Brigadier General Frederick O. Hartel; a graduate of the USMA, graduating in 1933, a career army officer and veteran of WWII, took command of the Berlin Brigade just two days prior to the beginning of construction on the Berlin Wall on June 30, 1961. Gen. “Fritz” Hartel said, “when I arrived, refugees were coming through Check Point Charlie by the thousands every day.” All walks of life were represented by those escaping the Soviet dominated East Berlin, including doctors, lawyers, technicians, teachers, and skilled workers of all types, willing to leave behind everything to have their freedom in the West.
The situation was horrible, families were becoming separated as pressure mounted from politicians in West Germany and Berlin for American forces to remove the barricades, to which some of the American officers had made plans for moving into the East and knocking down the barriers with bulldozers. All of these plans were laid to rest by the brigade commander, stating that the communists had built these barriers feet inside of the East German Line, and any movement toward that end would place the Americans as the aggressors in this difficult predicament.
As the Cold War intensified, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, now over, had widen the chasm, President Kennedy went to Berlin in June of 1963 to make a speech in support of the West Berliners, as well against the Soviets major support of the construction of the Berlin Wall. On the 26th of that month Kennedy made his famous “Ich bin ein Berlin” speech, considered one of his best, before a huge supportive and enthusiastic crowd.
General Hartel accompanied the President that day of the speech to various places; one of course was a stand over-looking the newly constructed wall dividing the East form West.
This grouping consists of nearly all of the Hartel Collection other than what was put in a separate group relating to President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin in 1963 seen also on this website.
Beginning with the uniforms: General Hartel’s green service dress uniform, complete with trousers and two extra pairs of same are in fine to excellent condition. The coat has some roughness on the inside back of the collar which shows a good deal of wear (see photo), one small moth hole on upper back a very few smaller and sporadic spots, and some fading. This is one of his older coats purchased in Japan, while serving in Korea as G-3 of the 8th Army. The tailor is Eikan C. Ltd./ Japan Central Exchange, Regulation Army Green-44 Uniform. The coat and pants are not identified to him by name, no laundry tags that I can see, but have all the appropriate insignia, including his personal ribbon bars made in Japan that are seen on all of his uniforms, each identical to the others. The decorations on the ribbon bar are the Bronze Star Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Other insignia includes BG rank stars on leadership tabs, US collar devises on the lapels, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Army Secretary of Defense Badge, General Staff Badge (right pocket), and US Army Europe shoulder sleeve insignia with Berlin (Brigade) tab. The trousers including the two other pairs are fine, the latter having laundry markings identifying them to Hartel.
The general’s dress whites consisting of coat and pants with a later hat for a higher grade officer are made of a fine material that may very well be silk, made in Manila; The label reads, “Wm. M. King, TAILOR, 43 A Mabini, Manila,” Hartel was attached to MG. William Henry Wilson, commanding the Hawaiian Division as his aide. The general’s name is stamped on the inside with laundry number; the same number appears inside the pants on lining. You can see where a number of different insignias have been worn on the uniform over the years of use.
Next we have the summer service dress uniform coat. The only label is on the edge of the inside pocket, “Regulation Army Officer’s Uniform. “9254-H” stamped on the inside of the pocket lining. The coat has sporadic mothing, nothing major and should not detract from display but visible at close inspection (see photos). As with the green uniform coat, the ribbon bars are the identical Japanese made set and sewn in place. The insignia on this uniform is the same as the other.EA
Field Jacket, Pile,O.D. with knitted collar, and cuffs, woven loop button straps.A real heavy duty, cold weather coat Hartel no doubt wore in Korea in the 50’s. The collar and cuffs show a good amount of wear from age and moths. Some soiling, but good generally. Embroidered Lt. Colonel’s oak leaves sewn on. This is a 42-L….his size. The label in the right pocket reads, H.P. Shapiro & Co. Dated May 1, 1944.
The ’43 pattern field jacket is in excellent condition, complete with rank/leadership tabs, name tag, “U.S. Army” sew on’s over breast pockets, and the shoulder patch. A near mint pair of M1951 Field Trousers (Shell).
M-1 helmet with brigadier general star applied, but no liner. Typical general officer condition…just about new; any wear is from handling after Hartel used it. No markings, or ID.
Excellent condition camouflage scarf with light wear only.
Vehicle Plate for a brigadier general, painted metal with bolted down star; ID’ to Hartel. Measures 6 x 9 inches.
Brigadier General’s red wool car pennant, overall fine with some light mothing.
Brigadier General’s Field Flag, cotton bunting with applied star, double sided, excellent condition, 3 x 4 feet.
General Hartel’s copy of the “HEADQUARTERS BERLIN BRIGADE PLOT PLAN” containing 26 8 x 10 glossy photographs of the various installations with the command; all line drawings and with descriptions and measurements. Spine held by use of screws, hand made cover art.
A collection of German district banners, all made of silk and embroidery. Each one is done on off white silk, 8 1/2 x12 inches; mounted on poles and with black and gilt hanging cord, with each end having a golden tassel. Gold fringe at the bottoms. Represented are; Berlin Districts: Schoneberg, Steglitz, Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg, Neukolin, Ricnickendorf, Wedding, Wilmersforf, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten, Spandau and Tempdlhof. All are double sided, excellent condition and very colorful.
Bound volume of The Berlin OBSERVER, June 1961 – June 1962. Fine condition with just some darker toning to the paper. The look of the newspaper is that of the WWII Stars an Stripes; stories of soldiers, sports, maneuvers, Allied troops in Berlin, pin-ups, etc. General Hartel taking command is right up front. Good photos, heavily illustrated. About an inch thick. Not all inclusive, just select issues. Nicely bound. Published by the Brigade.
Gen. Hartel’s desk name plaque; very well made using brass and polished steel. A bit longer than 19 inches and 6 inches high, the letter is made of brass and applied through the steel with the back side covered by green felt.
Presentation statuary of bronze (or bronze finish) eagle, wings spread as if about to fly, mounted on a large jagged boulder. The beak appears to be painted. The polished metal plaque is engraved “Brigadier General Frederick O. Hartel from The Offices And Men of Task Force 13, 22 March 1963.” All this sets on a base of marble. A simple label on the bottom read, “Made By Fritz Tank Co.” (Is the “Fritz” referring to the general?). Wing span is 8 inches as is the height.
Heavy brass office flag stand, for three flags. I would hate to be the guy having to keep this baby bright!
Shipping crate holding 3 office flag poles, each two piece with spade finials.
Miscellaneous lot consisting of a pair of West Point cadet chevrons and a uniform label ID’d to Hartel, dated 10-15-31; a set of keys in a leather snap pouch, one clothing bag, plastic, printed “State Side Tailor, Yokohama..” Probably from his Korean era days in the mid-late 50’s, Finally his typed out speech on 5×7 cards with annotations used at his retirement ceremony in 1966.
A well constructed trunk with painted iron corners, key latch, all painted in a light wood color, and numbered “4.” Handles applied to the ends, measures 15h x 18w x 32l.
Green service dress visor cap, made of fine fur felt. Maker is Luxenberg, New York. This was NOT Hartel’s but his hat went in the other lot. This is the same maker, size, and condition matches all these dress uniforms perfectly.
This grouping would have to be shipped in three boxes, all heavy and large. If it is possible to make arrangements to have it pick up, that would be the optimal method, or at least to deliver to a show in your area if possible. We’ll get it done!
UPS $ ?