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- Winterhilfswerk (WHW) The Battle Begins Handout, 1936-1937
Winterhilfswerk (WHW) The Battle Begins Handout, 1936-1937 - Printed in four-colour ink on a thick paper stock, 78 mm x 153 mm each, extremely fine. Footnote: The Winterhilfswerk (WHW = Winter Help Work) was an annual drive by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (the National Socialist People’s Welfare Organization) to help finance charitable work. Its slogan was "None shall starve nor freeze". The drive was originally set up under the government of Heinrich Bruning in 1931, though Hitler would later claim sole credit. It ran from 1933-1945 during the months of October through March, and was designed to provide food, clothing, coal, and other items to less fortunate Germans during the inclement months. As part of the centralization of Nazi Germany, posters urged people to donate rather to give directly to beggars. The "Can Rattlers", as they became known, were relentless in their pursuit of making sure every good German citizen gave their share to the WHW. In fact those who "forgot" to give had their names put in the paper to remind them of their neglect. Neighbours, and even family members were encouraged to whisper the names of shirkers to their block leaders so that they could persuade them to do their duty.
A page from a Soldbuch (pay book) (20.2x14.4cm) with entries from 1943 and 1944 and the signatures of two Battery Leaders.
A certificate (14x20cm) stating that Zeller is awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, April 19, 1944, division command post (Div. Gef.Stand = Divisions-Gefechtsstand). Zeller holds the rank of Gefreiter (Lance Corporal) and serves in the Cavalry Cossack Artillery Detachment (KUBAN) II./55, part of the 1st Cossack Division. Kuban is a region in southern Russia at the Black Sea. The division fought in Croatia against partisans. The document shows a signature by Generalmajor and Division Commander Helmuth von Pannwitz (1898–1947, executed in Russia). He eventually made it to the rank of Generalleutnant and was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
The next document (14.1x20.1cm) identifies Zeller as Uffz. = Unteroffizier (Non-Commissioned Officer) and part of the 4th Company of the Cavalry Cossack Artillery Detachment (DON) II/55. It states that on November 3rd Zeller is awarded the Merit Badge for Members of the Eastern People 2nd Class in Silver. It is once more signed by Pannwitz. The reverse of the document repeats the information, but is in Russian rather than German.
A certificate of discharge (19.8x32.3cm) in both German and English. It gives more information regarding Zeller. He was born on September 27, 1924 in Ellwangen, district of Aalen, which is also his home address. He worked as a mechanical engineer. His medical record shows that he is fit for general service, and was discharged from the army on June 15, 1945.
Also included are; A photograph (6x6cm) of a soldier (Zeller?) standing behind a sign reading “command post Pannwitz”. A postcard (13.9x9.1cm) showing four Cossacks from Kuban with their horses. Their leader is D. F. Tyrin.
A German Red Cross list (19.9x29.3cm) of missing soldiers, comrades of Zeller. It carries a stamp that seems to date the list to the 1960s. Two men on the list have been marked. Zeller’s name and address are on the back of one of the two pages. He is not among the missing men, but it appears he might have given clues to the whereabouts of his former comrades.
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Black and white, matte finish, obverse illustrating List seated at a desk in his Field Marshal's uniform, his signature in black ink, reverse with postcard-style backer and stamped "COPYRIGHT by WELTBILD G.M.B.H. BERLIN - WIEN" with postcard address patch, scalloped edges, 85 mm x 135 mm, near mint. Footnote: Siegmund Wilhelm Walther List (May 14, 1880 - August 17, 1971) was a German Field Marshal during the Second World War, and at the start of the war was based in Slovakia in command of the 14th Army. List was born in Oberkirchberg (now a part of Illerkirchberg) near Ulm, Württemberg, Germany in 1880 and entered the Bavarian Army in 1898 as a cadet. In 1900, he was promoted to Leutnant (Lieutenant) and in 1913 he joined the general staff as a Hauptmann (Captain). He served as a staff officer during the First World War. After the war, List stayed in the Reichswehr and most of his assignments were as an administrator. In 1927, he was promoted to Oberst, in 1930 he was promoted to Generalmajor and in 1932 he was promoted to Generalleutnant (Major General). In 1938, after the Anschluss of Austria, List was made responsible for integrating the Bundesheer into the Wehrmacht. In 1939, List commanded the German 14th Army in the invasion of Poland. From 1939 -1941, he commanded the German 12th Army in France and Greece. In 1941, he was Commander-in-Chief South-East. In July 1942, he was Commander-in-Chief of Army Group A on the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union. It was List’s task to advance his army into southern Poland immediately on the outbreak of hostilities, to form the extreme southern wing of an encircling manoeuver carried out by the German forces aimed at trapping the Polish field army in the general region of Warsaw. He didn’t fulfill this mission, although he met advance elements of the German XIX Panzer Corps under General Heinz Guderian, a short distance south of Brest-Litovsk, on September 17, 1939. Following the conclusion of the fighting in Poland, which was accelerated by the occupation of the eastern part of the country by Soviet forces (as agreed to in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact), List and his army remained posted as occupying forces on Polish territory. During the huge German offensive against France and the Low Countries from May to June 1940, the 14th army remained in Poland, but this was not the case with its commander. In May 1940, List commanded the 12th German army during the fall of France. The 12th army was a unit of the German Army Group A, under command of Gerd von Rundstedt. It was this Army Group that successfully forced the Ardennes and then made the imperative break-through on May 15, 1940, which spread panic in the French forces and cut the British expedition forces off from their supply lines. After this successful campaign, List was among the twelve generals that Hitler promoted to Generalfeldmarshall (Field Marshal) during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony (this was the first occasion when Hitler appointed Field Marshals due to military achievement). In early 1941, German troops were being steadily massed on the Eastern Front of the Third Reich, in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. OKW believed that before Barbarossa could be launched it would be necessary to eliminate the possibility of interference from Greece by militarily subduing this country, in an operation code named Operation Marita. Field Marshal List was delegated to negotiate with the Bulgarian General Staff, and a secret agreement was signed allowing the free passage of German troops through Bulgarian territory. On the night of February 28-29, 1941, German troops, including that of List, who now commanded the 12th Army, took up positions in Bulgaria, which the next day joined the Tripartite Pact. The invasion of Greece, and of Yugoslavia, started on April 6, 1941. List’s 12th Army consisted of four armored divisions and eleven motorized infantry divisions, and totally overmatched the defending forces. Belgrade was occupied by German forces on April 13th, and Athens on April 27th. The Balkan interlude ended with the evacuation of British forces on April 28th. In the Balkans, he was implicated in mass murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians by having ordered hostage taking and reprisal killings. In early July 1942, List took command of Army Group A, newly formed from the split of Army Group South during the Germans’ summer offensive named Case Blue. His orders were to take Rostov and then advance into the Caucasus as far as Baku to capture the oil-rich region. German forces made good progress for two months, advancing almost to Grozny, about 650 km (400 mi) from Rostov. However, by the end of August their advance had ground to halt, chiefly due to critical shortages of fuel and ammunition as the army group outran its supply lines. Soviet resistance had also stiffened considerably, and matters were made worse for the Germans by the removal in mid-August of most Luftwaffe combat units to the north to support the 6th Army’s drive on Stalingrad. Hitler was angered by the loss of momentum, and when List proposed moving some stalled spearhead units to another, less advanced portion of the front to assist in destroying stubborn Soviet forces, Hitler relieved him of command on September 9th and placed Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist in charge of Army Group A. List spent the rest of the war at his home and never returned to active duty. List was captured by the Allies after the war. In 1947, List and eleven former subordinates were brought before a U.S. military court, charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, primarily the reprisal killing of Serbian hostages, in retaliation for partisan activity. List was convicted in this Hostages Trial. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in February 1948. List was released from prison in December 1952, officially because of ill health. However, he lived for another nineteen years, passing away on August 17, 1971, at the age of 91.
A superb Killed in Action document grouping to the commanding officer of U-136, Heinrich Zimmermann. Grouping includes:
A certificate (140x200mmm, extremely fine), stating that Zimmermann was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class. It is dated to Wilhelmshaven on August 29, 1940 and signed in blue ink by Counter Admiral and Commander of Securing the North Sea, Eberhard Wolfram (1882–1947), a recipient of the Knight’s Cross.
A certificate (139x199mm, near mint), stating that Zimmermann was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. It is dated to Swinemünde on October 10, 1939 and signed in blue ink by General Admiral and Navy Group Commander East, Conrad Albrecht (1880–1969).
A certificate (255x354mm, near extremely fine), stating that Zimmermann has been promoted from Senior Lieutenant to Captain-Lieutenant. The document is dated to June 30, 1939 and signed in blue ink by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder (1876–1960), a recipient of the Knight’s Cross.
A certificate (209x297mm, near mint), stating that Zimmermann has been promoted from Senior Ensign to Lieutenant of the Kriegsmarine. The document is dated to January 1, 1936 and signed in blue ink by Reich War Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht, Generalfeldmarschall Werner von Blomberg (1878–1946), a recipient of the Pour le Mérite.
A letter (185x266mm, extremely fine), stating that Zimmermann worked for Felix Graf Luckner on his ship “Mopelia” as his 2nd Officer from April 1930 to October 1931, and that he is leaving due to an illness. The letter is dated to New York on October 8, 1931.
Felix Graf von Luckner (1881–1966), also known as Count Luckner in English speaking countries, was a German naval officer who earned the nickname “Seeteufel” (Sea-Devil). His crew was known as “Die Piraten des Kaisers” (the Emperor’s pirates). Luckner became a hero and legend to both friend and foe during the First World War for his ability to achieve victories without casualties.
A postcard (148x105mm, extremely fine) with a drawing of the German cruiser “Leipzig”. It was sent to Ensign Zimmermann in Ohrdruf (eastern Germany) by his father, Count Luckner, and Luckner’s wife.
A certificate (211x305mm, extremely fine), stating that Zimmermann has been awarded the Minesweeper War Badge. It is dated to Wilhelmshaven on December 15, 1940 and signed in blue ink by Navy Captain and Leader of the Minesweeper Group North, Kurt Böhmer (1892–1944), a recipient of the Knight’s Cross.
A certificate (210x297, near mint), stating that Zimmermann was awarded the U-boat War Badge. It is dated to March 26, 1942 and carries a facsimile of Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.
A certificate (209x297, extremely fine), stating that Lieutenant Zimmermann has been awarded the Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class. The document is dated to Kiel on October 4, 1937, and signed in blue ink by Captain of the Navy Fritz Lamprecht (1893–1961).
A certificate (209x297mm, extremely fine) for the Sudetenland Medal. It is dated to Kiel on December 20, 1939 and signed in blue ink by Frigate Captain and Chief of the 7th Minesweeper Flotilla, Nicolai Schulz-Carstensen.
A letter (4 pages, 207x294mm, extremely fine) to Zimmermann’s father. It is dated to September 26, 1942. The father is informed, due to his son’s fate being unclear, about the next steps that the Kriegsmarine and he himself will have to take, some under the assumption that Zimmermann has been killed. It is signed by Captain-Lieutenant and Chief of the 6th U-boat Flotilla, Wilhelm Schulz (1906–1986), a recipient of the Knight’s Cross.
A letter (209x119mm, near extremely fine) to Zimmermann’s father, stating that since his son has been declared dead, he receives 250 Reichsmark for the loss of his son’s private items. It is dated to February 13, 1943. The signature is indecipherable.
A large photo (287x219mm, extremely fine), showing a hall with a memorial for naval officers.
A formal reception of a U-boat crew program (210x297, extremely fine condition), including dinners, a visit of the opera, and a day trip to Potsdam.
A special ID (211x148mm, extremely fine), and a Wehrmacht travel ticket (148x104mm, extremely fine) for duty travel to Berlin to attend the U-boat crew reception. They are dated to May 25, 1942. The travel ticket is valid for three people, indicating that Zimmermann might have brought his parents.
The front page of a newspaper (426x597mm, near extremely fine). It is the newspaper “gegen Engeland” (against England), the “German Navy Front Newspaper in Brittany and Normandy), vol. 3, issue 97, dated to Sunday, April 26, 1942. The title story is about the U-boat war and the damage German U-boats have caused. It shows a picture of a U-boat officer, possibly Zimmermann.
A citation (209x295mm, very fine condition) from the Seeamt (Navy Department) of Hamburg. Zimmermann has to appear as a witness on April 19, 1932 to be questioned concerning a collision of the Dutch vessel “Ystroom” with the German ship “Alexandria” of the Hamburg-London Line on February 25, 1932. The document is dated to February 14, 1932.
Footnote: Heinrich “Heinz” Zimmermann was born on January 27, 1907 in Duisburg (western Germany). He worked as a commercial sailor before joining the Reichsmarine in 1932. There, he began to rise through the ranks. Zimmermann was promoted to the highest rank he would ever hold, Captain-Lieutenant, on June 1, 1939. From 1939 to 1940, he served as acting Commander of the 7th Minesweeping Flotilla, then commanding the 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla until 1941. A new chapter in his navy career began in March 1941 when he began receiving U-boat training. On August 30, 1941 Zimmermann took command of U-136. In two patrols, U-136 sank seven ships and damaged another one. On the third patrol, U-136 was sunk on July 11, 1942 by depth charges from French destroyer Léopard, British frigate HMS Spey and British sloop HMS Pelican in the Atlantic near the Azores. All 45 crewmen were lost.
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Three Wartime German Postcards - Each postcard with a black and white photograph of a vintage building. First postcard entitled "Neues Deutsches Theater in Prag" (New German Theatre in Prague), 3+2 Reichspfennig stamp with Winterhilfswerk (WHW) designation, postmarked "LEIPZIG 30.3.1941"); second postcard entitled "Rathaus in Münster in Westfalen" (Munster City Hall, Westphalia), 40+35 Reichspfennig stamp with Winterhilfswerk (WHW) designation, no postmark; third postcard entitled "Rathaus in Bremen" (Bremen Town Hall), 6+24 Reichspfennig stamp with "Tage der Briefmarke 1943 " (Day of the Stamp 1943) designation, postmarked "BERLIN 10.1.1943". Each are unaddressed, with postcard backers, printed by Wilhelm Limpert, Dresden, 105 mm x 148 mm, glue residue on the reverse of two from previous binder mounting, extremely fine.
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You have no obligation to purchase the product once you know the price. You can simply remove the item from your cart.