Die Goldene Spange: Wie sich der Feldwebel Bergmann die Goldene Nahkampfspange erwarb [WITH 15 ORIGINAL LITHOGRAPHS HAND-SIGNED BY OTTO CLEVÉ, A SOLDIER IN THE WEHRMACHT DURING THE CAMPAIGN ON THE EASTERN FRONT]
Russland: Frontdruckerei "Panzerfaust" 1943. First edition. Loose leaf. 58/100 hand-numbered on title page and signed Joachim Fischer at end of text. All lithographs signed Clevé 43. Elephant Folio (18 x 14"). 32 leaves, incl. 15 full-page lithographs (17 3/4 x 13 3/4"). Original cream portfolio with black lettering on cover, protected by modern mylar. Title page with small ochre image of the golden clasp below title, and black publisher's device. Additional unsigned lithograph on last printed page below Fischer signature.
This is an extravagant limited edition produced during the Russia campaign for an elite circle of officers. Laid in a typed letter to Major Zeck, site commander at Vitebsk, dated November 1, 1943 and signed Fischer, first lieutenant and company commander ("Enclosed a portfolio in the hope you might like it. With obedient recommendations, your devoted "Fischer").
The printed text describes the heroic combat of Staff Sergeant Bergmann from the Tank Division 697. The fighting takes place in the trenches, in hand-to-hand combat as well as other combat situations during Bolshevik attacks in 1942 through June of 1943, including an injury of the Staff Sergeant's arm incurred during one of the attacks. At times the enemy seriously outnumbers the German force and the report is highlighting Bergmann's bravery that led to the bestowal of three decorations, and eventually the Golden Close Combat Clasp on July 2, 1943. The impressive lithographs depict various combat situations.
Text in German. Portfolio with light wear along edges, small chip at bottom of front cover and portfolio flap folds expertly repaired. Lightly sunned along edges. Portfolio in overall good+, interior in near fine condition. g+ to near fine. Item #44673