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Remembered Today:

Reading and Interpreting Death Register Entry (in German)


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This image shows the military death register entry of Hans Spielmann, who was killed at Sulow on July 18, 1915. It is extracted from a full page PDF obtained online from the Military Historical Archive in Prague. I can read and understand most of what is written but not all. I particularly welcome help to understand the following:

  • There are multiple strike-throughs in the second from left column that records the date and place of death. Maybe they were uncertain where it happened? I cannot make out the last line -  he died in territory held by Russia? 
  • in the sixth from left column (Geburtsort, Bezirk und Land), this indicates Hans was born in Vienna but responsible district was Pohrlitz in Moravia? 
  • In column fifth from right (Krankheit oder Todesart, laut Beschau- oder Kopfzettel oder Totenschein) I cannot read the handwriting well or translate - is it Gefallen [  ] Todesfall aufnahmen ?? Fallen according to death record? So there is no specific cause of death? 
  • In the last column on the right, this column records the name of two personnel who witnessed the death, Karl Fiedler and Franz Heinl?

I am trying to find out more about Hans Spielmann. If you have any suggestions, I would be grateful for them. He was the son of a then well-known opera star called Julius Spielmann. Hans was illegitimate and the identity of his mother is still unknown to me. I do not know Hans' exact birth date. My understanding is that personnel records for soldiers born 1887 - 1900 were destroyed. I do not know if Hans has a grave, was interred in a mass grave, or if there are databases of military graves for the area where he fell. You people are the experts: please advise. Many thanks for your time and attention.  

  • HansSpielmann_snip.png.fd7530133c7887141010b91e3c07514d.png
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To me the first column looks like







in Russisch Polen Corrigiert: Steiner Feldtins.

Russian Poland (Congress Poland) was created by the Treaty of Vienna. Poland ceased to be independent and was partitioned between the Habsburgs, Prussians, and Russians.

The 5th column from right looks like Gefallen laut Todesfallaufnahme. I concur with your reading of Karl Fiedler and Franz Heinl as the witnesses.

Maybe @GreyC can help?

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Yes, I did see this record. 

What is the meaning of "Gefallen laut Todesfallaufnahme" in the death register? Is this "Fallen according to death record" - in other words, witnesses saw him die and the event was recorded on the battlefield? Do you think this implies that maybe he was blown up and no intact body recovered and maybe there is no grave? 

Do you know if there is a database of military graves in the area where he died?

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Recording battlefield deaths was different than recording deaths in normal times as the usual procedure couldn't be followed. I think the sentence may mean this, but then again, this is KuK and different to the German army, so you may want to try a specific KuK forum.

For Austro-Hungarian war graves see: https://www.osk.at/de/home/

Austro-Hungarian military archives are still available, I assume. Perhaps you should try some of those archives: https://www.oesta.gv.at/benutzung/forschungshinweise/kriegsarchiv.html


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4 hours ago, SeekingHans said:

"Gefallen laut Todesfallaufnahme"

It does say that there are two wittnesses to his death: platoon leader Karl Fiedler and Franz Heinl who probably reported the death of the Fähnrich.

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