Ahnenpass (family Tree) For Reichsbahn Official-security (1828-1941) For Sale
This is a very interesting Ahnenpass which is part of a large collection bought last year from a German writer-researcher who was writing a book on families of the Third Reich. This 48-page book comes with additional photos, documents and paperwork as well and belonged to a forty-one year-oldDRB official (Deutsche reichsbahn) by the name of Franz Dilliger.
Dilliger was born in the outside Danzig in the Galiciaterritory ofPoland but was of German blood. He fought in WWI in the German 119th Infantry Division and saw action on the Eastern Front until the Russian's surrendered in 1917. The division was then transferred to the Western Front where Dilliger fought primarily around the Dutch-Belgian borders. Hewas decorated for bravery three times and wasin theBattle of Messines and also the German Spring Offensive in the 1918 Battle of the Somme (where he won his Iron Cross 2nd class). After the war, Dilliger foundworkin the Deutsches Gesellschaft ( German National Railroad Co.- or DRG) , where his father was a minor official in the inspection/acquisition of rolling stock and freight traffic in the Prussia and Galicia area.
The DRG had traditionally been an apolitical enterprise and was not tolerant of any of its employees politically agitating the workers and as such forbade any subversive activity like handing out pamphlets, speeches, etc- this applied to all the political parties in Germany at the time, communists, social democrats and nazi's alike. Dilliger, having fought the Russian's in WWI and seeing their scorched-earth tactics which left much of Poland in waste, saw the communist's as a genuine threat (as most people in Europe did at that time). He joined the nazi party in 1928 and the local SA. In the spring of 1929, he was promoted in rank in the SA as well asat workasa minor official with Passenger Traffic Operations Dept in Danzig, and later that same year, he married Idalie Olscherdia, a nurse in Danzig, a week before Christmas at St. Peters Catholic church in Lemberg (Lemberg is in the Ukraine, where her parents lived).
In the spring of 1930, however, he wasbrought before the Reichsbahn disciplinary board for distributing nazi literature. The DRG forbade any political campaigning, even during work breaks, and Dilliger had already been sparedbefore for such actionsbecause of his father's position with the railroad, and hadbeen repeatedly warned several timesto desist in political agitation. The nazi's , like the communists, were more frowned upon than the other more traditional parties becausetheir aggressive manner which "seeks to overthrow the existing government by use of force" (although technically, by 1930, Hitler was campaigning by completely legal means by then, but the BeerHall Putsch was not forgotten). Dilliger was fired from the DRG in May 1930 and as such, caused a life long rift between him and his father (a strict Catholic and monarchist).
Between 1930-1933 Dilliger worked as a loading dock supervisor for a shipping company on the canals in Danzig. During this time he also rose to the respectible rank of Obersturmbannführer in the SA. He was re-hired back to the railroads once the Third Reich was in power. The Reich set out to rid itself of potential communists terrorists in the work place and several official Party organizations were created within the DRG --(now called the DRB Deutsche Reichsbahn). The Fachschaft (Professional Association) was one of them. They aggressively pursued change within the leadership/ ranks of the industry, charging that the socialist DRG was under the control of American banks and stock exchange jews. Dilliger was working at the time with the RVM branch of the railroad's new Party organizations, which was primarily involved with co-ordinating jobs for the Hitler Youth and he was also still working the Passenger Traffic Operations department.
Change was slow in the railroad company as they generally ignored thedemands of the new government of replacing their employees with nazi's, so there were still many leftwing, communists, freemason's and jews which were still at executive level positions.The SA began taking steps. Followingan event in Berlin which started a trend throughout the rest of the Reich, Dilliger and his SA group would break into the local DRB offices, confront the personal officers, and demand certain officers or sometimes the entire board be dismissed. Sometimes they destroyed files. Back in Berlin, these SA break-ins resulted in the push that was needed by the Party toget rid of practically every leading official. In addition, they initiated mandatory retirement (this included Dilliger's father), and laid-off women to make room for more men, starting with the Hitler Youth on up. A couple months later, in April 1933, The Law for the Reconstruction of the Professional Civil Service was brought forth, whereby all contracts with jews and/or suspected leftists were null and void. A month later, in May 1933, Rudolf Hess created the Führerstab Reichsbahn to further investigate any criticisms of the Reichsbahn leadership.Dilliger sometimes oversaw and enforced both the termination of contracts and any criticism in his area. By now, Dilliger had moved from Passenger Traffic to Security and Inspector within the new Deutsche Reichsbahn.
During the war, Franz Dilligerwas very involved in the safety and security of the new Ostbahnroutes which were being built throughout the conquered lands in the East and in Russia (what few Russia's railroad tracks there were, werea completely different gauge and could not accomodate German trains). The Ostbahn routes were both supply lines and for resources, andwere built by forced labor along work camps and Kz camps. Towards the end of the war,Dilliger recruited many of the Volkssturm in nearby towns to help with the security of the railroad tracks and depots from sabotage. Even with the daily sabotage attempts whichdisrupted supply lines and delayed the returning of wounded soldiers, Alliedair bombing was far worse and destroyed over 90% of the railroads inside Germany.
What happened to Franz and Idalie Dilliger is a mystery. Dilliger had a younger brother, Gearhardt, who was in the Kriegsmarine and whose family lived in Hassee (near Kiel- a seaport city with a naval base). Dilliger had arranged for his wife to stay with his brother's family in order to flee the advancing Russian's. Her trunks arrived by boat (including this Ahnenpass), but she didn't. It was thought she may of missed her boat and tried getting another which was subsequently sunk, possibly the Wilhem Gustloff, as the dates tend to match, or possibly she died in an air raid. Most all of Danzig was destroyed and most of its pre-war inhabitants were dead or had fled. Those who remained and were not killed by Russian's were expelled back to Germany- made to walk backon foot. Franz Dilliger went totally missing altogether around March, 1945. Dilliger's brother Gearhardt died in the war as well. His wife Jannike and two children survived the war and she later re-married in 1949.
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