Translate German to English - Click here to open Altavista's Babel Fish Translator Click here to learn about all those symbols by people's names.

leftlogo.jpg (20709 bytes)

Upgrade to Premium Membership

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Just bought this interesting piece from Paul Martin of River Valley Militaria. Its probably the best value for money for me since I started collecting 2 years ago. Nice even patina, Alsoso fittings, condition a bit worse than I like, but still nice. These are Paul´s pics while the piece arrives.

Clearly a hand job, I´m interested in this inscription

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As shown on the image above, the inscription on the right is totally correct in terms of the script, the abbreviation conventions (small d, capital R in der Reserve, I. R. etc) As far as the name, I am torn between Groke and Grokl. Both are German last names, but the inscription doesnt exactly match either. I have used here the nice Sütterlin tool available at http://www.suetterlinschrift.de/Englisch/Sutterlin.htm It lets you type a name or phrase and renders correct Sütterlin

Several issues to discuss: Letter "e" in Sütterlin. If it is Groke, the e does not match the standard. But see this sample of Sütterlinschrift taken from a soldiers letter written in 1941. note the e in Polen (incorrectly transliterated as "Polan")

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

If it is Grokl, the l should be taller, it seems.

Of course, the case can also be made that few people actually wrote "standard" Sütterlin, especially in the last years before 1941 when it was discontinued, very close to the time of this inscription?

Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 4,889
Likes: 17
Offline
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 4,889
Likes: 17
Gustavo, this isn´t Sütterlin- or Kurrent- script but hand written "Normal-" (normal) script.
I think it is Groke (the "e" is correct in the same hight as "r" and "o").
Intersting for me is that it seems that for the abbrevation of "der" (=lieutenant OF THE reserve) the letter "d." really seems to be in Kurrent.
Could you show better pics?
Regards,


wotan, gd.c-b#105

"Never look for sqare eggs" as a late owner of an original FHH-dagger used to say.
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Wotan, Im sure the "d" in D. R. is the standard Sutterlin script "d", which is why Paul M. had interpreted d. R as "vr"....in fact, the whole of "Lt. d. R" matches the Sutterlin, as you can see in the Sutterlinschrif site i mentioned among others. As for the script of the name, its open for debate, it seems to me...

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
I agree it is normal script. Much the same as I was taught at school. Reads "Groke" to me.


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
what about the right side of the inscription?

Compare the right side of the inscription with the Sutterlin rendering of Lt. d R I. R. 50, as provided by the tool mentioned above

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
hello Gustavo. It would appear to me to be normal handwriting. The formation or style is IMO quite typical for someone educated in the early to mid 20th century.


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
Sneaky quick edit Gus Smile
The two R`s do not appear to be quite the same & the I is commonly written thus & perhaps there is a personal influence on the script rather than an exact execution of the lettering. As far as the name I would expect the l if indeed it is an l to be of the same height as the k. It does anyway appear to be quite in keeping with the period & I was not suggesting otherwise. This was obviously not a professional job & perhaps done in a camp workshop? who knows?


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
yeah. what interests me the most of this is that it appears to be a coexistence of more than one script on the same non-professionally done inscription...

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 801
I
Offline
I
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 801
To me it looks like an amateur has tried to write (fake?) an inscription on the blade by starting with Sütterlin script, but then falling back into his normal modern handwriting. Quite strange.

A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
That this is an amateur engraving no one doubts.

That the writing of the period, lets say late 1930´s to 1942, was often a mix of styles rather than "pure" anything is also clear from the many samples available.

The inscription is correct in terms of abbreviations, unit naming conventions and lettering.

The name Groke does NOT appear in the published army ranklists (these are aktiv officers), major award holder lists etc.

I am awaiting info from Bundesarchiv on this one, but the above is enough to satisfy me.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
I agree with you Gustavo. That this is contrived is highly unlikely. A faker that knew enough to get - in your own words - the "abbreviations, unit naming conventions and lettering" correct would have made it consistent & very likely had it done by a skilled engraver. wouldn`t make sense otherwise IMO.


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 801
I
Offline
I
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 801
Good remark, Landser! I must admit that makes absolutely sense and is a powerful argument!

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,473
Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,473
Gustavo,
With all due respect I have to ask, with just the sir name on the crossguard, how can this dagger be 1oo% sure its attributable to a specific officer?


ERIC

GD.com Gold Badge #57 Silver Badge #325
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Hi Eric, no we dont know that YET. However, we have name, rank (leut. der reserve) and Regiment. Thats much more than the average info on named/personalized pieces. This is a very unusual name which doesnt appear on the published ranklists, Generalstab officers list, or award lists a single time. the chances that there are more than one Leut der Reserve Groke in I R 50 are very very slim. I hope to confirm that soon.

A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Courtesy of the Bundesarchiv Militärarchiv Freiburg, here is the Karteikarte with the basic info on the original owner of this dagger. There are few times when one can make such a statememt with certainty...and
this is the thrill that keeps one going Razz Big Grin

Leutnant der Reserve [Erwin] Groke, of Infanterie Regiment 50 (as shown on the inscription) was born on the 15th June 1915. Was promoted to Lt d. R. on January 1st 1939, with a seniority number among leutnants promoted on that date of 590. he was then promoted to Oblt. d. R on the 1st of Aug. 1941 with a seniority number of 100. He was finally promoted to Hauptmann (aktiv) on the 1st of November 1943, while the division was at Nikopol. As shown under "Truppenteil" the Inf Reg 50 became Grenadier Regiment 50. This happened in October 1942.

The info on this card is held at Freiburg as part of the Kriegsreserve kartei files and is not available to the public or published anywhere.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Reverse of the card

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As an aside, going back to the Sutterlin discussion above, note the change in the "d" from the 1939 note Lt d. R. to the 1941 Oblt. d. R.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
That is great news Gustavo! Another triumph of research for you. I was sure that it had to be genuine for the reson stated above. Well done!!


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Just found this article from The Independent of London, from April 17th 1995, about the 1995 Exhibition on Wehrmacht war crimes, held in Hamburg ("Vernichtungs krieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941 bis 1944").

The piece includes the reactions of the visitors to the exhibits, and gives 3 concrete examples, including this:

"Erwin Groke, 80, a former architect, said: "One can always find such things. You could find such things in Britain, too. We acted according to the Geneva Convention. I don't think the exhibition has got it right. Who would have covered things up, anyway?"

Now, could this be "our" Erwin?? Hmmmm the 1995 article says he was 80... Check out Hptm. Erwin Groke´s date of birth above Eek We will know soon Big Grin

A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Happy to confirm Erwin Groke has been found...and is alive and well at 92 Eek

I tried calling him but he speaks zero English, so I recruited the help of my good friend Dr. Hans Mehrle (RK 1944) who gave him a call, Hauptmann of Heeresgruppe Nord to Hauptmann der Reserve Heeresgruppe Sud Big Grin Herr Groke was extremely surprised, but remembers the dagger, inscription etc. Dr Mehrle is now sending him a letter with the photos of the dagger etc. Hope to còmplete this thread with a photo of Herr Groke some time soon!

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
That is GREAT news!!!!!!
Incredible that he is still with us & that you were able to get a contact number. Really good going Gustavo
I wonder if he remembers his dagger being stolen & wants it back?


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 427
Offline
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 427
Fantastic Gus, congratulations.

The way you go about collecting is most impressive to me. You're a credit to the hobby. Can't wait for further developments. Thanks for sharing.

John

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 794
Likes: 2
Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 794
Likes: 2
Please be sure to ask him about the original grip color.Inquiring minds want to know.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
I dare say that in legal terms the dagger is unquestionably still his property unless he actually gave it away which seems unlikely.
theft is theft no matter how you might try to otherwise explain it.

Gustavo is a gentleman & I have no doubt that if herr Groke asked for it he would be given it, & no doubt very graciously. IMO he would most likely be curiously bemused & at the same time flattered in the interest that someone was taking to research his life.

But, you know what Rich I wonder if these pieces might not in many respects be far more treasured by us colectors than they were by the original owners & that they would consider our anal obsession quite unfathomable.


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Thanks guys, we will see what happens. The iitial feedback I gather from Hans Mehrle is that Groke is surprised in a positive manner. Herr groke was a successful architect after the war and he definitely does not need money. I suppose he may want the dagger back for emotional resasons... but at 92? I dont know. Mehrle tells me he comes across as a very articulate, educated guy. I would "prefer" not to give it back, but well see.

Based on what ive gathered so far, it appears that the 92 yearl old vet could be at worst a revisionist, and at best a bit naive about what happened in WW2. In any case, I cant wait to hear from him directly, possibly meet him etc. If folks are interested I will post the next "chapter" in the saga, or if moderadors so decide, they can move this to period history.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
L
Offline
L
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,480
I`m sure that like me, many here are very interested in hearing this story unfold.


War is when your government tells you who the enemy is.
Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 842
L
Offline
L
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 842
A very interesting story!

Please keep us informed of what Herr Groke has to say. Will be very interesting.

Lewis

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Excellent job on your research, Gustavo! Wink

Im definitely interested in how this story goes!

Cheers,
Ibrahim,
Singapore.


Looking for all relevant info & items on the WW2 German U-boats in Singapore and Asia for my research.
http://monsun-uboats.blogspot.com
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 353
Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 353
Great thread!


"There is no charge for awesomeness. Or attractiveness" Jack Black
A
Anonymous
Unregistered
Anonymous
Unregistered
A
Heer Groke has agreed to an interview, provided he sees the questions in advance etc.

Interesting note: He left the dagger hanging in some closet in Schlesien in the early war period, and never saw it again. He never replaced his dagger. "we had more important things to worry about" He is very curious to know where the dagger was found (Canada)and how it got there! Big Grin One thing for sure, he loves to talk

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 3,005
Likes: 1
Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 3,005
Likes: 1
Wow this is cool

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 6,463
Likes: 1
Online Sleepy
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 6,463
Likes: 1
Great thread. This would be a good chance to find out what type of engraving tool was available to the non jewler, German soldier.
Other than a nail Smile. What type of hand engraver did they have access to?

--dj--Joe


<BR>
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 832
Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 832
Great thread!!If you have a chance please ask the question "In all of your wartime service,What was the funniest situation you ever encountered? I have always wondered about this.So many story's are of the darker side of life during these times.I have often wondered about the silly things.Best wishes Geoff. Smile


Link Copied to Clipboard
Popular Topics(Views)
2,226,141 SS Bayonets
1,726,431 Teno Insignia Set
1,088,658 westwall rings
Latest New Threads
Help needed please
by Dudgeon - 12/04/2022 08:53 AM
Jungschutzen Korps, Wolfsburg
by C. Wetzel-20609 - 12/04/2022 12:02 AM
New Indiana Jones !
by Dave - 12/01/2022 10:50 PM
Searching for Carl Blumenreuter H R
by Gaspare - 11/30/2022 04:56 PM
Black Grip SA
by Vern - 11/29/2022 12:35 PM
Latest New Posts
What is this Org. ?
by derjager - 12/04/2022 09:06 PM
Help needed please
by Dave - 12/04/2022 02:24 PM
Jungschutzen Korps, Wolfsburg
by C. Wetzel-20609 - 12/04/2022 02:08 AM
Kyffhäuserbund and N.S. Reichskriegerbund badges.
by derjager - 12/04/2022 01:54 AM
C. E. Schmachtenberg, Solingen
by Dave - 12/03/2022 10:39 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics31,332
Posts324,649
Members7,261
Most Online5,900
Dec 19th, 2019
Who's Online Now
13 members (ed773, benten, SpitfireVb, atis, derjager, Jonesy, sod, seany, ORPO, Nietzsche, Ringo69, OK&G, jeeplover), 88 guests, and 66 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5