Sometimes while researching, you’ll come across a fact or name that will stop you in your tracks. That was definitely the case when we saw this card to a German officer called Robert-Allan Stevenson. One wonders how a man of obvious British ancestry ended up in the Wehrmacht. He served as leader of a Panzer II Luchs platoon in a recon company of 9. Panzer-Division, was wounded during Operation Citadel and earned several medals, including both grades of the Iron Cross, panzer assault badge and wound badge. He ultimately survived the war and died 1 November 2006.
In mid-November 2018, an Iron Cross award list signed by Paulus sold at auction for a wallet-melting USD $1100. Having worked with such lists many times, I immediately recognised it as the same type archived at the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv and vowed to find out if it was stolen.
What is certain is that this award list (No. 93) is missing from the Bundesarchiv’s holdings, together with all others numbered 89 to 100 [plus Nr. 10 of the following EK Spange list]. However, these lists appear to have been removed a long time ago because handwritten page numbers – added by BA staff – are now consecutive, indicating that the pages were already missing when staff added the folio numbers. That means there is a hole [Lists 89-100 and 10 are missing] but the handwritten folios go from 582 (for award list 88) to 583 (award list 11).
The question of when the 13 award lists – 23 pages in all – went missing is another matter. They were present in October 1942 and missing when Bundesarchiv incorporated them into their holdings. Were they removed at war’s end by an Allied soldier seeking a souvenir or in the post-war years by an unscrupulous opportunist? That is a question I cannot answer.
Be sure to check out the images and accompanying captions.
Thanks to Oliver and Sebastien for doing the legwork.
The index, created by 6. Armee on 22 October 1942…
… shows that Award List No. 93 was present. All lists in the large red square are now missing from Bundesarchiv’s holdings.
Also missing. Award List No. 11 is still in the holdings.