The Diaries and Letters of Marta and Egon Oelwein 1938-1945


Egon Oelwein was on the staff of the middle leadership corps of the Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienstes – RAD), from 1935 to November 1944, latterly as “labor leader” (Arbeitsführer, equivalent to Major), and subsequently served as a volunteer with the Waffen-SS until he went missing on the front line in March 1945. From 1938 to 1945, Oelwein kept a diary that provides deep insights into the everyday life of the RAD, something that has seen little research in the past. Of particular significance are his entries on the RAD war effort in the East. While this rare personal document of a RAD leader has great value as a source on its own, this applies perhaps even more to the diary kept by the Oelweins as a couple from 1938 to 1944 as their three children were growing up. This unique ego-document records their efforts to educate their children in the spirit of National Socialism. The edited volume of the diaries is supplemented by a selection from the couple’s letters to each other. The volume will serve as a significant contribution both to the everyday history of the RAD and to the history of the private life of faithful members of the party.

The edition was published in the project series at Wallstein Verlag.

Audio report (7:24) in: "Andruck – Das Magazin für Politische Literatur", Deutschlandfunk, January 24, 2022

Audio report (22:56) in: "SWR2 Leben", SWR2, 20.12.2022

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