This short letter, more a note really, was sent to Himmler by Stadler after the former sent him a telegram of congratulations on the award of the Oak Leaves to Stadler's Knight's Cross. Stadler was the 303rd person to be awarded the Oak Leaves since the war began in 1939. The Knight's Cross was the highest decoration awarded to the German military and the Oak Leaves was the first 'bar' to be added. Something of Stadler's delight and jubilation at the receipt of both the award and Himmler's telegram can be read in his note of thanks. He was at this time the commander of the Der Führer Regiment of the Das Reich Division. The original hand-written note was found in Stadler's personal file with Himmler's office stamp on it, so it was both sent and read.
Comments below are in italics.
Stadler Im Ostern (on the eastern front) 17. 9. 43.
SS O'Stubaf (Obersturmbannführer)
03669 A (Field post number)
Esteemed Reichsführer !
(Reichsführer was Himmler's title, see SS-Ranks for more details)
I just got your telegram of congratulation. I respectfully thank you. The regiment, "Der Führer" will furthermore, after trusting your words at the outbreak of war, do more than great duty. (I am not sure exactly what these words "at the outbreak of war" were, but assume that they were Himmler expressing his hopes for the Regiment and that they would always, 'do their duty') We will remain for always and everywhere the same.
Hail to the Leader ! (the exclamation mark was normal)
Your most obedient (a very old fashioned manner of signing)
SS O'Stubaf (Stadler signs his rank with the commonly used abbreviation, rather than writing out Obersturmbannführer in full).
© Michael Williams revised February 2004