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#12- Auf dem Marsch Im Memelland !- 27.02.1943

Updated: Feb 28, 2023


Part of The KB41 Collection On This Day Series

This Feldpost like others shared in the series were written on the day they were shared to the website, exactly 80 years ago.


This is the 12th letter in the series of Feldpost's that Herbert writes home to his family whilst away from his family in service. This letter is the first that is also addressed to his brother. Herbert's brother suggested to be 'Hanne' as mentioned in previous letters. The previous letter written on the 14th February talks of Hannes Birthday that would have been on the 15th of February, Herbert includes his brother in the opening greeting possibly as a gesture to him. This letter also being the first small letter of the series and also written on a form of card as appose to lined paper as previously seen in letters written home to Herbert's loved ones. This could be due to Herbert being "Auf Marsch" as mentioned next to the date. As Herbert writes often his location or activities when writing the letter next to the date "Auf Marsch" meaning Marching or deployment.




The Letter in German reads as:


Auf Marsch 27.02.43


Liebe Eltern, lieber Bruder!


Jetzt sind wir doch schon Mittwoch Abend abgefahren und auf dem Marsch. Es ist ganz gemütlich in so einem Viehwagen. Jeden Abend bekommen wir mit 10 Mann eine Flasche Schnaps, und dann kommen wir ganz gut in Stimmung. Wir sind alle so zusammengeblieben, wie wir auf der Stube lagen. Ein richtiger Verein. Nun will ich schließen es geht gleich wieder weiter und was ich dann schreibe könnt Ihr doch nicht lesen. Augenblicklich sind wir in Memel.

Herzlichst Euer Herbert



The letter in English reads as:


Marching 27.02.43


Dear parents, dear brother!


Now we've already left on Wednesday evening and we are on the march. It's quite comfortable in a cattle truck. Every evening, the 10 of us get a bottle of schnapps, and then we get into a good mood. We all stayed together as we were in the parlour. A real club. Now I'm going to close, because you won't be able to read what I'm going to write. At the moment we are in Memel.


Yours sincerely, Herbert


 

The letter here as previously mentioned is written on a small scrap piece of card, likely the only piece of writing material left as Herbert details he is on the move "Auf Marsch". This is following on from the previous letter in the collection on the 14.2.1943 where Herbert details that he is on the move from position to position as before he was billeted in accommodation where as now he is on the move as he writes this letter. Herbert writes how he left on Wednesday and is now on the march and how he has spent time in the cattle truck, much like the previous letters Herbert wrote of transporting across the Reich to the front with his unit and his equipment. Herbert then writes that every evening, the 10 Kameraden that Herbert finds himself with gets a bottle of schnapps where they drink until they get merry or "Get into a good mood". Its from here that Herbert writes how they all stayed together as they were in a "Parlour", this being the likely temporary residence of the Soldaten as they are on the move to the frontlines.


Herbert then details how he is closing the letter as "you wont be able to read what I'm going to write". This is assumed as Herbert is too drunk to write and what he would write wouldn't be legible or could be a secret meaning that he cannot disclose any further as it may be censored if Herbert was to detail too much. Censoring was still a process that was done to letters sent through the German Reichspost as was sent through allied mail, letters were subject to be checked and censored or mail even destroyed if contained too much details of locations or information that could lead to espionage influencing the enemy forces. There as many underground resistance movements even within Germany. However it is possible that it was just Herbert suggesting he will be to drunk in addition to lack of writing material to at hand for Herbert to write.

Herbert does mention his location at the time of this letter, whilst Herbert is on the march to the frontlines, it is seen that he is passing through Memel at the current period of his writings. The Memelland, also referred to as the Klaipėda Region was the territories of the northernmost regions of German provinces of East Prussia. This region becoming under German control on the 22rd of March 1939 from Lithuania. This giving a location as to where Herbert is within his travels across the Reich to the Ostfront. A interesting update on Herbert's travels in service, showing the activities that Soldaten did whilst in transport to the front. Herbert ending the letters as always, Euer Herbert.

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