Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

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: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 18 Aug 2009 20:14

Hello again,

found another account of a female horse-breaker, this time one that served in the Wehrkreis-Reit- und Fahrschule in Demmin. Her loose mouth and of course the fact that she and squadron commander Major von Salviati celebrated the attempt on Hitler's life publicly in the barracks with a bottle of champagne led to their arrest in late July 1944.


Margot von Schade

As a female horse-breaker in Demmin

Where now? [von Schade had just been fired once more by a disgruntled employer.] A job - no matter what kind - you had to have. And mother really found something of which I liked every aspect and which was fun. From her time in equestrian sport - she had been a dressage rider not without talent - she had connections to cavalry officers. Amongst them were Col. Berger, commander of the military district school for riding and [coach] driving II in Demmin in Pomerania as well as his successor, Col. Andreae. Years later someone told me that at the war's end Andreae had been placed naked on a Russian tank and driven around in town. In the course of these events he had been killed it was said.

So there I came in 1944. Together with about twenty other girls and young women I became a female horse-breaker. Here I could fully devote myself to my big passion - horse riding. We had the rank of Unteroffizier [roughly equivalent: corporal] without wearing a uniform. Those for female horse-breakers were introduced only after I had been arrested. Of special importance for me during the dramatic events of that year were Major Hans Viktor von Salviati, chief of us
amazons, and female horse-breaker Barbara Sensfuß, daughter of a Wehrmacht general, who had become engaged with Salviati shortly after her arrival. The wedding already planned didn't take place anymore. In addition there were Miss Törber, Marga Countess Seckendorf and one Miss Dietz. Countess Seckendorf was nee Marga Ficht, a former circus rider that once had been married to a Count Seckendorf who admittedly had left her in a hurry after just a short time of marriage.

Work there, the breaking-in of young horses never ridden before was great fun to me and gave me more satisfaction each day. Our everyday life turned out to be quite pleasant too after I had arrived there in April. Being the first of the newly hired female horse-breakers my early arrival earned me quite a few advantages. Female beings had been completlely unknown in the riding school until then and in this male environment even unimaginable. I felt myself like a colourful parot amidst a crowd of grey sparrows, stared upon in bewilderment like a fairy-tale creature. Quickly I secured some priviledges for me that I could maintain for the time of my stay there. I didn't have to live in the barracks but had my private quarter in the household of an old officer's family with full board so I wasn't dependent on the mess hall. After lunch I was allowed to visit the officers' club where I could read the newspapers, chat with the officers and other things like that. This privilege was also bestowed upon female horse-breakers Barbara Sensfuß and Miss Törber that arrived a few days later. Exactly we three were arrested at the end of July. Envy was the cause.

At six o'clock I got up, had breakfast and then cycled to the barracks, to the stables. With stable work our daily schedule began, i.e. grooming the horses, cleaning the saddles and the stables. Like the male horse-breakers working along with us each of the female horse-breakers had to care for a group of about six remounts. Remounts were unbroken horses three to four years old that were bought for the Wehrmacht each year from stud farms and horse-breeders all over Germany and then were distributed to various Wehr-Kreis-Reit-und Fahrschulen (military district school for riding and [coach] driving).

I had full responsibility for my group of horses. When in the morning an officer, mostly our Major von Salviati, visited the stables I had to report for my group of horses if they were o.k., if one had fallen ill or if there had been special occurrences. From morning till noon male and female horse-breakers had to ride the horses after first accustomning them to saddle and bridle while holding them tight. Walk, trot, gallop and later jumping alternated one another. What is part of simple dressage was taught our four-legged friends too so they could play their part in the defence of Greater Germany and its' many conquests. Frontline service was waiting for these poor creatures that were not asked if they wanted all this just like soldiers. Misery, pain and often death were waiting for them.

In the afternoon we and the horses had to learn coach driving in a team. By a male horse-breaker on our side we were instructed to drive with teams of two, four and six horses. Corporals and sergeants took over the driving of coaches with teams of four or six horses from us because we didn't have the necessary strength in our hands and arms. Unharnessing, cleaning the coaches and grooming the horses were the last steps of our daily service.

Afterwards I went to my quarters and had supper not without previously arranging appointments with other female horse-breakers or even better, with staff of the riding school I knew from work. I even learned to play Skat [a German game of cards] at that time. A merry round of NCOs taught it to me and we spent many happy evenings with it. Occasionally I sifted through the phonebook of Demmin and its' surroundings looking for the names of families that my mother might know.

The Zieverich stud farm and so my mother were quite well-known amongst the gentry and farming estate owners. This way I made a number of contacts, paid visits and had a lot of distraction very welcome to me. Several times I visited Mimusch von Langen, the widow of famous equestrian Baron von Langen who had won the Olympic games in Amsterdam in 1928. He had been killed in a riding accident several years earlier. I have to admit that I tried to arrange my life there as pleasant as possible. I was 21, full of temperament and zest for life and tried to make the best out of my situation and the circumstances at Demmin.

The riding school employed a substantial number of Russian POWs that were mainly employed with stable work. To me they were no sub-humans of course as nazi propaganda tried to teach our people of alleged super-men. To me they were poor chaps that had the bad fortune of falling into German captivity and that in an atrocious war that their government hadn't caused. Any kind of contact to them was strictly forbidden to us. But once again I was of the opinion that rules that applied for others were not valid for me. I chatted with them, gave them the major part of my bread ration which was much too much for me, brought them some of my warm food, told them about the ongoing of the war. All that, especially the last, was rated as a capital offence. Even more I once had drawn the current frontline approximately on a horseback for them. A malicious nazi fellow female horse-breaker must have observed this and later denounced me because it became a key evidence in the later trial against me.

The Russian prisoners were very afraid of the approaching Soviet armies and subsequent severe punishment - incarceration or banishment to Siberia if not even worse - for cowardice in face of the enemy because they had allowed themselves to be taken prisoner instead of fighting to their least breath. I think that if a peace treaty had been settled most of them would have preferred to stay in the free West.

Two Russians in particular had joint me which gave me a special role once more. When I arrived for the morning shift - in most cases later than the others again - both my Russian friends had already completed most of the work for me. The horses had been groomed and saddled up so that I just had to jump up. They had grown the habit to stand in attention during this and give me a military salute with their hands at the caps 'Morning, malinki baronesse!'

That of course wasn't very clever of me and later I had to pay dearly for it. Not for a minute I imagined that this would foster anger and envy, the cause of coming mayhem. I spoke freely and without hesitation what I had on my mind. In a time of growing state terror this was life-threatening. How often friends had warned me 'Margot, for heaven's sake, keep your mouth!' It was love's labour lost. What was my opinion I had to tell aloud in front of all benevolent or malevolent persons. It never appeared to me that I was doing something dangerous, forbidden or bad or that I even was committing a crime. But I was wrong in that.

References:
Margot von Schade
Gerettetes Leben. Erinnerungen an eine Jugend in Deutschland.
Verlag Langen Müller, Munich, 1988
pp.30 - 35

Original text
Margot von Schade

Als Bereiterin in Demmin

Wohin jetzt? Eine Arbeit, gleich welcher Art, mußte nun einmal ausgeübt werden. Und meine Mutter fand auch etwas, das mir in jeder Beziehung gefiel und Freude machte. Aus der Zeit ihrer Aktivitäten im Reitsport - sie war eine nicht untalentierte Dressurreiterin ­ hatte sie Verbindungen zu Kavallerie-Offizieren. Unter diesen kannte sie den Obersten Berger, Kommandeur der Wehrkreis-Reit- und Fahrschule II Demmin in Pommern, und ebenfalls dessen Nachfolger Oberst Andreae. Jahre später erzählte man mir, bei Kriegsende habe man diesen nackt auf einen russischen Panzer gesetzt und durch Demmin gefahren, wobei er ums Leben gekommen sei.

Dorthin also kam ich 1944. Zusammen mit etwa zwanzig weiteren Mädchen und jungen Frauen wurde ich Bereiterin von Remonten. Meiner großen Passion für die Pferde konnte ich mich hier voll und ganz hingeben. Wir hatten den Dienstgrad eines Unteroffiziers, ohne Uniform zu tragen. Diese wurde für die Bereiterinnen erst nach meiner Verhaftung eingeführt. Von besonderer Bedeutung für mich in dem dramatischen Geschehen dieses Jahres waren der Major Hans Viktor von Salviati, Chef von uns Amazonen, und die Bereiterin Barbara Sensfuß, die Tochter eines Generals der Wehrmacht, die sich bald darauf mit Salviati verlobt hat. Zu der geplanten Heirat kam es jedoch nicht mehr. Dazu kamen Fräulein Törber, Marga Gräfin Seckendorf und ein Fräulein Dietz. Gräfin Seckendorf war eine geborene Marga Ficht, eine frühere Zirkusreiterin, die einmal mit einem Grafen Seckendorf verheiratet gewesen war, der freilich nach kurzer Zeit der Ehe schleunigst das Weite gesucht hatte.

Die Arbeit dort, das Bereiten junger, noch nicht gerittener Pferde, machte mir jedenfalls größte Freude und bereitete mir täglich mehr Befriedigung. Auch unser Alltag gestaltete sich durchaus angenehm, nachdem ich im April dort angekommen war. Als erste der neu eingestellten Bereiterinnen brachte mir mein frühes Erscheinn manchen Vorteil. Weibliche Wesen waren bis dahin in der Reitschule völlig unbekannt und in dieser Männerwelt auch unvorstellbar gewesen. Wie ein bunter Papagei inmitten einer Schar grauer Spatzen kam ich mir dort vor, von allen als eine Art Fabelwesen bestaunt. Schnell hatte ich mir einige Vorrechte gesichert, die ich mir für die Zeit meines Aufenthaltes bewahren konnte. Ich mußte nicht in der Kaserne wohnen, sondern hatte mein Privatquartier bei einem Offiziersehepaar, wo ich in voller Verpflegung stand und somit nicht auf das Kantinenessen angewiesen war. Nach dem Mittagessen konnte ich mich im Offizierskasino aufhalten, solange die Freizeit andauerte, Zeitung lesen, mich mit den Offizieren unterhalten und ähnliches mehr. Dieses Vorrecht erwarben dann ebenfalls die einige Tage später angekommenen Bereiterinnen Barbara Sensfuß und Fräulein Törber. Genau wir drei wurden Ende Juli verhaftet. Neid und Mißgunst waren Anlaß und Ursache.

Um sechs Uhr stand ich auf, frühstückte, um anschließend zur Kaserne, zu den Stallungen zu radeln. Mit dem Stalldienst begann die tägliche Arbeit, also mit der Pferdepflege, der Reinigung des Sattelzeugs und der Stallungen. Wir Bereiterinnen hatten uns zusammen mit den männlichen Bereitern jeweils um einen Beritt zu kümmern, der aus etwa sechs Remonten bestand. Remonten waren unberittene, drei bis vier Jahre alte Pferde, die alljährlich von Gestüten und Pferdezüchtern in ganz Deutschland für die Wehrmacht aufgekauft und auf die verschiedenen Wehr-Kreis-Reit-und Fahrschulen aufgeteilt wurden.

Für meinen Beritt war ich verantwortlich. Wenn des Morgens ein Offizier, meistens unser Major von Salviati, die Stallungen besichtigte, hatte ich zu melden, ob der Beritt in Ordnung sei, die Pferde gesund wären oder ob besondere Vorkommnisse vorlägen. Bereiterinnen und Bereiter hatten jeden Vormittag die Pferde einzureiten, nachdem sie zunächst an unserer Hand an Sattel und Zaumzeug gewöhnt worden waren. Schritt, Trab, Galopp und später Springen lösten einander ab. Auch was zur einfachen Pferdedressur gehörte, wurde unseren vierbeinigen Freunden beigebracht, damit auch sie ihren Beitrag zur Verteidigung des Großdeutschen Reiches und seiner vielen Eroberungen leisten konnten. Die Front erwartete diese armen Kreaturen, die ebenso wenig wie der Soldat gefragt wurden, ob sie wollten oder nicht. Entbehrung, Qual und oft der Tod standen ihnen bevor.

Nachmittags lernten wir und die Pferde das Fahren mit einem Gespann. Neben uns ein Bereiter, fuhren wir zwei-, vier- und sechsspännig. Das vier- und sechsspännige Fahren nahmen uns die Bereiter - Unteroffiziere oder Wachtmeister - ab, da wir hierfür nicht die erforderliche Kraft in Händen und Armen besaßen. Abspannen, Reinigung der Gespanne und Putzen der Pferde beendeten unseren täglichen Dienst.

Ich ging dann in mein Quartier, aß, verabredete mich vorher mit anderen Bereiterinnen, lieber noch mit mir vom Dienst her bekannten Angehörigen der Reit- und Fahrschule. Sogar das Skatspielen lernte ich damals. Eine lustige Runde von Unteroffizieren brachte es mir bei, und wir haben manchen vergnügten Abend damit verbracht. Bisweilen blätterte ich auch im Telefonbuch von Demmin und Umgebung auf der Suche nach Namen von Familien, die meine Mutter vielleicht kannte.

Das Gestüt Zieverich und damit meine Mutter waren bei allen Landleuten und Gutsbesitzern recht bekannt. Einige Verbindungen konnte ich auf diese Weise anknüpfen, Besuche machen und mir so manche willkommene Abwechslung verschaffen. Des öfteren war ich bei Mimusch von Langen, der Witwe des vor etlichen Jahren tödlich gestürzten berühmten deutschen Reiters Freiherr von Langen, der 1928 die Olympiade in Amsterdam gewonnen hatte. Ich gebe zu, ich war nach Kräften bemüht, mir das Leben dort so angenehm wie möglich zu machen. Ich war einundzwanzig Jahre alt, voller Temperament und Lebenslust und versuchte, meinen Lebensumständen und den Demminer Verhältnissen das Beste abzugewinnen.

Die Reitschule beschäftigte auch eine größere Anzahl russischer Kriegsgefangener, die vorwiegend für den Stalldienst eingeteilt waren. Für mich waren sie natürlich keine Untermenschen, wie die NS-Propaganda unserem vermeintlichen Volk von Herrenmenschen weiszumachen versuchte. Für mich waren es vielmehr arme Kerle, deren bedauernswertes Schicksal es war, in deutsche Gefangenschaft geraten zu sein, und dies in einem grausamen Krieg, den ihr Land nicht verursacht hatte. Jeder Kontakt zu ihnen war uns streng verboten. Doch wieder einmal meinte ich, daß das, was für andere galt, für mich keine Gültigkeit besäße. Ich unterhielt mich mit ihnen, gab ihnen den größten Teil meiner Brotration, die für mich viel zu üppig war, brachte ihnen von meinem warmen Essen, erzählte ihnen vom Kriegsge­
schehen. Alles, vor allem letzteres, galt als Kapitalverbrechen. Zu allem Überfluß hatte ich ihnen auf einem Pferderücken den ungefähren damaligen Frontverlauf aufgezeichnet. Eine mißgünstige nazistische Mitbereiterin muß es beobachtet und mich später denunziert haben, denn es wurde einer der Hauptbelastungspunkte meiner späteren Anklage.

Die russischen Gefangenen hatten große Furcht vor dem Herannahen der russischen Armeen und einer folgenden strengen Bestrafung - Einkerkerung oder Verbannung nach Sibirien, wenn nicht sogar Schlimmeres - wegen Feigheit vor dem Feinde, weil sie sich hatten gefangennehmen lassen, statt bis zum letzten Atemzug zu kämpfen. Ich meine, nach einem Friedensschluß wären sie am liebsten im freien Westen geblieben.

Besonders zwei Russen hatten sich mir angeschlossen und verschafften mir wiederum eine Sonderstellung. Wenn ich morgens - auch meistens später als die anderen - zum Frühdienst erschien, hatten mir meine beiden russischen Freunde bereits einen großen Teil der Arbeit abgenommen. Die Pferde waren geputzt, gesattelt, so daß ich mich nur noch hinaufzuschwingen hatte. Sie hatten sich dabei angewöhnt, Haltung anzunehmen und mich mit der Hand an der
Mütze militärisch zu begrüßen: »Morgen, Malinki Baroneß!«

Das alles war natürlich nicht geschickt von mir, und ich mußte später bitter dafür büßen. Es war mir zu keiner Minute klar, daß ich damit Neid und Mißgunst züchtete, die Ursache kommenden Unheils. Ich redete flott und ungehemmt daher, was mir in den Sinn kam. In einer Zeit zunehmenden Staatsterrors war das lebensgefährlich. Wie oft haben mich meine Freunde gewarnt: »Margot, halte um Gottes willen deinen Mund!« Es war vergebliche Liebesmühe. Was ich für richtig hielt, mußte richtig, was mir falsch erschien, hatte falsch zu sein. Was meine Meinung war, mußte ich vor allen Wohl- oder Übelwollenden lauthals verkünden. Es wäre mir nie in den Sinn gekommen, daß ich damit etwas Gefährliches, Verbotenes, Schlechtes tat oder gar eine Straftat beging. Doch darin hatte ich mich getäuscht.
Best regards
Torsten

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Women in German Army Uniform?

Post by Heimatschuss » 18 Aug 2009 21:04

Hello Stephan,
Stephan wrote:
Heimatschuss wrote:...
Despite we knew that the war i.e. the American army was coming closer each day service went on as usual. Even commander's riding on Sunday afternoon where the best female and male riders were allowed to ride the better horses and even trained a quadrille continued unabated. Short courses for ensigns and young officers still took place too.

March 1945 started with wonderful springtime weather, anemones and primulas were already blossoming. But the news - just a few - that reached us sounded more and more threatening. ..

This is a little OT but quite interesting. The training and everyday work was completely as usual as late as february-march 1945... I presume it was so also in other places too where they had not open war activities.
yes that seems to have been the case. I have somewhere a letter of female horse-breaker from the remount school in Militsch (Silesia) from late January 1945 in which she writes that the town is under full alert now because of the approaching Soviet forces and that horse training at the school goes on as usual. That was two days before the town was actually captured by the Russians. Even more bizarre: after mentioning the turmoil caused by Soviet advance briefly she spends quite a few lines to describe to her friends the joys that dancing to jazz music gives her. Quite surreal, a picture of almost complete carelessness.

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Torsten

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Re: Women in German Army Uniform?

Post by Heimatschuss » 18 Aug 2009 21:12

Hello Vikki,
A little OT as well, but below, some photos of the Trakehner she mentions to accompany her account. From Pferde und Reiter in aller Welt by A.R. Marsani and Major a. D.W. Braun (Berlin: Wilhelm-Limpert Verlag, 1939)

Best,
~Vikki
I don't know much of horses but is it normal that you can see the bones of the rump? In some of the photos they look quite meagre to me.

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Women in German Army Uniform?

Post by Vikki » 19 Aug 2009 04:17

Heimatschuss wrote:Hello Vikki,
A little OT as well, but below, some photos of the Trakehner she mentions to accompany her account. From Pferde und Reiter in aller Welt by A.R. Marsani and Major a. D.W. Braun (Berlin: Wilhelm-Limpert Verlag, 1939)

Best,
~Vikki
I don't know much of horses but is it normal that you can see the bones of the rump? In some of the photos they look quite meagre to me.

Best regards
Torsten
Hello Torsten,

You must be speaking of the mare with foal in the third picture. I associate that protruding hipbone look with older horses. In this case it's possible it's also be the result of her having been used for years as a broodmare, and the fact that she has a relatively new foal at her side--both giving birth and nursing can take a toll on the mare.

Best,
~Vikki

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Vikki » 19 Aug 2009 04:28

Another fascinating account, Torsten.
Of special importance for me during the dramatic events of that year were Major Hans Viktor von Salviati, chief of us amazons...
Is is possible that her Major Salviati is the same as the photo below (also from Pferde und Reiter in aller Welt)? The caption indicates that he is a Rittmeister, which I believe is the equivalent of a Captain, but the book was published in 1939--plenty of time for him to have become a Major by 1944.

~Vikki
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 19 Aug 2009 21:17

Yes Vikki,
Vikki wrote:Another fascinating account, Torsten.
Of special importance for me during the dramatic events of that year were Major Hans Viktor von Salviati, chief of us amazons...
Is is possible that her Major Salviati is the same as the photo below (also from Pferde und Reiter in aller Welt)? The caption indicates that he is a Rittmeister, which I believe is the equivalent of a Captain, but the book was published in 1939--plenty of time for him to have become a Major by 1944.

~Vikki
in all likelihood that's the same man. For anybody interested in him view
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=114248
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=91628
including the follow-ups. Especially in the photo USA_Finn provided there's a stark facial resemblance to the rider shown above.

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Torsten

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Maurielj@aol.com » 14 Jan 2010 22:08

This is something I have also been researching so this thread is wunderbar!

Are there any SS-Reitschulen listed in the places Bereiterinnen were used?

Mauriel

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 10:00

Hello Mauriel,

all Reit- und Fahrschulen listed above were regular Army installations. So far I've never seen any indications that the SS-Reit-und Fahrschulen employed female horse-breakers. Unless one of the SS schools stranded in an Army Reit- und Fahrschule in the chaotic very last weeks of the war they were all in different locations.
Maurielj@aol.com wrote:This is something I have also been researching so this thread is wunderbar!

Are there any SS-Reitschulen listed in the places Bereiterinnen were used?

Mauriel
Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 10:11

At another forum (http://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de) Lemmy, one of their members, was so kind to provide scans of an article by Kurt Klietmann on the Bereiterinnen I've long been looking for. To the best of my knowledge this essay is the basis of many later works on the subject like Seidler, Angolia & Schlicht and so on.

Here's my humble translation:


The Army's female horse-breakers

In summer 1943 the Army High Command - Inspectorate 3 (Horse riding & Coach driving) [Oberkommando des Heeres - In 3 (Reit- und Fahrwesen)] started an experiment which very soon was to produce excellent results. Officers and NCOs employed in the Military District schools of horse riding and coach driving were on the one hand urgently needed at the frontline, on the other hand had to train remounts in the schools. To solve this problem at least partially it was decided to replace parts of the male personnel with so-called female horse-breakers. Initially this solution was sometimes viewed by commanders with a bit of mistrust, after all employment of females in the Army developed only step by step and under the pressure of circumstances.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 10:30

The Military District schools of horse riding and coach driving collected the addresses of older experienced equestriennes and wrote to them asking if they would be interested in training remounts. If the answer was positive a work contract [Dienstvertrag] like the following one was signed:
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 10:35

Female horse-breakers recruited this way received about three horses each to be trained as riding or draught horses. With growing demand the age of the female horse-breakers got ever younger so at war's end the age span reached from 18 into their 40s.

The female horse-breakers originated from all circles of society: one had grown up on the family estate with horses, another had become an auxiliary riding instructor out of love for horses, others had a passion for horse-riding and had gained prizes in tournaments. They all now did regular service which wasn't easy and often had to adapt to normal
service life first.

At the Military District school of horse riding and coach driving in Warendorf school commander Col. von Poser, intended to keep it at 7 female horse-breakers. Soon these had grown into 12 and that shoud be the maximum he concluded. Pressured by the war situation getting more and more serious this changed to 17 female horse-breakers in 1944 and finally to 28. For the last six weeks of the war they were supplemented by a further 8 female horse-breakers
from the Military District school in Demmin that had been disbanded due to the approaching frontline.

So this experiment succeeded excellently over the course of time and under the pressure of the situation. Towards the end of the war a number of Military District schools of horse riding and coach driving were relocated or disbanded, others formed treks with their horses and their staff.

In Warendorf -Military District school of horse riding and coach driving VI- where Col. Hans Winkel was school commander at the time retreat started on April 1st, 1945 according to an order to bring the horses to safety. 17 female horse-breakers voluntarily participated in that march which ended on May 2nd near Lübeck after overcoming enormous difficulties. There the regular military personnel was taken prisoner by the Britons while the female horse-breakers - 7 had held out till the end- were released home immediately.

There were no differences in rank or position amongst the female horse-breakers. They were all equal though with time and increasing number of horse-breakers the habit developed that one older woman per school would assume the role of a quasi-leader of the female staff.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 10:41

Generally speaking female horse-breakers did wear the uniform of the staff auxiliaries (Stabshelferinnen).

a) single-breasted stone grey jacket with a slit on the back - Army insignium on the right breast

b) double-breasted stone grey jacket with a slit on the back - Army insignium on the right breast

The single-breasted jackets had two pockets, the double-breasted ones had four.

c) riding breeches from stone grey cloth with leater reinforcements

d) long stone grey coat made from cloth with a long slit on the back - especially for winter.

e) grey shirt blouse with black tie

f) service cap like the Army ski cap

g) forage cap with yellow piping (only preliminary, impractical for riding)

h) black riding boots

i) spurs and riding stick

Items a, b, d, e, f and g were delivered ready by the uniforms store from the stocks of the signals auxiliaries. Items c and h were made individually and i were private possessions.

The service pin of the signals and staff auxiliaries wasn't worn.

References:
Kurt Klietmann
Die Bereiterinnen des Heeres.
"Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1934 bis 1945", Heft 43; Verlag "Die Ordenssammlung", Heft 43, 1964

Original scans at:
http://www.bilder-hochladen.net/files/4qdg-1x-jpg.html
http://www.bilder-hochladen.net/files/4qdg-21-jpg.html
http://www.bilder-hochladen.net/files/4qdg-1y-jpg.html
http://www.bilder-hochladen.net/files/4qdg-20-jpg.html
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Last edited by Heimatschuss on 26 Jan 2010 22:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 15:28

Hello once more,

last year I had the good fortune to get hold of a set of horse-breaker photos that I could trace back to the Wehrkreis-Reit- und Fahrschule in Militsch (Silesia). Circumstantial evidence shows they must be from summer 1944, most of them were taken by a professional photographer from Berlin, Margot Noske. Noske also supplied a number of photos for a newspaper article on the horse-breakers that appeared in the 'Wiener Illustrierte' (Nr. 35, 30. August 1944, p. 4-5). I'm still trying to figure out how to get hold of that.

But now for the photos. The first two shots are from the training of draught horses. Lotte Weller, the horse-breaker in Bereiterinnen 6.jpg, allows a very good look on the their uniform and on the horse rigging.
The horse-breakers in Bereiterinnen 7.jpg are (from right to left) Lotte Weller, Elfriede Hofer and Rosemarie Mertsching. Weller and Hofer were both from Salzburg.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 16:23

This scene shows according to the backside Lotte Weller again with another Salzburg equestrienne, Inge Welz plus Renate Capelle from Breslau and Unteroffizier Gude. Inge Welz's curly head is quite characteristic and you will recognize her not only in several of my pictures but also in those of Todd Gylsen on page 1. That of course means Mr. Gylsen's pictures are from Militsch also, once all these photos must have belonged to one single lot that was broken up.

Note that there are no saddles or stirrups in this picture.
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Re: Female Horse-breakers (Bereiterinnen)

Post by Heimatschuss » 26 Jan 2010 16:35

No backside information on this photo but if you compare the faces and the skin patterns of the horses with the previous pic it's obviously Lotte Weller on the extreme left, then an unknown rider, Inge Welz, Renate Capelle and a fifth horsewomen that I know from another photo to be Peppi Kaempfe.

Again no saddles or stirrups.
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