A Fine SS Panzer Gren. Rgt. Normandy POW Document Group
A Fine SS Panzer Gren. Rgt. Normandy POW Document Group - Document to the Iron Cross 2nd Class, 1944; Document for the Tank Destruction Badge, 1944; Document to the Infantry Assault Badge, 1944, all award documents were once folded across the middle; “Der Panzerknacker” late war publication, an instruction guide on close quarters tank destruction with illustrations; HJ Performance Book; Austrian (pre Anschluss) Rail ID; HJ Shooting Record Book; DAF members booklet; number of letters between Blab and his family via POW post service; HJ Ahnentafel listing grandparents and great grandparents; Events List for the 1942 Niederdonau regional Winter Games, featuring photos of skiing and shooting; a pocket calendar and day planned issued by the Army Service Forces Headquarters POW Camp in Aliceville Alabama; a slightly tattered 1944 copy of the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, a weekly illustrated newspaper; number of USFA Prisoner Documents; 15 school documents from his Austrian Primary School until a Volksschule after the Anschluss: Foonote: Blab was a late addition to the War in the west. He was born on October 29th, 1924 in Pöchlarn, Austria. It can be seen in his school report cards that he was a good enough student and an excellent singer. He entered the Hitler Youth on July 1st 1938, where he was apparently an able athlete and marksman. One document indicates that on December 2nd 1941 was installed at an academy in Schloss Sitzenberg to receive specialized training. Photos show that he was taking part in an alpine sports competition in 1942. In 1943, the 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division was formed, but due to shortages of material was not combat ready until 1944. After the allied landing at Normandy, the 17th Waffen-SS was ordered north to try and repel their advance; it is from this time that we have the first record of Blab’s military record. In his role as Panzer Grenadier, he earned an Iron Cross 2nd Class, as well as the highly regarded Tank Destruction Badge. He was also awarded the Infantry Assault Badge. At some point in the same year he was captured by Allied forces and temporarily held in a US run prisoner camp in Austria, before being moved to a Camp in the UK. By 1945 he was transferred to a Prisoner Camp in in Aliceville, Alabama. The pocket calendar he had from this time suggest his days during this time were ruled by a general boredom; the entry from January 13th, 1945 reads Fred didn’t come, he stayed outside. Shower, cigarettes, 1 sunny day after 10 days of rain. For the most part he read books, smoked, did his chores, and wrote to his family. There is a good number of letters written home from this time. One such letter from his mother from December 27th 1945 reads: Dear Dolfi! Thank you very much for your letter from March 2nd 1945 which arrived here at the beginning of December. We couldn’t write to you from April until now because of the block, by now it goes via the Red Cross. We’ve celebrated our third Christmas without you and were thinking of you. We are so happy that you are alive and that we can hope for a reunion. All three of us are healthy and are doing quite well. You father still travels to St Pölten, Walter is going to school, and I am working. We pray to God that he keeps you safe and that you can come back to us. Your friend Leopolt Ofner asked about you and we gave him your address. Many of your comrades are still away. We wish you a very happy new year and a trip home very soon. We thank god that you’re healthy and doing well so far. We still have Russian occupation troops here but everything is running in order. Don’t you worry about us, were managing just fine. You’ve been a detainee for a year and a half and haven’t gotten any mail from us. “Poor Dolfi” hopefully this letter reaches you. All our love Your parents and Walter Ps. Mayer Hilda received post from you and has written you the mailing address of Roth Fritz which should reach you soon.