You’ve probably seen one of the most famous photographs taken in Normandy, 1944, already that show the young Waffen-SS soldier Otto Funk with a ‘Thousand Yard Stare’. Funk was only 18 years old at that time, had been fighting continuously for days; almost no sleep and Allied planes were interfering every German move which caused many soldiers to worry.
Here are some interesting Then & Now photographs that show Otto Funk and his comrades like Klaus Schuh in Normandy, 1944.
SS-Sturmmann Otto Funk carrying ammo boxes for the MG 42. Besides him is SS-Grenadier Klaus Schuh (KIA 26 June), around 1430 hours in Rots, Normandy on June 9, 1944. This image made it to the front page of the German “Stuttgarter Illustrierte”.
Otto Funk fought with the 15. (Aufklärungs ) Kompanie/ SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25 der 12. SS-Panzer-Division “Hitlerjugend”, which consisted mainly out of 16-18 year old boys. Although it were merely ‘youngsters’, the division would become infamous for their viciousness. Otto Funk kept on fighting until the end of the war, when he was captured by the U.S. Forces. He was born on June 6, 1926 and would pass away on September 11, 2011.
SS-Sturmmann Otto Funk of the 15. (Aufklärungs ) Kompanie/ SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25, photographed after an assault, near Rots. They were to follow up the attack at Norrey-en-Bessin on June 9, 1944. Also seen in the middle is SS-Grenadier Klaus Schuh, who would be killed on June 26, 1944.