Johannes Friebel

Johannes Friebel was born on July 20, 1909 in the Gohlis district of Leipzig. According to the mercenary book of his profession, he was "Baumeister", which presumably refers to the concept of the Hungarian bricklayer-builder.

Only fragmentary data are available about Friebel's military service. What is certain is that by 1940 he was already a soldier, and as a first-team body, the 27th People's Supremacist [Landsturm] building battalion was listed on his identity card. On March 8, 1941, this unit was transformed into the 501st and 502nd Army Bicycle Construction Battalions. Unfortunately, we don't know which of these Friebels served in. All known is that on March 5, 1944, he was injured on his left and right toes by a grenade shard near Buki in Bessarabia. He was on leave from 1 December 1943 to 14 January 1944 and from 7 to 22 April 1944. That was the last time he met his family members. His third child was born on July 22, 1944, in Mühlhausen, Ansa, where the family was evacuated due to the bombings.

On May 5, 1944, a new mercenary book was issued to him. He then served with the 5th Utász Training Battalion. From there, during the summer, he was assigned to the 127th Utász Battalion. This unit fought in southern Russia and Romania. In November 1944, friebel was transferred to the 127th Army Direct Brigade, and Friebel was assigned to the 1st Battalion.

Piece of paper presumably with the headcount of Friebel's unit
A postcard sent but returned and therefore carried with you about your children (back cover)

The name of the unit is deceptive, in fact it would have been just a confirmed regiment. However, it never fully charged. After romania's outlier, part of the team was able to escape the encircled thanks to its excellent mechanization. At the beginning of September, major Arno Ludwig was killed in The 2nd Floor in Székelyudvarhely from the wreckage of the 11 road flag battalions lost in Romania. He set up a battalion-only unit called "Karpaten-Jäger-Regiment". From 10 September, the unit took part in continuous missions along the Maros, and from 22 September at Torda and Kisfenes. From 1 October, the unit was reinforced with a few fast-moving fragments of the corps in order to keep the front section between Cluj-Napoca and Oradea in a moving combat manner – he became the "Ludwig Closing Squadron" named after the battalion's commander. This force was complemented by a border-hunting group of Colonel Balázs Darabos.
The unit was then withdrawn from combat and charged in Budapest. Friebel's team was back in combat in early December. On December 18, 1944, the brigade was withdrawn from Budapest, but both battalions remained in the capital. A total of 22 officers and 1,071 soldiers were trapped in the enclosing unit, of which 3 deputy officers and 16 soldiers returned to the unit after February 11, 1945.

Not much is known about Friebel's deployments in Budapest, but the little note on which he led his so-called "melee days" reveals some details. The days of battle when the person came so close to the enemy that he could see the protein in his eyes were considered "melee days". After 15 melee days, bronze, silver after 25 and gold melee after 50, the soldier who survived these ordeals became eligible. The fact that there were so few people involved, whose conditions for the golden melee were met, is best illustrated by the fact that there were fewer than 800 such donations throughout the war.

Friebel fought in the 93rd Armored Grenade Regiment from January 13, 1945. On January 13, he defended and melee at Kerepesi cemetery, on the 14th in József Street, on the 15th in a street with an illegible name, and on the 16th in Calvin Square. Interestingly, there is no longer any data that he received the bronze melee strap, even though he had already received it after 15 confirmed melee days, but on February 1, 1945, he was appointed lance corporal (at the age of 36!) According to the photos, in the summer of 1944, she had her third child, whom she could see on her last vacation.

Friebel participated in the breakout and made it all the way to the Pilis Mountains. His mercenary book and documents, along with photographs of a 19-year-old SS soldier named Arno Klein, were preserved by a forester. Since, in addition to the documents, the broken identity of those involved has been preserved, we can conclude that the forester buried the fallen soldiers. The location of the funeral is unknown.

Friebel's family still knows nothing about this. On May 28, 1948, the widow received a notification from the German Red Cross that her husband's death could not be confirmed by witness statements. My search for the family has so far yielded no results.

Johannes Friebel's Mercenary Book