Josef Petri

find at the Mill Trench in Pilisborosjenő

At least 1,000 of the participants of the breakout did not choose the shorter west direction, but tried to reach their own lines to the north, towards the Pilis Mountains, which were then drawn in front of Dorog-Esztergom. Of those who died in this area, only a few soldiers' graves are known, but we do know that not far from this site another group of breakouts was dismantled. At the Ürge mill near Solymár, Lt. Col. Artuer Ekesparre and Colonel László Veresvári, along with 14 others, were involved in a firefight with the Soviets who discovered them, who destroyed the group.

On 21 February 1945, 18 German soldiers were buried by the village council in the village cemetery at the Reiter Trench (now the Malom-árok) at the Pilisborosjenő Malomerdő. The documents found by the soldiers were collected by the buryers and handed over to the Hungarian Red Cross. At the end of 1968, the Police Department of budapest's 6th district found the materials of the case in a MÉH settlement. They were seized and handed over to the Museum of Military History.

The case is particularly interesting because the information about the dead can be known from two sides, despite the fact that the Hungarian Red Cross did not transmit the information to Germany. The fact that someone classified the documentation in this regard as garbage says a lot about the Kádár regime's policy towards the war dead.

The majority of the population of Pilisborosjenő was of German nationality and native speakers. In 1941, 90% of the people who were in the census declared themselves native German speakers. The expulsion after 1945 affected about half of the German population. A significant proportion of the displaced and those who stayed at home felt obliged to provide the relevant German authorities with information on the victims of the war. Thus, by 1950, of the 18 soldiers buried at the Malomerdő, data were already processed on all persons identifiable by name at the Berlin Office for the Processing of War Losses. In the specific case, the village authority itself considered it important to record this on the day of the funeral and to deposit personal items. It is particularly interesting that in the case of German meddies, the term "died heroically" was also used in the document they produced. On the one hand, this suggests that they felt the victims were their own, and on the other hand, it reveals a remarkable civic curiosity, since at the time of the creation of the document Pilisvörösvár was under Soviet occupation.

The communication of data on the fallen reached Berlin in 1950 through the Caritasverband organization of the Bishopric of Stuttgart-Rottenburg. Unfortunately, we do not know who was the submitter, but it is reasonable to assume that someone may have sent the record of the magistrate to Stuttgart on April 1, 1949. Caritasverband was founded in 1918 and basically performed welfare tasks. After 1945, they took the lion's share of the displaced Germans returning from captivity and the stateless refugees. The dead were exhumed on 4 May 1994 and their remains were transported to the German military cemetery in Budaörs.

Of particular interest to the dead are Lieutenant Hans Heid, who was an officer in the 2nd Squadron of the 13th Armored News Division, and Herbert Förster, who served in the 13th (heavy weapon) squadron of the 978th People's Grenade Regiment. Their identification mark was not found here, but as an independent find near Lake Balaton in 1992. This is also proof that an identification mark in itself does not mean with certainty that its owner has died where it is found.

The persons identified by the name belonged to a wide variety of units – this shows that at the time of the breakout, the individual battle groups were completely mixed up. The 18 dead all belonged to different units.

In addition to the photographs shown here, various documents are also included in this find. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the war diary, led by Staff Sergeant Gerhard König from a platoon of the 8th SS Anti-Tank Division. Gustav Wendrinski, originally born in Bratislava, was also awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

The interesting thing about the photos is that they sometimes give a cross-section on the fate of the German population of Eastern Europe through the fate of the same person. An example is Josef Petri from Temerin, who appears in three types of photographs: first as a soldier of the Yugoslav royal army, with his wife in civilian life, and as a forced conscript of the SS.

Josef Petri and his wife
Josf Petri as The Yugoslav Katon
Josef Petri and his wife, 1944
The 8.SS. a member of the pan-framing department on the day of the Award with the Iron Cross
Soldiers of the 8.SS Cavalry Division in tropical uniforms in the summer of 1944
Unknown Lieutenant
Gerhard König
Presumably Gerhard König as head of service, in the courtyard of a barracks
Waldemar Dubberke
In memory of Karl Eugen, standing on the back of the picture
Unknown family
A family that didn't see the head of the family
Home of an unknown soldier
Home of an unknown soldier
Home of an unknown soldier
Home of an unknown soldier
Home of one of the fallen soldiers
Unknown little boy