Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

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Marcus
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Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by Marcus » 27 Dec 2006 18:22

A review of "Directive 19: The Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Rolf Otto Schiller" by Rolf Schiller has been added to the site.
http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=8111

/Marcus

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Michael Miller
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Post by Michael Miller » 28 Dec 2006 00:48

Thank you.

An interesting thread on this subject appears at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... =directive .

I regret to re-report that the entire book, though purporting to be actual memoirs, is a mountain of fraudulent garbage.

~ Mike

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Post by Michael Miller » 28 Dec 2006 00:52

And now that I've read his review, I see that the reviewer- Tom Houlihan- is on to the fraudsters who perpetrated this thing. So... why 4 out of 5 stars?

~ Mike

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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » 28 Dec 2006 14:14

I'm still going to attempt to verify some of the information. I need to do some flanking, rather than a frontal assault. I've talked to Mr. Harker about the review I wrote. Something he sent me indicated that at least some of the inaccuracies were due to unfamiliarity with some military terminology. Add to that 'Rolf' didn't want heavy editing, and you end up with a lot of errors that could have been fixed quite easily by almost anyone on this board. I just need the time to sit down, and figure out what specific queries to send my contact in Poland.

Four of five starts may well look a little high. I gave it that rating because I did find it an interesting read. A lot of the SD activity felt authentic. Much more so than when he was "playing Army." I'm also a little leery of his interaction with so many celebrities, but at least some of it could well have happened like he said it did.

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Post by Michael Miller » 28 Dec 2006 19:12

“I was at the forefront of planning, organizing and carrying out the deportations to the concentration camps. I submitted recommendations to Superior Officers regarding the most cost effective and efficient methods to utilize in the camps to ensure the maximum number of executions on a daily basis. I participated in the killings of civilians and Jews conducted by Einsatzgruppen Units in the Ukraine and continued to offer proposals on means to expedite the process. I have killed with ruthless disregard for humanity. I ordered young German soldiers to kill with ruthless disregard for humanity. I personally authorized favorable reports on the use of Zyklon B as a gassing chemical and personally pulled the trigger of a machine gun to shoot civilians on the snowy steppes of the Ukraine. I hanged Polish, French and Dutch civilians during summary and reprisal executions. I am a criminal."
"At the forefront"- yet we've never heard of him until "Directive 19". I'm sorry, Tom, and I mean no offense at all, but this is a fraud from start to finish, indeed deserving of five stars (-5, that is). My only hope is that this Harker will receive the full measure of discredit and scorn he deserves. If he'd presented it as a novel- albeit a very derivative one (the story is reminiscent of Gerald Green's novel "Holocaust", on which the ca. 1977 TV miniseries was based starring Michael Moriarty as the Schilleresque main character)- I'd have no problem with the guy. But he's beginning to be taken as an authority on the subject among less-aware/more naive circles on the internet.

If nothing else, I want to see an SS-Nr., some pages from an SS-Personalakte, something tangible. So far, this guy appears even less-genuine than the following "highly-decorated" Waffen-SS officer:


Frithjof-Elmo Porsch
(also known as “Ingo Petersson”)
SS-Untersturmführer der Waffen-SS


* 19.10.1924 in Hamborn.
+

SS-Nr.: Unknown (Joined 00.00.1941)

Promotions:
[00.12.1944] SS-Funker
[00.04.1945] SS-Untersturmführer der Waffen-SS

Decorations & Awards:

Note:
Herr Porsch appears in several photos, taken postwar, wearing Ritterkreuz and numerous other high awards; no official proof has been uncovered to verify if he received ANY awards at all. While he certainly did serve as an officer in the Waffen-SS, his SS file provides little more than his name and date of birth. According to his own account, which should be viewed with extreme skepticism as it is entirely unsubstantiated by documentation, he received the following:

? 28.04.1945 ? Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (?) as SS-Untersturmführer and Fhr. of Panzerjagd-Kompanie "Dora II" attached to SS-Bewährungsverbände 500, Eastern Front (shown in Krätschmer, however according to letter dated 21.01.1999 from the Vorstand of the Ordensgemeinschaft der Ritterkreuzträger des Eisernen Kreuzes e.V. [reproduced in Krätschmer, 2nd Edition], Porsch was “kein Ritterkreuzträger” [no Knight’s Cross holder])
? 00.00.194_ ? Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (? Not listed in Horst Scheibert, Die Träger des Deutschen Kreuzes in Gold, Band 2)
? 00.00.194_ ? Ehrenblatt-Spange des Heeres (?)
? 08.08.1943 ? Nahkampfspange III. Stufe (Gold) (?) (if he did in fact receive the award on this date, he was the first
recipient, and only 18-years of age)
? 00.00.194_ ? 1939 Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse
? 00.00.194_ ? 1939 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse
? 00.00.194_ ? Allgemeines-Sturmabzeichen IV. Stufe (for 75 assaults) (?)
? 00.00.194_ ? Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in Silber
? 00.00.194_ ? Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfung von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer (20 – 24!)(?)


~ Mike

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Heimatschuss
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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by Heimatschuss » 02 Jun 2008 14:12

Hello all,

busting Paul K. Harker is fun so let's have some more of it. As has been demonstrated before ( http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... r#p1216592 ) Harker seems to be somewhat geographically challenged. Perhaps this character trait can also be found in his "German co-authors"?

Fortunately Harker once did a bit of PR for his 'Directive 19' book resulting in an article in 'Delaware online' available here:
http://www.vawatchdog.org/old%20newsfla ... 2006-2.htm
http://worldwartwozone.com/forums/world ... bannf.html

One particular sentence there supplying some geographical information gripped my attention:"After the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, Schiller was appointed SS chief of police for the town of Porajów, where he executed hundreds of local partisans and Jews."

So let's throw "Porajów" into Google Earth and see what happens. You get indeed a location in Poland ( http://maps.google.de/maps?hl=de&tab=wl&q=Poraj%C3%B3w) - but it's today's Poland!!! Porajów is located in the southwestern edge of Poland on the eastern bank of the Neisse river just opposite the German town of Zittau.
Someone seems to have forgotten that the German-Polish border was moved 250 kilometers westward by the Allies in 1945 with the subsequent deportation of millions of Germans from the areas east of the rivers Oder and Neisse!
Until 1945 Porajów was known to the world just as Großporitsch in Saxony ( http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poraj%C3%B3w ).
How on Earth could Rolf Otto Schiller not realize that he was actually in central Germany when he took office there in 1939?
Where did all those 'Polish partisans' come from in an area that had absolutely no Polish population till 1945?

That Harker does not know anything about the 1945 deportations maybe understandable but that Schiller, allegedly a SS officer, has completely forgotten about it defies belief. Wonders upon wonders.

Perhaps there's another place called 'Porajów' in Poland? The Polish edition of Wikipedia doesn't known anything about an alternative location. What is more: In this blog ( http://directive19.blogspot.com/2006/08 ... earch.html ) Crusher, one of Harker's other personifications ( http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 54#p957154 ) expressly points to the Porajów we already know. What Crusher/Harker writes about renaming of cities there is of course total and utter rubbish again just underlining his complete incompetence.
There were never any plans to rename Zittau into Porajów, especially no Nazi plany to replace a germanic place name (Zittau) with a slavic one (Porajów). Zittau was known as Zittau before the Nazis, during the Nazis and is still known as Zittau ( http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zittau )
The other renamings supposed by Crusher are just as ludricous, replacement of somewhat Polish sounding fantasy names with the real Polish names

Conclusion: The whole episode of Schiller being a SS chief of police for Porajów is total humbug (just like the rest of the book).

Best regards
Torsten
Last edited by Heimatschuss on 02 Jun 2008 14:29, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Jun 2008 14:21

Torsten - strangely enough, that blog you mention has now apparently vanished... 8O :wink:

Perhaps you could just test if you can still get at it?

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by Heimatschuss » 02 Jun 2008 14:28

Sorry,

ruined some URLs while copypasting. The links should be working now.

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by Potsdamerplatz » 02 Jun 2008 14:36

I somehow doubt Mr Harker cares at this point whether or not he has been rumbled. His motive for pulling off such a deception was surely for financial gain (unless he's deluded enough to actually believe his own fantasies). Unlike genuine authors he probably hasn't had to spend thousands of dollars on research material, so any profits received from the book are his own. He's one of the few who has actually boosted his bank balance. I say this because members here such as Mark Yerger and Richard Hargreaves have said on many occasions that they make very little profit through the sale of their books as so much money is spent in advance on research materials.

He's sold his books, he's made his money. Maybe next time he will change his identity and try something new: Final Victory: The Memoirs of a Soviet infantrymen who fought from Kharkov to Berlin. :roll: :wink:

Kind regards.
The truth is that you're a quiet, sensitive type, but if I'm prepared to take a chance I might just get to know the inner you: witty, adventurous, passionate, loving, loyal, a little bit crazy, a little bit bad, but, hey, don't us girls just love that?

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Jun 2008 15:39

The problems are, however

1/ they are STILL being sold as "non-fiction"....

2/ there are a lot of people out there who will have bought this on the grounds that they were factual memoirs...

David, you probably won't rememmber, but many years' ago the journalist Len Mosley wrote the wartime"factual" book The Druid, alledging among other things that a German spy found out the date and plans for Dieppe...based on the accounts of a wartime Intelligence veteran and information from Kim Philby, and the minutes of Col. T.A. Robertson's XX Committee meetings...

However 1/ Robertson confirmed the said meetings never took place, 2/ Mosley never confirmed how he had access to the minutes of the commitee running Britain's Double Cross System, among the most secure in the country at the time, 3/ the wartime veteran distanced himself completely from Mosley...."people power" in the form of an intense campaign by wartime British Intelligence officers forced the publishers, Methuen, to reclassify the book as fiction.

And - of course - there's the Hitler Diaries....!

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by chollie » 07 Jun 2008 16:02

I have followed the debate on this here and over on Feldgrau with interest. As a result I won't be buying this book. I take my cap off to phylo_roadking for his tenacity in following this up and to the members of both forums who have shown this book to be incorrectly labelled at best.

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Jun 2008 16:33

The investigation on Feldgrau has taken a new and VERY unsavoury twist...

http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... 33&t=29227

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by chollie » 07 Jun 2008 20:25

Yes, I was checking out that site/Forum of his and find in general that everybody miraculously agrees that Mr Harkers books are wonderful - not a single dissenting voice, reported numbers of post in the various sections don't match the actual posts that can be seen and there is a remarkable similarity in the language used. Interestingly all the avatars are linked/hosted from the same site which is completely unrelated to Mr Harkers site/forum. Reminds me of Stilton gone off.

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Jun 2008 22:37

No, it is related - it's a personal photo and video sharing service just like imageshack or photobucket. Harker must a filestore on it to hold his pics, same as you used to to have to use a service like that here or on Feldgrau to link pics from before the software upgrades. Aceboard forums mustn't support direct linking from a hard disk yet.
Reminds me of Stilton gone off.
If you check out the Feldgrau thread linked to above - you can view it without joining - you'll see it's a LOT worse than mere rotten cheese...

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Re: Review: Directive 19: Memoirs of SS Sturmbannführer Schiller

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 08 Jun 2008 06:12

1/ they are STILL being sold as "non-fiction"....
Well, the reprints of the novels by Porsch/Ingo Peterson are advertized as "non-fiction" here in Germany, too...it seems there is a market for pseudo-historical "biographies"....MickeyMouseBusiness :roll:

Jan-Hendrik

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