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Ernst and Fritz Granzow Correspondence


Scope and Contents

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 0

Ernst and Fritz Granzow Correspondence, 1898-1934 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Aaron M. Lisec and Tanja Burkhard

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Collection Overview

Title: Ernst and Fritz Granzow Correspondence, 1898-1934Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1914-1916

ID: 1/7/MSS 314

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.

Date Acquired: 04/00/2004

Subjects: World War, 1914-1918

Forms of Material: Soldiers - Germany - Correspondence

Languages: German


Correspondence of Ernst and Fritz Granzow of Bad Wilsnack, Brandenburg, Germany, primarily during World War I.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

More than 70 letters, in German, most dated from 1914 to 1916 and written by Fritz and Ernst Granzow, brothers who served on the Eastern and Western fronts, respectively, in the German Army.  Three letters from 1898 concern the marriage of Fritz Granzow, more than a dozen date from the 1920s, and several date from the 1930s.

Subject/Index Terms

World War, 1914-1918

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted use.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Purchase from Charles Apfelbaum.

Preferred Citation: Ernst and Fritz Granzow Correspondence, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1989-1914Add to your cart.

Three letters from 1898 describe Fritz Granzow's marriage and relocation to Hamburg.

September 3 1914: Ernst described the Belgian treatment of wounded German soldiers in Battice: they ‘committed terrible atrocities on wounded German soldiers’. From Battice the Germans moved on to Tongeres, Saint-Trond, Louvain, and Brussels. In Brussels, they lost many men and supplies and survived by catching and eating rabbits; they also found large quantities of champagne. From Belgium they entered Northern France and encountered the British near Cambrai, where Ernst was promoted to ‘Oberjaeger’.  The French destroyed bridges, making it hard to advance. Several letters from September 1914 bear the letterhead of “Walter Granzow – Herren- Garderobe - Geschaeft [Gentlemen’s clothing store], Bad Wilsnack."

September 10 1914: The battalion advanced from Brussels – Notterdam – Valenciemer – Cambrai and engaged the British, who retreated. The Germans continued to Amiens. marching with another battalion in rows of eight. They lost three ‘Offiziere’, four ‘Oberste’ and 22 soldiers killed in battle. Ernst spent “four terrible days” dug in under shelling--he believed his survival was a matter of coincidence.

October 10 1914: Ernst received the ‘Eiserne Kreuz’ (Iron Cross) for bravery.

November 8 1914: Turkey declared war against France, Russia and England, which excited Ernst and his comrades. The Germans advanced in Lille and Reims against the French.

December 1 1914: A dangerous maneuver against the French is illustrated by a hand-drawn map. The correspondent was shot (grazed) in an exchange of fire with French soldiers (view map). The letter is not signed.

(Summary translations by Tanja Burkhard.)

Folder 2: Correspondence, 1915 January-MarchAdd to your cart.
January 1 1915: From Courtil (Aisne, France), Ernst described his newly received black, red and yellow order of merit, given to him by ‘Fuerst Reuss’, battalion leader.  For four weeks he was to have the “most dangerous position of highest responsibility’, in charge of all operations around Courtil, coordinating 42 soldiers and three non-commissioned officers.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1915 April-1916 AugustAdd to your cart.

November 15 1915: From Champagne, France, Ernst wrote that his battalion is without leadership, since all of the upper ranks were dead.

January 27 1916: Ernst wrote a short note to Fritz about having received the ‘Eiserne Kreuz erster Klasse’ (Iron Cross 1st class).

August 28 1916: Ernst wrote from a military hospital in Freiburg that he was injured and learning to walk on crutches again. News of Italy and Rumania joining the war against Austria did not give him hope (lack of arms and manpower): “we have never been further from achieving peace than now.”

Folder 4: Correspondence, 1923-1934Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, undatedAdd to your cart.

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