Grenadier Johann Ruschas
Ruschas was born in Lithuania on the 22.1.1927 into a farming family and lived in Schilerawa.
It seems that Ruschas was inspected on the 9th of July 1941 by the:
Einwandererzentralstelle Kommission “Sonderzug” /
Der Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD
What was this obscure unit and its purpose?
A special kind of commission within the Immigrant Central Office (EWZ) was the so-called “flying commission” with the “EWZ Special Train” (April 27th 1941 – May 31, 1942).
The chief of the security police and the SD, SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich to the RF-SS the procurement of a Reichsbahnzug as a mobile service point for the EWZ (EWZ special train) for the purpose.
The train wasn’t used for transporting refugees from place to place, it was used to take the bureaucrats to where the refugees were, so that they could be processed to see whether they could become German citizens.
It was a long train, with carriages for a photo-studio to take mug-shots, a dark-room to develop them, carriages full of typists taking down people’s details for the EWZ forms, carriages for medical and “eugenic” examination, and finally a fancy room with a shiny mahogany table and Nazi eagle for the naturalisation ceremony.
About 120 members of the SS, civil servants and employees operated the train. Around
500 people were processed every day. Around 70,000 people from the Baltic States were known as resettled Germans, from the Altreich.
More information can be provided of the Train on request including a picture of a ceremony in the train.
Ruschas was issued his paperwork in the Special Train, it was hand signed and stamped by SS-Obersturmbannführer Hans Wagner.
Ruschas was serving in the German Army from sometime in 1944, he was hit on the upper arm in early 1945 and was awarded the Wounds Badge in Black.
His Soldbuch was issued in March of 1945 with:
Grenadier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 234
This unit was flung into action with Division Nr. 404
On March 24, 1945, the division was relocated to the Bautzen-Görlitz-Lübben area as part of the “Leuthen” campaign. On April 20, 1945 the division stood with four small combat groups and a battery of heavy field howitzers in the general line Chemnitz (exclusively) – Stollberg – about 12 km northwest of Stollberg. In general there was little fighting on this sector of the front. American attacks up to company strength could be repulsed by the division by May 7, 1945. On May 8th, the division had to take its right wing back on Annaberg and went back with its center on Schwarzenberg. On the evening of May 8, the division surrendered on the Ochsenkopf and went into American captivity the following day.
It is unknown what happened to Ruschas, his Soldbuch shows signs of being hidden for a short time and is in a very stable condition and can be displayed as well as flicked through without fear of it falling apart.
An interesting story how the SD created a special train and resettled around 70,000 people from the Baltic states which they thought were ethnically pure enough to be naturalised as Germans. The Soldbuch is also interesting, as it is very odd to find a Soldbuch issued to someone born in Lithuania.