How were the families of soldiers, sailors and airmen of The Third Reich notified when a loved one was killed, wounded or missing in action?
Hello and welcome to the forum. As far as I know, information about the death of a soldier was provided by an officer of his unit, usually by a company commander. He gave information about the situation of the last fight, how the death occurred and where the soldier was buried. Sometimes there was a photo of the grave. Most of the information was embellished. It was reported that he fought bravely and in an exemplary manner and died from a quick and painless death (e.g. shot to the heart), even if it was e.g. a direct hit by an artillery shell. The personal belongings were also delivered. Sometimes a particularly good comrade wrote a letter who was in close contact with the fallen. If the soldier died in a hospital, the report was sent by a doctor or nurse. The official death certificate was sent from a central Wehrmacht office in Berlin. Often the family then published an obituary notice in the local newspaper on their own initiative. So the neighborhood was then informed.
Thank you. The procedure used by the Wehmacht, etc., seems similar to the American procedure, except in the area of receiving an official telegram ftom War Department (U.S.) notifying the family of the servicmember’s status. All very intetesting!