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German WWI Military Archive Reveals ‘Bike Messenger’ Hitler’s First Service Record

Posted by Heather Erickson on December 9, 2009 in Content

In a world-first, Ancestry.com has commenced the online launch of the Bavarian WWI Personnel Rosters, 1914-1918, a comprehensive collection of World War One German service records.

The records now online detail the full military careers of 1.5 million Bavarian soldiers who fought during WWI, including then 25-year-old volunteer Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler, considered today as one of the most evil men in history.

Individual records include the soldier’s name, rank, date and place of birth, details of their active service, religion, status or occupation, marital status, parents’ names, and address.

Hitler’s record, pictured below, describes him as a ‘Catholic’, an ‘Artist’ and a ‘Messenger (bike rider) for the Regiment’, whose role was to carry messages back and forth from the command staff to the units near the battlefield. His detailed injuries include ‘lightly wounded at Le Barque by an artillery grenade in the thigh’ in October 1916 and ‘gassed at La Montagne, taken to hospital’ in October 1918. His record also shows that he was awarded five medals, decorations and other awards, including the Iron Cross twice – 1st and 2nd Class.

Ancestry.com Hitler Record

To search the comprehensive collection of these German records, visit the Bavarian WWI Personnel Rosters within our Military collection.

About Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson is Head of Global Communications for Ancestry.com and has been with the company since 2009.

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