WW2 German Wehrpasses
Collecting WW2 German Wehrpasses
A little information about WW2 Wehrpasses issued to German men when they registered for the draft. These are a popular collectible because they contained a man's record of military service during WW2, and included everything from training, promotions, units, battles, wounds and awards.
What exactly are Wehrpasses?
A Wehrpass was a little booklet, about 4 x 6 inches in size, containing a man's 52 page military service record. Wehrpasses were used between 1934 and 1945. Before a man was called to military service, he carried a Wehrpass as identification. When called to military service, the Wehrpass was no longer carried, but followed him administratively from unit to unit. If he was discharged from military duty, his Wehrpass was again given to him as identification. If he had been killed, the Wehrpass was usually sent to his family as a memento.
Wehrpass pages recorded a man's military service, or exclusion from it. His photo, usually in civilian clothing, was attached to page 2. Page 3 contained the man's personal information and page 4 his schooling and civilian training. Page 5 listed his fitness qualification, i.e. fit for military service, unfit for military service. Pages 6 and 7 pertain to conscription. Pages 8, 9 and 10 list any service in the Reichs Arbeits Dienst (Labor Corps).
Page 11 list his first unit at the time of his conscription, as well as the results of his physical exam. Pages 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 list service with specific military units. Page 20 lists any weapons training either before the war or during the war. Page 21 lists any special military training, like radio operator, bomb disposal, etc., that he may have received withile in the military. The bottom of the same page is for awards received. Pages 22 and 23 recorded promotions. Awards were continued at the bottom of page 23. Pages 24 and 25 recorded discharge from service. Most always this was for medical reasons. Pages 26 and 27 recorded further information about a soldier's military discharge. Pages 28, 29, 30 and 31 contained further information about any training the soldier may have received while on reserve status.
Pages 32 and 33 recorded specific battles in which the soldier participated. Page 34 recorded wounds or death. Page 35 was for additional notes regarding physical exams, either after wounds or at the time of conscription. Page 36 recorded the soldier's reserve status. Pages 37 and 38 were a continuance of pages 22 and 23; recording promotions. The bottom of page 38 was another space for noting more awards.
Pages 39 through 45 recorded when he reported to the recruitment office. The top of page 46 recorded his gas mask, helmet, hat and boot sizes and often his blood type was noted here. The bottom of the page was left for additional notations. Blank pages 47 through 52 were left for noting anything that needed more space. Most often, additional battles were recorded here.
Wehrpasses are popular historical collectibles because each is a unique record of a soldier. They are also quite difficult to fake (handwriting style, ink, stamps) making them a safe collectible even for a beginner. Just like individuals, some are more interesting than others. The more interesting soldiers' Wehrpasses bring higher prices. As a collectible, they range from $35 to thousands of dollars for a notable figure.