Obergefreiter Hermann Klink
The photo at left would bring back memories for Herr Klink, as he was among the 275,000 Axis soldiers surrendering to the Allied armies in May 1943.  Sixtyfive years have passed, but in Sept 2008 he spoke articulately in fluent English about his Afrika Korps experience, an encounter with "Desert Fox" Rommel, and three years in the USA as a POW.
Hermann Klink was nineteen years old when he entered the German military.  He trained as a "signalman", and at different times was responsible for both communications and movement of petrol, ammunition, vehicles, and supplies. He had risen to the rank of Obergefreiter (equivalent to a Specialist, E4) by Sept 1941 when he was sent to Baumholder. The post was "a good place, no problems", he recalled, but he still sounded exasperated over the bureaucracy of the German Wehrmacht: "It took forever to get all the equipment [for our Signal Regiment] that had been ordered...the system was quite inefficient." Deployment was delayed by these logistics until March 1942, when he left for Naples with a support unit to work in the German Administration Office for War Supplies. Here he was responsible for the shipment of petrol, ammunition, vehicles, and supplies to the North Africa theater. Rommel was waiting on the vehicles, he explained. Then it was on to Tripoli to Rommel's Headquarters in  North Africa.

When asked if he had ever had a face-to-face encounter with Rommel, Herr Klink chuckled. He explained that the soldiers dug a hole in the sand with a shovel instead of using a latrine, "covering everything up." One day he was busy with his shovel in the designated area and noticed the Field Marshall (below) not far away doing the same. "I didn't know if I was supposed to salute or not", he laughed. "I didn't". 
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Obergr. Klink in Baumholder, Aug 1941
Herr Klink in Sept 2008
Click here to continue Obergefreiter Hermann Klinks' story
I sent Herr Klink a copy of the 1941 Baumholder photos, and he wrote back about this one: "In one of the Barracks blocks to be seen I was quartered on my arrival in Sept. 1941". These barracks  are in the 1/6 Infantry area on post and look just like they did then.