My friend Helmut Liebich DL1OY gave me recently some issues of 1939/1941 and 1944
I am, however, aware, that it concerns only a few samples, owing to the lack of other sources, I decided, nevertheless, that it makes sense to show aspects of it.
State of affairs 30 March 2008
About German radio amateurs during the course of Wold War Two (WW II)
Heft 9 (September) Sonderdruk des Funk (pdf 1 MB)
Heft 3/4 (March/April)
Heft 5/6 (May/June) Owing to being of no significance, I did not copy
Heft 7/8 (July/August)
Heft 11/12 (November/December) I did not copy
Heft 4/5 (April/May)
Heft 6/7 (June/July)
Heft 8 (August)
Heft 9 (September)
Heft 11 (November)
Kriegsfunkgenehmigungen, list of call-signs found in DASD-CQ (as far as available here)
Date of active call-signs according DASD-CQ of the year 1944 (black = November)
I started working on issue 11 (November) first and continued then from April upwards, thus what I have marked black was also valid for previous months
I found a total number of 86 active radio hams in the year 1944. This figure may well have been higher, as we only could consider April - June/July - August - September and November
That these late DASD-CQ issues were for their members only (Nur für Mitglieder), is quite understandable, as there existed a considerable contradiction between what common citizens was allowed to do and that of what radio amateurs was permitted! Their chairman Ernst Sachs was a high ranked person in the SS hierarchy (Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant a.D.) and was chief of Heinrich Himmler's communications (Chef des Fernmeldewesens). Regard, also Sacks' letter addressed to Himmler
D3ankmentioned in 1941, OM Georg Brockmann
D4adf OM (old men = amateur designation) W. Rach, Reichsbetriebsdienstleiter
D4arrJune/July 1944 OM Hannes Bauer
D4lkmApril 1944 OM Georg Zumpe
D4pqb OM Hans Sommer Stettin
D4wyfSeptember 1944 OM Dipl.-Ing. Herbert Salzbrunn
D4xvfApril 1944 OM Felix Cremers
D4ynf April 1944
We may thus consider that in 1944 at least 86 licensed hams were active! When we regard, that not all wartime radio hams were able to take part in scheduled operations (Reichsbetriebsdienst = RBD), the wartime license figures may have very well exceeded 100!
When we regard that about 530 radio hams got their licence before say September 1939, it is likely that 120#* held a so-called"Kriegsfunkgenehmigung" , in the last months of 1944, these figures include 30 hams who got an special license for 10 metre band only. (officially all were designated: Funkliebhabersender)#. Sources dealing with German wartime ham activities sometimes estimate a maximum of 30 especially licensed hams. We can, however, compare these rather objective figures shown above with the fairytales told by some self-called historians. Again, in this respect my good old friend Helmut Liebich DL1OY has it right with his estimation that far more than 50 hams had obtained such a wartime license! #Very below is stated that this figure was actually 120! (22 % of all pre-war stations). #*I came recently across new information, in which is stated that 170 hams possessed on 1.1.1944 a so-called KFSGen!
Read, for instance, the first page of issue 7/8 of 1941, on clandestine radio (Schwarzsenden), however, also on the fact that German hams got Kriegsfunkgenehmigungen (for its full version, activate the hyperlink shown in the upper section of this page)
It can also be seen, that during the course of the war year 1944, in November fewer numbers were participating in regular netting. It is very likely, that this was (also) owing to Germany’s very bad military war situation and alien occupation (and disruptions) of parts of their territories.
One may discuss, though, why the Germans allowed radio hams to operate on radio waves, as they were otherwise so very restrictive. One of the German objectives was, as being stated in a 1941 issue (7/8), that by this means they got access to valuable information on radio propagations. Which information was highly important to them. Forecasting radio propagations (Funkwetter) was so important, that they decided to use radio amateurs as to support them. It was pointed, that they should obligatory participate to regular nettings (already obligatory in the 1930s). It were not only radio hams, though, also listening amateurs (SWLs) who were encouraged to send-in their logs. Before the war there were about 7000 à 7500 DASD listening stations active, of which Helmut Liebich was one of them, he entered in 1938 at an age of 15. His designation was: DEM6950/G (DEM means: Deutscher-Empfangsmeister; G = region of Breslau, since May 1945 Wroclaw in Poland). Very down this page, I have transcript some paragraphs of OM Koerner's publication on this subject.
* Reading these 1944 articles, one gets the impression that most topics were beside 1944 reality. It is known from German prisoners of war recollections in post war times, that most favourite was their thinking on ‘cooking recipes’. They were delighted to use imagined 20 eggs, whereas they had not seen one for a very long time! We get, however, the feeling that DASD still must have supplied key components to them, like expensive power valves, such as: RS391, RL12P10, LS50 ..... (EF14 ?)! In pre-war times this was quite commonly practised; but who otherwise could themselves afford to pay RM 200 for a single PA valve? (for a skilled worker, probably, several months salary)
Dick Rollema did send me, after noticing my preliminary concept, additional information on this subject. I made a transcript of: The short wave magazine, June 1981, volume XXXIX, page 189
Bitte QRX, Krieg!
Wartime amateur operators
Michael Ockenden, G3MHF
G7FH DE D3FBA - GM OM ES TNX FER REPORT - UR SIGS 569 - NAME WALDEMAR ES QTH NR BERLIN - TX 15 WATTS ES ANT DIPOLE - NW QRU 73 -
Part from the unfamiliar callsigns, this seems to be just an ordinary QSO between a German amateur and a British station. What makes it unusual is that it could have taken place 1945, before the end of the war, between two amateurs both officially licensed by their respective authorities. Thousands were being burnt alive in Dresden, V1's were falling on London, and yet two radio amateurs were able to wish each other 73! This QSO was typical of many similar contacts between German radio amateurs with wartime licenses (Kriegsfunksendegenehmigungen - KFSG) and eight British stations with callsigns in the series G7FA - G7FH.
At the outbreak of the war, G stations went off the air and all transmitters were impounded by the Post Office. The same action was taken in Germany on 1ST September (1939, AOB) but three operators were allowed to keep their equipment. The most well known of these was D4BIH whose contacts with American stations caused a great deal of interest throughout the world. The object of the exercise was propaganda. The authorities wanted to persuade outsiders that life in Germany was continuing normally despite the minor inconvenience of a war. Gradually more licenses were issued until there were some 150 stations on the air, most of them on 80 and 40 metre bands.
It does seem strange that radio amateurs should be permitted to operate transmitters from their homes in a country where people were not even allowed to listen to foreign broadcasts. This, and the fact that from May 1940, the president of the National Society, the DASD, was an SS General, gave rise to the suspicion that anyone with a KFSG must be a confirmed Party member. However, this was not at all the case. The licenses were issued during the war by the German Army High Command (OKW) entirely without regard to the recipient’s political leanings. Some of the licence holders must have been members of the NSDAP or similar organisations; others may have held full-time jobs in the Abwehr communications intelligence service. All had to be trusted, but no more so than any other soldier or civilian engaged in sensitive work. Neither in their political allegiances nor in their professional capacities can any common ground be established. They were not involved in any kind of monitoring duties similar to those performed by British amateurs in the wartime RSS organisation. Although the motive for putting them on the air - "propaganda by their very presence" - is hardly compatible with the true spirit of Amateur Radio, there was nothing at all sinister about the operators or the QSO’s which passed between them. ...... In 1942, licences were issued to a few operators in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. To stimulate activity on 10 metres, some fifty other German operators were given licences for exclusive operations on this band. Although some experimental telephony transmissions were made, CW was used for the vast majority of all contacts. The QSL bureau functioned throughout the war and a communications receiver with plug-in coils similar to the HRO was available through the DASD (this type was called KST and was produced by Körting Radio. The tuning-dial and attached capacitors were originally made by National in the US , the mother company of HRO (as was the receiver concept, be it employing German valves and components). These parts were imported via Portugal. I was told, that the German Army rejected KST as being not good enough for military deployment. The Abwehr used them and a bulk was given to DASD for further usage. When many amateurs can use the same type of receiver, reports given can be much better compared against each other. See also my paper on German Abwehr wireless, AOB)
With military approval, beacon stations D4WYF 2/3/4/5 operated during the war on the 80, 40, 20 and 10 metre bands; the 80 and 10 metre beacons were located at the Ludwigsfeld military base near Berlin where the Germans monitored foreign broadcasts. This unit - the German equivalent of Caversham - was known at the "Giftküche" or "poison kitchen" and passed on foreign propaganda to the High Command. The operators included several amateurs who all held special permits signed by Keitel himself authorising them to listen to foreign news broadcastings. ...... A number of licenced German amateurs also operated from outside the Reich. Stations were on the air with D calls from France, Greece, North Africa and even from Spain. Contacts were made with stations at home and a certain amount of the third party traffic was passed. D4XYN (DL1DX today) operated from the German embassy in Madrid.. (this was DL1IX not DL1DX was Hannes Bauer!, in post war days, DL1IX's letter is also partially available on this website, AOB) ....... Interesting for me is, that Mr Ockenden did not mention the (a) so very obvious reason why ham operations were encouraged by German authorities, be it actively and/or passively. This was - that amateurs (hams and SWLs) had to support (supply) regularly data on wireless propagation, simply by listening into netting communications!
Jan Wolthuis gave me (also) recently a copy of Koerners's "Geschichte des Amateurfunks", which passes a more wide information on this mysterious period. Koerner's post war call-sign was DL1CU
Mr Ernst Sachs was a high ranked SS officer, but given the circumstances, he might have been the best person having decisive power to resist decisions that could bring German amateurs becoming involved in Nazi propaganda. He resisted successfully Goebbels endeavour in this direction. After a personal talk with Goebbels, it was agreed that the fact that German amateurs were showing-up their presence on amateur bands was enough propaganda. However, all war licenses had to be approved by the German military High Command (OKW). The only objective was, like in comparable cases, that no real thread could be opposed. It is thus to be said: that a membership of any Nazi party related organisation, was not at all being asked for!
Mr Koerner expressed it:
Ohne starken Steuermann war der DASD verloren ... Die Ereignisse überstürzten sich jedoch in einer Weise, die all, um den Bestand des Verbandes bangenden OMs in Erstaunen versetzte. Bereits am 15. Mai (1940, AOB) wurde bekannt, daß das Ministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda eines SS-Gruppenführer mit Namen Ernst Sachs zum neuen Präsidenten des DASD ernannt hätte. (Die öffentliche Bekanntmachung gelangte diese Nachricht mit Windeseile in alle Landesverbände). Bestürzung in DASD-Kreisen war die erste Reaktion hierauf; man fühle sich an die SS verkauft. ..... Ernst Sachs, Berufsoffizier des Heeres, hatte sich schon zu Beginn seiner Laufbahn dem Funkdienst und der entstehenden Nachrichtentruppe verschrieben. Als junger Leutnant war er bereits 1909 einer der ersten Hörer bei Prof. Slaby .... Dort beeindruckte ihn besonders das energische Eintreten der Amerikaner für die Belange des Amateurfunks. Sein Werk war der Aufbau der Heeresnachrichtenschule in Halle. ... Fast 5000 (DASD, known as: RUE-Funk-Aktion, AOB) Bogen gingen hinaus. Hauptfragen: Wo bist Du eingesetzt? Was ist Deine Tätigkeit? Entspricht diese Tätigkeit Deinem Können und Deinem Fähigkeiten? Über 3500 Antworten kamen zurück, präzise ausgefüllt, handfestes Material. Die Auswertung begann ohne Verzug und schon bald darauf gelang etwas unglaubliches: Sehr viele OMs konnten in der Folgezeit aus allen Fronten herausgezogen werden. Leicht war das nicht, den mancher Truppenteil stellte sich energisch gegen Abzug von Soldaten. Aus in solchen Fällen wußte Sachs Abhilfe zu schaffen. ...
... Aus diesen geht hervor, daß Sachs schon bald nach seinem Amtsantritt die politische Beurteilung der Sendelizenzanwärter abschaffte. In gerichtlich anhängigen Fällen von Schwarzsenderei gelang es ihm sehr oft helfend einzugreifen, falls es sich um eine rein funksportliche Verletzung des berüchtigten Schwarzsendergesetzes handelte. Etwa 60 Funkamateure kamen während des Krieges wegen Schwarzsendens vor die Gerichte des Dritten Reiches, denen heute wohl niemand vorwirft, sie seien zu milde gewesen. Alle diese Angeklagten betrieben ausschließlich Amateurfunk, also verbotenes Senden als ideellen Selbstzweck. Nicht einer kam ins Zuchthaus einige Monate Gefängnis waren die Regel. Zwar mußten alle Lizenzen vom OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) bewilligt werden. Da der Verband aber dem Propagandaministerium unterstand würde man ihm in solcher Art die schuldige Reverenz erweisen, daß man es evtl. doch vor den eigenen Karren spannen konnte. ... Das Wohlwollen des Ministeriums war gesichert, ohne den Amateurfunk zu gefährden oder mißbrauchen zu müssen. .... Das Bestreben der DASD-Leitung, mehr Lizenzen für ihre OMs bewilligt zu bekommen, hatte von Versuch zu Versuch Erfolg. Da die ersten Kriegslizenzen hauptsächlich im Raume Berlin erteilt wurden, bemühte man sich, den Kreis so auszuweiten, daß ein Netz von Stationen das gesamt Reichsgebiet überzog. Noch ca. 120 Lizenzen*** konnten erwirkt werden. Darunter waren auch die ca. 30 Zehn-Meter-Kriegsfunksendegenehmigungen, mit denen die ganz zum Schluß zugelassenen Amateurstationen bedacht wurden. Alle erteilten Lizenzen waren gebührenfrei, für die Empfänger entfiel auch die übliche Rundfunkgebühr. ... Jeder Lizenzinhaber war sogar berechtigt, seinen Sender auch außerhalb seines ständigen Wohnorts zu betreiben. Der jeweilige Standort mußte lediglich dem DASD bekanntgegeben werden. .... Transcript of some parts, pp. 162-173 *** According to another source it were 170 Kriegsfunksendegenehmigungen!
I would be delighted when a reader of this page would like to contribute information
Proceed with, or go back to: Helmut Liebich's letter to a fellow radio amateur (HAM)
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