following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter
& was done so with permission of the publisher.
We would like to thank him for his generosity as well
as thank all those who have contributed to this
article. It is with their efforts, we are able
to share this valuable research with the rest of you.
though these items were not part of the Landser's
issued minutae, these lowly objects deserve some
research because they were a common part of any
soldier's possessions. After examining a
half-dozen or so wallets with documented German
wartime usage, it was surprising how little they
differed in design. Details of three of them
will provide a good sampling of the basic variations.
shown in figure "A" is made of black
artificial leather. It is 9-1/2 inches long and
7 inches wide when laid out flat. It thus
becomes about 4-1/8" by 7" when folded.
is brown cloth. The pocket with the flap is open
on both ends, and the other end contains a total of
three large pockets and two smaller side-by-side
pockets sewn on top.
"B" shows a wallet made of a thin,
light-brown colored leather material that displays a
"pigskin" grain. Opened up and laid
flat, it measures 8-1/4" by 5-7/8".
Folded, it measures about 4 by 5-7/8 inches. The
lining is made of very thin pieces of the same
material. The flap on the one end covers the
opening of a pocket which extends the entire length of
the wallet. There are also two short pockets
opening to the center of the wallet on this same end.
end contains one small pocket close to the top and two
larger ones underneath, all of which open to the
"C" shows a specimen made of thin black
leather and measures about 10-1/2 by 6 inches when
laid flat. Unlike the first two, this example
has a flapped pocket which opens to the center
of the wallet.
has one small and two large pockets on the other end,
all of which also open towards the center.
interesting observation was made by a Briton who had
the opportunity to examine the contents of hundreds of
German prisoners' wallets, probably in 1944 or 1945.
The types of photographs found therein "came
in three sets, as it were: snapshots of Mutti (Mommy)
and Inge, obscene postcards, and photos of floggings
Incidentally, this observation also gives some
credence to the theory that there actually was a more
widespread knowledge of atrocities, at least among
members of the armed forces.
in Figure "B" contained the following:
handwritten words to a Spanish/German song, a number
of photos, mainly of the soldier, his buddies, and
various females, an envelope for negatives, a calling
card for what appears to be a brothel, a Nazi postage
stamp, a program for a "Summers-Night
Feast", a military pass issued by the Paris HQ,
and four postcard-sized photos, one of which was a
photo of a Knight's Cross recipient.
"C" contained among other things the
soldier's Soldbuch, and an Iron Cross Second Class
which the soldier stated he had not had time to send
home as he intended.
"B" fits nicely into the breast pocket of a
tunic, and it is possible that it was carried there.
Wallet "C" was described by the soldier
himself as always being carried in his back pocket.2
This same wallet was also struck by a shell splinter
which was stopped by a combination of hitting the
wallet, Soldbuch, and the medal. To this lucky
Landser, this wallet was no lowly piece of personal
impedimentia; it was a godsend!
1. The 12-Year Reich
by R. Grunberger, Holt, Reinhart & Winston 1971,
2. Wenn alle Bruder Schweigen,
pub. by Munin-Verlag 1975, page 543.