View Full Version : Oldest Surviving German WW1 Soldier Passes Away

01-26-2008, 02:53 AM
Irrespective of allegiances or sides, it's always sad when 'the last one' passes away and truly marks the end of an era.

BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7210346.stm)

01-26-2008, 04:08 AM
It is quite sad. It won't be long before we see the same happen with WWII and Vietnam Veterans as well.

01-26-2008, 04:46 AM
Yes, usually the media gives a damn about something like that here.

They are propably afraid that someone points the finger on them and says :

"Oh, so why is this so important for you that you make a story about it huh ? You have a nationalist agenda do you ?"

"What was so nice with this war that makes you think his death is so important ?"

01-26-2008, 05:02 AM
Winner or Loser, it's still the end of an era and should still be recognized.

01-26-2008, 06:19 AM
What is really sad about this story is that his passing almost went unnoticed http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

I just hope with the passing of such veterans the living do not forget the important lessons those brave men had to tell.

01-26-2008, 06:37 AM
Sometimes War brings out the best in people, as this old soldier's succeeding career proved. His character is also proven by his dedication to his wife for over 75 years.

We still have a few left here in the USA, but I think they are WW I era veterans vice actual combat veterans of the Great War.

01-26-2008, 10:53 AM

Silent_O you are correct, we have the following still alive:

Henry Allingham who at 111 is also the oldest living european man who served in the RNAS/RAF

Harry Patch 109 who is also the last surviving british soldier to have fought in the trenches and who had a book on his life released in July 2007 called The last tommy, which is a very interesting read.

William (Bill) Stone 107 who did not actually see action during WW1, he was still in training, but he is also a WW2 veteran.

It is very sad that these old veterans are passing away, but it does seem odd to me that the ones left are those who have not been keen on talking about the first world war, while they were younger.

According to wikipeadia, where I got the above information from Germany still has Franz Kunstler alive and well, could someone please verify that this is correct, as we have lost yet another important link with the first world war.

According to wikipeadia there are still 17 veterans alive (I am discounting the Frenchman who died earlier in the week) and 6 WW1 era men (people who have not had a claim of military service confirmed) alive. This makes a total of 23 people still living from that era.

01-26-2008, 11:42 AM
Yes, it is very sad. My Uncle Bill, Bill Schlitz fought in World War. It won't be long before he passes away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

My GrandFather,Edward Dempsey, fought in Vietnam and World War II. Still alive and well.

They fought for something, and it wasn't meant for nothing.

01-26-2008, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by AdlerGrosmann:
Yes, it is very sad. My Uncle Bill, Bill Schlitz fought in World War. It won't be long before he passes away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

My GrandFather,Edward Dempsey, fought in Vietnam and World War II. Still alive and well.

They fought for something, and it wasn't meant for nothing. they did fought for nothing, sort og, becouse the world hasnt changed anything, look at the "irak war" and the kids of these days. im sure it wont take to long for WW3 to arrive.

its verry sad the vets pass away, but everyone actualy does, and sadly we cant do anything about it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

01-26-2008, 02:26 PM
Personally, I find the circumstances to be pathetic!

Erich Kaestner was, very probably, exactly like so many other millions of soldiers who served throughout the past century: ....Yet another "poor sap" who got "¯called up"¯, and then "did his duty" to his country. This description covers 99% of all the soldiers who have ever served throughout history.

These men deserve to be remembered as brave men, regardless of the "team" they "played" for, or the politics of the era.

For Germany to intentionally keep no veteran's records (as indicated by the article) seems almost incredibly callous in light of the obvious truths about most of these men.

Kastner was obviously a fine man, as his later life demonstrated: ....Germany's disregard for his military service is almost inexcusable.


01-26-2008, 06:43 PM
I was saddened to hear of this, and actually my daughter advised me of it, as I hadn't had time to check the internet for a few days. KLcarroll has it exactly right. These veterans should have been honored, but they were instead banished to a forgotten death. I was surprised and pleased that my daughter would look for and notice something like that, and be quick to let me know. Our family has a direct connection with that war. My Grandmother's oldest brother fell in combat in France, fighting as a young lieutenant in then Captain Erwin Rommel's unit, in 1914. It is up to us, the living, to keep these old soldier's memories alive, to honor their sacrifices. When I heard about it, I immediately knew it would be properly posted on this forum.

RJ, thanks for posting that here. I really appreciate it.


01-26-2008, 06:45 PM
It's amazing that these men have lived such long, and for most, very productive, lives. I wonder what their secret is?

I always wonder what stories are lost to history when people such as this die, as many don't talk about thier experiences, for whatever reason. Yet, they almost certainly must have something from thier experiences worth relating.

01-29-2008, 08:56 PM
hmm, my post here seems to have vanished... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

And so have others.

anyway, in regards to to Celeon's also missing post, regarding my missing post.

I was close, and learned some new details. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif it is a sad thing to hear the last of a generation go though. and the secrets and stories that go with them. I wish I could meet a WWI Veteran to hear some of his stories. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

and I do very much agree with Klcarroll's post, very much. Such men deserve to be remembered. and to be vary honest, I am really tired of some people not caring about something because they do not believe it affects them in any way.

Anyway. Rest in Peace, sir, you've earned it.