Wir von der Luftwaffe (We of the Luftwaffe) is filled with photos and autograph pages so owners could revisit their flying days with the Wehrmacht.
Q: This book was given to me as a high school senior in 1964 by a World War II veteran, Edmund V. Gillis, who said he obtained it while stationed in Europe during the war. I was told it was a recruiting piece for the Luftwaffe; do you have any further information?
—Herb Lambrechts, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
A: The 80-page book, Wir von der Luftwaffe (We of the Luftwaffe), is one of several such volumes produced for members of the German air force. It contains photos of Luftwaffe leadership and text detailing the service branch’s history and organization. This particular book, published in 1938, was produced by the Luftgaukommando—the district administrative air command—in Hanover and Münster and includes images specific to Luftwaffe activities in that northwest German region. Other versions exist related to the commands in Berlin, Dresden, and Vienna, among others. The volume was intended to serve as a remembrance book: a souvenir album through which to interpret and frame one’s time in the Luftwaffe. Its first page—not inscribed in this copy—has space to add a name, birthdate, birthplace, and service details. There are also blank pages for recording notes and memories. During the war years, more than 3.4 million individuals served in the Luftwaffe. Surely 3.4 million copies of this work weren’t printed, but many examples can still be found for sale online. ✯
—Kim Guise, Assistant Director for Curatorial Services
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This article was published in the June 2021 issue of World War II.