,

I am hoping that you can help me find out more about a family member of mine.

I have already send a request to the Bundesarchiv, without success. I am waiting for the answer from WAst.

The person I am looking to find more information on is called Oskar Elster. He was a POW in Crossville Tennessee.

I know he became an Unteroffizier at the Fliegerstaffel Prenzlau in 1936 and was stationed in Sicily 28th April 1942.

I have written a bit more about him on my website, which will also give you more impressions.https://www.mikkelstante.com/english/ge ... ar-elster/

Any help on finding out more about the other people that are with him in all the pictures, where he might have been when, or what battles he fought, even what planes he flew would be really appreciated.

I knew this man and I missed the chance to ask him myself.

Much thanks,

Katharina

www.mikkelstante.com
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askropp
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by askropp » 21 Feb 2021 23:34

This guy was no "high ranking officer", he was a Beamter des gehobenen Dienstes. We don't even need to look at his collar patches, as the envelope posted on your website says it all. Elster reached the rank of Technischer Inspektor (N), with the "N" standing for Nachrichten (signals service). He was probably responsible for the maintenance of radio units, field telephones or radar equipment.

Regards,
Albert
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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mikkelstante
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 21 Feb 2021 23:45

Thanks for your reply.

I got the information from several sources that he was a Ober(st)leutnant and given that he was imprisoned in Crossville Tennessee, which apparently was only for higher ranking officers, I took it by face value.

I am sorry if this post, given the way you belittle my question, was below your standards but I am no expert, which is why I asked.

Katharina
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askropp
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by askropp » 22 Feb 2021 00:02

I beg your pardon, but I don't see how my answer should belittle Elster or even yourself. I did not claim that active officers were superior to Beamten, or that it was Elster's fault that he did not reach higher rank. And I said explicitly that no one is supposed to become an expert on Luftwaffe uniforms. But if you are looking for information about him, you (or the archivists) need to look in the right place, because you will not find him among the Truppenoffiziere.

Regards,
Albert
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 22 Feb 2021 00:10

Ah!

Ok! Now I am sorry! Then I did misunderstand you.

Where would you suggest I can look or who can I ask? Is it wrong to ask at the WAst? Given he was a POW I had reached out to the National Archives in the US who then referred me to the WAst?

Thanks again,

Katharina

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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by askropp » 22 Feb 2021 08:18

Generally, the BA is still the right place for such an inquiry, but I don't know how much of a chance you will have to find anything on Elster. While many Heer documents have been preserved, that cannot be said of the Luftwaffe. But I guess it is worth a try. If you write them that Elster was a Wehrmachtbeamter of the Luftwaffe along with his rank as Technischer Inspektor and the birth date, maybe they can unearth something.

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askropp
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 22 Feb 2021 09:35

Superb!

I will do that. Thank you.

I was unaware of the fact that „Wehrmachtsbeamte“ existed. Does that also mean that he was likely never involved in any battle, or flew any plane.

Sorry if this sounds simplistic, but was he just there to make sure the planes are all working and in charge of technical supplies?

You know, I have given this to many people and nobody had since told me this, so for me it is a huge step forward.

Thank you.

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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by askropp » 22 Feb 2021 10:43

Of course only a small number of all Luftwaffe soldiers were pilots, and I even guess that a large share of all Luftwaffe personnel never boarded a plane. Elster accompanied his unit to the Mediterranean front and was captured in Africa, so he was definitely in harm's way. As a signal technician, his job would have been to attend to radio transmitters and radar devices. It would help to know his unit. Judging after the photos, I would assume it was a non-flying unit, maybe Flak or Luftnachrichtentruppe.

As I'm not a Luftwaffe expert, I would recommend further inquiries on air-related forums. Do you already know 12oclockhigh.net? It is one of the best sites on that topic. And of course we have our own Luftwaffe board on AHF.

Regards,
askropp
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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 22 Feb 2021 10:49

Thank you so much.

Do you think it is worth asking on Luftwaffe board on AHF? I am intrigued if somebody might know the other people that accompanied him, which might then help to find which unit he was in.

But I will check out 12oclockhigh.net!

Thank you so much, I did not know about 12 oclockhigh. That is my next step.

Really appreciate your insight, I would have never got there.

Will need to update my website based on your input. Much appreciated.

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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by Larry D. » 23 Feb 2021 16:08

Hi Katharina,

A colleague and I spent 0ver 30 years piecing together a huge (2,400 pages, c. 84,000 listings) data base entitled Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries, which is located here: www.ww2.dk . On the Home Page, you will find a menu running along the left side and it is here that you will find the title of our data base. I already checked it for you and there is only one ELSTER listed:

ELSTER, Johannes. (DOB: 26.06.90). 1943-44 Hptm. (d.R.z.V.) (Ln.), released from active service.

But don't give up! Unlike the case for the commissioned officers of the Luftwaffe for which half or more of the personnel records did not survive the war, nearly all of the records for the Luftwaffen-Beamte (name changed in 1944 to Truppensonderdienst or TSD) survived the war. There were not that many of them; to be exact, 4,800 of them at peak strength in summer 1944. So where would these records be? You will have to fish around with WASt being the best place to start. The surviving commissioned officer records are all at the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg im Breisgau, but I think the Beamte/TSD personnel records are either kept at the Bundesarchiv Koblenz, or they are at NARA in College Park, Maryland (USA).

Good hunting and best wishes,

Larry deZeng

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Re: Oskar Elster Ober(st)leutnant

Post by mikkelstante » 28 Feb 2021 19:08

Larry,

I am so sorry that I only come back to you now. It was so kind of you to reply to me with all these details.

It is encouraging that all their records have survived. I will check out all the other options you gave me!

My word, this is very exciting! :)

Again, much thanks for your help.

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