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Date Posted:04:51:21 06/21/06 Wed
It is a pleasure to come across this interesting forum. I live is Oostende, and I am of course familiar with the excellent work of Johan Ryheul. As an amateur Great War historian I sometimes get requests from descendants of fallen soldiers to send them pictures of the war grave of their ancestor. A couple of years ago I got an email from Mark Schoedensack, CA USA, who was looking for the grave of his great granddad Leutnant Julius R. Schoedensack, 8. See Battalion, who fell on the 11th of November 1914 in the dunes of Lombardsyde and was buried in situ. I found Julius Schoedensack on the Vladslo German Military cemetery and sent Mark a little video film and pictures of the cemetery and the flagstone. Mark returned the favour and sent me copies of all correspondence that was scrupulously kept by his great grandmother. Julius was an enthusiastic letter writer. His first letter is from Kiel the 23rd of July 1914 his last form Middelkerke, the 11th of November. No only did he write several letters a day, he also included post cards, restaurant menus, photos of himself and his palls, clippings of Belgian newspaper (German atrocities), and even the bill of his last sumptuous dinner at the Ostend Kursaal. After his death his best friend Leutnant (later Hauptmann) Fisher kept up the correspondence with the widow Clara Schoedensack until November 1917.
After the war, Clara Schoedensack moved to the USA.
Although very difficult tot decipher (in his letters Schoedensack sticks to a very small Gothic letter type, whereas Fisher uses a modern hand) the more than 300 pages make a fascinating time capsule. The letters from Fisher show the growing disillusionment of the troops stuck 700 meters from the Yser, his bitterness as his friend Julius is bombarded out of his grave by the ever more lethal Allied artillery….
If anyone has more info on both characters, Julius R. Schoedensack 8. See Battalion, 3. Komp, 1. Marine Div, or Leutnant (later Hauptmann) Fisher I would very much appreciate if you could pass them on.
Of course all the documents I have (mind you they are all photocopies) are at your disposal.
I intend to get deeper into the interaction between the Marinekorps and the local population. (Economics, prostitution, language, repression, …..). I also would like to start a comprehensive photographic inventory of the remnants of the Marinekorps years. (My wife has extensive photographic skills, so…;-)
Any hints to these subjects are more than welcome.