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Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations.
Hosted by George Lepre.

Re: Polish Hiwi in German service?

Postby tom_deba on 23 Feb 2013 18:18

I suppose he could have been a Polish soldier of German origin - a POW - who was employed provisionally in 1939 as a cook by some German unit. He got this belt from Germans to make his look more "German".
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Re: Polish Volunteers In The Wehrmacht

Postby Askold on 16 Aug 2013 18:31

Mention of Polish volunteers in Waffen SS in memoirs of Ukrainian Flakhelper. He was sent to training in SS Kaserne in Munich, while there he was there he managed to observe all the nationalities.

My translation:
There were a lot of "auslanders". So we had us, waloons, flemish, romanians, dutch, norwegians, danish, poles. The first ones were in their national formations, the rest in all-german units.


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Re: Polish Volunteers In The Wehrmacht

Postby Askold on 16 Aug 2013 21:03

One more Polish volunteer in Galician division. Won't translate the whole thing, but mentions a field court marshal for an officer who in panik abandoned his artillery. His name was Zaborski and before the war he was a member of Polish nationalist organizaiton "Strzhelcy".

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Re: Polish Volunteers In The Wehrmacht

Postby history1 on 17 Aug 2013 12:14

Askold wrote:[...] before the war he was a member of Polish nationalist organizaiton "Strzhelcy".
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Is this claim a quote or just your personal opinion?
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Re: Polish Volunteers In The Wehrmacht

Postby Rob - wssob2 on 17 Aug 2013 16:57

Mention of Polish volunteers in Waffen SS in memoirs of Ukrainian Flakhelper


Strange however, how these individuals were "Ukrainians" to the SS during the war and suddenly became "Polish" to the Allies after it.

IMO any discussion of "Polish Waffen SS" volunteers is a red herring, considering how anti-Polish both the SS and the Ukrainian nationalists were.
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Re: polish volunteer books??

Postby omiller on 02 Nov 2013 20:28

kindzjal wrote:Another Polish Schuma Battailon was the 107th.
Created in 1943 in Volodymyr-Volynskyi. The battalion consisted of 450 Poles from Volhynia under German command. The unit did not take part in any combat. In January 1944 the entire battalion deserted and joined the Armia Krajowa (27th Home Army Infantry Division ).

A very interesting unit is the Schutzmannschaftsbataillon 104.
Created in 1942 in Kobrin. The battailon was a mixed unit (Poles, Ukrainians and some Belorussians) (!)
In March 1943 a big part of the battalion (under the commend of Feldwebel Michal Kunicki) deserted and joined the "Begma" partisan brigade.

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Other "Polish" Schuma Battailons :

Schutzmannschaftsbataillon 102
Schutzmannschaftsbataillon 103
Schutzmannschaftsbataillon 108

Bestreg,
kindzjal




Hello kindzjal. The 104 police battalion really existed. My uncle was a member of it.
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Re: Polish SS Unit

Postby midnattsolen on 13 Nov 2013 19:56

There has been a rumor of Polish SS members. About 35 years ago my mother told me of a relative who was in the SS. She used the description of "storm trooper". I asked my Grandmother about it and she said this person was a policeman who was forced to join or else would face serious consequences. This relative was a cousin of my Grandfather. My Grandfather had a German last name but was Polish with distant German roots. I had thought that due to the German name this person was in the SS. However my Grandmother said it was a relative from the mother's side of the family who had Polish names. My Grandfather's family came from the Austrian section of Poland and immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800's through the early 1900's.

In my research I found information on Schutzmannschaft Batalion 202 which was comprised of forced conscripts of the Polish "Blue Police". They were trained at Debica which was an SS training facility. Apparently this unit served in Belarus on partisan duty and was once briefly attached to Dirlewanger's SS unit. My relatives were from the area not far from Debica. The Schutzmannschaft batallions were under the police who were in reality under the influence of the SS. The Schutmannschaft's initials would be "SS". I can see where people would associate this to a "Polish SS Unit". My guess is that my distant relative may have been in Schutzmannschaft Battallion 202.

Hopefully I can someday find info in the archives as to a member list of this unit. I believe my relative may have been KIA.
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby Marcus Wendel on 14 Nov 2013 18:00

A few posts were moved to this thread from the duplicate "Polish SS Unit".

/Marcus
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby jednastka on 15 Nov 2013 20:57

A few thoughts...

The question of "volunteers" depends on one's perspective.

Much of my grandfather's family lived in the Torun area during the first few years of the war. All my great-uncles were under regular pressure to sign papers declaring they were Volksdeutsche. They refused, but as the war in the east began to go poorly for the Germans, the pressure increased. One day in 1942, they showed up at one of my great-uncles place, and asked again. Again, he refused. He was then told that they would start shooting his family members one-by-one, starting with the women, until he signed. Once he signed, he and his three eldest sons were immediately "volunteered" into the Wermacht and sent to the Eastern Front. To everyone's amazement, all returned home in 1946! The youngest was picked up in early 1944, when he was 18, for the defense of the Western Front, before Normandy. A few days after the invasion started, he ran to the allies at the first opportunity. The forces opposite turned out to be an American unit form the Detroit area, and he was quickly accepted as a Pole. By the fall of 1944, he had joined the Polish II Corps in Italy.

In the course of my professional employment, I came across a colleague whose family emigrated in the 1950s from just east of Krakow. I assumed the family was Polish, but was quickly corrected that they are, and always were, German, but that they hid that declaration post-war because they did not want to be deported as Germans. Apparently, they were Polish citizens between the wars, but their general perspective was "as long as we have our land, it does not matter who rules the land, and what we are called". The father and his brothers immediately joined the German forces following the fall of Poland in 1939.

Again, one needs to be careful in making sweeping generalizations on matters that occurred over 70 years ago.

Vic
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby George Lepre on 16 Nov 2013 02:19

Great post, Vic. Thanks.
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby history1 on 16 Nov 2013 11:04

jednastka wrote:[...] He was then told that they would start shooting his family members one-by-one, starting with the women, until he signed.

I assume he didn´t hesitate to undersign the Volksliste? Or did he wait until they shot any family member?
jednastka wrote: Once he signed, he and his three eldest sons were immediately "volunteered" into the Wermacht and sent to the Eastern Front. [...] Vic

Strange, in German "voluntary" means that they from their own will and efforts tried to get into the Wehrmacht. If it, was is maybe more likely, was contrary I would call it "the have been conscribed/drafted".

But that´s just my thoughts as not native speaker of the English language, 11 :)
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby Askold on 19 Nov 2013 17:50

A Pole from 3rd SS div. Totenkopf, photo from period journal scanned by my friend.

P.S. For some reason my photo in post 1781 got replaced with modern photograph of austro-hungarian reenactors. Would be great if moderators could remove it.
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby George Lepre on 21 Nov 2013 01:24

Askold wrote:P.S. For some reason my photo in post 1781 got replaced with modern photograph of austro-hungarian reenactors. Would be great if moderators could remove it.


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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby Davey Boy on 22 Nov 2013 03:31

Askold wrote:A Pole from 3rd SS div. Totenkopf, photo from period journal scanned by my friend.


Do you have any more details about this SS Pole?

It's possible that he is actually a Polish volunteer from the area of Poland occupied by Germany, one of the very few mind you. But there might be other explanations. For instance, he might be an ethnic Pole from a region that belonged to Germany before WWII, like Masuria in East Prussia, or an area just across the border from Silesia or Greater Poland? If so, then for all intents and purposes he was a German national with a Slavic name and background, just like the Slavic Sorbs from Eastern Germany, who had to serve in the German forces, and did so without complaining too much about it.

Indeed, some of the Slavic ethnic groups living just across the border from Poland were among the most ardent Nazis. Masuria, for instance, showed more support for Hitler than most of the lands with a Germanic majority. And a lot of the Masurians couldn't even speak German. 8O
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Re: Polish volunteers?

Postby Sid Guttridge on 22 Nov 2013 11:55

It seems highly unlikely that any self-identifying Poles would have wanted to serve in the Germans forces voluntarily, or that the Germans would have accepted any Pole who did not have Volksdeutsch I or II status.

This thread seems to be a fishing expedition for exceptions that prove the rule.

Cheers,

Sid.
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