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.