WWI military service for Austrians living in Germany #germany

Jeffrey Knisbacher

I have questions about the status and origin of the military service of my paternal grandfather Yitzkhaq Moshe KNISBACHER, for whom I am named. For years I have had a postcard (sent to me by  a distant cousin) of him in a Berlin military hospital (Lazarett) and had, until very recently, assumed he served in the German army. Then a lengthy petition that my late father Max KNISBACHER had filed for a German pension turned up in the files of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. One of those pages detailed, in German, in my father's own hand, that his father had been an Austrian who fought for Germany and, on September 28, 1918, died of the flu pandemic that he had contracted in the service.

So my questions are:

1. Would he have served in the German army or in the German-allied Austro-Hungarian army?

2. Does his presence in a Berlin Lazarett mean that he was in the German army at the time or could Austrians have wound up there (if, say, their service left them sick or wounded closer to Berlin than to Vienna)?

3. Could he have been drafted into the German army as an "alien" from Austro-Hungary?

4. Could he have been drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army (via an Austro-Hungarian official in Berlin, where he was living)?

5. In either case, could I expect to find a record of his call-up in the Austrian State Archive?

6. Was he more likely to have been drafted than to have volunteered, given that by my father's birth in 1913, he already had two children?

Note that I have already filed for his Lazarett records with the German state archives but will have to wait a while for a final response and have no idea if such a Lazarett record would answer any of my questions. Thanks in advance for any help with this.   Jeff Knisbacher, Bradenton, FL



I think 3. and 4. are both possible, but 4 is more probable. I know that even Germans and Austrians who lived in the United States or South America were called in the German or Austrian Army.

5. If he was in the Austro-Hungarian Army, you would find his records in the Austrian State Archive.

If he was in German army you need to know in which German Army he was. The service records for the Prussian Army don't exist anymore. 
But the service records for the Bavarian Army are online on ancestry, the ones of the Army of Baden and the Army of Württemberg are also online.

The first step should be to search the person of interest in the Verlustlisten of both the German Army and the Austro-Hungarian Army.
If you find him in this lists you will see which army, regiment and company he was attached to. 

In the Verlustlisten you can find not only soldiers who died in the war, but also wounded, missing and captured soldiers.
The Austrians have Verlustlisten and "Nachrichten über Verwundete und Kranke" = "Notices about wounded and sick soldiers".

Verlustlisten of the German Army

Verlustlisten of the Austro-Hungarian Army

Anno has both the Verlustlisten and the "Nachrichten über Verwundete und Kranke" = "Notices about wounded and sick soldiers".
Unfortunately I didn't find any Knisbacher neither in the Verlustlisten of the Germany Army nor in the ones of the Austro-Hungarian Army.


Corinne Iten


Helen Kon

Thank you for including the websites. I finally found my grandfather's service record! His name was Saul but as another poster noted - his name was posted as Paul.
Helen Kon
New York City, NY

Dan Nussbaum

At the outbreak of the First World War, Adolph Hitler was an Austrian living in Munich. He volunteered for and served in the Bavarian Army.

Daniel Nussbaum II, M.D., FAAP
Retired Developmental Pediatrician
Rochester, New York
Tone can be misinterpreted in email. Please read my words with warmth, kindness, and good intentions.

Searching for;
Nussbaum, Katzenstein, Mannheimer and Goldschmidt; Rhina, Raboldshausen and Bad Hersfeld, Germany
Teplitzky, Bendersky and Kaszkiet; Uman, Ukraine
Rosenthal and S(c)henk(el)man; Zinkov, Ukraine
Bild and Kashlevsky; anywhere