EK II Document to a Garde Füsilier Regiment Maikäfer

JohnS3rd

Well-known member
While serving in (then) West Berlin, I picked up a very nicely framed Iron Cross 2nd Class/EK II awarded on 12 Oct 1916 to Gefreiter Alexander Bolze, 7th Company, Garde Fusilier Regiment.

Alexander Bolze 7th Company Guards Fusilier Regiment  Iron Cross 2nd Class, Corporal EK II 12 ...jpg

A German friend, Rudi Dohnisch, saw the EK II document; he told me the story of why there is a beetle or Maikäfer in the lower left-hand corner of the document. He explained early in the unit's history; that an incident occurred. During a spring field maneuver, the Garde Füsilier Regiment came out of a field, and Maikäfer literally covered the men's uniforms. A senior officer seeing the Maikäfer on all unit's uniforms was amused and addressed them as Maikäfer. The regiment took this comment as a compliment, and Maikäfer became the unit's nickname. From that period on, the GFR used the Maikäfer on documents it issued to its unit members.
 
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JohnS3rd

Well-known member
Thank you all for your comments.
I have had this document for thirty-five years plus or minus and with the advent of online resources, militaria collectors can now find out new information about the history of items they collect. As with some collectors, when I acquire an item that is traced to an individual, I try to see what I can learn about that soldier, sailor, marine, or airman. This almost becomes an obsession, to be honest, my darling bride of Thirty-Nine Years says it is an obsession. As I learn about the individual’s service in a specific unit and conflict. I become fascinated by the individual units. This is the case of the Imperial German Garde Füsilier Regiment, which was known as the Maikäfer Regiment.

Research into the background of Bolze uncovered that his full name is Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze, born on 23 December 1893. His birthday indicates that he most likely began his Wehrpflicht* at age 17, in 1911; therefore, he was a serving member of the elite Garde-Füsilier-Regiment or had just finished his service and was one of the first called back to the flag.
* (legal obligation of male German citizens to perform military service)

At the onset of the First World War, the regiment was mobilized and was assigned to the newly formed 6th Guards Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Guards Division. The unit remained in this formation for the course of the war. Initially, the fusiliers took part in the invasion of neutral Belgium and were involved in the capture of Namur. They were then deployed to the Eastern Front and fought there in the Battle of the Masurian Lakes.

Research on Ancestry.com list Bolze as Wounded In Action in November 1914
Bolze, Alexander, (7. Komp.), Trebbin, Teltow, verw, 23.11.14.

Bolze WIA 23 Nov 1914.jpg

It is ironic that this notification of Bolze being wounded appeared in the Germany, World War I Casualty Lists, 1914-1919 Verlust - Liste Nr 0999 - 1074 (02 Jun 1916 - 31 Jul 1916).
 

KIR145

Member
....
A German friend, Rudi Dohnisch, saw the EK II document; he told me the story of why there is a beetle or Maikäfer in the lower left-hand corner of the document. He explained early in the unit's history; that an incident occurred. During a spring field maneuver, the Garde Füsilier Regiment came out of a field, and Maikäfer literally covered the men's uniforms. A senior officer seeing the Maikäfer on all unit's uniforms was amused and addressed them as Maikäfer. The regiment took this comment as a compliment, and Maikäfer became the unit's nickname. From that period on, the GFR used the Maikäfer on documents it issued to its unit members.

Hi John,
there are lot more nicknames:

Garde-Gren.-Rgt. 1: „Blechköppe" (tin heads - cause the Grenadier-Mützen).
Garde-Gren.-Rgt. 2: „FJ“ chiffre: "Feine Jungs" (fine guys).
Garde-Gren.-Rgt. 3: „crown + E“ chiffre: „KronEsel" (crown donkeys).
Garde-Gren.-Rgt. 5: „Spandauer Briefträger“ (Spandau letter carrier (yellow Litzen).
FR 86: „AV“ chiffre: "Arbeiter-Verein" (workers association).
FR 90: „Löwenjäger“ (Rgt. had once killed a lion that had escaped from the zoo or circus).
IR 94: „CA“ chiffre (since 1867) = „Canal-Arbeiter“ (canal workers).
IR 94: „WE“ chiffre (since 1916)= „Weimarischer Esel“ (Weimar donkeys).
IR 95+96: „Papageienscheißer“ (Parrot shitters - different colored cockades Thuringian states).
IR 106: “Brezeljungens" (Pretzel boys - because of the double "G" on the straps).
IR 133: „Brandstifter“ (Firerstarter - fire in the barracks in April 1897).
Garde-MG-Abt.: "Schnellschieter" (quick shitter).
1. Garde-Fussart.-Rgt.: "Spandauer Bumsköppe" (Spandau bang heads)
Husaren-Rgt. 10: „Spinat mit Ei“ (spinach with egg - uniform colors green-yellow).
Dragoner-Rgt. 23: „L“ chiffre „Lumpen“ (Rags).
Gardekürassiere/Garde du Corps: „Blechritter“ (Tin Knights) & „Jubelritter“ (Jubilee Knights).
bayr. Ulanen Rgt. 2: „Bier-Ulanen“ (beer ulan - many Ansbach brewery owners in the regiment).
Luftschiffer-Btl. 1: „Aufgeblasene Konkurrenz“ (Inflated competition).
Feld-Fußartillerie-Schießschule: „FAS“ „Feine Ausgesuchte Sorte“ (Fine Selected Variety).
Unteroffizierschule Potsdam: "Reserve ewig" (Reserve eternal).

Nice document! ;) Thx & best regards,
Jens
 
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JohnS3rd

Well-known member
Jens,
Thank you very much for the information on the nicknames of the various Imperial German units. I knew a couple of them, but this is excellent information.
Best regards,
John
 

Steve Nick

Active member
Jens,
Thank you very much for the information on the nicknames of the various Imperial German units. I knew a couple of them, but this is excellent information.
Best regards,
John
John:

Love the research! This is what makes collecting so interesting in my view.

Taking the time to investigate "the story" makes these items much more than inanimate objects.
 

JohnS3rd

Well-known member
Steve, Dennis, et al.,
I have been remiss in not sharing the additional information about Gefreiter Alexander Bolze. He survived the war, the upheavals that occurred in German and Berlin. Former Gefreiter Bolze, of the GFR, married in 1920. Based on the online marriage records, I learned that his full name is Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze residing in Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1920 [Ancestry.com)

Name: Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze
Gender: männlich (Male)
Birth Date: 23 Dez 1893 (23 Dec 1893)
Age: 26
Marriage Date: 16 Okt 1920 (16 Oct 1920)
Civil Registration Office: Berlin XIII b
Spouse: Gertrud Martha Eckert
Spouse Gender: weiblich (Female)
Spouse Birth Date: 6 Apr 1900
Certificate Number: 1436
Archive Sequence Number: 583
Register Type: Zum Erstregister erklärtes Zweitregister (declared to be the first register [of marrage]

I am still trying to make out the details on the document that is in Old German Script. However, I am posting a copy of the first document for those who are more famailure with the German language.

Berlin, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936 for Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze Berlin XIII b 1920 (Zur...jpg
Feel free to post more detailed information than what I have posted.
Thanks
John
 

Sandmann

Well-known member
As Coert said, I‘m happy to help. Here is what I read:
Nr. 1436
Aufgebotsverzeichnis Nr. 1380
Berlin, am sechzehnten Oktober 1920
Vor dem unterzeichneten Standesbeamten erschien heute zum Zweck der
Eheschließung:
1. Der Kaufmann Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze
der Persönlichkeit nach durch seine Geburtsurkunde
anerkannt,
- Religion, geboren am dreiundzwanzigsten (23.) Dezember des Jahres tausend achthunder-
neunzig und drei (1893) zu Trebbin, Kreis Teltow.
Geburtsregister Nr. 84 des Standesamts in Trebbin.
wohnhaft
in Berlin, Müllerstraße 172a
2. Die Kontoristin Gertrud Martha Eckert
der Persönlichkeit nach durch ihre Geburtsurkunde
anerkannt,
geboren am sechsten (6.) April tausend neunhundert (1900)
zu Berlin
Nr. 701 des Standesamts 9 in Berlin
wohnhaft
in Berlin, Müllerstraße 172a

And right row:
Nr. 1436
Berlin
am 4. Mai 1936
Durch das am
21. April 1936
rechtskräftig gewordene Urteil
des Landgerichts Berlin
215. R. 631.35
ist die Ehe zwischen dem
Alexander
Bolze
und der Gertrud
Bolze,
geborenen Eckert
geschieden worde.
Der Standesbeamt,
 

JohnS3rd

Well-known member
WOW, Sandy, your translation provides an excellent opportunity to compare the different Old German Scripts, and it provides another chapter in Bolze's life.
Besides getting married on 20 October 1920, Alexander and Gertrud Bolze's requested a divorce on 21 April 1936, and a city official approved the request on 4 May 1936.

Correct me if I am wrong. But it looks like the officials used different Old German Scripts when filling out the document in both 1920 and 1936. Using the examples, you provided in another link, the officials used a mixture of Kurrent 1814 and MA 1900. Is this the case?

I took a copy of what you provided and, using google Translate found the following:
English Translation:

No. 1436
List of Edicts No. 1380
Berlin, on sixteen,
October 1920
Before the undersigned registrar appeared today for the purpose of
marriage:

1. The businessman Alexander Barnim Franz Bolze
der personality recognized by his birth certificate, -
religion, born on the twenty-third (23rd)
December of the year one thousand eight hundred
and ninety and three (1893) in Trebbin, Teltow district.
Birth register
No. 84 of the registry office in Trebbin.
resident
in Berlin, Müllerstrasse 172a

2. The clerk Gertrud Martha Eckert,
whose personality is recognized by her birth certificate,
was born on the sixth (6th)
April, thousand nine hundred (1900)
in Berlin,
No. 701 of the registry office 9 in Berlin
resident
in Berlin, Müllerstraße 172a

[And right side/row:]

No. 1436
Berlin on 4 May 1936
By the on 21. April 1936 judgment of the district court
of Berlin that became final 215. R. 631.35,
the marriage between
Alexander
Bolze
and Gertrud
Bolze, née Eckert,
was dissolved.
The State Official
D. Bergel[Signed]

Thank you for the translation, as it adds another piece of the background when researching a soldier's life beyond the battlefield.
Best regards,
John
 

Sandmann

Well-known member
Hey John, I‘m glad when I could help you :)
The history of German handwritings is a bit complicate, because each little state had it own culture before 1871. It is hard to explain and google translate don’t know the German scripts very well. Just ask if you have detailed questions, I like translate these documents ;)
 
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