Women awarded the Iron Cross

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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Heimatschuss
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 11 Sep 2008 18:57

Hello,

another report about a female recipient of the Iron Cross. According to von Ahlfen (1998, p.101) Ms. Hildegard Hieronymus, a Reichspost telephone clerk from Eichwaldau in Silesia received the IC 2nd class in spring 1945. Hieronymus was an operator and held out in the Eichwaldau post office to the last minute thereby ensuring constant communications between the German units defending the area against the invading Soviet army.

References:
von Ahlfen, H. (1998): Der Kampf um Schlesien 1944 - 1945., 8th ed.; Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart, 1998.

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 10 Dec 2008 22:19

Hello,

thanks to the new cooperation between the German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv) and Wikipedia the following photo of IC recipient Elfriede Wnuk became available.

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _EK_II.jpg

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Torsten
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Vikki
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Vikki » 11 Dec 2008 03:07

Great research to find the photo, Torsten, thanks for posting it!

I knew that Wnuk had won the EKII and Ostfrontmedaille, but not that she'd also received the Wound Badge in silver--which this photo shows well--apparently for loss of a limb after the bombing of the hospital she worked in:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 16#p982916

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~Vikki

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Dieter Zinke
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Dieter Zinke » 13 Feb 2009 11:25

upper pic: from left Mayer, Angela ; Darchinger, Magda (1943)
pic below: (Tunesien, März 1943) Fock, Grete; Schulz, Ilse
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Dieter Zinke » 13 Feb 2009 11:35

Juli 1944 Münch, Gerlinde & Weber, Hanny

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 13 Feb 2009 16:04

Wow Dieter,

many thanks! Though a frequent visitor to the Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz myself I have never before seen the picture of Fock & Schulz.

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Torsten

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Re:

Post by FireFoxy » 14 Feb 2009 08:26

HPL2008 wrote:According to Stephan T. Previtera's "The Iron Time", citing data from the "IMM - Magazine for Orders, Militaria and History" from Nov. 99, the female recipients of the Iron Cross were:

1st Class:
- Hanna Reitsch (11/42, Pilot)
- Else Grossmann (1/45, Red Cross Nurse)

2nd Class:
- Hanna Reitsch (3/42, Pilot)
- Elfriede Wnuk (9/42, Red Cross Nurse)
- Marga Droste (9/42, Red Cross Nurse)
- Melitta Gräfin Schenk von Stauffenberg (?/42, Pilot)
- Hanny Weber (?/42, Red Cross Nurse)
- Geolinde Münche (?/42, Red Cross Nurse)
- Magda Darchinger (?/42, Red Cross Nurse)
- Ilse Schulz (4/43, Red Cross Nurse)
- Grete Fock (4/43, Red Cross Nurse)
- Liselotte Hensel (?/43, Red Cross Nurse)
- ? Holzmann (8/43, Hauptführerin of Red Cross)
- Elfriede Gunia (4/44, Red Cross Nurse)
- Ilse Daub (4/44, Red Cross Aide)
- Anne Moxnes (4/44, Red Cross Nurse)
- Greta Grafenkamp (2/45, Red Cross Nurse)
- Elisabeth Potuz (2/45, Doctor)
- Ottilie Stephan (2/45, Volunteer)
- Ruth Raabe (2/45, Red Cross Nurse)
- Elfriede Muth (3/45, Red Cross Nurse)
- Ursula Kogel (3/45, Red Cross Nurse)
- Lieselotte Schlotterbeck (3/45, Red Cross Aide)
- Rohna von Ceuern (3/45, Red Cross Aide)
- Anna Wohlschütz (3/45, Red Cross Aide)
- Eva Holm (3/45, Civilian Service)
- Leni Stalinek (3/45, Volunteer)
- Hildegard Wollny (3/45, Staff Aide)
- Alice Bendig (3/45, Armed Forces Aide)
- Hildegard Bollgardt (3/45, Armed Forces Aide)
- Dr. ? Lemke (4/45, Labor Service)
- Margarete Hirsekorn (4/45, Communications)
- Erika Stollberg (5/45, Volunteer)
- Else Grossmann (?, Red Cross Nurse)


Additional data on quite a few of these women including some info on how they earned their award as well as photographs of 13 of the female recipients can be found in Dr. Kurt-G. Klietmann's "Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches 1936 - 1945")
Hi Hplz008.

WOW Great list. I have read you're list and notice two women are missing!

Melitta Schiller- Was awarded the ironcross for conducting 1,500 test dives of new dive bombers.

Lily litvyak- an ace,downing 12 German planes
V = VICTORY

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Vikki » 14 Feb 2009 08:59

FireFoxy wrote: Hi Hplz008.

WOW Great list. I have read you're list and notice two women are missing!

Melitta Schiller- Was awarded the ironcross for conducting 1,500 test dives of new dive bombers.

Lily litvyak- an ace,downing 12 German planes
FireFoxy,

Melitta Schiller was the maiden name of Melitta Gräfin Schenk von Stauffenberg, who's on the list, as I'm sure you've figured out by now from the information here: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 2#p1267902

Why should Litvyak - a Russian pilot - have received an Iron Cross for shooting down German planes?

Posts in which you don't do your research, can't quote a source when asked numerous times, post nonsense, etc. disrupt the entire thread, and other members' reading of it. Stop making such posts.


~Vikki

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by FireFoxy » 14 Feb 2009 09:40

Sorry Vikki. I had Russian air force women information next door to the German women iron cross winnings information :oops: .
My eyes wounded over the the Russian information page. Thanks for the link.
V = VICTORY

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by chris44 » 06 Jul 2009 22:15

Hi
If its of interest
here the "story"
of EK II winner Ottilie Stephan

source:
Schlesische Tageszeitung
Frontzeitung der Festung Breslau
16.Jahrgang/Nr. 50 from 23.Februar 1945

chris
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 11 Jul 2009 11:44

Another photo of Grete Fock...

Source : http://img.audiovis.nac.gov.pl/PIC/PIC_2-2039.jpg
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 07 Oct 2009 21:36

Hello,
HPL2008 wrote:According to Stephan T. Previtera's "The Iron Time", citing data from the "IMM - Magazine for Orders, Militaria and History" from Nov. 99, the female recipients of the Iron Cross were:

1st Class:
- Hanna Reitsch (11/42, Pilot)
- Else Grossmann (1/45, Red Cross Nurse)

2nd Class:
- Hanna Reitsch (3/42, Pilot)
- Elfriede Wnuk (9/42, Red Cross Nurse)
[snip...]

- Margarete Hirsekorn (4/45, Communications)
- Erika Stollberg (5/45, Volunteer)
- Else Grossmann (?, Red Cross Nurse)

Additional data on quite a few of these women including some info on how they earned their award as well as photographs of 13 of the female recipients can be found in Dr. Kurt-G. Klietmann's "Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches 1936 - 1945")
just a minor correction. The real name of the 'Margarete Hirsekorn' from this list seems to have been 'Erna Hirsekorn'. At least that's the name used in Wochenschau newsreel No.753 from March 5th, 1945 (http://www.archive.org/details/1945-03- ... hau-Nr.753). The snippet with Hirsekorn starts at about 10:10 min.

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Torsten
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 31 Jul 2010 10:24

Hello,

found this very interesting thread (in German) http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5833.30 dealing with the subject of Iron Crosses bestowed on women. It contains a number of original newspaper clippings that report bestowals including two not mentioned here so far.

Lillian Soerensen, a Danish nurse serving in the German Red Cross received the Iron Cross on March 16th, 1945 during the siege of Breslau.
Source: "Schlesische Tageszeitung" from March 16th, 1945.
http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5 ... 3#msg45413

The bestowal on Hedwig Köttel is another interesting case. She was a housewife but participated in the defence of her home town Greifenhagen (Pomerania) as volunteer ammo gunner of a 8.8 cm flak belonging to 4./schwere Flak-Abteilung 326 (4th battery, heavy flak battalion 326). Her husband was a regular crew member of that gun which destroyed more than a dozen Soviet tanks and stopped the initial onslaught. For this action gun chief Unteroffizier Herbert Junge received the Knights Cross while the rest of the crew (including both Köttels) got the Iron Cross.
Source: "Grafinger Zeitung" of Mar, 24th/25th 1945
http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5 ... 7#msg44807
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... 26&t=21212

The name of "Elisabeth Potuz" already listed here (and in the AHF factbook) is to be corrected to "Maria-Ursula Potrz" (http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5 ... 1#msg44931).
Potrz was born on June 12th, 1917 in Breslau and entered the public health service in 1944 (Verband, 1959, p.290)
After the war she worked for many years in the public health administration of County Pinneberg (Schleswig-Holstein).
Various career steps can be found for example in Verband (1959, p.290) and Bundesverband (1970, p.149). Potrz finally rose to the rank of Leitende Kreismedizinaldirektorin, i.e. head of the county medical administration in Pinneberg ("Hamburger Abendblatt" from Aug. 14th, 1978). Potrz worked as a doctor already in 1944 but obtained her doctorate (the academic title Dr. med.) only in 1955 from the University of Kiel with a thesis on veneral deseases:

Maria-Ursula Potrz
Die Bekämpfung der Geschlechtskrankheiten in einem großen Landkreis Schleswig-Holsteins.
Universität Kiel, 1955

References:

Verband der Ärzte des Öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes, Bund der Deutschen Medizinalbeamten (Eds.)
Das Öffentliche Gesundheitswesen, Vol. 20
Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1959

Bundesverband der Ärzte des Öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Ed.)
Das Öffentliche Gesundheitswesen, Vol. 32
Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1970


Additionally the thread has photos of Greta Grafenkamp (http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5 ... 4#msg42924) and Ilse Daub (http://forum.balsi.de/index.php?topic=5 ... 6#msg43786)

Regarding this photo
Image
I think now it shows Elfriede Gunia together with Anne Gunhild Moxnes. They received their Iron Crosses on the same day for evacuating patients from the burning military hospital in Reval (Tallinn), Estonia.

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 12 Aug 2010 00:31

Hello,

received the doctoral thesis of IC winner Maria-Ursula Potrz yesterday so I can tell you a bit more about here life now. From her CV in Potrz (1955, p.41):

Maria-Ursula Potrz

born June 12th, 1917 in Breslau

father Rudolf Portrz, city official
mother Elisabeth Potrz, nee Gottschlich

1923 - 1936 primary school and highschool in Breslau

1936 - 1937 compulsory service in the RADwJ (Reichs Labour Service)

1937 - 1942 study of medicine at the Univerity of Breslau, Staatsexamen (state exam)

1942 - 1944 assistant doctor at a lung sanatorium in Ludwigshöhe near Posen

July 1944 - Jan. 1945 assistant doctor at the public health office in Ostrowo

Jan. 1945 doctor on a refugee treck from Ostrowo to Silesia

End of Jan. 1945 conscripted as military doctor in Breslau

[Feb. 1945] bestowal with Kriegsverdienstkreuz (War Merit Cross) and Iron Cross 2nd class in Breslau

May 5th, 1945 taken POW at the surrender of fortress Breslau

July 23rd, 1945 release from Soviet POW camp

July - Sept. 1945 doctor in a camp for refugees and POWs returning home in Breslau

Sept. - Oct. 1945 emigration to Halle an der Saale (Soviet occupation zone)

Oct. - Dec. 1945 doctor at the pulic health office in Halle an der Saale

Dec. 22nd, 1945 birth of a daughter

Jan. 1946 emigration to the British occupation zone

May - July 1946 doctor at a sanatorium NE of Hamburg

since July 1946 doctor at the public health office in Pinneberg

References:

Potrz, Maria-Ursula
Die Bekämpfung der Geschlechtskrankheiten in einem großen Landkreis Schleswig-Holsteins.
Doctoral thesis, Universität Kiel, 1955


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Torsten
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Re: Women awarded the Iron Cross

Post by Heimatschuss » 12 Aug 2010 23:13

Hello,

two further corrections to be made, this time for

- Rohna von Ceuern (3/45, Red Cross Aide)
- Anna Wohlschütz (3/45, Red Cross Aide)

Both names are from a report in the Berlin newspaper "Das 12-Uhr-Blatt" of March 22nd, 1945.

The problem is: These family names don't exist in Germany (including Austria). After some searching I found the real origin of the news which is an addendum to the daily Wehrmachtsbericht (Wehrmacht daily new bulletin). According to Schlau (2008, p.333) (http://tinyurl.com/2vraby8) it reads:
DNB _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Führerhauptquartier, 22. März 1945

Ergänzend zum Wehrmachtsbericht wird gemeldet:

Zwei Rote-Kreuz-Helferinnen mit dem Eisernen Kreuz ausgezeichnet.

DNB, Berlin, 22.März 1945. - Die beiden deutschen Rote-Kreuz-Helferinnen Schwester
Rhona von Ceumern und Schwester Anna Wolschütz hatten sich freiwillig zur Tätigkeit
auf einem Hauptverbandplatz der Festung Küstrin gemeldet. Tag und Nacht waren sie
trotz heftigen Artilleriebeschussses auf ihrem Posten und halfen unermüdlich den
Schwerverwundeten.

Als während eines Bombenangriffs auf die Altstadt eine Brückenwache verschüttet
wurde, waren die beiden Helferinnen als erste zur Stelle, bargen trotz der ringsum
einschlagenden Bomben die Verwundeten, befreiten die Verschütteten und feuerten
durch ihr Beispiel andere bei den gefährlichen Bergungsarbeiten an. Ihrem Mut war
es zu danken, daß die Verschütteten gerettet werden konnten.

Die beiden Schwestern, die freiwillig weiter in der hart umkämpften Festung verblieben,
wurden mit dem Eisernen Kreuz ausgezeichnet. (2712/KhB)
So the real names are:

- Rhona von Ceumern
- Anna Wolschütz

These family names do exist though rare. On the previous page Schlau (2008, p.332) supplies even some more details on Rhona von Ceumern

Baronesse Rhona von Ceumern-Lindenstjerna
born in Orgishof/Livonia (= Urga/Latvia) Sept. 9th, 1908
teacher and auxiliary nurse
She was KIA in Küstrin on March 29th, 1945 during the last fighing for the fortress.

Here's her entry in http://www.volksbund.de
Nachname: v. Ceumern-Lindenstjerna
Vorname: Rhona
Dienstgrad:
Geburtsdatum: 22.09.1908
Geburtsort:
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 01.03.1945
Todes-/Vermisstenort: Kuestrin / Reppen / West-Sternberg / Zorndorf
References:

Wilfried Schlau
Die Deutschbalten in der kämpfenden Truppe
in
Michael Garleff (Ed.)
Deutschbalten, Weimarer Republik und Drittes Reich, Vol.2
Böhlau Verlag; Cologne, Weimar, Vienna; 2008; pp.329-334


Best regards
Torsten

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