Why the Waffen-SS

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Freikorps, Reichswehr, Austrian Bundesheer, Heer, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Fallschirmjäger and the other Luftwaffe ground forces. Hosted by Christoph Awender.
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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 28 Jun 2012 04:23

For me the comradery and the culture of the Waffen-SS is not the issue, we know that most had honour and fought for their leader and ideals. That is not the issue. We know this and they don't need any defence.

It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation.

schrisbpd
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by schrisbpd » 28 Jun 2012 07:58

Oops- seems I touched a nerve. Well, if the LAPD actually wore "navy blue" uniforms BEFORE the Waffen SS, they can be excused. But it still seems stupid in a hot weather city.

And schribpd, do you really think any police chief would even consider a citizen complaint about uniform color? They listen onlyto Safety Directors and Mayors. I've been around the block a few times and know how these things work.

Best regards,.
Bill in Cleveland

Ok...This is the last comment im gonna make about this subject because were getting off the issue and I don't want Marcus getting mad at me! You did say and I quote..."My belief is because they think the Waffen SS was cool and identify with them." The idea that ANY U.S. police department wants to "Identify" with the SS or thinks that their "Cool" IS COMPLETELY OBSURD!!!!! I dont know where or how your coming up with this...maybe you've had one to many run ins with the the boys in blue...but i cant figure it out how you came to that conclusion! The second thing i would like to address is "Do you really think any police chief would even consider a citizen complainant about uniform color"...he may very well consider it but if your not going to excercise your right to make a complaint....then quit bitchin about it!

BTW...You are right about one thing though...dark uniforms suck in the summer time...especially here in the south! LOL

If you want to continue this discussion please feel free to send me a PM!

Thanks...Have a great day!!!

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 28 Jun 2012 09:34

BillHermann wrote:It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation.
Yup, that's one of the main issues I have with the "SS groupies" in this world: they're so eager to defend the Waffen-SS against people who think they were all criminals that they tend to overglorify the accomplishments of the Waffen-SS and to play down the connection between the Waffen-SS, the Allgemeine-SS and the camps. Once again I cite from one of the letters I recieved from SS-Sturmbannführer Rolf Diercks (DKiG), who passed away last February: he wrote that after the war it wasn't to difficult for him to open his eyes for the crimes of the system, including the Waffen-SS. And he believed that the the young soldiers who joined during the war - who believed in fighting the Bolsheviks - should have realized after the war that - as soldiers under the Sigrunen - "they were part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich."

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by schrisbpd » 29 Jun 2012 02:13

BillHermann wrote:I may have missed this.. I have searched for it but I have not found a thread asking, discussing or debating this subject. My question is, why are so many infatuated with the WaffeN-SS and not just a simple interest, or a study from a historical perspective but a real drive to assume and create a false mystique over something that is simple in fact and in recorded history, something that is really obvious. Why do some of us have to manipulate history to serve our own personal agenda and create fictional dreams to protect and honor something like the Waffen-SS

I have been to the the Battle of the Bulge sites.. Walked though Normandy and Falaise battle sites, been to Dachau / Webling, walked around many German cities.... Been in the streets of Berlin, seen the bunker site, battle locations and units fascinate me. Specifically the story behind the SS are a real interest but I do not feel the need to protect and honor them, I stay objective.

What is so appealing about the Wafenn-SS? Why has fiction become fact to so many? Why do ithe SS and Waffen-SS get a special place in the hearts of so many? . Why are they so popular? Why do they get a get out of jail free card?

People even go so far to assume that the later divisions were just as great or special as the the first 5. They even try to wash the Waffen-SS of its involvement with the SS. We know that the Waffen-SS had a direct relation ship with the SS but many try and twist history on this.

Why are they such a hot topic .

Regards Bill

About a year ago I had thought seriously about getting into reenacting and I had even considered joining an SS unit...but I just couldnt bring myself to do it! My thinking is that the SS is interesting to read about but thats as far as I want to go with that subject!

P.S. Good thread topic!!
Thanks!!

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by tonyh » 29 Jun 2012 03:31

BillHermann wrote:For me the comradery and the culture of the Waffen-SS is not the issue, we know that most had honour and fought for their leader and ideals. That is not the issue. We know this and they don't need any defence.

It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation.
There isn't any fiction in this at all. The vast majority of men who passed through the ranks of the Waffen SS had no connection with any camp. In fact the vast majority weren't even national socialist members.

The 3rd SS Div. Totenkopf was the unit most associated with the camps, as they drew men from that resource in its early days. But even this divisions association with the camp structure had melted away as the war proceeded.

It's true that the responsibility for "guarding" camps fell to men of the Waffen SS after 1941, but even so, the men involved remained in the minority.

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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 29 Jun 2012 05:59

You are very wrong, the administration of the camps fell under the Waffen-SS later in the war and the SS was quite a homogenous group. The senior members and early volunteers came directly from the SS. Many men who went through the ranks would have done time in many different units and had spent time doing work in Germany as part of the SS. Just look at the bios of many Majors and Colonels, you will see that many began in the SS then moved to one division and by 1945 had moved to others.

The only men that would not have had major political beliefs or associations with the SS would have been the late war drafttess or late war volunteers that we're trying to get out of prison or other work. The SS would have had made sure that most senior Waffen-SS members would have had party and organization allegiance, hence the reason why 3 or more had mutanies. As in all military units the senior members from Colonels to Seargents are tasked with promoting and sharing organization culture.

The simple fact is that the majority of the Waffen-SS members were tied to the SS, it was not black and white as you state.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 29 Jun 2012 08:52

BillHermann wrote:The only men that would not have had major political beliefs or associations with the SS would have been the late war drafttess
And even that is questionable. I've known quite some of them and due to their education, poisoned by Nazi propaganda in school, Hitlerjugend and everywere else ever since Hitler came to power in 1933, they were often even more convinced that Hitler was their God. Even much of the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine personel that was transfered to the Waffen-SS was caught by the zeal of their older comrades. They might not have been party members but they were nazi's for sure.

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Karelia
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Karelia » 29 Jun 2012 17:23

schrisbpd wrote: As Americans we are all entitled to our opinions..thats what makes this country so great!! !
Off the topic - sorry - but could not help myself. That kind of blind patriotism rubs me the wrong way...

FYI:

Freedom of press, USA 47th in the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -drop.html

Democracy index, USA 19th in the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_indices_of_freedom

Although I do gladly agree, that in many ways USA is a "good" country, it is not "the best" nor exceptional - at least not in freedom of speech (or democracy). Quite many countries are greater.

tonyh
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by tonyh » 02 Jul 2012 17:30

BillHermann wrote:You are very wrong, the administration of the camps fell under the Waffen-SS later in the war and the SS was quite a homogenous group. The senior members and early volunteers came directly from the SS. Many men who went through the ranks would have done time in many different units and had spent time doing work in Germany as part of the SS. Just look at the bios of many Majors and Colonels, you will see that many began in the SS then moved to one division and by 1945 had moved to others.
That doesn't mean they were involved is any concentraion camps; and the SS was NOT an homogenous group at all. The branches were quite distinct and separately organised, with the Waffen SS probably having less to do with the Allgemeine SS than other areas.

Responsiblity for the camps came under SS admin in 1941. But, again, this doesn't mean that the million that passed through the 38 divisions of the Waffen SS had any contact with them, in any capacity. There were numbers of men that were interchangible, but it's a falsehood to claim that Waffen SS men had responsibility for the camps as a matter of general course.

In addition, just because many of the senior officers had experience in the Allgeneine SS, it certainly does NOT mean that they also had experience with the concentration camp system either.

As I said in the previous mail, the Waffen SS division most closely related to the camps was the 3rd Waffen SS Totenkopf, who drew their men from the camp guard system early on and whose commander, Theodor Eicke, was at Dachau and was involved in other camps and the system itself.

But for every Theofor Eicke, or Max Simon, there was a Paul Hausser, or Kurt Meyer, or Wilhelm Mohnke, or Wilhelm Bittrich, or Felix Steiner, or Fritz Witt.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 02 Jul 2012 18:07

tonyh wrote:But for every Theofor Eicke, or Max Simon, there was a Paul Hausser, or Kurt Meyer, or Wilhelm Mohnke, or Wilhelm Bittrich, or Felix Steiner, or Fritz Witt.
You mean people who committed warcrimes at the front instead of in the camps? Anyway, in your attempt to clear the Waffen-SS from involvement in concentration camps you forgot to explain how tens of thousands of wounded Waffen-SS men passed through Dachau when they recovered from their wounds. And don't try the "strict line between the training grounds and the KZ" excuse because you know very well that it didn't work that way. Same for the tens of thousands of Waffen-SS soldiers who were involved in rounding up Jews for deportation, let alone the divisions which were used to hunt down "partisans" like Florian Geyer and Prinz Eugen (a nice euphemism for murdering Jews and other untermensche).

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 02 Jul 2012 18:29

I think many ill educated individuals in the media and indeed in higher education today have the habit of "lumping" the SS together under the umbrella Evil Bad Sadistic, This is neither fair or objective nor is it factually correct! We must listen to the quote by Karl Marx that "History is written by the Victors". There were good and bad in all armies and many of the Waffen SS Divisions were nothing more than highly skilled and yes politically motivated troops who were interested in meeting the enemy in the field.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 02 Jul 2012 18:33

I'm just going to repost this once more...
Harro wrote:
BillHermann wrote:Once again I cite from one of the letters I recieved from SS-Sturmbannführer Rolf Diercks (DKiG), who passed away last February: he wrote that after the war it wasn't to difficult for him to open his eyes for the crimes of the system, including the Waffen-SS. And he believed that the the young soldiers who joined during the war - who believed in fighting the Bolsheviks - should have realized after the war that - as soldiers under the Sigrunen - "they were part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich."
Diercks told me that they were not "Soldaten wie anderen auch" but it seems most of the Waffen-SS admirers, including many in this forum, refuse to believe him.

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sidelock123
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by sidelock123 » 02 Jul 2012 18:41

Some of us may also have family that served in the Waffen SS and feel that they should like all other losses of war be paid some degree of respect regardless of which state or system was victorious? Perhaps thats one side of the argument. "By the grace of god go I" .......when you look at the civilian and "collateral" damage as the americans like to call other deaths caused in the Middle East in the last 20 years of wars.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 02 Jul 2012 18:53

Some degree of respect is one thing, blind admiration and trivialisation of the involvement of the Waffen-SS in the crimes of the nazi regime is something else. To often the Waffen-SS admirers tend to choose that second option.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 02 Jul 2012 19:14

For those who understand the German language, some excerpts from the mentioned letter.
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