Burial of men KIA

General WWII era German military discussion that doesn't fit someplace more specific.
Post Reply
08/15
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:15 pm

Burial of men KIA

Post by 08/15 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:51 pm

Question: Before a fallen soldier was buried by his comrades, what items were removed from his body? I assume that in addition to his Soldbuch and dogtag half anything personal like letters, photos, watch, rings, etc. was retrieved to be sent home to his family. I would also assume that all decorations he may have earned were taken off his uniform before he was laid to rest. Can anyone confirm this?

User avatar
Simon H
Associate
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:28 am
Location: UK/EU

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by Simon H » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:52 am

08/15 wrote:Question: Before a fallen soldier was buried by his comrades, what items were removed from his body? I assume that in addition to his Soldbuch and dogtag half anything personal like letters, photos, watch, rings, etc. was retrieved to be sent home to his family. I would also assume that all decorations he may have earned were taken off his uniform before he was laid to rest. Can anyone confirm this?
Only the tag was retrieved and Soldbuch. Taking off rings, watches, decorations and personal items would be neither possible or practical during combat.

However if a soldier died whilst in hospital away from the front then it's possible that personal items might have been retrieved and sent to their family.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Simon
Simon Harrold

WW2 Battlefield Relics: German Erkennungsmarken decoded.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:48 am

Hello to all :D; a complement............

The Burial Service (Gräberdienst).

More than 50 million people died in World War II. Not only women and children and other civilians, but also more than 20 million soldiers. About five million soldiers died on the German side, one in three members of the Wehrmacht died from wounds, disease, accidents, suicide, exhaustion or in captivity. The dead were not buried in mass graves, as was common in the Middle Ages or early modern period, but were buried in individual graves whenever possible.

Since each unit was responsible for the burial of its dead, each regiment or battalion had to designate a burial detachment. The management and care of the graves were accompanied by so-called grave officers (Wehrmachtgräberoffiziere) who reported to the army and military commanders and received their technical instructions directly from the OKW.

The burial service was performed by full-time Wehrmacht Graves Officers (WGO)* from the burial service at the Wehrmacht Casualty Department at OKW. Former officers (active or on leave) were called up as WGOs who were no longer fully eligible for front-line service with combatant troops due to age or other circumstances. Each army or military commander (in the militarily occupied zones as the head of the military administration) was assigned a WGO for the duration of combat operations, which he worked alongside the military officers assigned there.

Wehrmacht grave officers supervised proper burials by troops, submitted grave reports, and searched the graves of fallen soldiers. His duties also included moving existing graves to larger cemeteries, as well as identifying so-called wild graves, that is, scattered and unrecorded graves. Wehrmacht grave officers not only guarded the cemeteries of the newly dead, but also supervised the cemeteries of the dead of the First World War.

This extension of the task of the actual management of the graves by the Wehrmacht officers shows the naturalness of the Wehrmacht in its role as successor to the imperial army. The Wehrmacht put the newly dead in line with the dead of the First World War. As the war progressed, the tasks and the number of officers assigned to them grew: by 1941 the Wehrmacht Casualty Department comprised 51 WGOs, two Burial Commandos and three Army Graves Officers in Military Districts VIII ( Katowwitz), XII (Wiesbaden) and XX (Danzig). In November 1944 the number rose to 154 offices.

The increasing number of casualties and the duration of the war required a large number of personnel and administrative expenses. The instructions and regulations established by the Wehrmacht to bury all soldiers could no longer really be guaranteed by the troops themselves or by the full-time burial officers.

The burial of a fallen soldier included not only the actual burial, but also recovery, proper reporting of the soldier's death and the location of his grave, and notification of next of kin.

* The WGO was characterized as »G. v.", i.e. capable of garrison service in the field, i.e. only capable of limited service as combat troops, but suitable for administrative and supply duties in rear areas of operation. WGOs in the Army High Command (AOK) were assigned to the Oberquartiermeisterabteilung (Quartermaster Department).

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Attachments
image067.jpg
image067.jpg (27.36 KiB) Viewed 882 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
Simon H
Associate
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:28 am
Location: UK/EU

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by Simon H » Sat Nov 19, 2022 10:29 am

Very informative post Tigre, thank you.
Simon Harrold

WW2 Battlefield Relics: German Erkennungsmarken decoded.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sat Nov 26, 2022 6:10 am

Hello to all :D; thanks Simon :wink:. More............

Recovery.

Ideally, corpses were buried immediately after a battle and the exact location of the grave was reported. However, the fallen were often unable to recover or were considered missing. A grave officer from the 15th Infantry Division reported the discovery of dead German soldiers whose clothes had been stolen and whose bodies had been bayoneted after the territory had been recaptured. The bodies found were badly decomposed, and the burial commandos had to use chlorinated lime to even touch the bodies. If bodies were left behind during a retreat, the unit's grave officers often noted the approximate location of the dead so that the bodies could still be buried in the event of a recapture. The WGO also obtained information about bodies that had not yet been discovered in its area of ​​responsibility from prisoner interrogations.

Dead soldiers were identified by their dog tags or their soldbuch, which they always carried with them. In the case of unknown German soldiers (nationality was determined on the basis of uniforms and other clothing), the characteristics of the body were to be recorded, and the special characteristics of the teeth were to be noted. In principle, with each fallen person an attempt would be made to identify them; in the case of unknown persons, missing persons reports were also cross-checked to determine identity. Unknown dead persons were to be photographed before burial and the photos sent to the Wehrmacht Information Office (Wehrmachtauskunftsstelle).

The images were also distributed in army communications. This great effort could not be practiced with all the fallen. Many of the dead were "emergency buried" on or near the battlefield or (after half the nameplate was removed) were left on the ground. Recovering and burying each dead person collided with the limits of time and the combat possibilities of the soldiers and also with the limits of their will. A WGO deployed "in the east" reported a lack of efforts by troops to recover the dead.

Soldiers, as the Wehrmacht put it, had a "honorary duty" to bury their dead "comrades". By emphasizing this "honor duty", the Wehrmacht continued the myth-based military camaraderie that had been cultivated since World War I and its post-war period with reference to the so-called "trench community". The OKW saw this "honor duty" as a matter of course and expected every soldier to fulfill this duty towards the dead.

In reality, the effort and inconvenience were often too great or the recovery of the bodies too dangerous, for example when the bodies were under fire or the area was mined. In these cases, prisoners of war and civilians were also recruited for salvage and grave digging. Tobacco and alcohol were given to Soviet prisoners of war and civilians as "payment". In addition, the WGO promised the public a reward of 5 RM per individual grave for finding the graves they were looking for.

The WGO did not speak of many German volunteers willing to remove bodies from dangerous sections, instead using civilians (including women and children) and prisoners of war for forced labor, even at the risk of their lives. Since Wehrmacht soldiers were unable or unwilling to dig graves for their fallen comrades, this so-called honorary duty was considered a tedious task, like digging trenches or fortress positions, for which civilians were also recruited and abused.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Attachments
image002.jpg
Recovery of a fallen soldier..................................
image002.jpg (37.96 KiB) Viewed 812 times
image006.jpg
A tedious task, digging graves..................
image006.jpg (46.85 KiB) Viewed 812 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

statemachine
Contributor
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Earth

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by statemachine » Sun Nov 27, 2022 5:48 pm

tigre wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:48 am
Hello to all :D; a complement............

The Burial Service (Gräberdienst).

More than 50 million people died in World War II. Not only women and children and other civilians, but also more than 20 million soldiers. About five million soldiers died on the German side, one in three members of the Wehrmacht died from wounds, disease, accidents, suicide, exhaustion or in captivity. The dead were not buried in mass graves, as was common in the Middle Ages or early modern period, but were buried in individual graves whenever possible.

Since each unit was responsible for the burial of its dead, each regiment or battalion had to designate a burial detachment. The management and care of the graves were accompanied by so-called grave officers (Wehrmachtgräberoffiziere) who reported to the army and military commanders and received their technical instructions directly from the OKW.

The burial service was performed by full-time Wehrmacht Graves Officers (WGO)* from the burial service at the Wehrmacht Casualty Department at OKW. Former officers (active or on leave) were called up as WGOs who were no longer fully eligible for front-line service with combatant troops due to age or other circumstances. Each army or military commander (in the militarily occupied zones as the head of the military administration) was assigned a WGO for the duration of combat operations, which he worked alongside the military officers assigned there.

Wehrmacht grave officers supervised proper burials by troops, submitted grave reports, and searched the graves of fallen soldiers. His duties also included moving existing graves to larger cemeteries, as well as identifying so-called wild graves, that is, scattered and unrecorded graves. Wehrmacht grave officers not only guarded the cemeteries of the newly dead, but also supervised the cemeteries of the dead of the First World War.

This extension of the task of the actual management of the graves by the Wehrmacht officers shows the naturalness of the Wehrmacht in its role as successor to the imperial army. The Wehrmacht put the newly dead in line with the dead of the First World War. As the war progressed, the tasks and the number of officers assigned to them grew: by 1941 the Wehrmacht Casualty Department comprised 51 WGOs, two Burial Commandos and three Army Graves Officers in Military Districts VIII ( Katowwitz), XII (Wiesbaden) and XX (Danzig). In November 1944 the number rose to 154 offices.

The increasing number of casualties and the duration of the war required a large number of personnel and administrative expenses. The instructions and regulations established by the Wehrmacht to bury all soldiers could no longer really be guaranteed by the troops themselves or by the full-time burial officers.

The burial of a fallen soldier included not only the actual burial, but also recovery, proper reporting of the soldier's death and the location of his grave, and notification of next of kin.

* The WGO was characterized as »G. v.", i.e. capable of garrison service in the field, i.e. only capable of limited service as combat troops, but suitable for administrative and supply duties in rear areas of operation. WGOs in the Army High Command (AOK) were assigned to the Oberquartiermeisterabteilung (Quartermaster Department).

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Looks like a pickaxe in that photo did the job.
An unbreakable man

statemachine
Contributor
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Earth

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by statemachine » Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:19 pm

tigre wrote:
Sat Nov 26, 2022 6:10 am
Hello to all :D; thanks Simon :wink:. More............

Recovery.

Ideally, corpses were buried immediately after a battle and the exact location of the grave was reported. However, the fallen were often unable to recover or were considered missing. A grave officer from the 15th Infantry Division reported the discovery of dead German soldiers whose clothes had been stolen and whose bodies had been bayoneted after the territory had been recaptured. The bodies found were badly decomposed, and the burial commandos had to use chlorinated lime to even touch the bodies. If bodies were left behind during a retreat, the unit's grave officers often noted the approximate location of the dead so that the bodies could still be buried in the event of a recapture. The WGO also obtained information about bodies that had not yet been discovered in its area of ​​responsibility from prisoner interrogations.

Dead soldiers were identified by their dog tags or their soldbuch, which they always carried with them. In the case of unknown German soldiers (nationality was determined on the basis of uniforms and other clothing), the characteristics of the body were to be recorded, and the special characteristics of the teeth were to be noted. In principle, with each fallen person an attempt would be made to identify them; in the case of unknown persons, missing persons reports were also cross-checked to determine identity. Unknown dead persons were to be photographed before burial and the photos sent to the Wehrmacht Information Office (Wehrmachtauskunftsstelle).

The images were also distributed in army communications. This great effort could not be practiced with all the fallen. Many of the dead were "emergency buried" on or near the battlefield or (after half the nameplate was removed) were left on the ground. Recovering and burying each dead person collided with the limits of time and the combat possibilities of the soldiers and also with the limits of their will. A WGO deployed "in the east" reported a lack of efforts by troops to recover the dead.

Soldiers, as the Wehrmacht put it, had a "honorary duty" to bury their dead "comrades". By emphasizing this "honor duty", the Wehrmacht continued the myth-based military camaraderie that had been cultivated since World War I and its post-war period with reference to the so-called "trench community". The OKW saw this "honor duty" as a matter of course and expected every soldier to fulfill this duty towards the dead.

In reality, the effort and inconvenience were often too great or the recovery of the bodies too dangerous, for example when the bodies were under fire or the area was mined. In these cases, prisoners of war and civilians were also recruited for salvage and grave digging. Tobacco and alcohol were given to Soviet prisoners of war and civilians as "payment". In addition, the WGO promised the public a reward of 5 RM per individual grave for finding the graves they were looking for.

The WGO did not speak of many German volunteers willing to remove bodies from dangerous sections, instead using civilians (including women and children) and prisoners of war for forced labor, even at the risk of their lives. Since Wehrmacht soldiers were unable or unwilling to dig graves for their fallen comrades, this so-called honorary duty was considered a tedious task, like digging trenches or fortress positions, for which civilians were also recruited and abused.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Russian soldiers would sometimes loot the bodies,pull the tags of ss soldiers and smash their facial features so they could not be positively identified As told to the man's daughter.
An unbreakable man

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:15 am

Hello to all :D; thanks statemachine :wink:. More............

The notification.

Once the bodies were recovered, the loss had to be reported to the responsible authorities and to the family. Ideally, the troops would bury the fallen themselves and fill out a valid report of loss with the name and burial place of the dead. The commanding officer would write a condolence letter to the family and mail (if applicable) his personal items such as photos or items such as a wedding ring to the family. The loss of personnel was reported to other military authorities, such as the section for replacement troops and the information center of the Wehrmacht, along with information on the location of the grave. The Wehrmacht Information Office recorded the grave report and reported the war casualties to the competent registration office.

There were cases in which the widow first received the belongings of her deceased husband, for example a wedding ring, before the official news of the so-called heroic death (heldentod) arrived. The true circumstances of the death were to be improved and comforted as much as possible. That's why death notices contained phrases like "he didn't suffer" or "died from a shot to the head," which were often not true.

The NSDAP was also involved in the process. The directives stipulated that the most senior NSDAP competent (often the local group leader in the "Heimat") should personally deliver the news of the death to the families. The National Socialists thus tried to influence the treatment of those who had died. In addition to the Wehrmacht, the NSDAP organized its own "ceremonies in honor of the dead" which placed the dead in the context of the National Socialist death cult and used them for their propaganda and ideological purposes.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Attachments
image037.jpg
Burial of the fallen..................................................
image037.jpg (52.8 KiB) Viewed 695 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sun Dec 18, 2022 11:46 am

Hello to all :D; more............

Burial in the combat zone.

Fallen members of the Wehrmacht always received a burial with full military honors (where possible). During the war, coffin bearers, medal bearers, crown bearers and, if possible, a military band would be provided. In addition, a Reich war flag would be used for the coffin, if there was one, alternatively a sleeping bag or packing paper could be used. The obligatory three salvos were also planned in front of the tomb. The dead were buried in full uniform, although towards the end of the war orders were given to remove boots and other useful clothing and return them to the troops.

Corpses had to be buried at or near the place of death, and not just for hygienic reasons. The return of the bodies involved a very high logistical effort, so the transfer of the soldiers' bodies was prohibited. Ideally, the soldiers should be buried in their own German cemeteries, separate from those of other nations. In an emergency, field graves were allowed, for example at the entrances to towns, but not in ditches and bomb craters. The tomb was to be dug to a depth of 1.20 meters. If possible, the fallen should rest in a coffin, but in any case in a single grave, not in mass graves. In the burial of the fallen, the lower half of the dog tag was to be removed from the dead. Every soldier had to wear his dog tag around his neck at all times. The lower half was torn off by those who actually buried the dead and reported the place of burial. The other half remained with the deceased for his later identification. If there were no identification tags, the personal details were recorded and the deceased was buried along with a glass bottle into which the personal details were then placed.

Headstones were to be permanently inscribed with information such as first name, last name, rank, date of birth and death, feldpost or unit number. Guidelines for designing graves for the fallen provided sample crosses and templates for grave inscriptions. Attaching the feldpost number was soon prohibited because there was a fear that if the enemy advanced, the feldpost number or troop unit might reveal the position or movements of it. If a cross over the grave was not possible, a wooden stake with all the information had to be used and the grave had to be marked with the steel helmet of the deceased. The grave was photographed and sent to relatives with all the information.

The burial of the fallen presented the troops with great difficulties. There was often a lack of time and material to properly bury the dead, if there were any bodies to bury. During constant combat operations, the dead could be left behind or the fallen could not be properly buried due to harsh weather conditions such as frost and snow. Tombs that had already been used and dug shallow were lost due to predators, floods, the effects of battle, or enemy soldiers. If the casualty reports with the place of burial were destroyed by battles or the name of a dead soldier was misspelled, these graves could no longer be found.

The soldiers who buried the dead in funeral squads worked under difficult physical and psychological conditions; they were often given a special allowance of alcohol and tobacco. Due to lack of time, it was often not possible to take the obligatory photographs of the graves, despite many letters and requests from mourners. The increasing severity of the war meant that tomb officers and their aides were often unable to carry out their duties properly; the actual reality at the front and in the grave visibly departed from the required theory of the worthy burial of heroes.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Navidad - Feliz Natal - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas - Wesołych Świąt! :up:
Attachments
image025.jpg
Burial of an officer in a coffin by a Wehrmacht chaplain, who was probably also a military officer (front with a cross around his neck). A proper burial, with an elaborate coffin and a delegation of eight or more Wehrmacht members, was a rarity for dead soldiers, especially on the Eastern Front.............
image025.jpg (49.29 KiB) Viewed 540 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sun Dec 25, 2022 6:56 am

Hello to all :D; more............

Suicides, convicted, executed.

The Wehrmacht exempted suicides, prisoners, and death row inmates from burial rights that came naturally to Wehrmacht members. In the case of suicides, depending on the reason for the suicide (honorable or dishonorable), the commander decided on a burial with military honors or a brief and quiet celebration. The pastor decided on the funeral in the church. The notification to the mourner of the suicide of a family member was given truthfully.

A report about the suicide of a soldier also reached the NSDAP, so the Wehrmacht not only recorded the loss of "combat power", but the NS authorities also took note of it. The affected families could see their benefits reduced or annulled, or were openly discriminated against because their relative had left the "community of destiny of the German people" as a result of his "dishonorable death".

In addition to the suicides, the Wehrmacht prisoners and the executed formed other special groups of people. Depending on the facts of the case, the Wehrmacht granted those in the prison camps an honorable or dishonorable burial. If the military honors were awarded by the prison commandant, the convict's tombstone did not indicate the unit of prisoners, but the original unit. This last tribute brought the deceased back into the Wehrmacht community. However, if the prisoner was denied these honors, the treatment was the same as for suicides, that is, his grave was located apart from the rest of the military cemetery and could only contain a simple cross with his name, date of birth and death.

While suicides and convicts could "earn" or regain military honors, depending on the crime or through parole (in the case of convicts), Wehrmacht members sentenced to death did not receive military honors. Those executed were not allowed to rest in war cemeteries, but were to be buried in civilian cemeteries, with a simple wooden cross as their tombstone instead of the military symbol of the Iron Cross. A glass bottle (usually used only in the absence of dog tags or in the case of a badly decomposed corpse), containing the name, rank and a reference to the death penalty, was to be included with the corpse. Even after death, the dead were to remain recognizable as "unworthy of military service".

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Navidad - Feliz Natal - Frohe Weihnachten - Joyeux Noël - Merry Christmas - Wesołych Świąt! :up:
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:50 am

Hello to all :D; more............

Burial of »dead enemies« and prisoners of war.

Under the Geneva Convention, the Wehrmacht was also required to bury enemy soldiers. A service regulation for the burial of German soldiers was also to be used for "enemy dead"; burial was to be "carried out in the same dignified manner and with the same care" as with the dead themselves, while the standards refer to international guidelines. Enemy soldiers, such as downed pilots or prisoners of war, also needed to be properly buried. Here, however, a distinction was made according to Nazi racial ideology: so-called Western soldiers, mainly from Great Britain, France, Italy and the United States, were to be buried with wreaths and a military delegation, with a cleric and a grave. A cross, if possible, for example in prisoner of war camps. This is different with Eastern European prisoners of war, who were classified by the Wehrmacht as "subhuman" in contrast to the "Germanic race". A burial of deceased prisoners of war from Poland or the Soviet Union was to take place without a clergyman, without a crown, and without military honors. The Wehrmacht continued to discriminate against prisoners of war, primarily those from the Soviet Union, during their burial and after their death, in violation of international law of war.

For Allied soldiers (for example, from Italy), different grave markers were provided depending on their religious affiliation. When burying "Mohammedans", for example, their bodies were to be buried with their heads facing east and south, and under no circumstances were they to be cremated. On the other hand, the downed "terrorist airmen" must be "handed over to the ground" in any case "without military honors" discreetly in the early hours of the morning. This regulation was promulgated based on the reactions of the population. German civilians failed to understand that enemy military personnel who had carried out air raids ("terrorist attacks") against German cities should also receive military honors if they died. According to the new guidelines, therefore, members of enemy forces were always to be buried quietly in the early hours of the morning, away from civilian observers. Military band, funeral salute and the placement of a floral offering would be avoided. However, in special cases, such as accidents, representatives of the German Red Cross and the respective embassy could be invited. In addition, cremations were allowed, for example for Indian prisoners of war. The Wehrmacht tolerated the different customs and religious affiliations of allies and opponents (apart from Jews and Red Army soldiers), at least on paper.

In the case of prisoners of war of Christian faith, the Wehrmacht allowed the participation of clerics (POWs) in the POW camp. If a camp chaplain could not be provided, the camp administration appointed a Wehrmacht chaplain or civilian chaplain. Prisoners of war of other denominations were to be buried in a "simple and dignified manner". Prisoners found their last resting place in special POW camp cemeteries, otherwise in local civilian cemeteries, for example in smaller POW facilities without their own cemeteries. Different regulations applied to Soviet prisoners of war, and burial was to take place in the "simplest way". Jewish prisoners of war were to be buried in Jewish cemeteries.

There are reports from the WGO that, in addition to the recovery of German corpses, they also dealt with the recovery of enemy military personnel. A WGO reported on the costly recovery of two British Army Corps in the Greek Dodecanese archipelago. The two South African soldiers are believed to have stepped on a mine and died. The German rescue command and the WGO first had to deactivate more mines in order to recover the bodies. The fallen were buried in the English Cemetery of Santa Quarante in Alinda. However, these cases can only be applied as exceptions. Most enemy soldiers, prisoners of war, and even the German dead were not granted a proper burial.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - gluckliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo - Szczęśliwego nowego roku!! :beer:
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sun Jan 08, 2023 12:40 pm

Hello to all :D; more............

Death at home and in the conquered areas. Cemeteries of heroes and groves of honor - the burial places for dead soldiers.

During the First World War and after the war, cemeteries and graves of the dead soldiers were created, which were elevated to places of pilgrimage for the German people. The Wehrmacht also tried to enforce this symbolic status for the resting places of recently fallen soldiers to celebrate the national cult of the dead for the Fatherland. The Wehrmacht Casualty Department planned so-called woods of honor as burial places for dead soldiers. The fallen must "rest together where they sacrificed their lives for the greatness, honor and freedom of Germany."

The military in the 'Third Reich' began planning cemeteries and final resting places for their fallen early on. Design guidelines and orders for the installation of so-called war cemeteries were given to combat units throughout Europe and North Africa. After long battles, divisions and armies established large collection sites for their dead. Commanders coordinated planning and design with the WGO and Wehrmacht Casualty Department and local commanders. As the number of casualties grew steadily over the course of the war, the WGO was no longer able to put all German casualties into "worthy" war cemeteries. From 1942, the Wehrmacht Casualty Department dealt with the planning and construction of mass cemeteries in the East with higher priority. Even the cemeteries in the Reich area had to be constantly expanded or new land bought or even confiscated, as the "war situation [...] made more war cemeteries necessary". At the front, too, the actively fighting troops reacted to the fierce battles and associated losses: long, deep rows of graves were prepared at the collection sites in anticipation of new and heavy losses.

The design of the tombs and grounds was regulated by guidelines and orders, from the tombstone to the planting during the different seasons. With the "Design of German War Cemeteries" decree of March 16, 1941, a special representative was also appointed as general construction officer, the architect Wilhelm Kreis. As Generalbaurat, he reported directly to Hitler. His tasks included surveys and proposals for future cemeteries, designing the cemeteries and supervising the artistic design in consultation with Hitler. The responsibility referred to all war cemeteries for the fallen of the current war and also to cemeteries that were established by other corps such as the German War Graves Commission, for example. Wehrmacht units submitted location suggestions to the Generalbaurat and, together with the OKW, submitted detailed suggestions to Hitler, who was responsible for final approval.

Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz
Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Attachments
image018.jpg
War cemetery of the Infanterie-Regiment 385 - Russia, in 1942 .............................
image018.jpg (37.78 KiB) Viewed 306 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:41 pm

Hello to all :D; more............

Cemeteries as special “places of consecration for German heroism”

Hitler-approved collection sites were to be created as permanent "hero cemeteries" and "groves of honor." These were to radiate "dignity" and "soldier simplicity". The Wehrmacht used the facilities as places of pilgrimage. The military went to great lengths to design and build; Duty tours and inspections were made by full-time professionals, soldiers were seconded to expansion, time, materials, and effort were invested in creating groves of honor at these locations. The OKW and the General Building Council insisted on a simple design for these future sanctuaries. Pompous or heroic architecture was to be avoided entirely during wartime, and instead only the "soldier's simplicity" was to be expressed. Not only were these cemeteries considered the final resting place of the dead, but the cemeteries were used by the military for parades and commemorations on days of national mourning or church memorial days in November. During the war, Wehrmacht units laid wreaths at all honor cemeteries in the occupied countries, as well as in the theater of operations, and raised the Reich war flag there.

In addition to the construction of war cemeteries, there were already considerations and plans during the war for care and maintenance after the end of the war. Robert Tischler's "fortresses of the dead" that have survived to this day can demonstrate how cemeteries and memorial groves should have been planned and looked after the war. The Wehrmacht Casualties Department rated the importance of the graves highly.

The Wehrmacht Casualties Department never tired of emphasizing the importance of grave care, maintenance and photography. The care of the graves in the Reich, as well as at the front, was related to the internal mood of the family and the "people". A clean and beautiful grave could give those who stayed at home the impression that the Wehrmacht had enough resources for the funeral service and serve as a sign of gratitude to the parents who sacrificed their son for the motherland. Grave images were intended to achieve precisely this effect, also to reassure families that their fallen husband or son was "well cared for" from a distance. Since in most cases the relatives could not come to the resting place of the fallen person, the grave image also played an important role in personal mourning, so the relatives could be close to the loved one through from image. The preparation of the grave photographs was a costly and high effort for the funeral service, but the Wehrmacht Casualties Department and the OKW recognized the "moral claims of the relatives" and supported the additional grave photographs. The Graves Service considered that the attitude of the people to the war depended on the state of the graves in the "motherland" and on the front lines.

The "simple and dignified" cemeteries designed by the Wehrmacht were to be designed without a "meaningless and tasteless accumulation of ornament". Some units put a lot of effort into the construction of the cemetery and its design; they erected monuments, carved artistic figures and tombstones. This effort could not be guaranteed on all fronts depending on the situation.
Sources: Von Toten und Helden. Die gefallenen Soldaten der Wehrmacht während des Zweiten Weltkriegs. nina janz

Aus der Arbeit zweier Gräberoffiziere an der Ostfront 1941–1944. nina janz
700 WWII GERMAN PHOTO s fm ALBUM plane tank cannon flak. eBay Auction. (Completed)

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Attachments
image005.jpg
War cemetery of a German unit on the Eastern Front...................................
image005.jpg (54.45 KiB) Viewed 228 times
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

User avatar
Prosper Vandenbroucke
Enthusiast
Posts: 453
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 12:01 pm
Location: Braine le Comte - Belgium
Contact:

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by Prosper Vandenbroucke » Tue Jan 17, 2023 4:14 am

At the burial of Wilhelm Ferdinand " Wutz" Galland (brother of Adolf Galland) at Brustem ( Sint Truiden) in Belgium (KIA on the 17th August 1943 near Hees, between Tongeren (B) and Maastricht (NL) On the picture whe are able to see his parents, his brother A. Galland and saluting,Joseph "Pips" Priller.
Scan0001.jpg
Scan0001.jpg (36.92 KiB) Viewed 218 times
Kindly regards from Belgium
Prosper :wink: :wink:

User avatar
tigre
Patron
Posts: 6621
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: Burial of men KIA

Post by tigre » Sun Jan 22, 2023 7:03 am

Thanks Prosper :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

Post Reply