Auction 101

Lot 89:

DEATH CARD FOR LUXEMBOURG SOLDIER KILLED IN KZ SACHSENHAUSEN

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Start price: $100

Estimated price: $200 - $300

Auction house commission: 25%

DEATH CARD FOR LUXEMBOURG SOLDIER KILLED IN KZ SACHSENHAUSEN

Death card for Jean Max ‘Maxy’ Herschbach (1921 – 1945), one of 19 young soldiers of the Luxembourg Volunteer Corps, who were shot and killed on February 2, 1945, at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The memorial card shows a picture of Herschbach on the left page with a later ink notation ‘Margy’s brother’ above his picture, on the right page, the card reads in part ‘Max Herschbach – Soldier of the Volunteer Corps – On 2. February 1945 he was shot for our homeland in KZ-Sachsenhausen at the age of 23 years Echternach-Melicksberg, on June 1945’, 4 pages, 5 x 6 inches. Printed on the verso is a requiem and a picture of Saint Willibrord. After the invasion of Luxembourg, Germany forcibly conscripted men into the Wehrmacht, in December 1940 the men of the volunteer corps were deported to Weimar for police training. After refusing to join the SS or the police they were eventually transferred to a penal company at the concentration camp Buchenwald. After assisting French prisoners of war to escape and additional acts of sabotage, 129 men were deported as political prisoners to the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. When the Red Army reached the River Oder, the camp commandant, following the instructions of the top SS leadership, ordered preparations to be made for evacuating the camp. In the course of this, in February 1945 an SS special unit headed by Otto Moll murdered some 3,000 internees who were considered ‘dangerous’, who had military training, 19 members of the Luxembourg volunteer corps and police were shot in the night of February 1 to February 2, 1945 after attacking the SS guards at the crematorium endstation ‘Z’.

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