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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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by nobodyofnote » 03 Jul 2012 03:12

phylo_roadking wrote:Even the mass media of the day picked up on HOW it was being used to "blow people's minds".... :wink:
"What cannot be denied is the use of Nazi symbols, imagery and look in the initial styles and fashion of punk rock. And while these can be explained away as designed to provoke and shock, some more intellectually challenged punks may have actually believed them." - Punk & the Swastika

Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols (songs 'Belsen Was a Gas' and 'Nazi Baby'):

Image

Siouxsie Sioux from the Banshees (song 'Love In a Void' which contained the lyric 'Too many Jews for my liking').

Image

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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 03 Jul 2012 03:31

The question is less to do with pop / punk / metal culture as its pretty evident why they would use Nazi / SS symbols and culture as it was and still is about shock value.

The question is less to do with pop culture and more to do with miss information and current trends.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 03 Jul 2012 06:48

BillHermann wrote:I find the constant reminder of there were good ones too or they were not all as bad as other tiresome as well coming from this side of the debate. We all know and agree that some had far more guilt than others and that the ones that were not directly involved with crimes or had nothing to do with them. But the concept that they should be given respect and not be associated with the organization or the bad ones is a little more challenging. This is what is missing when the good ones come up in the argument. even Paul Hauser and Wilhem Bittrich were in the SS and SA. Both of their early pre war roots came from the key organizations that helped the Nazis come to power and murder the innocent. Even older members like Paul Hauser would not have joined the SS if he did not belive in their values and traditions.

So no they were not as bad, perhaps, but anyone that was a major or above would have had some level of association and history with the SS and Nazis. If you went to a junkerschule, part of the SA, guarded Hitler, trained at any Waffen-SS installation, you would have had been influenced by the traditions, policies, propaganda and lore of the SS and Nazis.

The question is not who was good and who was bad but that why ....
Isn't that exactly what Rolf Diercks said?

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by phylo_roadking » 03 Jul 2012 14:02

The question is less to do with pop / punk / metal culture as its pretty evident why they would use Nazi / SS symbols and culture as it was and still is about shock value.

The question is less to do with pop culture and more to do with miss information and current trends.
Bill, go back and re-read my reply to Harro....

Look at today's fat balding W-SS re-enactors etc....they were the punks and rockers 30 years ago! 8O
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Karelia » 03 Jul 2012 17:57

Labelling all Waffen-SS troops alike is a mistake, since they definitely were not.

E.g. USA has officially classified (if I remember it correctly) the Baltic Waffen-SS soldiers (as a group) as not members of a criminal organization, since they didn't have any real possibility to avoid being drafted. All they did was to fight the arch enemy of their countries.

The Finnish Waffen-SS soldiers (c. 1.400) went to the Waffen-SS, because Germany did not accept them to Wehrmacht (which was the aim of the Finnish government). They were used to secure the German aid to Finland. The volunteers themselves felt, that they were following the steps of the famous (in Finland at least) 27th Jaeger battalion (in German army) volunteers of the WW1, who helped Finland to gain her independence. Finnish Waffen-SS volunteers fought for two years against the soviets. No Finn has ever been accused for war crimes in Waffen-SS.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by tonyh » 03 Jul 2012 22:08

Harro wrote:I don't mean what does "oh yawn" mean, I want to now what you mean when you say...
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.
because it tastes like the usual "Soldiers Like Any Other" mantra Hausser invented and which is again and again parroted by Waffen-SS appologists despite being complete bantam.
To begin, I was replying to BillHermann's mistaken assertion of:
"It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation."

The sentence above would give the less educated reader the impression that when Waffen SS soldiers weren't at the front, they were happily gassing Jews in the camps.

It simply isn't the case and the vast majority of the men who passed through the ranks of the Waffen SS hadn't any contact with any camp at all.

My point in contrasting the likes of Eicke and say Bitterich, is to say that while one was ensconced in the camp system, the other never even saw a camp and it illustrates the folly of lumping a large body of men into one convenient bag.

Also, while the Waffen SS was part of the nazi organisation and wholly incorporated in the nazi state and system, the majority of the men (especially the younger ones) had no real political affiliation, in the true sense of the word. As I said, most weren't even members of the party.

If there was a common "political" trend amongst the volunteers of the Waffen SS (who drew men from a large geography), it was vehement anti Communism.

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Harro
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by Harro » 03 Jul 2012 23:12

That does not explain why you mentioned Paul Hausser, Kurt Meyer, Wilhelm Mohnke, Wilhelm Bittrich, Felix Steiner and Fritz Witt: men who were party members complete with political affiliation and who were certainly no Soldaten wie anderen auch. Exactly as Diercks said, even the younger Waffen-SS soldiers who joined late in the war should realize that "they were part of the organization that was the motor behind the racial madness and the imperialistic "Germano-mania" of the Third Reich." Hausser, Meyer, Mohnke and the others you mentioned were more than that: they might not have been part of the camp organization but they new about the camps and they knew what the Einsatzgruppen were about. They were ardent nazi's who supported these crimes.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 04 Jul 2012 00:00

You are only seeing what you want to see. I never said that they all were at the camps. You are assuming this because you obviously feel a level of passion and interest towards the Waffen-SS. Some how them being involved is a bad thing which it is but you have to accept it.

Again as I said before I know they were not all bad, I am talking about the organization, it's roots and it's administration role in the late war period not the men. This is fact and we know this.

Many of the younger ones did have real affiliations with the party and the SS as they grew up in the Nazi state. Many who were in the Hitler Youth. The 12-SS was particularly fanatical, they were very much all about the movement. The majorty who were not would have been late war conscripts or recruits from non german regions later in the war. The other point as well that even though many senior members were staunch anti communists some of the last Waffen-grenadier regiments recruited comunists from concentration camps.

The traditions and culture were the jobs of senior members to share. This is especially the role of the senior NCOs who work with the junior ranks. As a former member of my countries forces I was expected to uphold my units traditions and respect my Queen and country. Why would this not be the same for the Waffen-SS. Even the Wehrmacht had to uphold these values.

For being such a staunch defender of the Waffen-SS I am stunned you don't know more of this.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by tonyh » 04 Jul 2012 01:02

Harro wrote:That does not explain why you mentioned Paul Hausser, Kurt Meyer, Wilhelm Mohnke, Wilhelm Bittrich, Felix Steiner and Fritz Witt...
It explains it perfectly within the context of Waffen SS = Concentration camps.

You're not really picking it up, are you?

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by tonyh » 04 Jul 2012 01:45

BillHermann wrote:You are only seeing what you want to see. I never said that they all were at the camps.
I've explained clearly why your sentence "It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation." was misleading.
BillHermann wrote:You are assuming this because you obviously feel a level of passion and interest towards the Waffen-SS.
Incorrect...and this is indicative of the mistaken approach that you seem to be labouring under Bill. I have an interest in the subject I've been studying for nigh on 30 years i.e. the Second World War, of which the Waffen SS is but a part.
BillHermann wrote:Some how them being involved is a bad thing which it is but you have to accept it. Again as I said before I know they were not all bad, I am talking about the organization, it's roots and it's administration role in the late war period not the men. This is fact and we know this.
The problem with that type of approach is that it leads one to incorrect conclusions and colours the view terribly. It's fine if one has a "History Channel" level of interest, but delving deeper requires a more intense approach. Labelling organisations is dodgy as it labels the men under those organisations. This is why it's wrong to believe that the Waffen SS was a "criminal" organisation, on the basis that the SS was labelled as such. It's perhaps unfortunate that the men of the Waffen SS even had SS in its title. Perhaps if their title was different, the view of them by some people would be different too. Organisations have different levels of people and involvement and assuming everyone in a given organisation is fully paid up, or shares exactly the same views etc is, by and large, a mistake.

It's really just an extension of "all Germans were nazis".


It's really just an extention of "all Germans were nazis".
BillHermann wrote:Many of the younger ones did have real affiliations with the party and the SS as they grew up in the Nazi state. Many who were in the Hitler Youth. The 12-SS was particularly fanatical, they were very much all about the movement...
Says who? There were some in the 12th that were "fanatics", but there were also people in the ranks that "found" themselves there too. Again, you're are making the mistake of lumping in large groups of people into a single bracket and it's an awful way to approach anything. Many, many people went through Hitlerjugen and didn't have hardened fanatical nazi views. It was compulsory for all German boys to join, so it's a mistake to assume that just because anyone was in the Hitler Youth, that they were political views, or views of any sort were hard and fast.
BillHermann wrote:The traditions and culture were the jobs of senior members to share. This is especially the role of the senior NCOs who work with the junior ranks. As a former member of my countries forces I was expected to uphold my units traditions and respect my Queen and country. Why would this not be the same for the Waffen-SS. Even the Wehrmacht had to uphold these values.


My father was in the Royal Engineers during the war. He pledged allegiance to the Queen of England. He didn't give a toss about the Queen of any nation. The same can be said of my Grandfather and his two brothers who served in the First World War.

Many men of the Waffen SS DID NOT share the opinions of Germany's leaders and as said earlier, the Waffen SS drew its ranks from many different countries, each with very different outlooks. To repeat, if there's ONE thing that drew the majority of men to Waffen SS service, it was anti Communism. A sentiment that was shared by a great deal of Western Europe.

The men of the Waffen SS had a huge number of reasons for joining, that differed greatly, even among the German servicemen.
BillHermann wrote:For being such a staunch defender of the Waffen-SS I am stunned you don't know more of this.
Oh tut tut...a "staunch defender" ?

So, that's me labelled as well eh?

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BillHermann
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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 04 Jul 2012 02:10

By the way you seem to misunderstand we are not saying that all Waffen-SS members = the camps that is of course not true but late war you can say the organization Waffen-SS does = the camps and the organization Waffen -SS does = the SS.

Members not all the organization yes. To ignore this denies them the history.

Again I never said "all" but it is true that the many were. Especially those who went through the ranks of the Hitler youth would have some level of interest in the movement. Why would you voulenteer to join the SS or Waffen-SS if you did not have some level of interest in the message, values and culture. A vast majority of Germans from 1932 to 1944 were quite happy to wave the flag and support the organization either out of pride or fear. But support is support, having lived in Germany for 7 years and talking to seniors the vast majority will agree. The only ones that don't often don't want to talk about it or have private reasons not to talk about. They know that not all were bad, but they say most followed.

By the way I'm am well versed in the Ukrainians, Albanians, French, Dutch, Scandinavians, Croatian, Italians, and people from the Baltics that joined and that the vast majority did not join because they were staunch Nazis. There were many reasons from getting a living wage to agreeing with the policies, to being able to fight Communists or to be able to legally bully your neighbor who was of a diffrent religion or race. But most of these units had senior officers and NCOs that were part of the original organization. I just don't subscribe to the post war fiction that has been created. Funny thing is many of the German Waffen-SS veterans would agree with many of these statements but of course some would not as usual. I would also like to add that I know that some of the senior Waffen-SS members were not as bad as others however most were party members some you mentioned even had the Golden Party Badge. That is pretty tight with the leaders at the top.

I have many books on the matter as well and have read many that are flaky and fictional trying to separate the organization from the SS and Nazis. This simply is not true and any book that touts this is no better than a fictional book from Len Deighton.

It's quite simple enjoy the study of the Waffen-SS but accept the bad that comes with them. Trying to pull them away as an organization from the SS, the Nazis and the camps does them a disservice as that's who they were.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by waldzee » 04 Jul 2012 03:47

tonyh wrote:
Harro wrote:I don't mean what does "oh yawn" mean, I want to now what you mean when you say...
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.
because it tastes like the usual "Soldiers Like Any Other" mantra Hausser invented and which is again and again parroted by Waffen-SS appologists despite being complete bantam.
To begin, I was replying to BillHermann's mistaken assertion of:
"It is the fiction that they had no role in the camps or were men of an organization that had no political affiliation."

The sentence above would give the less educated reader the impression that when Waffen SS soldiers weren't at the front, they were happily gassing Jews in the camps.

It simply isn't the case and the vast majority of the men who passed through the ranks of the Waffen SS hadn't any contact with any camp at all.

My point in contrasting the likes of Eicke and say Bitterich, is to say that while one was ensconced in the camp system, the other never even saw a camp and it illustrates the folly of lumping a large body of men into one convenient bag.

Also, while the Waffen SS was part of the nazi organisation and wholly incorporated in the nazi state and system, the majority of the men (especially the younger ones) had no real political affiliation, in the true sense of the word. As I said, most weren't even members of the party.

If there was a common "political" trend amongst the volunteers of the Waffen SS (who drew men from a large geography), it was vehement anti Communism.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
AFAIR, the Waffen SS recruited extensivley in Rural Germany under the premise that Its veterans would get `first dibs`on the vast plantations of the post war Reich.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 04 Jul 2012 04:58

Indeed Waldzee but remember they all were not bad or from rural Germany

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by waldzee » 04 Jul 2012 05:08

BillHermann wrote:Indeed Waldzee but remember they all were not bad or from rural Germany
_+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
That is true, Bill, however the land promise was one of the `morally corrupting`` promises that lured otherwise moral men in deeper.
In Steinbeck’s` The Moon is Down`` he has a group of SS officers casually discussing how `great a farming country this would be if you put together several of these small farms`, & shortly discussing marrying the choice of the local girls `when regulations are relaxed`.

Of course, to achieve genteel polygamy on expansive estates, the current occupiers have to be turfed.

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Re: Why the Waffen-SS

Post by BillHermann » 04 Jul 2012 05:22

I was trying to be funny ...

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