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Hohenstaufen/Frundsberg KIA SS Soldbuch - Normandy & Arnhem & Halbe
Old 03-01-2019, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default Hohenstaufen/Frundsberg KIA SS Soldbuch - Normandy & Arnhem & Halbe

Hello all,

With all these nice showings from my friends Dani & Barry it is probably time to show some of my latest acquisitions. Next to D-Day Soldbücher I have a weak spot for (KIA) SS Westfront Soldbücher. I picked up some interesting KIA SS Soldbücher lately. By accident 2 of them served in the Hohenstaufen division. The first is of a soldier who was killed near Bastogne in battles with the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge. That one I will show in another thread.

First this interesting Hohenstaufen and Frundsberg Soldbuch that was killed at the end of the war in the Halbe Pocket or the Spremberg Pocket.

Johann Ruschitschka was born on 02.12.1911 in Torontal, a former county in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most probably Ruschitschka was a so called “Volksdeutsche”. When the SS suffered heavy casualties also Volksdeutsche were enlisted in the Waffen-SS. Interesting to see that not his wife or his real parents are mentioned in his Soldbuch, but his Pflegeeltern(foster parents).

His Soldbuch was opened on 23.11.1943 as part of the 4./ Feldersatz-Bataillon, 9. SS-Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen. This Division formed with its sister division(10. SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg) the II. SS-Panzerkorps. The 9. SS-Panzer-Division was under command of SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich. Shortly thereafter Ruschitschka was transferred to the 14(FLAK)./ SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 19 under command of SS-Obersturmführer Kunze.
At the end of March 1944 the II. SS-Panzerkorps was send to the Ostfront to liberate the I. Panzerkorps that was caught in a Soviet Pocket between Tarnopol and Kamenez-Podolsk. On 08.04.1944 the division went into the attack till 16.04.1944 when the division liberated the last besieged troops. After this successful campaign, the Hohenstaufen Division was pulled back out of the frontline on 20.04.1944 and held back as reserve.
After the Allied landed on D-Day the II. SS-Panzerkorps was send to Normandy on 12.06.1944. The Hohenstaufen Division arrived on 26.06.1944 after the division was delayed after been attacked heavily by the Allied air force. In Normandy the II. SS-Panzerkorps had to counterattack the Allies to throw them back into the see, but because of an Allied offensive this counterattack never happened. The 14./ SS-Pz-Gren-Rgt. 19 was fighting heavily and its commander Obersturmführer Kunze was already killed on 30.06.1944. Instead of counterattacking the division was set into the defensive around Caen. The division fought bravely and with many casualties during nearly all the operation(such as Operation Goodwood) around Caen. Parts of the division escaped the Falaise Pocket, but from the 16.000 soldiers the Hohenstaufen Division started the Normandy campaign only 7000 remained with the division when it arrived in Arnhem, Holland(September 1944).

Somewhere in August 1944 Ruschitschka was transferred to the Stabsbatterie./ IV./ SS-Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 10, 10. SS-Panzer-Division Frundsberg. Also this division was heavily beaten in the Normandy campaign when it was transferred to Holland for refit and rest. After some weeks of rest Operation Market-Garden started on 17.09.1944 and Ruschitschka was send with his division again to the frontline. Most of the Frundsberg division fought near Nijmegen (Nimwegen) to fight against the Allied PARAs and the troops that tried to reach the PARAs and the bridge at Arnhem. Just like in Normandy, the battles were heavy and both sides suffered many casualties. The IV./ SS-Pz-Art-Rgt. 10 was based around the Pannerdense Kanaal near Duiven at the banks of the Rijn(Southeast of Arnhem). From this positions they supported the German fighting troops between Arnhem and Nijmegen with heavy fire. After days of fighting Market-Garden ends as a loss for the Allies but also the Germans lost many men. It was the first German military success on the Western Front in a long time so probably Ruschitschka and his comrades were a little proud to be part of it.

After Market-Garden the Frundsberg was transferred to the Geilenkirchen area for refit and defensive battles. The division received many new troops. The replacements were most of the time not of the same quality as the soldiers in the Frundsberg were before. From January 1945 the division was send to the Alsace to fight the Allies but also there it was pulled back from the frontline soon. The division was send to the Ostfront again, north of Berlin to fight the Soviets as part of the 11. SS-Panzer-Armee. Thereafter the division was relocated to halt the Soviet advance in the area of Halbe-Spremberg-Cottbus. In these fights large parts of the division were caught in the Halbe Pocket and the Spremberg Pocket.
Thousands of Frundsberg soldiers were killed or went missing, others were wounded or taken POW by the Soviets. When trying to break out these Pockets Johann Ruschitschka was killed in the age of 33 and his body was recovered later. As the Soldbuch has some water damage it was lying on the battlefield for some time for sure. According to my information locals buried these men and they most probably took the Soldbuch of his body and send it back home to his foster parents.
According to the Volksbund there is no known day of death but the last entry in his Soldbuch was made on 04.04.1945. Given his burial place and the history of the division I would be very sure he was killed at the end of April 1945 in these Pockets. This day Johann Ruschitschka is resting at the cemetery in Neupetershain-Nord, in a grave with 100 other Germans that died in this area.

Mr. Schulze, a collector and local, was kind enough to send me some pictures of the cemetery and his grave. I was very happy to receive these pictures.

Hope you all "like" this sad story. More is to come next days.

Aram
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka1.jpg (64.9 KB, 342 views)
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka2.jpg (98.3 KB, 343 views)
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka3.jpg (115.1 KB, 345 views)
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Collecting interests: D-Day Soldbücher! 91 LL.Div, 709 Inf.Div., 716 Inf.Div., 352 Inf. Div. , 21 Pz. Div., FJR 6!

Last edited by mtdr; 03-01-2019 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:56 AM   #2
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka4.jpg (114.0 KB, 345 views)
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka5.jpg (119.8 KB, 348 views)
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka6.jpg (106.1 KB, 346 views)
File Type: jpg Ruschitschka7.jpg (101.3 KB, 347 views)
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:56 AM   #3
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File Type: jpg Ruschitschka - Volksbund.JPG (84.8 KB, 346 views)
File Type: jpg Begraafplaats Neupetershain.jpg (246.0 KB, 343 views)
File Type: jpg Graf Ruschitschka.jpg (101.4 KB, 344 views)
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:23 AM   #4
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Very nice Aram! did you identify all of the signatures so far?
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:54 AM   #5
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Nice one
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I'm collecting anything related to the towns Castricum and Bakkum during WWII.
Also soldbucher from 116pzdiv. And 1944-1945 eastfront pockets, kampfgruppe and Oder front.
My website: Gotrick.nl
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:58 AM   #6
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Thanks Dani & Rick!

The first signature on page 3 and the security stamp from 01.12.1943 on page 23 are from SS-Obersturmführer Werner Kunze. He was already killed on 29.06.1944, after 3 days action in Normandy. He is buried at La Cambe.

I wasn't able to identify the other signatures sadly. If anyone can help me, I would be very happy off course.

Aram
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Collecting interests: D-Day Soldbücher! 91 LL.Div, 709 Inf.Div., 716 Inf.Div., 352 Inf. Div. , 21 Pz. Div., FJR 6!
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:26 PM   #7
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Hello Aram !

Great Soldbuch of a very interesting in which he stayed to the bitter end.
Also very nyice summary of their important actions.
And finally great that Mr.Schulze could provide you those photos !

Many thanks for sharing !

Best regards,

Archi
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:32 AM   #8
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Thanks Archi!
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Collecting interests: D-Day Soldbücher! 91 LL.Div, 709 Inf.Div., 716 Inf.Div., 352 Inf. Div. , 21 Pz. Div., FJR 6!
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:08 AM   #9
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Sad but nice addition to your collection
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:15 AM   #10
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9 and 10 are my favorite units, and both unit seals in the safe page, very nice !!
and the soldbuch is still active in the end of the war, so he saw many battles, i would like to have a look on his hospitalization, award, and leave pages.
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SS PzGren Oschf.Soldbuch issued in Dez.1939,
SS-“Totenkopf”,
SS-“Hohenstaufen”,
SS-“30.Januar”,
BWB,OM,EKII,PAB,SWB,
fighting in Russland,Normandy,Arnhem,Halbe
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:57 AM   #11
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Thanks guys!

@Chen, tomorrow I will post your asked pages!
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:38 PM   #12
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@Chen, He wasn't issued any awards and never went to the hospital. Most probably he was killed at the spot and never went to the Lazarett because of this. As these pages are blank they are not so interesting to post.

His leave was signed again by SS-Obersturmführer Werner Kunze. Interesting to see that his leave went to Szeghegy(then Hungary as written behind) and nowadays known as Lovcenac in Serbia.

His first leave was postponed(cancelled) because the division was in heavy battles near the Kamenets-Podolsky pocket or "Hube Pocket".
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File Type: jpg 20190305_192642.jpg (65.4 KB, 217 views)
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:18 PM   #13
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thanks for extra fotos ! i keep them into my folder !
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SS PzGren Oschf.Soldbuch issued in Dez.1939,
SS-“Totenkopf”,
SS-“Hohenstaufen”,
SS-“30.Januar”,
BWB,OM,EKII,PAB,SWB,
fighting in Russland,Normandy,Arnhem,Halbe
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"h"
Old 03-13-2019, 03:02 PM   #14
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Nice one!
Good job,Aram.


Regards
Mark
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:17 AM   #15
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Lovely book Aram!
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Looking for Wehrpass, Soldbuchs, Award documents, Photos and Paper items from German Units at Arnhem Sept 1944.


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