Julius Veith was born on June 15, 1868 in Grötzingen in Baden. He later attended medical school and married his wife Edwig Veith nee von Valentini who was born on April 1, 1869. She was the daughter of Prussian General-Major Heinrich Simon Eduard von Valentini. To learn more about her father, please see the OMSA Blog article here: Heinrich Simon Eduard von Valentini
They had two (2) sons Hans and Bernard. When the War began in 1914 Dr. Veith was too old for conscription and his oldest son Hans was too young to be conscripted. They both enlisted and were reportedly the oldest and youngest members of their regiment. At the start of the War Dr. Veith held the rank of Stabarzt, he was later promoted to the rank of Oberstabarzt. During the War Dr. Veith had opportunities to be assigned to rear-area hospitals, but chose to stay stationed near the front lines.
Dr. Julius Veith was awarded the Bavarian Military Medical Order 2nd Class on August 26, 1916 for earlier actions in May and June of 1916:
Veith, Julius, Dr.
Oberstabarzt der Reserve des bayerische Reserve Infanterie Regiments 2. Im Frieden Sanitätsrat in Göttingen. Geboren 15. 6. 1868 zu Grötzingen in Baden.
Oberstabarzt der Reserve Dr. Julius Veith des bayerische Reserve Infanterie Regiments 2 hat sich während der Kämpfe vor Arras ausgezeichnet, die Grenzen der Pflicht weit überschreitende Verdienste dadurch erworben, daß er in der Nacht vom 7. zum 8. Mai 1916 und in der Nacht vom 4. Zum 5. Juni 1916 sich freiwillig zur hilfeleistung in vorderster Linie anbot und im feindlische Artillerie- und Infanterie- feuer unter schwierigen Verhältnissen und unter großer persönlicher Lebensgefahr die Verwundeten versorgte und barg.
A rough translation into English:
Veith, Julius, Dr.
Senior Staff Physician of the Reserve of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 2. In peace Medical Counsellor in Göttingen. Born June 15, 1868 in Grötzingen in Baden.
Senior Staff Physician of the Reserve Dr. Julius Veith of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 2 distinguished himself during the fighting at Arras, far exceeding the limits of duty in the night of 7th to 8th of May 1916 and in the night of the 4th to 5th of June 1916, volunteered to help in the front line, and in enemy artillery – and infantry fire under difficult circumstances, and under great personal danger, cared for and rescued the wounded.
As seen in the photo below, Dr. Veith was also awarded the Prussian Iron Cross 1st Class and the Wound Badge in Black for one (1) or two (2) wounds. He is also wearing the ribbons for the Bavarian Military Medical Order (2nd Class), Bavarian Military Merit Order (3rd Class with Swords), and the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class in his 2nd buttonhole.
Some of the awards of Dr. Veith are seen in the photo of his large medal bar (Frackspange) shown below. In the first position is a Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class, followed by the Bavarian Military Merit Order 3rd Class with Swords awarded on May 30, 1918, the Bavarian 1905 Army Jubilee Medal in Bronze, the Bavarian Landwehr 20 Year Service Cross, and the Kyffhäuserbund Medal. In addition, Dr. Veith may have received the Hindenburg Cross with Swords (Honor Cross of the World War 1914-1918 with Swords).
After the War, Dr. Veith was a successful Opthamologist in Göttingen. The photo below shows Dr. Veith and his son Hans sometime after the War. They are in civilian attire, and proudly wear their awards.
Dr. Veith was a member of the Lutheran Church, but was of Jewish descent. His wife Edwig was from a noble Prussian family. After Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, the Veith family was subject to persecution and fled to northern Italy. They were comfortable in the area that they settled as many residents spoke German. Several years later however under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, anti-semitic persecutions began. The couple fled Italy, and with great difficulty, they managed to go to the United States. They then resided in Baltimore, Maryland. Their son Hans and his wife Ilza were also able to flee to the United States and lived one floor below the elderly Veith couple in the same residence. One day in August of 1939, Hans returned home from work and found the bodies of his deceased parents upstairs. The gas stove had been left on in the apartment. They were found arm in arm at a desk. On the desk were two (2) suicide notes. One suicide note left by the couple was addressed to their son Bernard who had been unable to leave Europe and it stated “Have courage”. Another suicide note left by the couple stated “We seek happiness together in eternity”. Dr. Veith was 73 years old when he died. Per Hans, his parents managed to come to the United States “But they were not happy. They were physically exhausted and spiritually sad”.
Dr. Julius Veith is not listed in the book “Haben die Juden in Bayern ein Heimatrecht? (Do the Jews in Bavaria have Rights of Citizenship?) published in 1928. Twelve (12) Jewish recipients of the Bavarian Military Medical Order 2nd Class are listed there. Per that source, there were a total of 162 awards of the Bavarian Military Medical Order 2nd Class made and twelve (12) Jewish recipients are listed. As the publication states, while Israelites made up less than 1% of the population, 7.40% of the awards were made to Jewish recipients. It should be mentioned that a total of 163 recipients of the Bavarian Military Medical Order 2nd Class were noted by Roth, Volle, and are listed in the Bayerns Goldenes Ehrenbuch.
Thank you for your interest regarding this article. Comments are welcome.
Eckstein-Bamberg, Dr. Adolf. Haben die Juden in Bayern ein Heimatrecht? Philo-Verlag GMBH, Berlin, 1928.
Roth, Erhard. Statistische Ausarbeitungen zur Phaleristik Deutschlands Band VI, Verleihungen von militärischen Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Königreichs Bayern im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914-1918. PHV Phaleristischer Verlag Michael Autengruber, Offenbach am Main, 1997.
Volle, Henning (Bearbeitet). Orden und Ehrenzeichen. Teil II: Der Königlich Bayerische Militär-Sanitäts-Orden. (Die Sammlungen des Wehrgeschichtlichen Museum im Schloss Rastatt). Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1980.
Bearbeitet vom Bayerischen Kriegsarchiv. Bayerns Goldenes Ehrenbuch. Verlag Joseph Hyronimus, München, 1928.
“Nazi Refugee, 73, And Wife Found Dead Arm in Arm.” The Evening Star, 16 August 1939, p. 1.
“Son Tells Why Nazi Refugee Couple Ended Lives By Gas: Find Peace Only In Death.” The Baltimore News-Post, 16 August 1939.
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