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Topic: Paul Johann Rech< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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wellnitz Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2008,07:24  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Paul Wellnitz was born March 21,1910 in the village of Wellmitz, south of Frankfurt-Oder. This small community is located in the Oder Spree District, Prussian State of Brandenburg Germany. The Wellnitz family history in the area dated back to the late 1300’s. By the Late 1700’s the family had established themselves as the finest butcher’s in the village and surrounding area.
Paul was born to Herbert Wellnitz and Catherine Rech with one brother named Hans, who was born in 1916. Paul’s family came from a long line of Prussian soldiers, as well as tradesmen butchers. His Grandfather, Wilhelm Wellnitz, was a decorated soldier from the Franco-Prussian War. Paul’s father Herbert was also a veteran who served during the Great War.  
Herbert like his father before him was a butcher by trade and ran the village shop, which had been in the family for generations. In 1914 Herbert would join the Imperial Army, leaving his Brothers to run the business. Herbert saw action on the Eastern front where he would be awarded the 1st and 2nd class Iron Cross. Herbert also received the wound badge at the cost of his left eye, forever to be covered by a black patch. By 1917 Herbert was back in Wellmitz a war hero to the locals and his family. Herbert wore his eye patch like a badge of honor, but hardly ever spoke of his awards and war experience.  For him focusing on the business, being a good Father, and husband became his all. Herbert was glad to have served the Fatherland even if he lost an eye.  But whenever talk of the war arose his thoughts drifted to the memory of his dead comrades, buried so far away on the Russian Steppes. Herbert often said when asked about his service,  “ I am here today, that was yesterday. While my Comrades gave their lives, I gave only one eye.”
By the 1920’s the political and social turmoil in Germany was causing hardship all over the nation. However, as hard as the times where the Wellnitz Family business still hung on and by 1934 was back in full swing. Herbert and Catherine could not have been happier; they had two boys Paul and Hans, with a very successful business in a quaint German village. Both boys grew up exploring and hunting in the local forests together. In the summer months the two would go fishing and swimming along the Oder and it’s tributaries.
Life was not always fun and games for the two boys, hard work was important to maintain the Family business. Herbert was keen on teaching his two sons the family trade, and both boys were eager to learn. After school they would help their father with whatever needed to be done. By the time they were teens they knew the business inside and out. They also became proficient with knives, which would come back to help them on the Russian front.
By 1938 with the recent Military success in Austria and Czechoslovakia, both Paul and Hans had been considering joining the Military like their Father’s before them. As an active member in the Hitler Youth Hans had already been in contact with the 1st SS. Liebstandarte recruiting headquarters in Berlin. This is where we should go, to be among the Elite, Hans would say. However, Paul was not a youth and found no appeal in the supposed Hitler’s Elite. Paul felt to serve the State was his duty before anything else such as personal gain. So He departed ways with his brother for a time and headed to Frankfurt-Oder. This was the home of the 3 Infantry Division (eventually to reorganize as the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division) who’s recruiting area covered parts of Brandenburg.  Little did they know but the bitter cold their father Herbert had felt down the back of his neck and in every bone in his body, would come to haunt them in time as well…


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ersatzjack2 Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2008,12:38 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very nice bio.  It's apparent that you took some time with this.  Now, we all know who you are.  Those of you who haven't finished your bios need to follow in Paul Rech's footsteps.  :)

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Garrick_Udet Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2008,12:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Holy cow!  I guess I have some writing to do...

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