- October 16, 2013, Tom Bezigian
What makes this trip to Düsseldorf so special is that I am returning WW2 war memorabilia that my father returned with to the rightful heir of the soldier to whom it belonged. We all know that Germans are renowned for being meticulous with details. Well, I learned that each soldier kept a "Soldbuch", or pay book with them at all times. It listed their name, home address, next of kin, vaccinations, items issued and more.
I've had this and many other souvenirs for years, and never thought much about it until about two years ago when it occurred to me that A) I am not a collector and do not seek money for this object and B) it would be more appreciated by the family of the soldier more than the box it was sitting in. So... I contacted the Social Attaché at the German Embassy in Washington, and she located the soldier's daughter in two days. With the help of a Rotary International exchange student, I wrote a letter to his daughter, and within a week I received an e-mail from her son, who thankfully speaks English. I am hoping that they don't ask too many questions, because, as Klink from Hogan's Heroes said, "I know nothing!!!". Though he landed on Normandy on D-Day +6 and fought in the Ardennes, my dad never recalled any of his experiences in the war.
I've shown the cover and first 2 pages of the book I am returning. Just a bit of historic war nostalgia for those that might be interested. Hope to see many old friends there.