A Prosit Neujahr Celebration 1939 - Funkers of the 19th Infantry Division

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

The photograph here shows a 1939 Prosit Neujahr (New years) Celebration to 1940 that is being celebrated in a barracks. Seen decorated on the teaching chalk boards behind are many designs with Prosit Neujahr being written in the centre with "Mr Time" depicted by a man with a top hat and moustache next to a clock pointing to midnight. The left board can be seen with the drawing of Mickey Mouse holding a champagne glass with 1940 written above. In celebration of the coming New year. The right board shows the beginning of 1940 covered by one Heer Funker but also seen with the writing inside of a pig. There is also seen decorations of branches of pine branches decorating the walls.

As seen in the photograph they are seen wearing M36 tunics and Heer jersey jumpers and one notably see wearing a Civilian jumper to the right. One is seen with a bandage on his head, likely injured in training or when serving. He is seen holding a porcelain stein. The men who are in uniform appear to all be either the basic ranks of Funker & Oberfunker, no small stripes for any Gerfreiten are notice. We do however see the Feldwebel der Nachrichtentruppe with the bright "full colour" Treße and one shoulder star beneath the unit number in Silver Metal numerals "19". Also notably seen is a Funker with bandages also across his hand, likely to injured from training or service. The central is as a Feldwebel Funker, who is notably seen with early style shoulder boards that are also seen to be numbered. The Number is 19, denoting him to be a part of the Nachrichten-Abteilung 19 d. 19 Jnfanterie-Division (19th Heer Infantry division).

The 19th Heer Infantry Division was founded in 1934 and was then involved in the Invasion of Poland, with the date of this photograph being New years eve 1939, proves that these Funkers were involved in the invasion of Poland . The division would later go on to be involved in the invasion of France and then on the 1st of November 1940 become a recognised tank division and was later re named 19th Panzer Division.

Seen here they are seen together drinking, bottles just seen in shot on the table below them, as they celebrate the new year from 1939 becoming 1940. There morale may be at a low that they are not spending it at home or with family but they would happy in the company of each other. This increasing their morale and forgetting the war whilst enjoying the new years celebrations. It is unfortunate to think that some of these Funkers may not be able to celebrate new years again.

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