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Sgt. Paul Ernst Kaess (1921-2002)- German Army in WWII

Discussion in 'What Granddad did in the War' started by briankaess, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Christiane Botzet (of the Military Archives in Freiburg) sent an email on Oct 5 2018 stating that the research for Paul Ernst Kaess was completed by her colleague Mrs. Sheerman on Feb 2012 and that no documents had been found for him. Christiane Botzet said there is a reference for documents pertaining to Viktor Drozdzok in the Reich Dept of the Federal Archive in Berlin. Viktor Drozdzok (1889-1969) was a Father-in-Law to Paul Ernst Kaess. It is known Viktor Drozdzok/Dorschke served in the Prussian Infanterie-Regiment 395 during WWI. His role in WWII is not known, but he had a residence in Ratibor during the war.

    Address is:
    Federal Archives
    Finckenstein Avenue 63
    12205 Berlin
    Germany
    Email: berlin@bundesarchiv.de
     
  2. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached is a 1934 Nazi Party document indicating Viktor Dorschke's name change from Viktor Drozdzok.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. jmarie

    jmarie New Member

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    Did your grandfather still believe in Hitler's cause and methods at the end of the war? Great that you know so much.
     
  4. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Hard to say. He never told me. However, in the early part of the war, he tried to join the SS, but was denied. He even told me once, 'Du hast total andere Mentalitat' or 'You have a total different way of thinking.' I guess he was like that because I was American.
     
  5. Flybum62

    Flybum62 New Member

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    Awesome read. Thanks for writing this.
     
  6. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Great post Brian!
    He should have been glad that he couldn´t join the SS. They had sometimes a worse time after the surrender.
     
  7. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached are 7 documents from a Ludwigsburg Spruckhammer/Denazification file for Paul Ernst Kaess. Folder (2).jpg Party Inventory Cont.jpg Polizei statement.jpg Signed Cover.jpg Signed Statement.jpg Work Sheet.jpg
     
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  8. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    On March 7 2019, Brian Paul Kaess received a batch of 17 documents/scans from the Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. These documents were from a 24 page Denazification/Spruckhammer file for Paul Ernst Kaess (1921-2002). One of these documents (attached below) contained medal/award info for Paul. There was a list of Medals/Awards at the bottom of the Military Service section. They read as follows:

    1) Ostmedalie (Eastern Front Medal) 1942
    2) EK.II. (Iron Cross 2nd Class) 1943
    3) EK.I. (Iron Cross 1st Class) 1943
    4) Sturm abzekhen I.u.II.Stuffe (General Assault Badge 1st & 2nd Step)
    5) Erwundstewabzeichen Schwarz Grunde und Tapfer Keit (Wounds Badge 3rd Class for Bravery) 1944

    Maybe anyone out there familiar with German military medals can help me translate the above awards. Thanks!
    Paul Ernst Kaess Unit location history.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  9. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Wow what an great collection of paperwork! Sad that nothing like this is existing from my grandpa.
    The medals are correct translated except a part of the last: Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz für Tapferkeit = Wound Badge 3rd class, reason is bravery. So this is a interesting reason.
    For his bravery he had the EK II and the EK I. Normally the wound badge is given for beeing wounded not for bravery. It was given as a golden, silver and black one. The black one was also given for having frostbites at the eastern front. And for this reason the soldiers renamed it to "Gefrierfleischorden" wich is more or less like "Freezing meat medal"
    Great story thank you!
     
  10. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Annual Pay Rate Paul Kaess.jpg NSDAP HJ statement Paul Kaess.jpg Paul Kaess Spruckhammer 4.jpg Paul Kaess statement 1.jpg Some more documents to support the story of Sgt. Paul Ernst Kaess (19221-2002) Paul Kaess Personal Info.jpg Paul Ernst Kaess Foreign Travel.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    While looking for Carpentry Guild records for my Paternal Grandfather Paul Ernst Kaess (1921-2002), I managed to find his Denazification file in the Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg,a branch of the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg in SW Germany. I inquired with Hartmut Obst and he said It was filed under signature EL 902/15 Bü 10835. He said they had a total of 26 pages for the file.

    On March 7 2019, Brian Paul Kaess received a reply in Mexico from the Ludwigsburg archiv in his inbox with a zip file full of 17 pages of documents related to his Grandfather Paul Ernst Kaess. Jackpot! I found ten that I thought were valuable and loaded them onto familysearch community to be translated. I gave the documents various names: Annual Pay Rate, Arbeitsblatt, Associations, NSDAP/HJ statement, Party History, Foreign Travel, Unit location History, Personal Info, Paul Kaess statement & Spruckkammer.

    Probably, the most valuable document at first glance to myself personally was ‘Foreign Travel.’ This confirmed that he had traveled (during wartime) to France (Frankreich), Rumania (Rumanien), Bulgaria/Greece, and Russia (Russland). For Rumania, her served there from Jan 20 1941 to Mar 1 1941. For Bulgaria and Greece, he served from Mar 5? 1941 until Jun 14 1941. For France and Rumania, he was just training. He served in France from Dec 1 1940 to Jan 1 1941. This evidence about service in France helps lend credence to the family yarn that he had a French girlfriend. For Russia, he stated he had been there from June 22, 1941 until January 3 1944. June 22 1941 was the opening of the Barbarossa Campaign in Russia by the German Army. We know from other sources that Paul was in the German Army from 1940 until 1944 (at least). Also, Paul stated in 1990 that he had been wounded in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1944 when a Russian soldier had thrown a grenade into his armored vehicle. This January 3 1944 date could easily have been the date Paul was wounded and evacuated from Russia. Medical Records also place him in Hospital in Warsaw, Poland and Hannover, Germany just after this date in early 1944. He was also in hospital in Crimea in 1942.

    There was also an ‘Arbeitsblatt’ form, dated 27 Aug 1946. This form showed he had been in the HJ or Hitler Youth from 1934-1939. It also demonstrated that he had been a member of the NSDAP or Nazi Party from 1940 until 1945. One of the most revealing documents was his personal info, confirming much of what I had gathered over the years from other sources. His name is mentioned as Paul Kaess, born Feb 6 1921 in Benningen. His occupation is ‘Sitzmobiltischler’ or seating furniture maker. His religión was Evangelisch or Lutheran. His citizenship is mentioned as ‘Deutsch’ or German. His address is Wilhelmstr. 17 in Heutingsheim, Germany. His hair color is Brown with his eyes Grey-Green. Even his weight is mentioned- 120 pf., whatever that is supposed to mean.

    He attended the Volkschule in Benningen from 1927 to 1934, earning a Zeugnis or 'testimony.' The unit location history is a chronological record of employment and military service/before/during the war. He had been first an Apprentice (from 1934-1939) and then a Journeyman Sitzmobiltischler (from 1939-40). He took the Journeyman's exam in 1938 in Marbach am Neckar (near Benningen) with a 'Gut' result. He had been a member of the RAD or Reich Labour Force from March 17 1940 until June 10 1940. A Weinberg or 'Vinyard' acquired in 1935 from Gottlieb Kaes in Benningen appears as one of his assets. One document mentions he had lived in Benningen from his birth until he entered the German Army on June 17 1940. His Ober Leutnant from 1940 to 1944 was named Naether or something similar. This could easily have been his friend ‘Chef’ who he had talked about. Chef was a generic name for commander, but that is how Paul referred to his friend. His unit is mentioned as ‘Sturm Gesch. Lehr Brg 190’ . This is also what Deutsche Dienststelle has on Paul for a unit. This was an Artillery unit that wore the uniforms of the Panzer troops. His last date in the German Army is probably June 14 1945. The file also revealed he had been captured from May 8 1945 until June 14 1945.

    From July 10, 1945, he worked as a Journeyman Sitzmobiltischler as a civilian. The war was over for him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  12. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    V
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  13. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    See the following article by Brian Paul Kaess, "Finding the Denazification File for Paul Ernst Kaess in the Staatsarchiv Ludwigsburg," in Sept 2019 issue of Das Posthorn, Newsletter for the SW Florida Germanic Genealogy Society. This article shows how valuable Denazification files can be for Genealogy research.

    Also, In Sept 2019, Manuel Fix (m.fix@bundesarchiv.de) of the Bundesarchiv in Berlin-Lichterfelde has initiated a search (30 euros max) for the SS (Application and Exam only), RAD and NSDAP records of Paul Ernst Kaess. It should be remembered that NSDAP and Denazification records are distinct from each other although they may contain similar info.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  14. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached is an NSDAP membership card for Paul Ernst Kaess with member # 7202313 . This image was obtained from Manuel Fix of the Bundesarchiv Berlin.
     

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  15. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached is an additional document from a 1946 Denazification File for Paul Ernst Kaess. Paul Ernst Kaess Denazification File.jpeg
     
  16. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Paul never mentioned committing any pogroms to his Grandson Brian Paul Kaess, but his daughter Arnhild Kaess stated that Paul had told her war tales so terrible that she could never repeat them.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  17. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached is a 2002 Death Certificate for Paul Ernst Kaess. Obviously, he lived to a ripe old age. Paul Ernst Kaess Death Certificate.jpeg
     
  18. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached is a 1944 Wedding Photo of Sgt. Paul Ernst Kaess and Dorothea Dorschke. They married in Ratibor, Upper Silesia, on March 14 1944. Paul & Dorothea Wedding 1944.jpg
     
  19. briankaess

    briankaess Member

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    Attached are a number of photos of Sgt. Paul Ernst Kaess, while serving in the German Army. Paul Ernst Kaess in Army Uniform.jpg Paul Ernst Kaess in Uniform 2.jpg Paul Ernst Kaess in SS Uniform.jpg Paul & Comrades.jpg
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brian, I don't know how much of this you may already be aware of, but hopefully it is interesting regarding his military service. The records indicate that he did just three months of RAD service before he was called up in the Heer as part of Jahrgang 21 as the French Campaign was ending. He had a weeks home leave before reporting to the 1. Batterie of schwere-Artillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung (Heavy Artillery Replacement Battalion) 61 on 17 June, which was at Pilsen in the Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren (Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia). On 14 August his battalion returned to its old garrison at Lahr in Wehrkreis V, but he remained in Pilsen, transferred to Artillerie-Ausbildungs-Abteilung (Artillerie Training Battalion) 41. On 1 October 1940 he was part of the cadre transferred to form the new Sturmatillerie Abteilung (Assault Artillery Battalion) 190 in Jüterbog, which became operational 15 November 1940. He remained with the battalion throughout his service, apparently in 3. Batterie, although it went through a number of name changes - on 7 February 1941 it became Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung (Assault Gun Battalion) 190, on 1 April 1943 it became leichte (light) Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung, and on 14 January 1944 it became leichte-Sturmgeschütz-Brigade 190 (which is when "3." Batterie became "III. Abteilung" on paper)...all without any real significant changes in organization or equipment...it always consisted of three batteries, plus a Stab und Stabsbatterie (HQ & HQ Battery). The connection as a "Lehr" or School Troops unit is also tenuous - the battalions first replacement unit affiliation was with VI /Artillerie Lehr Regiment Jüterbog, but after 1 April 1941 it was renamed Sturmgeschütz-Ersatz-Abteilung 200 in Schweinfurt. I think theyliked to keep the "Lehr" title because it sounded impressive.

    On 1 December 1940 the battalion transferred to France where it completed its training, then went to on 20 January 1941 as part of the training mission there, which was also a show of force to the USSR, which was busy gobbling up border regions. His "trip" to Bulgaria and Greece was with StuG-Abtl 190 as part of MARITA, the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. On 22 June 1941, StuG-Abtl 190 participated in BARBAROSSA, where he fought until wounded on 3 January 1944...pretty good for such a long run with a hard fighting unit. It looks like he never returned to duty with the unit after his wound...BTW, the "Black" Wound Badge "for Bravery" indicates he was actually wounded, rather than injured or frostbitten.
     

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