Odd. Wehrmacht Veteran Returns To Normandy Beach.

by Daniel Russ on December 28, 2010

“This video of a Germany 1944 soldier (belonging to the former and famous 21st Panzer Division) was taken in the beach of Omaha, Normandy, where I have been on June 6th, 2004, arround 07:00 in the morning, for the Sixty Aniversary of the Disembark recordations. Through the message board created for this YouTube video, I was informed that his name is Walter Gartner, that he lives in Ramstein, Germany, and that he was an obergefreiter in the indicated Panzer division.” Posted on YouTube


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

danny June 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

He was not a member of the SS. He was a member of the 21st Panzer Division as the description mentions, which was a Wehrmacht unit, so why have you headlined this piece ‘SS veteran returns..’? It’s just not true.

Daniel Russ June 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

Fixed. Thanks. I don’t know why I put it that way.

Esplaranta June 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

Das ist mein Vater er ist totall verarmt nur einige Kleidungsstücke hatte er noch

am 31.9.2011 verstorben in einem Heim

in dem er schon über 1 Jahr lebte und keiner ihn besuchte niemand
bei seiner Beerdigung war auch keiner gekommen hab ihn ganz allein beerdigt keiner hat anteil genommen
das ist sehr sehr traurig

auch alle seine Militärsachen sind verschwunden habe kein Erinnerungsstück
und heute durch zufall diesen artikel gefunden

Daniel Russ June 25, 2012 at 7:52 am

This is the translation:

This is my father, he is totall impoverished only a few clothes he had

died on 9/31/2011 in a home

where he lived for over 1 year and no one visited him no
was at his funeral and nobody came it did not completely buried alone has taken share
this is very very sad

all his things are gone do not have a military memorabilia
today and by chance found this article

Daniel Russ June 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

Es tut mir leid das ist, wie er endete. Ich hoffe, Sie verstehen, ich gepostet dieses Video nur weil es so ungewöhnlich ist. Ich hoffe das Beste für Sie

Esplaranta June 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

Herzlichen Dank an Alle die seiner Gedenken!!!!!

Verstorben 31. Juli 2011 in Kaiserslautern

Daniel Russ June 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thank you for writing this.

I wish you the very best.

Esplaranta October 22, 2012 at 5:10 am

kann mir jemand einen Tipp geben wie man all seine gesammelten Werke Bilder usw in ein Buch verfassen könnte????

Gerard February 16, 2013 at 2:03 am

Daniel: An incredibly touching video. It says it all, doesn’t it? Please allow me to offer an alternate translation in one paragraph, including the corrected (?) date and place:

‘That is my father. He was completely impoverished at the time, with only a few pieces of clothing to his name. He died in Kaiserslautern on 31 July 2011 in a home for the elderly, where he had lived a year without any visitors–not a single one. No one attended his funeral either: I buried on my own, no one took part in the ceremony. Such a thing is very, very sad. All of his military belongings have disappeared, and I don’t have any mementos. Today, by chance, I found this piece.’

To Esplaranta, with regard to your request about your father’s writings, please contact me if you wish via the email address I have submitted with this response. (Webmaster, feel free to share the email with him).

My respects to you and to your father, a soldier of his time.

Daniel Russ February 17, 2013 at 7:50 am

Thank you for that sir. That was very kind.

Esplaranta March 2, 2013 at 2:43 am

Möge er in Frieden ruhen.
Du warst ein wundervoller Mensch…

garydimtroff June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hello. I was Walters friend. We were together in Normandy 2004. I lived in k town from 1997-2002 then moved to north Carolina. I’ve got many pics of walter and I. I’ve also got a book that he is pictured in ww2 in breslau. I called his girlfriend. In 2010 and she said he was in a home she had moved and Walter had dementia. I lost contact after her number change. Feel free to contact me I’m also on Facebook

garydimtroffa June 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Just so you don’t think I’m crazy. walter had a Springer tank in his girlfreinds barn it had a 1.5l Opel engine with a crack in the block I can’t write German to good but can read and speak. His girlfriend Antoni lived by neustadt.

Johan A Romin August 20, 2019 at 6:48 am

In 2004 I filmed him for the Swedish television. I have pictures of him to. I can share with relatives.

All the best.

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