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mic
Posted: December 05, 2011 08:28 pm
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Hello everyone,

I just registered because I am trying to find out a little more about the military career of my father Johann "Hans" Kaiser (1919-1984).

He was of german origin and born in the village of Glogowatz (Vladimirescu/Öthalom) near Arad in the Banat.

He first served in the romanian army, in a "Gebirgsjäger"-unit, Vanatori de Munte, but I have no details about the division/brigade.

I do know that he took part in the battle of Sewastopol and Kertsch, in operations in the Caucasus (Naltschik) and finally in Stalingrad.

In 1943 he joined (was transferred to?) the Waffen-SS, fought in Russia, Latvia and by the end of the war with a SS-Tank-regiment in the region of Paderborn, Germany (where I still live).

Is there a thread dealing with ethnic germans (Volksdeutsche) in the romanian army and SS?

I also have some photos from his albums, but I have no information on where and when they were taken.

Any hint is gratefully appreciated.

Michael
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Florin
Posted: December 06, 2011 01:18 am
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If I remember right, in "Aripi în furtună" (Wings in storm), the author Anton Marin mentioned a German ethnic flying as pilot in the Romanian Royal Aeronautics. He continued to be pilot with ARR after August 23, 1944. His ethnic Romanian colleagues nicknamed him "Neamtul"("The German").
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mic
Posted: December 06, 2011 10:09 pm
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QUOTE (Florin @ December 06, 2011 01:18 am)
If I remember right, in "Aripi în furtună" (Wings in storm), the author Anton Marin mentioned a German ethnic flying as pilot in the Romanian Royal Aeronautics. He continued to be pilot with ARR after August 23, 1944. His ethnic Romanian colleagues nicknamed him "Neamtul"("The German").

Hello Florin,

thanks for the info. That is interesting too.

I think there must have been thousands of ethnic germans serving in the romanian army.

From the historical point of view it would be interesting to know how many changed uniforms (Wehrmacht/SS) after Stalingrad like my father and under which circumstances - and if there were others who didn't.

Michael
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Petre
Posted: December 07, 2011 10:09 am
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I think there must have been thousands of ethnic germans serving in the romanian army.

Do not forghet Gen. Hugo Schwab (and even Gen. Artur Phleps)
From this site :
http://lupta-ns.blogspot.com/2009/07/hugo-schwab.html
Till the end of 1943, more than 60,000 young Germans from Romania - have joined the Waffen SS units and approximately 15,000 in the Wehrmacht and the Organization "Todt". Most of those enrolled in the Waffen SS Division 8th Cavalry served in the SS "Florian Geyer" SS Panzer Grenadier Division, the 11. volunteers "Nordland" SS Panzer Grenadier Division, the 17. volunteers "Götz von Berlichingen" Panzer Grenadier Division, the 18. volunteers "Horst Wessel" and the 7. mountain SS Division "Prinz Eugen". To the end of the war many ethnic Germans were used to fill gaps of German units located in all Europe. However, many ethnic Germans did not left the Romanian army, the most famous being General Hugo Schwab - who commissioned between 1941-1944, at a time, the 9th Infantry Division, 3rd Army Corps, the 7th Mountain Corps and Army and General Carol Schmidt who commissioned 19th Infantry Division from June 1941 - March 1943.
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zenzk
Posted: February 01, 2012 01:12 pm
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Hi Michael,

Was your father a relative of Hauptmann Johann Kaiser, who fought with 90.IR and died in 1942 ?
I had also family in the Banat region.
PM me if I can help you, I'll try...
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Petre
Posted: July 14, 2014 12:58 pm
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From the Soviet Bureau of Informations (Sovinformbiuro) :
CODE
Informarea de dimineaţă, 5 Аprilie 1943
În Kuban a fost capturat un grup de soldaţi din Div. 19 inf. rom. Soldatul prizonier Ion Demeter povesteşte: «Până in februarie Div. 19 rom. a fost comandată de un german, generalul Schmidt. El a fost rănit pe timpul unui raid al aviaţiei ruse. Acum divizia o comandă col. Webber, tot german. Soldaţii îl numesc «câinele german». Când ruşii s-au apropiat de gara unde ne aflam, germanii au plecat repede iar noi am rămas ca acoperire. Asta a stârnit nemulţumire nu doar soldaţilor, dar şi ofiţerilor. Mulţii soldaţi au lăsat muniţia, armele şi s-au retras. Câţiva s-au ascuns prin case, aşteptând să vină ruşii şi să se predea».
CODE
Informarea la 6 iunie 1944
Prizonierul cpt. Nicolae Alexandrescu, Cdt. Comp. 3, Reg. 12, Div. 15 inf. a relatat: «În toamna 1941 divizia a fost înfrântă la Odessa. Rămăşiţele ei au fost retrase în spate, pentru reformare. După cam un an, divizia a fost trimisă în raionul Kletskaia, unde în două luni a pierdut 12 mii oameni. Divizia a fost reformată a treia oară şi trimisă iar pe front. Divizia o comandă Gen.brig. Ştefan Bardan. La statul major al diviziei se află maiorul german Wendt, ajutor este oberleutnant Gressel şi câţiva funcţionari. Germanul Wendt este de fapt stăpânul. Acesta îi anula fără jenă ordinele comandantului diviziei şi făcea totul cum considera el.
Soldaţii români nu vor să lupte pentru Hitler. Despre asta m-am convis încă o dată la ultima luptă. ... Odată cu mine s-au predat locot. Leşu, locot. maj. Roşca şi locot. Răşcanu».
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Prizonierul cpt. Florian Suceveanu, Cdt. Esc. 87 Bomb. a relatat: «Nemţii domină complet în România. La toate statele majore de sus până jos sunt nemţi. Ei conduc de fapt unităţile române. Comandamentele româneşti există doar de faţadă. La mine au detaşat drept consilier cu drepturi nelimitate un locotenent german. Acesta a devenit stăpân atotputernic în escadrilă. Deşi era locotenent iar eu căpitan, mi s-a ordonat să-i dau toată ascultarea. Se amesteca în toate şi îmi anula fără jenă ordinele. Aşa stă treaba în întreaga armată română. Nemţii au acaparat autoritatea în mâinile lor şi i-au dat la o parte pe ofiţerii români».
Un comandant de companie din Div. 3 inf. rom. trecut de partea Armatei Roşii, cpt. Ion B. a informat: «La toate subunităţile diviziei au trimis instructori şi controlori nemţi. La mine la companie a fost trimis un feldwebel german. Un gestapovist mărunt, tipic. În fiecare dimineaţă acesta apărea la companie să afle ce vorbesc ofiţerii şi soldaţii. Feldwebel-ul îşi băga nasul peste tot, urmărea fiecare pas al ofiţerilor, le făcea observaţii. Eram foarte revoltaţi de comportamentul acestui neamţ obraznic. Ofiţerii mi se plângeau, iar eu nu aveam putere să fac ceva».


This post has been edited by Petre on July 14, 2014 01:00 pm
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alberkes
Posted: April 12, 2016 03:30 pm
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Hello,

My grandfather was also a Romanian German who fought in the Romanian Army in WWII. He was born in Buziaș in 1907. I contacted the Romanian civil service archives, and they sent me the following data about his service:

- August 18, 1941-November 22, 1941: at front with 7th Pioneer Regiment
- March 22, 1942-April 6, 1943: at front with 57th [Truck?] Company
- April 17, 1944: drafted into the German army in accordance with terms of the Convention signed between the Reich Government and the Government of Romania of May 12, 1943.

From 1942 to 1943 it says (in original Romanian) that he was in the "Compania 57th Auto." I haven't been able to figure out this company's place within the general organization of the army. Any help on this would be appreciated!

Also: the above information is helpful to a certain extent, but I was hoping to gain more specific information. We know he was wounded multiple times and captured at least once, for example, and I would like more details about that. Is it likely that there are more records in the Romanian archives that would provide those details? Do you have to go to the archives in person to get this kind of information?

Many thanks in advance!

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Victor
Posted: September 17, 2016 09:42 am
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57th Truck Company should be the truck company of the 7th Corps, which in 1942-43 was on the front in Crimea and then South of Stalingrad.
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Cardmines52
Posted: March 22, 2017 12:43 pm
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Stick RPG 2 I have the same question.

This post has been edited by Cardmines52 on September 02, 2017 02:23 am
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Temeschwar_41
Posted: August 24, 2017 01:55 am
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QUOTE (Petre @ July 14, 2014 12:58 pm)
From the Soviet Bureau of Informations (Sovinformbiuro) :
CODE
Informarea de dimineaţă, 5 Аprilie 1943
În Kuban a fost capturat un grup de soldaţi din Div. 19 inf. rom. Soldatul prizonier Ion Demeter povesteşte: «Până in februarie Div. 19 rom. a fost comandată de un german, generalul Schmidt. El a fost rănit pe timpul unui raid al aviaţiei ruse. Acum divizia o comandă col. Webber, tot german. Soldaţii îl numesc «câinele german». Când ruşii s-au apropiat de gara unde ne aflam, germanii au plecat repede iar noi am rămas ca acoperire. Asta a stârnit nemulţumire nu doar soldaţilor, dar şi ofiţerilor. Mulţii soldaţi au lăsat muniţia, armele şi s-au retras. Câţiva s-au ascuns prin case, aşteptând să vină ruşii şi să se predea».
CODE
Informarea la 6 iunie 1944
Prizonierul cpt. Nicolae Alexandrescu, Cdt. Comp. 3, Reg. 12, Div. 15 inf. a relatat: «În toamna 1941 divizia a fost înfrântă la Odessa. Rămăşiţele ei au fost retrase în spate, pentru reformare. După cam un an, divizia a fost trimisă în raionul Kletskaia, unde în două luni a pierdut 12 mii oameni. Divizia a fost reformată a treia oară şi trimisă iar pe front. Divizia o comandă Gen.brig. Ştefan Bardan. La statul major al diviziei se află maiorul german Wendt, ajutor este oberleutnant Gressel şi câţiva funcţionari. Germanul Wendt este de fapt stăpânul. Acesta îi anula fără jenă ordinele comandantului diviziei şi făcea totul cum considera el.
Soldaţii români nu vor să lupte pentru Hitler. Despre asta m-am convis încă o dată la ultima luptă. ... Odată cu mine s-au predat locot. Leşu, locot. maj. Roşca şi locot. Răşcanu».
CODE
Prizonierul cpt. Florian Suceveanu, Cdt. Esc. 87 Bomb. a relatat: «Nemţii domină complet în România. La toate statele majore de sus până jos sunt nemţi. Ei conduc de fapt unităţile române. Comandamentele româneşti există doar de faţadă. La mine au detaşat drept consilier cu drepturi nelimitate un locotenent german. Acesta a devenit stăpân atotputernic în escadrilă. Deşi era locotenent iar eu căpitan, mi s-a ordonat să-i dau toată ascultarea. Se amesteca în toate şi îmi anula fără jenă ordinele. Aşa stă treaba în întreaga armată română. Nemţii au acaparat autoritatea în mâinile lor şi i-au dat la o parte pe ofiţerii români».
Un comandant de companie din Div. 3 inf. rom. trecut de partea Armatei Roşii, cpt. Ion B. a informat: «La toate subunităţile diviziei au trimis instructori şi controlori nemţi. La mine la companie a fost trimis un feldwebel german. Un gestapovist mărunt, tipic. În fiecare dimineaţă acesta apărea la companie să afle ce vorbesc ofiţerii şi soldaţii. Feldwebel-ul îşi băga nasul peste tot, urmărea fiecare pas al ofiţerilor, le făcea observaţii. Eram foarte revoltaţi de comportamentul acestui neamţ obraznic. Ofiţerii mi se plângeau, iar eu nu aveam putere să fac ceva».

While this Soviet report may not be entirely inaccurate, 1/2 of all Romanian soldiers decided to fight along side the Russians. What better way to save your life than than to blame the losing side? It's hard to find fault here though, since there wasn't much of a choice --either join or die.

At any rate, not sure this report is helpful to the inquiry tbh.
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Temeschwar_41
Posted: August 24, 2017 03:29 am
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QUOTE (alberkes @ April 12, 2016 03:30 pm)
Hello,

My grandfather was also a Romanian German who fought in the Romanian Army in WWII. He was born in Buziaș in 1907. I contacted the Romanian civil service archives, and they sent me the following data about his service:

- August 18, 1941-November 22, 1941: at front with 7th Pioneer Regiment
- March 22, 1942-April 6, 1943: at front with 57th [Truck?] Company
- April 17, 1944: drafted into the German army in accordance with terms of the Convention signed between the Reich Government and the Government of Romania of May 12, 1943.

From 1942 to 1943 it says (in original Romanian) that he was in the "Compania 57th Auto." I haven't been able to figure out this company's place within the general organization of the army. Any help on this would be appreciated!

Also: the above information is helpful to a certain extent, but I was hoping to gain more specific information. We know he was wounded multiple times and captured at least once, for example, and I would like more details about that. Is it likely that there are more records in the Romanian archives that would provide those details? Do you have to go to the archives in person to get this kind of information?

Many thanks in advance!

First, I just want to say thank you for posting your question and the information that you have. I wrote a very long post, so you may not want to read it all.

If you don't want to read it all, then here is the main helpful suggestion I have for you: Try the German military archive. It is suggested to call and speak with someone first (hopefully they speak your language.

Here is the long version of my post...

I've been looking for information about my grandfather also. He was also a Romanian German, but from Timisoara / Temeschwar. I had always assumed he was drafted into the Wehrmacht because he was a volksdeutsche®. From what I have read recently, however, is most volksdeutsche® from Romania were not drafted into the Wehrmacht or into the W-SS until some diplomatic laws changed in later 43-44 due to German losses against Russia.

(As a side note, some Romanian volksdeutsche did 'join' the Wehrmacht or W-SS before 43-44, but not nearly as many as I thought, --with the word 'joined' being used loosely here especially is 43-45.)

Your record from the Romanian archival service reflects that he was first in the Romanian national army and then in the German Army (either the Wehrmacht or W-SS; your record doesn't state he was in the W-SS, but the Romanian archives might not have more information about his service in the German military).

You might also want to contact German military archives as well. They truly exist. I'm sure they must have something to provide. I visited their site and from I can tell you is that you should call them by phone first so they can help you with your search. I really do think the German archives will have something because my grandfather was born in Romania, he was a volksdeutsche®, and because he received a pension from the German government for his military service in WWII.

I'm not sure *any* of the national archival services can provide extremely precise details and that you may think is available; you really will have to make some connections through research / reading before you can come to any conclusions. I trawled through forums like this and discovered some guy searched the archives in person to obtain the limited results he came upon; he did know a lot of stuff though.

Since you have a record (at all; I do not) with details about which regiment and companies he was in, you can use your records to find details of his regiments' and companies' actions during the war (a historian at axishistory.org recommended "Himmler's Auxiliaries: The Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the German National Minorities of Europe," of which I have a copy. It will cover the general state of affairs for Romanian Volksdeutsche, not specific details. I would research the various regiments and companies he was in while in the Romanian army since you have factual information on that.)

Regarding some of what I know about my grandfather's service...

I don't know everything about my grandfather's service record or actual experience(s), but I can say a few things that might be helpful:

I have a picture of him. He looks to be between 15-17 in the photo. He was born in 1925. I think Romania entered the war in 1941. If so, my grandfather was probably 16 in the photo. He is wearing a uniform in the photo I have, but there are no markings to indicate what service he belonged to. This makes me think he was in the Romanian service first, which also reflects the situation of most Romanian volksdeutsche. Believe me, I've been scouring the internet for W-SS, Wehrmacht, and Romanian national army WWII tunics, coats, etc,. and haven't found any direct matches (it looks like an over sized coat, square but rounded collars, and one line of light or perhaps shiny buttons over a darker fabric).

I was told my grandfather drove a motorcycle for an officer. My grandfather's rank was as 'private' or the equivalent. He told me himself (well over 26 years ago) that he was captured. My grandmother told me (because he told her apparently) that he and other German / Romanian soldiers would throw mud at the Russian soldiers while they were being held prisoner (if this is true, he probably wasn't captured or guarded by Russians exclusively because he would have been killed for doing that otherwise); not sure if he was being guarded by Russians after being captured or if there was another section of Russian POWs who were also being guarded and throwing mud back at the German POWS, near where he was being held. This is something I've been trying to figure out: Who had he been captured by? My guess is by the Allies. But when and where I don't know yet.

I know he worked on a farm for what seemed like wealthy landowners / farmers somewhere in France (after 1945) for sometime before he and my grandmother emigrated (1951). I read that the allies were on the fence about sending romanian volksdeutsche back to romania because of what was happening to volksdeutsche in serbian banat. I believe they lived in Austria before emigrating.

All of the information i provided about my grandfather is not an uncommon experience for many Romanian volksdeutsche that lived past 1945.
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