This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Ghost_of_War wrote:... The difficulty with hard evidence for this porition of the war is that DEF's were stripped of identification, and records of specific deaths were not recorded, bodies are in areas where they cannot be identified by other means (DNA/Dental records) which makes proving mass extermination of SS troops following their surrender hard to prove without question, which is the entire point of the DEF designation and why things were done in the fashion that they were. ....
Ghost_of_War wrote:[Merged from viewtopic.php?f=6&t=162299]
I think the key thing to remember is that even thought a lot of SS troops survived the war itself, most met their death after surrendering. In the East, all SS men were simply executed or starved to death in hard labor camps. In the West, many were handed over to the Russians for execution. However, those that remained were mostly murdered in Allied POW camps or, in most cases, they were designated as "Disarmed Enemy Forces". At that point, those designated as DEF's, were stripped of all identification (military and civilian) and shipped to special camps where were denied food and forced to run daily, until they all died. These camps were completely shut-off from the outside world. No Red Cross or external access was allowed. They were not allowed to write letters to their families. Once dead, some were designated as "Other Losses" and buried in unmarked graves so that nobody would know their fate, or be able to track it back via a paper trail. It is estimated that more than 2 million men, mostly SS volunteers, from countries like Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Norway, Finland, Italy, Prussia, ect, were designated as DEF's and subsequently killed.
It is noteworthy that German citizens are forbidden by law to search for bodies in the areas of these suspected mass grave sites exist.
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