Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

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JU187
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Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 30 Jan 2013 01:06

Good evening all!

A brief background:
Both my grandfather's fought for the United States in WWII. My father's mother immigrated to New York in 1937 from Romerstadt (now rymarov) in Czechoslovakia and her family were Sudeten Germans. I have three great uncles who fought for Germany in the war, only one survived. Hermann Neumann was a stuka dive bomber for the Luftwaffe and my grandmother later sponsered him when he immigrated following the war to America.

My question however, is about one of my great uncles who perished in the war. I'm the "family historian" so-to-speak, and I was troubled with the fact nobody knew where my two uncle's died other than Russia. One of them I have zero information, but the other Alfred Neumann I was able to locate in a German database using his date of birth.

It says that he was killed 18 August 1942 in Olenino Russia and that he is buried at Igumnowo, Russia. He was a corporal, and a soldier not a pilot. I'm hoping that the above date of death, name of the town and burial site may lead an expert on here to shed some details about what army he may have fought in, what battle he died in and some information about that portion of the war.

I've learned that most of the documented history concentrates on the Army group South in Stalingrad and that Army Group Center and North are often forgotten in this part of history. I've found Olenino on a map but not the burial location. From the information I've found I believe he may have died in Operation Wirbelwind, but I'm hoping someone can either verify or provide additional details.

Thank you all!!

steverodgers801
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by steverodgers801 » 30 Jan 2013 02:24

http://www.maplandia.com/russia/tverska ... n/olenino/

here is the location by sat. He was part of probably 9th army I know there are situation maps out there just not sure where to find them. here are some details
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26280
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2&start=15
there are some more under that code name but in German

JU187
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 30 Jan 2013 06:12

Thank you for the quick reply. I've found that there are several "Olenino's" when looking at google maps, a few of which seem to fall within the area occupied by Army Group Center during 1942. The place of burial I listed above, do you know what that is? I know he must be buried in a mass grave, but the name, I'm wondering if it's a cemetery/memorial or just general area? If possible, check the map below, I was thinking the Olenino-Igumnowo connection were these two areas but my only logic behind that was they were the two similar names that were geographically closest.

http://goo.gl/maps/iv1de

steverodgers801
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by steverodgers801 » 31 Jan 2013 02:52

Maybe the government of west Germany has an organization or agency that has that kind of info.

history1
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by history1 » 31 Jan 2013 11:17

JU187 wrote:[...] My father's mother immigrated to New York in 1937 from Romerstadt (now rymarov) in Czechoslovakia and her family were Sudeten Germans.[...]
Note that the correct name is "Rýmařov" (germ. Römerstadt), nowadys in the Czech Republic.

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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by history1 » 31 Jan 2013 11:38

JU187 wrote:[...] One of them I have zero information, but the other Alfred Neumann I was able to locate in a German database using his date of birth. [...]
Zero information? I doubt that, at least you have the name of him or am I wrong? Nobody can even try to help if you at least don´t give his name.
Ref. Alfred Neumann, the german database is the grave search of the Volksbund.

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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by history1 » 31 Jan 2013 12:04

I doubt that the grave location "Igumnowo - Rußland" is correct. Who would during a war carring the corpses of KIA´s (and there had been many of them when I understand the topic in the links correctly) so far just to burry them on another location?
Too often we had in the past cases that the German name of russian places has been wrongspelled. Sometimes due to reading errors or that one remembered them incorrectly.

I don´t have an evidence but the location "Il'manovo", only 20 km (0 6.2 miles) away where A. Neumann died seems more likely to me:
http://goo.gl/maps/9yVJC

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Svetlana Karlin
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by Svetlana Karlin » 01 Feb 2013 00:46

JU187 wrote:Thank you for the quick reply. I've found that there are several "Olenino's" when looking at google maps, a few of which seem to fall within the area occupied by Army Group Center during 1942. The place of burial I listed above, do you know what that is? I know he must be buried in a mass grave, but the name, I'm wondering if it's a cemetery/memorial or just general area? If possible, check the map below, I was thinking the Olenino-Igumnowo connection were these two areas but my only logic behind that was they were the two similar names that were geographically closest.

http://goo.gl/maps/iv1de
Those are probably not the right places, since Serpukhov and Tula were never occupied by Germans. The frontline indeed came very close to those two cities. Both Igumnovo and Olenino are to the east from the towns, so they weren't very likely to be taken by Germans, except perhaps for a brief attack/skirmish.

Much more likely would be Olenino in Tver Oblast or Olenino in Pskov Oblast. Russian sources on Olenino in Tver oblast note that Germans annihilated many villages in Olenino and nearby Molodoy Tud area ( 147 villages in Olenino area and 243 villages in Molodoy Tud area, including Molodoy Tud itself). The report of a commission on investigating the Nazi crimes noted that Olenino and Molodoy Tud areas had become a "desert zone". Here is a Russian Wikipedia article: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%EB%E5% ... 1%F2%FC%29 It is possible that a village of Igumnovo was burned down and never restored.

Do you know where your great-uncle lived when he was called up? When was he drafted? Wehrmacht divisions were typically formed on a territorial principle. If you know the location and approximate year of his draft, it might help you narrow your search to a few divisions. This website has information on Wehrkreise: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/inh ... sernen.htm. You could look up the units formed in different cities, research them and narrow your scope down to the units that most likely were in either Olenino/Tver or Olenino/Pskov areas.
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JU187
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 01 Feb 2013 02:39

Thank you all for you responses! It is much appreciated. Let me fill in some details. My great uncle Alfred Neumann lived in a town called Romerstadt, Czechoslovakia (now Rymarov) He was born 5 May 1909 and apparently was killed in Olenino on 18 Aug 1942. He was a Sudeten German. If you do a google search for "Stuka Hermann Neumann" You will find an article given to Military magazine by his brother Hermann Neumann who is also a great uncle of mine, but survived the war. He was a Stuka dive bomber pilot for the Luftwaffe. The two brothers he mentions are killed in Russia are Alfred (who is the subject of this post) and Fritz Neumann. No information is known about what happened to Fritz. His birthday was 13 Nov 1919 and he apparently also died in Russia. I'm copying and pasting the German soldier website excerpt I found about Alfred and the fact his remains are still in Russia.

Volksbund
Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.
Sie sind hier: Startseite Detailansicht
Alfred Neumann
Alfred Neumann wurde noch nicht auf
einen vom Volksbund errichteten
Soldatenfriedhof überführt.
Nach den uns vorliegenden Informationen
befindet sich sein Grab derzeit noch an
folgendem Ort: Igumnowo - Rußland
Der Volksbund ist bemüht, auf der Grundlage
von Kriegsgräberabkommen die Gräber der
deutschen Soldaten zu finden und ihnen auf
Dauer gesicherte Ruhestätten zu geben. Wir
hoffen, in nicht allzu ferner Zukunft auch das
Grab von Alfred Neumann zu finden und die
Gebeine auf einen Soldatenfriedhof überführen
zu können.
Name und die persönlichen Daten des
Obengenannten sind auch im Gedenkbuch der
Kriegsgräberstätte verzeichnet. Sie können gern
einen Auszug bei uns bestellen.
Bitte beachten Sie, dass auf einigen Friedhöfen
nicht die aktuelle Version ausliegt, somit kann
der Name Ihres Angehörigen darin evtl. noch
nicht verzeichnet sein.
Nachname: Neumann
Vorname: Alfred
Dienstgrad: Gefreiter
Geburtsdatum: 05.05.1909
Geburtsort: Römerstadt
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 18.08.1942
Todes-/Vermisstenort: Olenino
Hinweis für Friedhofsbesucher
Auf einigen Soldatenfriedhöfen, die der
Volksbund derzeit in Osteuropa errichtet, ist
die Namen- bzw. Grabkennzeichnung noch
nicht erfolgt. Es empfiehlt sich deshalb vor
einer geplanten Reise eine Rückfrage bei der
Bundesgeschäftsstelle in Kassel.
Nachricht bei Sachstandsänderungen
Falls Alfred Neumann mit Ihnen verwandt ist,
und Sie von uns über Sachstandsänderungen
informiert werden möchten, füllen Sie bitte
das folgende Formular aus. Wir legen dann
einen Vorgang an, um Sie somit über
Neuigkeiten unterrichten zu können.
Bitte prüfen Sie vorher an Hand Ihrer
Unterlagen sorgfältig, ob es sich wirklich
um Ihren Angehörigen handelt. Falls Sie
nicht sicher sind, vermerken Sie dies im
Textfeld des Formulares.
Unterstützen Sie unsere Arbeit!
Der Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge sorgt für die
Ruhestätten der im Ersten und Zweiten Weltkrieg ums Leben
gekommenen deutschen Soldaten. Der Volksbund errichtete bisher
über 820 Kriegsgräberstätten in 45 Staaten, auf denen etwa zwei
Millionen Kriegstote ruhen. Bau und Pflege dieser Friedhöfe werden
nur möglich durch Spenden der Förderer dieser humanitären Arbeit
sowie durch Beiträge der über 197.000 Mitglieder des Volksbundes.
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Erschaffen Sie für Ihren Angehörigen ein Licht der Ewigkeit! Hinterlegen Sie ein Foto
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Svetlana Karlin
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by Svetlana Karlin » 01 Feb 2013 09:14

After re-checking, I realized that Olenino/Pskov oblast in my previous post is actually Olenino/Novgorod oblast, and it never was in the battle zone. That would leave only Olenino in Tver oblast as a possible location, unless there was another Olenino village that ceased to exist.

Another thought on your great-uncle Alfred's birthdate: he was already in his 30's when the war started. Older soldiers often were assigned to rear echelon units like security divisions (Sicherungs-Divisionen), military police (Feldgendarmerie), various transport, postal or guard units.

The same Russian sources I referred to in my previous post say that there was a high level of partisan activity in the area of Olenino/Tver oblast. That would keep the German security and police units busy there. Also, there apparently were five POW camps in the vicinity of Olenino, which would have guard troops as well.

According to Lexicon der Wehrmacht, there was 286. Sicherungs-Division stationed in the area of a town of Orsha, quite close to Olenino: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... ichDiv.htm . It was raised in Wehrkreis VIII, which covered a part of Sudetenland, including Freudenthal (now Bruntal) near Rymarov: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Kas ... is08-R.htm

On the other hand, if you are certain your great-uncle was in a frontline unit, then it most likely belonged to the 9th Army: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... 9Armee.htm You could look at different units in the 9th Army and see if any of the units was raised in a Wehrkreise that covered a part of Sudetenland.

You might also find it interesting that there is a German military cemetery built in Rzhev, a collaborative project between Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, Russian war archaeologists and local authorities. It holds remains of German soldiers found in areas around Rzhev. This website http://en.tracesofwar.com/article/9721/ ... y-Rhev.htm states that it held 8,651 German graves in 2009. This article about the cemetery on the official website of Rzhev mentions war archaeologists from Olenino: http://rzev.ru/modules/myarticles/artic ... storyid=53
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by history1 » 01 Feb 2013 10:22

Svetlana if you followed my link to Google Map you certain are aware that the village Il'manovo also doesn´t exist nowadays.
Meanwhile I´ve no doubt that this is the right place.

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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by history1 » 01 Feb 2013 10:40

Ju187:
Not meant as offense but there´s no need to post the whole content of the result site of A. Neumann here in the the thread. It´s only confusing and not provide any help. BTW, the forum language is English and most of the forum members don´t understand German, what would request a translation of the content too. The personal datas are enough, IMHO. On the other hand you´re requested by the forum rules that you put a link of your source in your post.

Another info reg. the interview of H. Neumann: Note that the speeling he use for many German town names is not correct. What a research also makes difficult.

Is Otto Neumann living in Römerstadt and KIA in Eastern Prussia als a relative of you? Couldn´t find another Neumann KIA from Römerstadt.

BTW, do you maybe own photos of Fritz (Friedrich) Neumann in uniform? That maybe could help.

JU187
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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 01 Feb 2013 15:23

My source for what I pasted was from the German database of missing or killed in action. I also saw Otto Neumann in there so it was the same website that you went to. If you did not find Alfred, it's because for whatever reason it finds him by searching for last name: Neumann and town of birth: Romerstadt. However, if you enter his first name, it won't find him.

Anyway, I posted the entire content because if you've been following this thread, the entire conversation revolves around the fact that Russian and German language conversions to English when taken out of context often misspell the names of places and lead to dead end searches. I posted the entire thread of what is listed in the database so that the raw data was available for those familiar with the places, in hopes they would recognize a pattern. If I were to convert that information by using google translate, I would potentially be corrupting it and therefore defeating the entire purpose.

Any misspellings in the article were not the fault of my Great Uncle Hermann. They would be the fault of the gentlemen who interviewed him that worked for Military magazine.

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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 01 Feb 2013 15:33

I just got a box of old family photos this past weekend. That is what sparked my search. I have a few photos of Alfred, which I can upload later this evening. The two in military clothing, I can describe now but will have to wait until I'm home to upload. One is in traditional German military style. It appears to be a postcard. His top has the swastika on the right breast, and his collar has the standard bar on each side. He is not wearing a hat in this photo. The other photo is the one that was interesting. He has a hat on, circular but nothing I can recall seeing that resembles German military style. The collar was odd too. The two points at the front of a collar are light collared, the rest of the collar is dark. There is no breast swastika or German military emblem, and there is a metallic pin on the collar with the number "10" on it. There appears to be a logo on the front of the military hat, but I can't tell what it is exactly. Doesn't appear to be a swastika. Hopefully this isn't too confusing, but that's the best description I can provide until I have the chance to upload them tonight.

The person in the threads above who posted the comments about older soldiers, and what units they served in. That information was very informative and I'm following those links. Thank you very much. Same about the comment referencing Il'monovo. I think you may be 100 % correct on that name. Thanks to everyone for your knowledge, expertise and time in helping me understand a little more about my family.

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Re: Eastern Front 1942 Can someone help me?

Post by JU187 » 01 Feb 2013 18:53

This picture is Alfred, while in the German Army. The other one I'm about to load, may be from the 1930s some sort of Military school perhaps? or maybe even prior to Nazi influence from Germany, could be a Romerstadt police? I honestly have no clue, that's why I'm here to ask the experts! ;)
ALFRED2.JPG
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