Obergefreiter Hetch

Full name: Martin Hetch
Born: 10/11/1922-Jena
Civilian occupation: Salesman

Martin Hetch was born on the 10/11/1922 in Jena to Deiter and Maria Hetch and was their only child. In 1927, Martin’s father relocated the family to Hannover in search of work. Here his father found a job as a casual factory worker. During the late 20s and early 30s, Martin’s family lived a quite poor life in a bad neighbourhood. Things started to look up for the family in 1934 when Deiter Hetch was employed full time as a factory mechanic.

Martin however did not want to follow in his fathers footsteps and work in a factory. Eager to learn he was a star pupil at his local school but his family was too poor to afford college fees for him to continue his education. Instead after finishing school at the age of 16 in 1938, he worked as a salesman in a department store until in April 1940 he was called up for his 6 months service in the RAD.

Just after his 18th birthday he was called up for military service. He underwent the 14 week basic military training and in May 1941, seeing a chance to better himself, he volunteered for the Grossdeutchland Panzer Division. He was accepted and joined Grossdeutschland, 2/ PZ. Aufkl.ABT.GD as a replacement for men lost in the early stages of the Russian Campaign. He arrived at the front in August 1941 during the long drive through Russia.

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