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SS UNIFORM AND OWNER IDENTIFIED !
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In November 2008 we acquired an original 64 year old box of mixed Nazi militaria from the estate of a US veteran. Among the items in the box was the uniform (trousers, jacket and cap) of a SS-Untersturmführer of the Germania Regiment in very nice original condition.
The unusual thing about the ensemble was that in the right breast pocket there were 16 photographs of a SS medal award ceremony that included several photos of this very uniform being worn by its original German owner, shown at the left. We built this web page to ask for help in finding out who the man was and what became of him.
Also in the pocket with the photos was a hand-typed program for the Julfeier of the 6th Company of the 2nd SS Training Detachment at Konitz dated 20 December 1944. There are two SS-Untersturmführer mentioned on the Julfest program: Köster u. Theml, and Becksmann.
It is a sad tale to tell, but we submitted these pictures and pictures of the uniform to three European experts in the sincere hope that they could help us determine the identity of the SS-Untersturmführer who wore this uniform.
One by one, each of the three "experts" told us it was nonsense to attempt to find out who this man was. Each independent of the other said we would be wise to forget the search, and simply go through the rank list of SS-Untersturmführer who were awarded the SS Honor Sword and the SS Honor Ring and choose one of those!
The photo left is positively identified by the museum at Mauthausen Concentration Camp outside Linz, Austria as SS-Obersturmführer Heinz Eisenhofer, Leader of the Prisoner Property Administration Office at Mauthausen in 1944. The picture shows a uniform nearly identical to the one we acquired recently and the one shown in the color photos on this web page.
We are aware that the Germania SS Regiment was absorbed into the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Wiking Division.
With the help of the internet and the assistance of the collector community we really do believe that we can find out more about SS-Untersturmführer Becksmann. We have determined to try.
For what it is worth, the uniform has no tailor's tag in it but was clearly tailored to fit SS-Untersturmführer Becksmann.
If you have any further information about SS-Untersturmführer Otto Werner Walter Becksmann, his unit or his service, we'd be happy to hear from you.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 1 MARCH 2009
Through the efforts of a collector / historian in Germany we have been provided with a great deal of information about the man that once wore this uniform. He is SS-Untersturmführer Otto Werner Walter Becksmann, born 22 November 1913 in Burg, missing / killed-in-action 14 February 1945 at Könitz in West Prussia (now Poland), while serving with the III. SS Panzerkorps or the X. SS Korps.
The two uniform photos below clearly show that one of the buttons on the front has been removed to allow for the belt. Original picture 6 below illustrated how the SS-Officer belt comes around the side just above the bottom pocket buttons.