AI4FR Virtual Militaria Items Tour 

German Items


The Soldbuch is a sort of pay book for the soldier. It is dated Aug. 5 1915. When a person started active duty, he would turn in his Wehrpass and receive a Erkennungsmarke(dogtag) and a Soldbuch, which is the basic ID document that the soldier would carry for the rest of his military career. The title Soldbuch(pay book) is some what misleading, because no pay is actually recorded inside the document. Rather the book gave the soldier the authority to draw pay, in fact the original intent of the document was to allow people to draw pay from a unit other than their own.

Inside the Soldbuch contains an array of information that included the soldiers’ current and past assigned units, pay rate, awards, equipment, weapons issued, clothing, Erkennungsmarke number, and a little medical history. Inside the flap there is 5 rules of the Soldbuch which are as follows,

1) This Soldbuch provides the soldier with personal identification in wartime and gave him the authority to receive pay from not only his duty stations but others as well. It may also be used as an identification for purposes of travel, receiving mail, detached service, all while on leave.

2) The Soldbuch must always be carried by the soldier in his tunic pocket. Leaving it any where else is not permitted. Taking very good care of the Soldbuch is the best interest of the owner.

3) The Soldbuch has to be kept in an orderly manner. The owner himself is required to make certain that any changes in the pay rate due to transfer or promotion are promptly entered at his duty station.

4) The Soldbuch is an official document. Entries in it can be made only by a duty station of the Armed Forces. Unauthorized changes to the Soldbuch are falsification of official documents.

5) The loss of the Soldbuch must be reported at once by the owner to his unit or duty station, where steps will be taken to issue a new one.

When stopped or questioned by the Wehrmacht(Army) Military Police or a superior officer, this was the document that the soldier would be required to show. It would not escape the inquirer's eye if the equipment and decorations that the soldier had, did not match those inscribed in his Soldbuch. All branches of the Wehrmacht issued Soldbuchs with slight variations on the cover and in content. The Soldbuch was supposed to be destroyed when the person was released from service.   

The Der Ahnenpass(ancestor passport) has been published since 1933 by Reichsverband der Standesbeamten Deutschlands(federation of the registrars of births, marriages and deaths).

The Ahnenpass documented the Aryan lineage of German citizens in Nazi times.The investigation for lineage was not obligatory as it was a major undertaking to research the original documents for birth and marriage. Many Nazi followers had already begun to research their lineage even before law required it (soon after the NSDAP took power.) The law which was issued subsequent to the Nazi assumption of power was called the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, and it required all public servants to be of Aryan descent.

"Als nicht arisch gilt, wer von nicht arischen, insbesondere jüdischen Eltern oder Großeltern abstammt. Es genügt, wenn ein Elternteil oder ein Großelternteil nicht arisch ist. Dies ist insbesondere dann anzunehmen, wenn ein Elternteil oder ein Großelternteil der jüdischen Religion angehört hat.“ 

"Those are not Aryans who descend from non-Aryan parents and grandparents. It is sufficient (grounds for exclusion) to have one parent or grandparent that is not Aryan. The non-Aryan assumption always holds if one parent or grandparent had Jewish confession.“ 

The applicable fields were later enlarged under different laws to include lawyers, teachers, medical doctors and finally requiring the Ahnenpass even to attend high school. Usually the lineage was investigated four generations back.

Contrary to popular belief, the Ahnenpass was not public record - the document was shown where required and returned to the bearer. The term Aryan in this context was formally referencing Indo-Germanic tribes but the primary objective was to eliminate Jews from all high positions in German society. The requirements for Aryan descent differ among the different laws that were issued in Nazi times - the Reichserbhofgesetz (farmer land heritage law) notably required 100% for the lineage back to 1800 just as higher positions in the SS demanded a "pure" Aryan lineage back to 1750.

As a result, genealogical research particularly flourished in Germany during the Third Reich.  

On the left is a Schießbuch or Rifle range shooting booklet. This small, 5 3/4 x 4 1/8 inch book contains eight pages and has a mid-weight orange card stock cover with black printed national eagle. The book contains Latin script and is inkstamped as well as handwritten in for particulars. The printed script indicates that this booklet was issued to a person serving with, "1./Pz.=Gren.=Ausb.=Batl. 413", (1ST Company Panzer-Grenadier Training Unit 413), for "Schießklasse II", (Shooting Class 2). 

The booklet was intended for use with the Gewehr or Karabiner 98, and handwritten script indicates it was used with a Gewehr 98 and lists the weapons serial number. First interior page lists the owners name and date, "27.7.42", and has a large printed target with inked in firing results. Balance of pages have printed script and columned areas to write in firing results but is unused. 

The photograph on the right is of a Reichskarte. More text about this item is coming soon.   

On the left is a picture of a DAF Mitgliedsbuch or German workers pay book. More text coming soon. 

The picture on the right is a random sampling of some of the documents that are in the collection. In this photograph we can see three of these DAF Mitgliedsbuch books.  

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