Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

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PatrickBateman
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Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 23 Jun 2018 15:00

Hi,

I have been researching about my great-uncle, who was KIA in March 1943, for about 5 years now. Since then I learned alot about him and found quite some information...but not enough. I have been through all the archives here in the Netherlands, so the chance of finding something new is small. (some have probably seen me already asking info about my uncle here on the forum, please don't see this as spam. This time I have shared almost all I know in the hope people can help me more this time)

I already contacted and visited:
Dutch National Archives
NIOD (NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies)
Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt)

See here a timeline with basic info about what I already know:

-Joined German service in April 1941 (Klagenfurt) - unit 4./E.SS.Westland - 130
-Visited or was stationed at the SS-Übungslager-Dachau SS Training Camp somewhere in late 1941/early 1942. (For what reason could this be?)
-Can't 100% confirm, but he was assigned to the 18.(Pz.Jg.)/1. Pz.Gren.Rgt. LSSAH (18. Kompanie, SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 1, Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler") somewhere in early/spring 1942. The WASt also told me something about "Infanterie-Regiment 4 SS- Adolf Hitler.
-He took part in the LSSAH military parade in Paris, July 1942.
-He was wounded or sick in November 1942, Feldlazarett "LSSAH" La Mus se Evreux
-Visited home one last time around Christmas 1942
-Probably not much later after his visit he was transfered with the LSSAH to the Eastern Front in the area of Kharkov where he was KIA in early March 1943

Other info:
J. Scheer (22-12-1916, 9-3-1943)
Feldpostnummer 03508
SS-Hauptsturmführer Erich Grätz, his commander (have a picture of him)
SS-Hauptsturmführer E. Schmitz, wrote the letter about his death for his family (don't know anything about him)

Any idea who this man is?
Image

Some men of my great uncle his company. Does anyone recognize them, or what info can you see from their uniforms?
Image

Does anyone recognize this men? Could be from his company but I haven't seen them on any other photos.
Image

As you can read I don't know what he did or where he was for several months. What could have been the date he finished the training in 1941? Did he fought during Barbarossa summer 1941? Did he fought on the Eastern Front at all before the Kharkov operation? Did the LSSAH stayed in France the entire last half year of 1942? If so, what did they do all those months before they were send to the Ukraine? Questions, questions... ;)

If you need or want some more info about some specific subject, please ask.

Thank you.

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Harro
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by Harro » 24 Jun 2018 07:00

Some snippets:

- The Hôpital de La Musse near Evreux was established in 1928 and is indeed in the area where the Leibstandarte remained until it was shipped to the Kharkiv area in January 1943.

- Hstuf. E. Schmitz is a little mystery. Tiemann lists an Ustuf. Bernhard Schmitz as Ordonnanzoffizier for February-March 1943 in the divisional staff who shows up as an Ostuf. with 14. (Flak)/SS-PzGrenRgtt 1 LSSAH in July 1944 but that's a B. Schultz with the wrong rank. Moore lists him as an Ostuf. with 1./AA LAH in November 1942. There certainly was no Schultz with that company at Kharkiv. Moore lists an Edmund, Egon and Emil Schmitz but none linked with the LAH or remotely the correct rank in early 1943.

- The Verlustlisten of the Leibstandarte for Kharkiv are kept on microfilm at the BA-MA in Freiburg. I only have them for the Aufkl.Abt. but it is no doubt worth to check if they also have PzGrenRgt 1 LAH.

GregSingh
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by GregSingh » 24 Jun 2018 10:55

Did the LSSAH stayed in France the entire last half year of 1942?
Yes, it did.
If so, what did they do all those months before they were send to the Ukraine?
training, coastal defense, reorganization
NARA.jpg
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If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

PatrickBateman
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 25 Jun 2018 11:50

Harro wrote:Some snippets:

- The Hôpital de La Musse near Evreux was established in 1928 and is indeed in the area where the Leibstandarte remained until it was shipped to the Kharkiv area in January 1943.

- Hstuf. E. Schmitz is a little mystery. Tiemann lists an Ustuf. Bernhard Schmitz as Ordonnanzoffizier for February-March 1943 in the divisional staff who shows up as an Ostuf. with 14. (Flak)/SS-PzGrenRgtt 1 LSSAH in July 1944 but that's a B. Schultz with the wrong rank. Moore lists him as an Ostuf. with 1./AA LAH in November 1942. There certainly was no Schultz with that company at Kharkiv. Moore lists an Edmund, Egon and Emil Schmitz but none linked with the LAH or remotely the correct rank in early 1943.
Thanks Harro. So it is certain that SS-Hauptsturmführer E. Schmitz wasn't part of my uncle his company? Is there a picture of him somewhere available?
GregSingh wrote:
Did the LSSAH stayed in France the entire last half year of 1942?
Yes, it did.
If so, what did they do all those months before they were send to the Ukraine?
training, coastal defense, reorganization
NARA.jpg
Thank you. Ok, so it is pretty sure that he stayed from spring 1942 till early January 1943 in France before transport to the Eastern Front. It could be me but isn't that a long time that the LSSAH was away from the front lines? Almost 1 year.

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Harro
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by Harro » 25 Jun 2018 16:24

PatrickBateman wrote:Thank you. Ok, so it is pretty sure that he stayed from spring 1942 till early January 1943 in France before transport to the Eastern Front. It could be me but isn't that a long time that the LSSAH was away from the front lines? Almost 1 year.
Six months is not quite a year :wink:

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Harro
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by Harro » 25 Jun 2018 16:53

PatrickBateman wrote:
Harro wrote: Thanks Harro. So it is certain that SS-Hauptsturmführer E. Schmitz wasn't part of my uncle his company? Is there a picture of him somewhere available?
I just skipped through Charles Trang's Leibstandarte Dictionaire but there is also no mention of an E. Schmitz with the Leibstandarte. He does list the above mentioned Bernhard Schmitz along with a Franz-Herman, Georg and Johann Schmitz with the LAH but all were nowhere near the rank of Hstuf in early 1943 and unfortunately there's no photo of any of them in the book.
What is the Feldpostnummer and/or sender address on the letter he wrote and is a function given in the letter or just his rank? Usually such letters were signed with both function and rank - for example Stellv. Kompaniechef. Trying to establish if this Schmitz perhaps worked at some SS office or in some SS hospital.

PatrickBateman
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 27 Jun 2018 18:28

Sorry Harro, I have no Feldpostnummer or adress of him. The only thing I can add to this is "Kp.Fhr.".

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Jampol
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by Jampol » 27 Dec 2018 11:30

Hey Patrick,
can you please show us the picture you have from Erich Grätz ?
Thanks

PatrickBateman
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 27 Dec 2018 14:31

Only if you could help me further with my research! ... ;)

This was probably taken in the spring/summer of 1942.
ricj0i.jpg
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Jampol
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by Jampol » 30 Dec 2018 10:13

Patrick,

Thanks but I'm afraid I can't help you in your research...
I know it's a difficult task I searched years about my grandfathers service in the Flemisch Langemarck Brigade and Division.
I had the luck to interview some of his old comrades.
Good Luck !
Greetings

illuli
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by illuli » 05 Aug 2019 20:37

Hi Patrick,

Searching the database I found an address of an Erich Grätz, in Küstrin, Horst-Wessel-Straße 56. This list is from the years 1939/1940. That doesn't necessarily mean that he lived there only during those years. But according to the list he was also Wehrmachtsangehöriger. Unfortunately no more...
My grandfather was also stationed in Küstrin but as for my knowledge he wasn't in the same brigade than Erich.
My question to you: Do you think it is the same Erich Grätz you are looking for? Do you know if he was there with any relatives? Wife, daughter? My grandfather mentioned a "Leni Grätz" in a letter. Any idea? I have some pictures too and will check closer if there is any person who looks like Erich.

Thanks,
Illu

PatrickBateman
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 07 Aug 2019 09:20

illuli wrote:
05 Aug 2019 20:37
Hi Patrick,

Searching the database I found an address of an Erich Grätz, in Küstrin, Horst-Wessel-Straße 56. This list is from the years 1939/1940. That doesn't necessarily mean that he lived there only during those years. But according to the list he was also Wehrmachtsangehöriger. Unfortunately no more...
My grandfather was also stationed in Küstrin but as for my knowledge he wasn't in the same brigade than Erich.
My question to you: Do you think it is the same Erich Grätz you are looking for? Do you know if he was there with any relatives? Wife, daughter? My grandfather mentioned a "Leni Grätz" in a letter. Any idea? I have some pictures too and will check closer if there is any person who looks like Erich.

Thanks,
Illu
Hello illuli,
"Do you think it is the same Erich Grätz you are looking for?", hard to tell, and I don't know much about the Grätz I'm looking for, besides his rank and which unit he served in in 1942-43. So unfortunately I don't know anything about his family.

illuli
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by illuli » 07 Aug 2019 19:34

Hi Patrick,
thanks for the response. I am still trying to find out more about this Erich Grätz in Küstrin. I plan to contact People, that live close by and have the same surname; they might be descendants. I let you know about any success. It might take time though. looking for family ties is very time consuming and often also depend on the person you question or interview. Unfortunately contacted people though I was looking for any advantages and denied any cooperation. I`ll let you know...

Ilona

PatrickBateman
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Re: Family research - Waffen-SS 1941-1943

Post by PatrickBateman » 08 Aug 2019 15:53

Goodluck, sounds interesting. Btw, I know the birthplace of Erich Grätz and it wasn't Küstrin, but there is always a good chance that he has moved from there and lived somewhere else in the late 1930s.

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