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If your ancestors were in the "Wehrmacht"...


Morsczi_Purtk 1 | 25
16 Feb 2010 #1
... and you are interested in their military career I have a few interesting shelters for you.

The first you can do is contact the "Deutsche Dienststelle" (maybe better known as WASt - Wehrmachts Auskunfts Stelle) and ask for the military career of your person. You can do it online, or do it per letter. I would always do it per letter because only a minority of the inquirer do it and so it's quicker. I'm sure that there won't be any problems when you write the letter in English. But please keep in minde, that the reply will be in German! The costs are about 20€ and unfortuanatly it will take about nine month until they reply, but if you are really interested, I would do it (I already have twice :D). If older people are the inquirer they can be very hurry and might reply you in a few month. The result are various... but the less it is, the less you have to pay (sometimes when it's the result is very sparse, you even get it for free). Here is one example: lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Wiese.jpg

Another good shelter that I can strongly advise is the "Volksbund deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge". The "VdK" takes care of the graves from the soldiers. If your ancestor maybe was killed in action or missed in action, you can check this link out, where many soldiers that were KIA or MIA are listed (volksbund.de/graebersuche/content_suche.asp). There will appear a formular and you have to fill it out (it doesn't has to be your real name) to see the results. If you fill it out with your real name, you'll have a few weeks later post from them. They ask if don't want to send them a bit money and support them; but the service of the website is free and everbody can use it. If you find your ancestor there, you can phone them and ask for more information. To get the maximum result you have to be stubborn. I talk from my own experience, because I got everthing they had about my ancestor after the thrid or fourth call. It also depends on the person you'll have on the other line there I guess. When you call, ask for things like the last unit, the inscription of the dog tag (in this unit he got trained), the reason of the death etc. I've never talked to them on English, but I'm here also sure, that 'll know English.

If you maybe want to inform yourself a bit about Kashubs, Poles or Silesians that were forced to serve in the Wehrmacht, please check out this site: wehrmacht-polacy.pl/

If there are any questions please ask.

Mòrsczi Púrtk
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,650
16 Feb 2010 #2
If you maybe want to inform yourself a bit about Kashubs, Poles or Silesians that were forced to serve in the Wehrmacht, please check out this site: wehrmacht-polacy.pl/
If there are any questions please ask.

My grandpa was Silesian and he wasn't "forced"!
Torq 32 | 2,999
16 Feb 2010 #3
My grandpa was Silesian

I always knew you had Polish roots, BB. :)
Torq 32 | 2,999
16 Feb 2010 #5
Hmm, if your Granpa was Silesian then he probably spoke Silesian too,
which is a dialect of Polish language and Silesians are a Polish tribe :)

Oh well - I guess you are who you feel you are. If you feel German
that's OK with me, Bratwurst(owski) Boy. Just don't forget there's
good old Polish blood flowing in your veins ;)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
16 Feb 2010 #6
Bratstwo Boy!
Exiled 2 | 425
16 Feb 2010 #7
My grandfather beat some Italian soldiers who tried to eat watermelons from his field.The Italians came crying to their commander.
But German soldiers were serious and scary.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
16 Feb 2010 #9
and you are interested in their military career

Then go contact your local WKU.
matteroftaste
16 Feb 2010 #10
Hmm, if your Granpa was Silesian then he probably spoke Silesian too,
which is a dialect of Polish language and Silesians are a Polish tribe :)

why do you assume that people who lived i Silesia automatically were Polish or had something to do with Poland?
Before WWII there were way more Germans than Poles on this territory.
My mom is from what you call today Gdansk and she doesn't speak even a word of Polish.
Torq 32 | 2,999
17 Feb 2010 #11
why do you assume that people who lived in Silesia automatically were Polish or had something to do with Poland?

Not 'who lived in Silesia' but 'who were Silesians'.

BB didn't say that his grandfather 'lived in Silesia'. He said that his granpa 'was Silesian'.
See the difference? If he was a Silesian, then he must have spoken Silesian (which is
a dialect of Polish language) and must have been ethnic Silesian (basically - a Pole).

Before WWII there were way more Germans than Poles on this territory.

Yes, but again - Bratwurst Boy didn't say that his father was 'a German living in Silesia'.
He said he was a S-I-L-E-S-I-A-N.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,650
17 Feb 2010 #12
If he was a Silesian, then he must have spoken Silesian (which is
a dialect of Polish language) and must have been ethnic Silesian (basically - a Pole).

Erm...I don't think so Torq.
My family were Silesians for generations...I remember their german-silesian dialect and traditions and dishes.
Sadly...it died out with them.
They felt German and lived in Germany till the lands changed hands...that goes for the majority in big chunks of Silesia and most bigger towns like Breslau.

Silesians were a precious mix of german, polish and bohemian traditions and culture...now it is "basically polish" but it wasn't that way for centuries!

Yes, but again - Bratwurst Boy didn't say that his father was 'a German living in Silesia'.
He said he was a S-I-L-E-S-I-A-N.

I fear I don't get you... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesia#Demographics

Silesia has been inhabited from time immemorial by people of multiple ethnic groups. Germanic tribes were first recorded within Silesia in the 1st century.
Slavic White Croats arrived in this territory around the 6th century establishing White Croatia. The first known states in Silesia were the Czech proto-states of Greater Moravia and Bohemia. In the 10th century, Polish ruler Mieszko I incorporated Silesia into the Polish state.
....
Before the Second World War, Silesia was inhabited mostly by Germans and Poles, in addition to German and Polish Jews and Czechs. In 1905, a census showed that 75% of the population was German and 25% Polish.

They were all Silesians...but for sure not "basically polish" by default!

Their hometown: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wroc%C5%82aw#History

The city was devastated in 1241 during the Mongol invasion of Europe. The inhabitants burned the city to force the Mongols to a quick withdrawal.

Afterwards the town was repopulated by Germans[5] (see: Ostsiedlung), who became the dominant ethnic group, though the city remained multi-ethnic as an important trading city on the Via Regia and Amber Road.[6]
"Breslau", the Germanised name of the city, appeared for the first time in written records. The city council used Latin and German languages
....
After the Mongol invasion, Breslau was expanded by adopting German town law.
The expanded town was around 60 hectares in size and the new Main Market Square (Rynek), which was covered with timber frame houses, became the new centre of the town. The original foundation, Ostrów Tumski, became the religious center. Breslau adopted Magdeburg rights in 1262 and, at the end of the thirteenth century joined the Hanseatic League.

More than a Millennia mixed history - Lower Silesia became "basically polish" after WWII only...
matteroftaste
17 Feb 2010 #13
BB didn't say that his grandfather 'lived in Silesia'. He said that his granpa 'was Silesian'.

The way you put it is like Silesians (people who lived there for generations) were automatically Polish. Do you know for how many years Germans lived on this territory? You see this is the point. You see it as Polish and he sees it as German and the funny thing about it is that both of you are kind of right. Silesia was changing hands many times but in the recent few hundred years it was mainly German. Someone who was born over there while it was Germany would never call himself a Pole and he's right about it. Nowadays it's Polish and people who live there are mostly Polish.
Torq 32 | 2,999
17 Feb 2010 #14
german-silesian dialect

Is there even such thing? I know the Silesian Slavic language...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesian_language

...but I didn't know there was a German-Silesian dialect. Interesting!
Could you give me some examples of it? How is it different from standard
German? Just curious.

They were all Silesians...but for sure not "basically polish" by default!

I think I get your point now - living in Silesia, so they were Silesians. Like living in Dublin
makes you a Dubliner (I was a Dubliner for about 3 years :-)). I thought you were talking
about ethnicity, that's why the misunderstanding.

Lower Silesia

Ah, so they were from Lower Silesia! That explains it. In Poland when we say
Silesia, then in 99.99% percent of the cases we mean Upper Silesia which has its
genuine Silesian-slavic population with their specific dialect and culture. That's why
I didn't think for a moment about Lower Silesia. You're right - the situation there was
and is quite different from Upper Silesia.
matteroftaste
17 Feb 2010 #15
I was a Dubliner for about 3 years

well, it's quite the same, 3 years and a few hundred years :-)

Oh OK, I just saw it. I also meant Lower Silesia. Upper Silesia was more mixed up.
Torq 32 | 2,999
17 Feb 2010 #16
well, it's quite the same, 3 years and a few hundred years :-)

You don't expect me to live for a few hundred years, do you? ;-)
matteroftaste
17 Feb 2010 #17
You might just as well, I wouldn't mind, lol
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Feb 2010 #19
Most definitely not! Many here are of mixed parentage and I know this first-hand. My wife's grandma is German and the one who died 3 years ago was also German. So, both her parents are of German descent/origin. It's even more the case in Lower Silesia.
Torq 32 | 2,999
17 Feb 2010 #20
So...only Poles can be Silesians? :(

Not at all. If we look at it from a "place of residence" point of view then I guess
anyone can be Silesian - Germans, Poles, Scots, Ethiopians etc. etc.

However, when it comes to ethnicity, I am not aware of the existance of any other
ethnic group that would describe themselves as "Silesian" than Polish Silesians with
their Slavic-Silesian dialect.

So, both her parents are of German descent/origin.

That's what I meant - German, not Silesian, unless her ancestors belonged to
the Silesian culture and ethnos, spoke Silesian language etc. etc. Otherwise
they were either Germans or Poles living in Silesia.
THE HITMAN
17 Feb 2010 #21
If your ancestors were in the "Wehrmacht"...

Traitors, should be dealt with.
beelzebub - | 444
17 Feb 2010 #22
It's funny how there were tons of collaborators yet nobody has a relative who was one. Everyone's relatives were HEROES. It's probably like most things the ones who go on the most about patriotism are the ones who's family sold others out. I bet you come from a long line of self preservationists Hitman.
Ksysia 25 | 430
17 Feb 2010 #23
Of course not! Germans and Czechs also lay a claim and influenced the mix. In the sixties most places like Zabrze were so intent on belonging to Germany that they only spoke German (even if very badly)

History was easier when there were Kings, and not nations. With the idea of nations came the idea of national land, and the search for proofs.

Take the excavation in Legnica- there was a 2nd century settlement there, and both Poles and Germans claimed the tribe as proof of earliest settlement, which would in the minds of people in the 20s and 30s be a proof of the right to live there (kind of like 'I WAS HERE FIRST! GET BACK IN THE QUEUE!'). In the book 'Polska Piastów' by the famous Paweł Jasienica (a journalist historian of Poland), there is a story of a German Professor saying that the headdresses of the women there were definitely Slavonic, but I can't post it here because I gave the book to my Dad.

So yes, Silesians can be Germans, Poles, Czechs and have family on all sides. (...And I still think it should lay in Poland. The reason is simple - the food is good there. And the church in Nysa is not just any church - it's a coronation church of the Jagiellon. I must keep it as much as the Wrocław Island, the coronation grounds of Popielidzi and probably at least one Piast.)
THE HITMAN
17 Feb 2010 #24
I bet you come from a long line of self preservationists Hitman.

My line used to execute Polish traitors.

These were real heroes, they would rather die than side with the enemy.
beelzebub - | 444
17 Feb 2010 #25
Those that really did such things don't brag about it. It's clear you and yours had nothing to do with the heroic acts you wish were true.
Ksysia 25 | 430
17 Feb 2010 #26
nobody has a relative who was one

I think I mentioned mine before.

Hear me, hear me:

on my Paternal side, the daughters of the Austrian officer and a countess became involved with the regime, one worked in a meat factory as a bookkeeper, and never lacked. One married a Stalinist, and never lacked, one was a Sanitariuszka, married a Partisan and lacked all her life. I'm the Granddaughter of this Partisan, and I choose to be proud of Him, rather than be involved with whatever the rest was up to.

How the F*** can one be an officer's daughter and a f****** Commie???

On my Maternal side, there were farmers and poor city folk, and they were mostly hiding and buying food.

Now - if you don't understand what is the Polish feeling of history all about: we had the choice to make, and some have made the wrong one. They will not be counted among the skulls. None will have a kurhan. As a nation, we have not made the wrong choice, but some among us have. They are traitors or criminals. They should have been given a lamp post of their own. But that's our internal affairs.

I am making a clear statement here. Those who let down their own myth, do not belong to it. So I will not accept the vague statements like 'Poland is guilty of xxx'. She has not abandoned the myth. Now, to say, this or that person was a criminal, is a different matter altogether. Crime is NOT encouraged in this society, and the whole society will not be punished for it by other societies.
beelzebub - | 444
17 Feb 2010 #27
Can you get rid of the poetic literary stuff? Poles love to try to talk that way and it usually just makes their point get lost. I am not sure exactly what you are saying.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Feb 2010 #28
Torq, they are most definitely Silesians and speak it fluently.
THE HITMAN
17 Feb 2010 #29
Those that really did such things don't brag about it. It's clear you and yours had nothing to do with the heroic acts you wish were true.

Little do you know. I,m afraid it,s true, I know the facts. Facts I would not even contemplate putting on here. Sorry if this peeves you, but thats life.
matteroftaste
17 Feb 2010 #30
That's what I meant - German, not Silesian,

nope, there were many generations of Germans for hundreds of years in Lower Silesia and they call themselves Silesians and they got the right to do it. It's a same with you guys nowadays. If you're born in Poland you claim to be Polish.


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