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BKK

Swiss Born Soldiers on both sides

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BKK

This is a topic which I have found LITTLE about, or little mentioned.

 

My Grandfather was born and grew up in St Gallen, Switzerland. His father was German and came from Ettenhiem, Germany. Switzerland did not change it's birth citizenship laws until the 1950's, so since his father was German, he to was still considered German. Family legend has it that he volunteered to serve for Germany, after his father told him to go fight.

 

I thought that his case might have been rare, but when I typed Schweiz (Switzerland) into the birthplace of this wounded/loss database http://des.genealogy.net/eingabe-verlustlisten/search?lang=en Nearly 3800 entries came up. Nearly 700 in his hometown.

 

Current Swiss articles on WW1 do not acknowledge Swiss fighting for Germany. They only seem to acknowledge Swiss fighting for the French (Which I am sure many did). https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/the-great-war_swiss-tell-of-horror-in-the-trenches-of-1914-18/38189524#.W_cZDsTAZVs.gmail

 

In one passage from John Reich's "IRON REGIMENT" book there is a passage taken from Otto Lais' book in which he says that at the end of the war, Swiss Citizens were not being let back into the country if they fought for Germany.

 

My Grandfather fought with IR169, and IR111 through 1917 until the end of the war in the Argonne. In 1919 he went back home to Switzerland.

 

I would love to hear if anyone has something to add to this topic. Thank you!

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o j kirby

Hello,

Thanks for sharing that. I have a German identity disk named to Albert Staiger also from St Gallen, and serving with the Bavarian 20th I.R. I have now seen his name on your list which appears to state "gefallen". I don't seem to see his name on the German war graves site. Has anyone got any advice on furthering my research?

 

Many thanks,

 

Owain.

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BKK

The Baden units are all online. I have found about a dozen of my grandfathers records there from basic training to outprocess of the Army. 

 

https://www2.landesarchiv-bw.de/ofs21/olf/struktur.php?bestand=13908&sprungId=3474810&letztesLimit=suchen

 

I have not researched any Barvarian Units, but I believe all their records are still intact, and possibly online.

 

https://www.erster-weltkrieg.clio-online.de/site/lang__de-DE/40208788/default.aspx

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Interested

I have no personal link but to me, this is a very interesting topic; please keep us informed of progress, thanks.

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