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Question on German Conscripts class 1895


westpreussen
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Hi,

 

I have some questions about German Army mobilisation system in Great War. It is very important for me because I'm looking for some informations about two members of my own family, so I would be very, very, very grateful for any help!

 

I have very, very scarce informations about two people: my great grandfahter and brother of my great grandmother.

 

Until very recently I knew only that both of them were fighting in German Army in Great War and that the first was wounded and the latter was killed.

 

They both were Poles from class 1895 living in Westpreussen Kreis Tuchel near Graudenz Fortress. Very recently I found out that they both are on German Verlustenliste 1. Weltkrieg and that was real revelation for me! It turned out that my great grandfather was serving in Danziger Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 128 and was wounded March 24 1916 - his unit was in that moment on Western Front between Somme & Oise - and brother of my great grandmother was serving in Reserve-Jager-Bataillon Nr. 1 and was killed November 18 1915 south of Riga.

 

With these informations I am trying to establish at which moment they both could be mobilized to German Army and find themselves on first line?

 

I read on this forum that the class 1895 was called up in April-June 1915 and that the training of recruits was 1 to 3 months long. According to this they both could be on front in July-October 1915...

 

And here I have some questions:

 

- were there any exceptions from mentioned dates of recruitment class 1895? what was the possibility that they could be called up earlier, for example in general mobilization in August 1914? They both were 19 in 1914 they were singles and they were from small villages in West Preussen. There is very small possibility that they could be volunteers in German Army.

 

- what was territorial organization of recruitment in Germany during Great War? I'm asking for this, because I was very surprised by the fact in which units they both were serving. As I mentioned before, they were living near Graudenz, so I was thinking that they were serving in some unit from Graudenz for example IR 129, IR 175 or FAR 71. Despite this however it turned out that my great grandfather was serving in IR 128 from Danzig and brother of my great grandmother was serving in unit from Eastern Preussen garrisoned in Ortelsburg and Allenstein (it's another Armee-Korps)! What could be the cause of the fact that they both were called up to units so far away from their homes? Is it that fact suggesting anything about the date of their recruitment to Army?

Edited by westpreussen
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1. Yes, they could be volunteers. My own grandfather was also Born in 1895 and joined the Forces only in May 1916. No volunteer.

 

2. Usually they were trained in an "Ersatzbataillon" of a Regiment that belonged to the Armeekorps of the Region. But then they were sent to a Prussian Regiment which had suffered hard and needed new soldiers. - So my grandfather belonged to X. Armeekorps (Hannover) and was sent to an Regiment from Schleswig-Holstein (IX. Armeekorps I believe).

 

Fritz

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It is an interesting topic and I have asked the same questions when looking at the history of my Polish ancestors. In short I don't think there were any strict rules. Before the main war years most men were called up at age 20 and could be sent to any place. From my researching my uncles were sent to Metz and Thorn. I guess that this would spread ethnic Poles amongst remote regiments. During the war years they did tend to serve with local units but again no fixed rules. I know that my Grandfather was class 1897 living near Poznan but sent to IR171, Alsace district. His much older Brother was born in 1886 (trained in Thorn) and a reservist in 1914. He was wounded on the Eastern front with RIR61 from Danzig/Gdansk. Their Brother was class of 1891 (trained in Metz) and a serving Pionier with Posen/poznan Battalion 29 in 1914. He was killed the following year in The Argonne Forest. So they were spread far and wide.

 

The three are recorded on the Verlustlisten which gave me the same starting point as your examples.

Edited by Martin Feledziak
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Names and other info might help to see whether there may be more to be found...

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OK, so here it is what I know.

 

Name of brother of my great grandmother is Jan Jaroch (his name in German document could also be written as "Johann" or "Joannes" and surname sometimes was written as "Jaruch" or "Jarauch". Born May 1 1895 in Lubau (Lubiewice) near Schwetz in Wetspreussen. According German Verlustenliste (look scan no. 1) he was killed November 18 1915 near Riga. So I think he was mobilized Spring 1915 to Reserve-Jager-Bataillon Nr. 1 (unit from Ostpreussen) probably send on Eastern Front in autumn 1915 maybe September or November and killed as an unexperienced rookie.

 

Far more interesting is a case of my great grandfather Marcjan Zywert. His name Marcjan was quite rare so he often was misspelled as "Marian". And his surname was "germanized" by German officials on many ways - most often "Siewert", but also "Sywert", "Siwert", "Sievert" and so on. He was born August 18 1895 in Minikowo near Tuchel (Tuchola) in West Preussen.

 

I know very little about his military career but that is a fact. After Great War he participated in Polish uprising 1918-1919 against Germans in Wielkopolska (Posen Provinz) and in independent Poland he was forest ranger in forests near Toruń (Thorn). After German invasion of Poland in 1939 he was arrested by Germans and a month later shooted with other Polish officials in prison in Inowrocław (Hohensalza). His wife and four of his children (one of them was my own grandpa) was deported with only one suitcase by Germans in the middle of Winter 1939-1940 to Eastern border of German occupation zone of Poland (bordering with Soviet occupation zone). Almost all their property, money, and documents, was lost. And so was the remembrance about their past... So informations about Marcjan, his ancestry and family ties are very scarce and I found it out only recently with my genealogic studies.

 

Only family relic of his military service is photo below. (By the way, members of my family even didn't knew that it is photo from German Army! They thought it is photo from Polish army or Polish forest rangers school!) This photo is made in Graudenz Fortress that was the main military garrison near living place of Marcjan. It was made probably in 1916 or 1917. It is probable that originally it was signed "1917" (I don't have original photo but only it's photocopy). He is the one who stands on the right.

 

About a week ago I found him on German Verlustenliste (scan no. 3). According to that list he was heavily wounded ("schwer verwundet") March 24 1916. His unit IR 128 (36th Infanty Division XVII Armee-Korps) was at this day on Western Front between Amiens and St. Quentin (between Somme and Oise). My aunt (his daughter and the only living person that remebers him) remembers that he told that he was wounded by a bayonet. Some guy with whom I consulted told me that this photo suggests that he was battle instructor (Hilfsausbilder) in Ersatz-Abteilung, probably as wounded soldier during reconvalescence. He was Gefreiter in that moment and had Iron Cross second class.

 

The really interesting thing is a fact that this photo wasn't made in his original unit - IR 128 (36th Inf Div) which was from Danzig - but in Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr. 71 "Gross Komtur" (35th Inf Div) from Graudenz (look the pads of FAR 71 on scan no. 5). From Graudenz that was closer his village Minikowo.

 

Summarizing, I know for sure only three facts

 

- that he was German soldier in WWI

 

- that he was serving in IR 128 from Danzig and was wounded March 24 1916 in Western Front

 

- that he was Hilfsausbilder in FAR 71 from Graudenz

 

That's what I'm wondering is that change of units: from IR 128 to FAR 71, from infantry to artillery...

 

Is that mean that after reconvalescence he came back on front with IR 128 or with FAR 71? It is important beacause these regiments were in two different divisions - 36th and 35th. Are there any ways to find it out? Which possibility is more probable?

 

 

 

 

Johann Jaroch - gefallen.jpg

Marcjan Zywert w wojsku.jpg

Marian Siewert - schwer verwundet_1.jpg

alone.jpg

detail.JPG

Edited by westpreussen
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On 15/08/2017 at 11:14, westpreussen said:

Polish uprising 1918-1919 against Germans in Wielkopolska (Posen Provinz)

 

Great history you have found - and most important that the history is not lost.

Here is another ancestor of mine from the class 1898 - Walenty FELEDZIAK. He may have just avoided conscription but he was certainly part of the uprising with your Marcjan Zywert.

 

Is this Marcjan

http://powstancy-wielkopolscy.pl/search

 

Zywert , Marian

Parents : Stanislaw, Urszula

B. Kowalewo (Slupca EN)

State Council Resolution No. 05.07-0.738 of 1975-05-07

Description : 
On 28.02.1917, he joined the Polish Military Organization on the area of the 4th Circuit, VIII district and was active until 11.11.1918. He was the local commander under the nickname Skshetuski - Garłapowski. In 1918, on November 11, 1918, under the decree. Skarbowski took an active part in the fight against the liberation of Gniezno and Witkowo. Budzynski. (...)

 

 

Edited by Martin Feledziak
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Thanks Martin but... unfortunately this isn't THIS Marcjan Zywert. But what a shame... It could be great story...

 

But this Marian Zywert is born 1897 in Slupca in Wielkopolska (Great Poland), parents Stanisław and Urszula.

 

My great grandfather Marcjan Zywert is born in Minikowo in 1895 in Westpreussen in Poland called Pomorze (Pomerania). He probably was one of Pomeranian volunteers fighting in uprising 1918-19 in Posen Provinz (Wielkopolska or Great Poland). His parents: Wawrzyniec (Lorenz) and Maria Magdalena (also called by family "Marianna"). I have his birth certificate (and his parents and his grandparents, and their wives and so on :-) ) so I am sure in that question.

 

Site you cited http://powstancy-wielkopolscy.pl/search is the list of soldiers decorated with "Wielkopolski Krzyż Powstańczy" (Great Poland Uprising Cross). That decoration was established in 1957. As I mentioned before Marcjan was killed in 1939 and his family was totally dispersed and after war setlled in totally other parts of Poland, mostly on former German lands obtained by Poland after 1945 on Lower Silesia. After WWII I think there was nobody in my family who could think about asking Polish authorities for posthumous decoration of Marcjan.

Edited by westpreussen
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3 hours ago, westpreussen said:

As I mentioned before Marcjan was killed in 1939

 

Gosh, I thought that was going to be him.

What a shame. I found more information in these scans, but sadly I do not read Polish. These scans are dated 1936.

http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/53/884/0/3/133/str/1/1/15/hSeZeC8-TYbTYBA3GioEiA/#tabSkany

http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/53/884/0/1/33/str/1/13/15/yA1IVjM_BOFs8q2_NdK03A/#tabSkany

 

I know that the papers relate to my Great Uncle.

 

We must keep looking because more information comes on line every year.

Edited by Martin Feledziak
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A remark: the date of publication in the Verlustlisten is not the date of death or wounding.

In case of IR 128, the men who died from his company have died on 27 February (Ortmann and Mühlenhardt) and are buried in Roye St. Gilles. I would say it is more probable that he served in the Ersatz Abteilung FAR 71 after being wounded, perhaps he was not fit enough to serve in an active unit? More could be known if only the Krankenbücher would be open for consultation again (at least the indexes listing all German wounded with units etc.). They were transferred from Berlin to the archives (unfortunately the detailed info was destroyed then apart from the info from men born in January or July) a few years ago, but I heard there are huge problems with mold.

 

I'll look into my regimental histories later this week to see whether I find anything more.

 

Jan

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10 hours ago, AOK4 said:

A remark: the date of publication in the Verlustlisten is not the date of death or wounding.

 

 

It's very interesting. Could you explain me in short how that system of German Verlustenliste was working? I am rookie in that question so I must start from the basics.

 

10 hours ago, AOK4 said:

In case of IR 128, the men who died from his company have died on 27 February (Ortmann and Mühlenhardt) and are buried in Roye St. Gilles.

 

I have found very detailed combat journal of French regiment, 28e regiment d'infanterie, (but unfortunately only from February 1916) who fought exactly on the same section of the front as German IR 128 (it was near Roye exactly between Fouqescourt-Chilly and Maucourt) but of course on opposite side and from that source I know that in fact 27 February 1916 there was massive artillery fire exchange.

 

 

10 hours ago, AOK4 said:

More could be known if only the Krankenbücher would be open for consultation again (at least the indexes listing all German wounded with units etc.). They were transferred from Berlin to the archives (unfortunately the detailed info was destroyed then apart from the info from men born in January or July) a few years ago, but I heard there are huge problems with mold.

 

Could You write me anything more about it? So this archive is no longer in Berlin? So where is it? In Freiburg?

 

10 hours ago, AOK4 said:

I'll look into my regimental histories later this week to see whether I find anything more.

 

It would be great if You could find it. Anf if you could look for this:

 

Gittermann/Zillmer/Grunau: "Das Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 71 Groß-Komtur im Weltkriege" Aus der Reihe "Heldentaten deutscher Regimenter" , "ehemals preußische Truppenteile", 91. Band, Zeulenroda 1936, Sporn Verlag, 450 Seiten.

 

Tomek

 

 

Edited by westpreussen
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