Hitlerjunge Günther Nowak's Ritterkreuz - Fact or fiction?

Discussions on the personalities of the Wehrmacht and of the organizations not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Dieter Zinke, askropp and Frech.
Doktor Krollspell
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Hitlerjunge Günther Nowak's Ritterkreuz - Fact or fiction?

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 16 May 2005 18:07

Hello!

I have been searching facts about Hitlerjunge Günther Nowak of Volksturmbataillon Hindenburg/Oberschlesien and his Ritterkreuz on February 14 1945 for allegedly destroying nine Russian tanks with the Panzerfaust. If this is true, then Nowak most probably has to be the youngest recipient of the Ritterkreuz.

Now, the problem is that that while some sources confirm this, other sources doesn't mention Nowak at all. For example, while Nowak and his ritterkreuz is confirmed in Gerhard von Seemen's "Ritterkreuzträger" (1976) and also on http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de. Nowak is not listed on http://www.das-ritterkreuz.de and since I don't have Fellgiebel's book on Ritterkreuzträgers I really would appreciate could look him up in his book and reply...

When I posted, and searched about Nowak on http://www.feldgrau.com I found a post that made some interesting claims on this matter (thanks to Mishi). Here they are in short:

1. The Volksturm-Bataillonsführer Sachs made the whole story up on Nowak and his deed as a hoax for covering up his own eventual shortcomings and attempted desertion.

2. Hitlerjunge Nowak was a made up character who never even existed!

Still, Sachs recieved the German Cross in Gold in February 1945 (confirmed in Scheibert's "Die Träger des Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold - Das Heer") and Günther Nowak, according to some sources, the Ritterkreuz. If any Forum member has any knowledge or input on this, it would be greatly appreciated...

I also found out about an article in the british "THE ARMOURER Military Magazine No. 36 Nov/Dec 2000" which were entitled "The man who conned Adolf Hitler: Gunther Nowak, 16 year old Hitler Youth, youngest recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross" by a Philip Baker. I haven't read the article but the title do imply foul play, or?
If any Forum member owns or have read this magazine article, please reply!


Regards,

Krollspell

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 16 May 2005 20:00

Hi Krollspell. Have you done a forum search? Sachs made him up but they were both awarded the awards, even though that Nowak did not exist. As for the article mentioned I would also like to read it. Does anyone have it?

Best regards/ Daniel

Doktor Krollspell
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Joined: 13 May 2005 17:12
Location: Sweden

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 16 May 2005 20:52

Hello Daniel!

I should apparently use the search engine more often!
This person is a fame:
Therefore a person never existing has been decorated with the KC (and also with the tank destruction badges) indeed.

An incredlble story, but this is the truth:

A deserting commander of a Volkssturm-Bataillon in Upper-Silesia named Sachs devised this fame in order to save his life when being arrested.

He himself claims the destruction of 5 tanks, but he also told, that there was another tank-destroyer, much more succesful:
the Hitlerjunge Günther Nowak was created.......

Thereupon the Gauleitung in Ziegenhals has send a message via teleprinter to Reichsleiter Bormann immediatly:
The same day Sachs was decorated (Direktverleihung) with the German Cross in Gold and (the not existing) Nowak has received his KC and also the badges!

Years later the former I d / AOK 17 recorded this on 01.09.1992:

At that time in 1945 a Standartenführer Vogel from the Gauleitung had to confess the truth after 4 weeks being distressed by the staff of the army to bring finitely Nowak to the staff for his decoration.

Therefore bestowal de jure: Yes!
Bestowal de facto: NO !!

The second case in this matter is the famous
Oberstleutnant Heinrich Scherhorn
This "Kampfgruppe Scherhorn" had never existed.
Also de jure yes, de facto no.


Sources:
Page 511, Walther-Peer Fellgiebel:
Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 - 1945.
Komplettausgabe 2000 (The newest edition !!!)
Podzun-Pallas

Sorry, but the end of two legends again.

Best

"Oberstab" = Dieter Zinke


This seem to be an credible argument against Nowak and his Ritterkreuz. Thanks also to Oberstab.


With best regards,

Krollspell

P.S. I followed the HUGE thread on the bearers of the Panzer Destruction Badge, impressive! I might have to do some digging myself... D.S.

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 16 May 2005 23:40

Hi again. Yes, Dieter wrote some good information about Nowak. Do you also know that there was a "Landser" magazine published about Nowak? I'm uncertain if it is based on some witness statements (Sachs or persons who met him) or documents or if it is all made up. You should be able to find a copy on Ebay.

Best regards/ Daniel

Doktor Krollspell
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Joined: 13 May 2005 17:12
Location: Sweden

Post by Doktor Krollspell » 17 May 2005 06:18

Hello again Daniel!

Thank you for the information. Now I have two magazines to look out for...


With best regards,

Krollspell

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