Kossuth County

Pvt. Orvin Ristau




Pvt. Orvin Ristau, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ristau, farmers near Lu Verne, was officially reported dead as a Nazi prisoner Feb. 10, 1945, but his parents were not notified till recently.

The youth served in the famed 106th division which 8000 men were reported "annihilated" and from newspaper reports Mr. and Mrs Ristau feel sure that Orvin was being moved from one prison to another just before Valentines day. Many prisoners dropped from exhaustion and illness, but were clubbed back into line or deliberately murdered.

Young Ristau had been through France, Belgium and into Germany. In the Rundstedt counter-offensive in December this division had been forced back into Belgium, where the 106th fought in the most rugged terrain an din the bitterest of winter weather. Jack Shelly, WHO newscaster who spoke here on the Lions "charter night" was with this division for a time, and in his talk he credited the division with having laid the foundation for victory over the Germans.

Source: Kossuth County Advance, May 8, 1945 (photo included)

Orvin Richard Ristau was born Nov. 29, 1924 to Henry and Julia Wegner Ristau. He died Feb. 10, 1945 and is buried in Luverne Cemetery, Luverne, IA.

Pvt. Ristau served in World War II with the U.S. Army 589th Field Artillery and was WIA and died as a POW in a German prison camp.

Source: ancestry.com