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Some old guy’s map case


Okay, that’s the inscription inside the top flap of my new German WWII leather mapcase. It’s in blue pen — it looks like ballpoint, but probably isn’t, as someone once told me a long story about how expensive and desirable biro pens were during the War. I make it as follows:

Eigentum des
Uffz. Rudolf Günther
Reichenbach iVgt
Ob. Dunkelgasse
F.Nr 38054 D

And my guess at a translation, based on scootching around Google:

Property of
Unteroffizier Rudolf Günther
Reichenbach im Vogtland
Obere Dunkelgasse
apartment number?

An Unteroffizier is an under-officer, or NCO. There is an Obere Dunkelgasse in Reichenbach im Vogtland (the streetname means “Upper Dark Alley”).

Now, here’s a thing: I get several hits for “Unteroffizier Rudolf Günther”. It seems there’s a 1990 reproduction of a 1900 German military passport in that name floating around (here’s an old German eBay listing, for example).

So, did my intrepid German friend (or someone else) write that name on the bag with a ballpoint to make it more desirable? There were half a dozen there. He didn’t point it out to me and it was no more expensive than the others with no inscription, even though mine is better leather (he said the others were toward the end of the war when the Germans were stretched thin, and he showed me the date letters on several of the bags).

Or is this a commonish German name? Is it weird that he wrote a home address on it, or is that a home address? All very puzzling.

What? Oh, sure…I’ll take a picture of the outside of the bag later. I’m kind of behind on my chores tonight….

August 22, 2017 — 8:24 pm
Comments: 25