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Chris Boonzaier

EK Document, as high as it gets....

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http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=35483

Above is the career.

This is one of those double sided personalized documents.

I am of the conviction that once one of these was sent, there was no lower office that would issue a "Besitzzeugnis" (Only exception we have seen to date on this was the 15th res J?g group a week or so ago, and that was just at divisional level) as in this case it would have been irrelevant.

I consider this my "Highest level" EK document....

Am not sure who signed it...

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I know nothing about these but I assume he was getting the 1st class?

This is my highest ranking doc with a full general der Arty.

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http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=35483

Above is the career.

This is one of those double sided personalized documents.

I am of the conviction that once one of these was sent, there was no lower office that would issue a "Besitzzeugnis" (Only exception we have seen to date on this was the 15th res J?g group a week or so ago, and that was just at divisional level) as in this case it would have been irrelevant.

I consider this my "Highest level" EK document....

Am not sure who signed it...

I believe that to be the signature of G.d.I. Moritz Frhr. von Lyncker, Vortr. Gen. Adj. Sr. Majest?t, Chef d. Milit. Kab., ? l.s. 1. GRzF

Andy

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Chris, I was also bidding on those documents, and got a couple of the other ones. Let me know if you decide to get rid of yours, as it would be nice to reunite them at some point.

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Hi Chris,

for which decoration is the question, for the EK or for the Braunschweig decoration?

- Prussia EK 1st class (... das Eiserne Kreuz 1. Klasse...)

I think, that his EK 1st class is not the first decoration, there must be the EK 2nd class before that date.

And I believe, that the paper for the EK is not the award document, it is the "?bersendungsschreiben", the "consignment" document.

- Brunswick Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2nd class

The 1st class is for repeated awards for front-line soldiers.

Regards

Uwe

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Hi Chris,

for which decoration is the question, for the EK or for the Braunschweig decoration?

- Prussia EK 1st class (... das Eiserne Kreuz 1. Klasse...)

I think, that his EK 1st class is not the first decoration, there must be the EK 2nd class before that date.

And I believe, that the paper for the EK is not the award document, it is the "?bersendungsschreiben", the "consignment" document.

- Brunswick Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2nd class

The 1st class is for repeated awards for front-line soldiers.

Regards

Uwe

Hi,

I have a special interest in this kind of EK doc. They differ in a number of ways from a simple ?bersendungsschreiben. I have 650-700 WW1 EK docs (and groups), this particular kind of document just 4 times.

Each is a large doppelblatt, and comes directly from a high office.

My thoughts/Observations.

There was no WW1 "Official" doc. There was initially a plan to issue official documents after the war, but this was canceled in early 1918 when the Kaiser announced all preliminary award documents should now be considered the "Final document"

Most ?bersendungsschreiben announce they are forwarding the Cross and document and are from Clerks/Unit offices.

The 4 documents in Question are

1) Personalized

2) Directly from a high office

3) Signed not by a clerk but by a high authority

4) Mention that the award was made and in 2 of the occasion include the citation.

On all 4 it does not seem possible that there would be an office that would issue a Besitzzeugnis, they would in fact be less impressive than the doppelblatt recieved.

In two of the groups I have all the docs are there, for the EK1 there is JUST a personalized Doppelblatt. (In their cases directly from their Divisional commander). I assume that was considered to be way better than a preprinted document the Regiment could issue.

In relation to the man above, He gets this directly from the office of the Milit?r-kabinettes, we know there are no official preprinted documents from them... The question is... who would issue him a document? One of the ugly little "Metz" ones? It would be a bit of a joke next to the letter. At the Limit Pelkmann could have asked the Governor of Metz to issue him a Besitzzeugnis, but I honestly think these "Letters from above" were "it".

Some examples to follow....

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Another one from a later RK winner...

This and the one above were the only EK1 docs in otherwise complete groups. (Although the Luczny group was split )

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- Brunswick Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2nd class

The 1st class is for repeated awards for front-line soldiers.

Regards

Uwe

Seems it is indeed so. I thought Generals arranged these things amongst themselves. Strange to see a full general getting a 2nd class award this late in the war.

Best

Chris

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Great examples, Chris. I always thought the Kabinett type docs all dated early in the war, when the EK1 was still an uncommon decoration. Obviously that is not the case.

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Hi Chris,

first back to the Pelkmann EK document:

"Seine Majest?t haben ... zu verleihen geruht...", His Majesty have awarded; but not von Lyncker.

"... in Kenntnis zu setzen." ... I (von Lyncker) have to inform you...

It could be, that this is the "Vorl?ufiges Besitzzeugnis", the temporary award document, but I don't believe it (my opinion).

Hauptmann Langemak:

This is the "?bersendungsschreiben" and the congratulation of the General. "...ist durch Befehl seiner Majest?t ... verliehen worden ...", it has been awarded by his majesty; but not from the General (T?lff v. Tschepe u. Weidenbach).

It could be, that the "Vorl?ufiges Besitzzeugnis" had been included separate. But this is definitely not an award document.

Leutnant d. Res. Stodtmeister:

This is an award document, not temporary.

"Im Namen seiner Majest?t...verleihe ich...", in the name of his majesty I (?, divisional commander) award....

Leutnant Luczny:

This is an award document, not temporary.

"Im Namen seiner Majest?t...verleihe ich...", in the name of his majesty I (Fouquet, divisional commander) award...

Regards

Uwe

Edited by speedytop

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Hi Chris,

first back to the Pelkmann EK document:

"Seine Majest?t haben ... zu verleihen geruht...", His Majesty have awarded; but not von Lyncker.

"... in Kenntnis zu setzen." ... I (von Lyncker) have to inform you...

It could be, that this is the "Vorl?ufiges Besitzzeugnis", the temporary award document, but I don't believe it (my opinion).

Hi,

An interesting discussion :-)))))

We agree that there are no preprinted Kabinett docs? In fact, most of the higher commands seem to have been lacking them (especially this early) as they themselves did not have a lot of people to award EKs to (due to most of the awards being at Divisional level... and even there, it was mostly the Regt that issued the doc after the Div commander had approved the award).

In the Pelkmann case, if the Kabinett did not have docs (Unless someone has seen one?) then the next level would have been Pelkmann's commander. So Pelkmann would get this paper, with the cross... THEN look for someone to issue him a VB to tide him over till the post war period where he could get an official doc?

As for Langemak, the same thing, a direct award from the Kaiser, who did NOT issue documents of his own. Officer once again gets a Letter informing him of the award...

What we should not forget is that 14-18 was the Wild West when it came to EK docs. I have groups where men were awarded the EK2, but the VB was issued 2, sometimes 3 years later.

1870 was easier, all after the fact.

WW2 was easier, the commander basically signed the doc and authorized the award.

In WW1 basically the general approved names on a list and it was up to the unit to decide when, where and how a document would be issued. Sometimes a Korps, like the IX Reserve Korps would issue docs for ALL the units within the Korps...

http://www.kaiserscross.com/41815/77301.html

But even in this case, he got his EK2 in 1914, the Ausweis in 1916

Sometimes the division issued the docs, sometimes the regiment... and sometimes a lowly Leutnant commanding an Abteilung signed the doc AFTER the General had either..

1) Physically given someone a cross.... or

2) approved an award on the list.

We can argue this way or that, but in the spirit of the way things were supposed to be in 1914, I believe these were the documents that informed men in 1914 that the kaiser had made a direct award to them..... (.... with the belief that the official award doc would arrive soon, as planned, right after the victory....)

I have a pile of IX Reserve Korps awards and groups.... All the docs are made out about 2 years after the start of the war. From the groups you can see that the guys received just Milit?rpass entries or very rudimentary notes or Ausweises... until the Korps commander figured the end was not in sight and ordered documents for his men, most filled in retroactively.

To know if the above two docs were just letters or were to serve as VBs, we would have to know exactly how his local command treated the subject of documentation.

On the Subject of pelkmann, on the left of the doc, diagonally, is a remark "1 Eis. Kr. 1. Kl." which I assume means there is one enclosed. I have a group with a very rare award that has the same diagonal remark, included with this letter was a Besitz Zeugnis and on that was entered diagonally to show it was included. That was however in 1916 and I assume the preprinted docs were more comman at higher commands at this time. My thoughts being... why send Pelkmann a cross, but no Besitzzeugnis? Who was supposed to give him one then?

A great discussion with food for thought....

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"Hauptmann Langemak:

This is the "?bersendungsschreiben" and the congratulation of the General. "...ist durch Befehl seiner Majest?t ... verliehen worden ...", it has been awarded by his majesty; but not from the General (T?lff v. Tschepe u. Weidenbach).

It could be, that the "Vorl?ufiges Besitzzeugnis" had been included separate. But this is definitely not an award document."

Once again, WHO would then have issued an award document?

Kaiser approves the award, Korps Kommander sends him the cross and a high quality letter informing him.... war should be won and official documents issued soon.... Our man is in a hospital in Germany...

Who would then take the initiative to issue a document? Korps level printed documents are an absolute anomaly and I would say about unknown this early in the war. MAYBE his regiment would send him an Ausweis or VB confirming the award retroactively, but many regiments at this stage were still working just with Milit?rpass entries. ***

It all goes back to the though that there was no official level to issue a Besitzzeugnis, Iron Cross award docs ARE the wild west, it was basically up to the unit involved. At this level it is very common to see it done with a letter like this.

*** VIII was in fact one of the Korps that provided Korps level docs, they were however filled out at Regt level. They were also not given out in 1914 but later (retroactively).

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Bavarian Hauptmann Alois Louis had been so badly wounded in both legs--one later amputated--that he was sent home for private health care. This letter including the actual citation that would have been filed away with every Vorschlag notes that they cannot FIND him--please do so-- and send along the enclosed EK2:

and his award document

Sorry these are ancient scans not from the current Epson.

But note that the We Can't FInd Him letter through channels encloses the actual Iron Cross (Beilage) but makes no mention at all of the award document. Note that both the letter AND the award document are dated on the same day.

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BTW-- what is the Running Roll number in the lower left corner of the Brunswick document? Since the rolls themselves are missingslashdestroyed, that is all we have to estimate award numbers from. This is the first one I've seen for a general and would be interesting to see if he was in the same Letter-Numbers sequence or there was a separate roll for Exzellenzes.

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But note that the We Can't FInd Him letter through channels encloses the actual Iron Cross (Beilage) but makes no mention at all of the award document. Note that both the letter AND the award document are dated on the same day.

But the subtle difference is that the letter there is an Abschrift signed by an Oberstleutnant and that the III B.A.K. did have its own docs.

In the first two example, there were no preprinted documents used by the Authorities that signed these letters, anything they issued were tailor made, and the letters themselves were already signed by the highest authority.

As I said, you have to take into account that WW1 was the Wild, wild west when it comes to how EK docs were issued.

There is no hard and fast rule or rules.

I don't want to seem like a know it all, but much of WW1 EK docs cannot be read, it is simply a "gut feeling" that comes with experience. I have had probably 1000 EK docs and or groups through my hands... my feeling is, for 1914, for awards at this level (and Langemaks), this was it. This letter with the Official doc to follow when they were finally issued (and as we know... they were not).

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Yup-- and most of them still are as "impressive" looking as a town clerk's receipt for a dog license.

I've always been surprised that His All-Hhighest-ness did NOT have fancy schmancy pre-printed Urkunden that HE signed when making personal presentations-- as he did.

The German officers I have known all said that they considered the PAPERWORK more important than the thing-itself except for sentimental attachment as having come from the actual paws of the person who handed it to them.

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I've always been surprised that His All-Hhighest-ness did NOT have fancy schmancy pre-printed Urkunden that HE signed when making personal presentations-- as he did.

Indeed... because the official doc was supposed to come at a later date.

Returning to the Langemak example, the VIII AK docs came quite some time later...

EK2 awards to the VIIIAK were awarded on documents that were retroactively issued sometime after (maybe months after) March 1915. Then until 1917 all the units in the VIIIAK were issued with standard Korps level docs, in 1917 they started to issue documents on divisional level (15th and 16th Div).

I assume when Langemak got his, there still were no official docs.

I know for sure Oktober 1914 awards for members of the Korps only got dokuments sometime after March 1915.

best

Chris

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OK,

taking into account all the info above.

I am offering a reward of 50 USD to anyone who can produce a copy/photo/scan (or simply proof) of a Kaisers HQ version of an EK doc to anyone earlier than 1916.

Using the D Niemann Prussian doc book, page 320 has the same kinda deal... very high ranking officers, getting awards from the Militär-Kabinett Chef were informed the Kaiser had approved their award... basta.

There is a document on page 325... but this is a preliminary Ausweis (i.e. also no official certificate) and 15 months later, when the awarding of printed documents was in full swing...

As we know the Kaiser had intended to eventually issue official docs, and this was only changed in 1918... we can assume that Pelkmann's letter, like Pawlowskis letter on page 320... were "it" for them.

There simply was not a high enough authority issuing documents to cover an award like Pelkmann's at the time when he received it, he would have to have a lower unit issue him his document... and why bother when you have a letter from the Kabinetts.

Anyway, USD50 for anyone who can prove (or convince me) that Pelkmanns letter was anything less than his "award doc"...

Best

Chris

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I have traced back the Eichhorn docs as far as possible... there never seems to have been an EK1 doc with it.

As the EK2 was 1870 there is a doc, the EK1 must have come from way up high and there seems to have been no lower "dienststelle" who made up a doc for him.

Still eager to hear proof to the contrary, but for me it adds to my theory that the really high guys did not get EK docs at the beginning of WW1 because there was no really high office designated to issue them...

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OK,

taking into account all the info above.

I am offering a reward of 50 USD to anyone who can produce a copy/photo/scan (or simply proof) of a Kaisers HQ version of an EK doc to anyone earlier than 1916.

Using the D Niemann Prussian doc book, page 320 has the same kinda deal... very high ranking officers, getting awards from the Militär-Kabinett Chef were informed the Kaiser had approved their award... basta.

There is a document on page 325... but this is a preliminary Ausweis (i.e. also no official certificate) and 15 months later, when the awarding of printed documents was in full swing...

As we know the Kaiser had intended to eventually issue official docs, and this was only changed in 1918... we can assume that Pelkmann's letter, like Pawlowskis letter on page 320... were "it" for them.

There simply was not a high enough authority issuing documents to cover an award like Pelkmann's at the time when he received it, he would have to have a lower unit issue him his document... and why bother when you have a letter from the Kabinetts.

Anyway, USD50 for anyone who can prove (or convince me) that Pelkmanns letter was anything less than his "award doc"...

Best

Chris

For a number of years i have had and defended the theory that many of these early awards WERE the guys document because (by observation) i had come to the conclusion that only in Early 1916 were there official orders that preliminary documents should be issued. (of course, many units did for their men, but on their own initiative)

i just recieved the Wernitz book today... and at long last i have proof of the theory. As the first time in print Wernitz Quotes a Allerhöchster kabinettsschreiben from the 9th of January saying preliminary docs should be issued.

On the chapter i am working on for our book I had it in as my opinion, I am happy to be able to change it to fact...

Now I must see what else he has ;-)

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I just picked up this document... A nice document signed by von Below....

In this case the Generalleutnant DID recieve a preprinted one... but only in April 1916, and the 1916 doc is nowhere near as nice, also not signed by anyone near as high... unfortunately I missed out on the 2nd doc.... but until the 1916 decree, this was his document...

 

papp.JPG

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