Sausages and Cigars for Christmas

Hatzenport during the war

All men from Hatzenport that went to war are listed in a memorial book that was published in the 1930s. The oldest soldier from Hatzenport was corporal Peter Moritz, who was drafted in March 1917 at the age of 47 and who belonged to the Koblenz garrison. The youngest soldier was Karl Stuntz, a volunteer who had been trained as an infantryman shortly after his 16th birthday in June 1916.

Each individual participant of the war has a dedicated page with the most important information about his service: duration, military rank, places of deployment, participation in fighting, military awards and injuries. In case of fallen soldiers details of the deadly injury and the place of death. To prepare the book of remembrance, the veterans or their relatives were asked to complete questionnaires.

During the war 20 soldiers from Hatzenport died and 15 soldiers were injured. Many injuries were so severe that they did not heal, causing lifelong disfiguration or ultimately requiring amputation. Many veterans remained traumatized long after the war.

Thanks to the local school headmaster, Max's uncle Nikolaus Gerlach (1855-1935), we know more about life in Hatzenport during the war. Gerlach wrote a personal and straightforward account in which he describes the events between August 1914 and November 198 from his own point of view.

Nikolaus Gerlach also writes in detail about how the war affected local life. He sums up the achievements of the homefront, such as the issue of war bonds and the various charity collection campaigns by schoolchildren. We also learn how in December 1916 a three-hundred-pound pig was slaughtered, to provide every soldier from Hatzenport with a sausage package along with some good cigars for Christmas.