How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

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Sarge3525
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Sarge3525 » 15 Sep 2019 18:29

I suggest that most of you posters that delve too much in abstract reading on the SS,
Actually watch some interviews of SS men or read old biographies.

When you watch 99% of these interviews and biographies, you find that the average SS recruit was 18-25 years old and did not care one bit about politics (how intelligent and ideologically driven can a male in this age group be, really?). They joined up because they wanted to be elite combat soldiers, similar to how one would join the RECON or DELTA force in the US military today. They wanted to be elite combat soldiers, they liked the uniforms, and they liked that Frauleins liked them. No different than any high testosterone 18-25 year old male today.

Now there is a HUGE difference between SS in the civil organisation and SS-TV, over 30 years old, who probably were knowledgeable about National Socialism and were actual die hard Nazis. But that wasn't the case for the overwhelming number of rank & file SS men that were no more than cannon-fodder for the Reich.

And even then...Amongst the "Nazis", you find a wide array of nuances when it came to ideology. For example, the Wehrmacht officer from the events of the film "the Pianist" was a die-hard Nazi before the war, but once he fought in Poland, he became completely disgusted by Nazi ideology. This was a man that was a member of the SA and NSDAP! An SA/NSDAP man who sang about "making Germany Aryan again" now found himself full of compassion and saved many Jews. How do you reconcile that? You can't! Not in a black & White history.

And on the other hand, you have many Germans and people in service of the holocaust that did not care one bit about Nazism before the war!

That just goes to show that human motivations are complicated. But of course we always have the armchair historians that believe history is black and white, and want to paint it as such. Let's just say that every young man with a rune on his collar was evil, and that every other was not! That's convenient!

And most of these people have not talked physically with an SS veteran in German or English. They just judge the person based on a book on Nazi ideology, and draw conclusions.

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Terry Duncan » 15 Sep 2019 19:30

A post from Sarge3525 was removed by this moderator as it contained opinion only and offered no reference to support the opinions offered. The rules do not allow flights of imagination, opinion, or disinformation type posts as they run against the purpose of the forum. War crimes committed by units from the SS from the outset of the war are well documented enough to be in the category of common knowledge, war crimes by the general army are less well documented, so citing such things as being 'just as common' needs to be supported by references. In case you wish to familiarize yourself with the rules, they are here;

app.php/rules

Section 6 is the relevant section for supporting claims.

Terry Duncan

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eindhoven
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by eindhoven » 15 Sep 2019 21:46

Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29

When you watch 99% of these interviews and biographies, you find that the average SS recruit was 18-25 years old and did not care one bit about politics (how intelligent and ideologically driven can a male in this age group be, really?). They joined up because they wanted to be elite combat soldiers, similar to how one would join the RECON or DELTA force in the US military today. They wanted to be elite combat soldiers, they liked the uniforms, and they liked that Frauleins liked them. No different than any high testosterone 18-25 year old male today.
How very Western in your approach including your worldview. Let me guess your stationed in Europe? Or were? And think you have some insight? How many have you broken bread with or shared a drink with then?? A legitimate question as it pertains to the original posters inquiry.

Timo is a historian, which means to present is to be detached, he is not caught up in making these people his friends. I was a spectator. Others like Georg S. can answer as to their motiviations. Like Carl Jung said, in each of us is the shadow and it reaches straight to hell. I presented what I experienced among them.

You forget 12th SS-Panzer Division Hitlerugend. The class of 1926 whose indoctrination to the State was so complete that it led to a wide array of atrocity in Normandy. After they murdered their prisoners their panzers drove over them and it was the French civilians who collected the mashed remains. Yeah, they just wanted to get boned by Frauleins and wear sexy uniforms according to your limited mindset. Says more about you than you probably even realize. But please tell us more since you have such a wonderful frame of reference outside of Youtube interviews.

This is what Himmler said since you are lacking in the rudimentary education befitting this discussion and no doubt rely on YT for an opinion;

Zuerst sind wir Nationalsozialisten, und dann sind wir SS-Männer. Und für jeden einzelnen von den genannten Zweigen möge das gelten: Jeder ist zuerst SS-Mann, dann gehört er der Allgemeinen SS, der Verfügungstruppe und den Totenkopfverbänden Oder dem SD an.'

"First, we are National Socialists, and then we are SS men. And for every one of these branches, let that be true: Everyone is first an SS man, then he belongs to the Allgemeine-SS, the SS-VT and SS-Totenkopf organization or the SD."

Source, Himmler am 8.11.1938 anlässlich einer Gruppenführer Besprechung, zitiert nach Himmler, Geheimreden, S. 29. Für andere Beispiele vgl. Longerich, Himmler, S. 265 f.

SS-Leitheft were not distributed to Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, or Kriegsmarine. You should try reading them sometime for a better weltanschau. Or just read their newspaper Das Schwarze Korps.
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Pascal. Kullmann.
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 15 Sep 2019 22:42

Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29


They joined up because they wanted to be elite combat soldiers, similar to how one would join the RECON or DELTA force in the US military today. They wanted to be elite combat soldiers, they liked the uniforms, and they liked that Frauleins liked them. No different than any high testosterone 18-25 year old male today.

Exept that the Waffen-SS wasn't elite! But that's already discussed... :roll:

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 15 Sep 2019 22:47

Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29


And most of these people have not talked physically with an SS veteran in German or English. They just judge the person based on a book on Nazi ideology, and draw conclusions.
Have you talked with one before and if not why do you even feel the need to post something in this thread!?

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Harro
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Harro » 16 Sep 2019 05:57

Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29
When you watch 99% of these interviews and biographies, you find that the average SS recruit was 18-25 years old and did not care one bit about politics (how intelligent and ideologically driven can a male in this age group be, really?). They joined up because they wanted to be elite combat soldiers
Yup, after the war they all suddenly claimed they were no Nazi's. The files of the post-war ‘Spruchkammerverfahren’ (denazification process) are enlightning: almost unanimously the former members of the SS claimed that they were never die-hard Nazis. On the contrary, they all told the investigators that they joined the SS in 1933 as soldiers in order to defend the 'Abendland' against communism. Yeah, right :D
Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29
how intelligent and ideologically driven can a male in this age group be, really?
You mean, how indoctrinated can a youth be growing up in a totalitarian regime where the state imposes its political ideology on every single aspect of everyday life?
Sarge3525 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 18:29
And most of these people have not talked physically with an SS veteran in German or English. They just judge the person based on a book on Nazi ideology, and draw conclusions.
How many did you talk to in person? Drawing conclusions about their political zeal from post-war interviews is just as useless as judging them from a book.

Some reasons given by my contacts:

"I was born on the 11th of February 1921. In July 1939 the Waffen-SS had organised a recruiting event for members of the Hitler Jugend. This was much welcomed by us HJ-Führer and we took part in the selections which were very strict – which means only a few qualified and were chosen. I joined on the 11th of September 1939 in Berlin-Lichterfelde – the 5. Ersatzkompanie (Panzerspäh) LSSAH"
- Heinz Eisner (signals platoon - Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

"I came from the Luftwaffe to the Leibstandarte as Göring-Spende in the first days of April 1943 from La Rochelle in the south of France over Berlin and Kharkiv. Upon arrival I was assigned to the Aufklärungsabteilung, which had its staff in Valky."
- Walter Herrmann ( 1. Kompanie - Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

"Early October 1942 - when I came home from school in the afternoon my parents awaited me with serious faces. Father handed me the 'Einberufungsbefehl' (draft notice) for the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler to which I had to report on the 15th of October at 12.00hrs. Finally! I had waited for the damned drat notice for six months. Mother kisses me and weeps a little: 'But Wolfgang, the Waffen-SS they are always in the worst front sectors and are said to suffer heavy casualties."
- Wolf Venohr (1. Kompanie - Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

"I was drafted in the summer of 1944 - seventeen years old. After six weeks of basic training we travelled by train from the [SS-Ausbildungs-und-Ersatz-Abteilung] ‘Totenkopf’ over Berlin to the training grounds and from there to the 3. Kompanie of the AA1 in Marienberghausen."
- Helmut Merscher (3. Kompanie - Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

"I was born on the 28th of November 1922 and volunteered for the Waffen-SS. I was assigned to the SS-Kradschützen-Ausbildungs-und-Ersatz-Bataillon in Ellwangen on the 15th of Juli 1940 and came to the Aufklärungsabteilung of the Leibstandarte in Metz in the second to last group by train in the first days of September"
- Karl (2. Kompanie - Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

"After fulfilling the Reichsarbeitsdienst, I applied for a position as ‘Fahnenjunker’ (officer cadet) with the local infantry regiment of the Heer, but without success. At 17, I had to revise my initial plans for the future: what now? Police officer? It was to find such employment that I volunteered for the Waffen-SS on the 1st of October 1938."
- Hans-Martin Leidreiter (Aufkl.Abt. LSSAH)

Sid Guttridge
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 16 Sep 2019 11:31

Hi Sarge3525,

You post, "(how intelligent and ideologically driven can a male in this age group be, really?)." Well, 18-25 is precisely the age group in which brain development peaks and if you have been compulsorily enrolled in a party political youth organization intent on indoctrinating you, like the Hitler Youth, then I would imagine you could be pretty ideologically blinkered and motivated,

You post, "They joined up because they wanted to be elite combat soldiers, similar to how one would join the RECON or DELTA force in the US military today. They wanted to be elite combat soldiers, they liked the uniforms, and they liked that Frauleins liked them. No different than any high testosterone 18-25 year old male today."

The W-SS was nothing like special forces of today. It was specifically raised to show party loyalty to the NSDAP. I rather hope that US RECON and DELTA Force members would show equal loyalty to duly elected Republican, Democrat or third parties.

If one wanted to join an elite military force, one would have been better advised to have joined the paratroops, or the mountain troops, or Brandenburgers, etc., etc., all of which had had specialist military skills. The W-SS was merely a clone of the German Army in military terms and almost completely militarily unoriginal.

Nor did most young W-SS men volunteer in the conventional sense. When the mass expansion of the W-SS began in 1942-43, youths under the age of army conscription were scooped up by judicious use of peer group pressure in schools. In early 1943 there was widespread objection from parents at the way their children were being recruited by the W-SS (for, I think, the 9th and 10th W-SS divisions), so the W-SS asked the recruits themselves. Unsurprisingly after a couple of months under military discipline, almost none dared say they wanted out!

From early 1943 Volksdeutsch recruits in Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Romania were conscripted en masse into the W-SS by agreement with their governments. And from July 1944 the same happened in Germany. Indeed, young men were finding themselves diverted from their chosen branch of the Wehrmacht into the W-SS well before this.

So, while there were undoubtedly a good number of genuine volunteers, the idea that there was a stampede of enthusiasts for the W-SS amongst German youth is something of a fallacy. Similarly, while there were genuinely good W-SS formations, there was no magic W-SS fairy dust that made all, or even most, W-SS formations good. Furthermore, where they were good, this is largely explained by the fact that they were mechanized. (Find me a good W-SS formation that fought on foot or horseback!)

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by offizier1916 » 16 Sep 2019 19:07

Lets take people who were raised in a society where obedience, discipline, nationalism, militarism and self sacrifice for the greater cause were trained from childhood on. people who were indoctrinated in a totalitarian regime that controlled your whole life. school, Hitlerjugend, Organisation Todt and then Wehrmacht. You cant escape from the clutches of the regime.
And add to this months or years of deadly fighting on all fronts against enemies who had endless ressources and full air superiotity which transformed you in an indifferent machine. A deadly war which will be fought until annihilation (soldiers knew that the allies wanted total capitulation)
Well from a psychological stand point im not surprised that for these kind of soldiers death and life of human beings may just be reduced to another "click" on the trigger

From a psychological point of view its way more interesting why people, who were raised in a society of prosperity, democracy and freedom could turn within a week in vietnam into cold blooded murderer, killing innocent civilians.

It just shows that war is war. There is no clean war


yes i had contact on a weekly basis with one veteran of the GvB for nearly 6 months in a retirement home.
Last edited by offizier1916 on 17 Sep 2019 06:32, edited 3 times in total.

Pascal. Kullmann.
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 16 Sep 2019 20:53

offizier1916 wrote:
16 Sep 2019 19:07


It just shows that war is war. There is no clean war
The question remains...have you talked with ss veterans before?

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Sep 2019 10:46

Yup. no clean wars.

The only major war in which more soldiers died than civilians was apparently WWI.

On the other hand, one can make war even worse if one chooses and the W-SS was one institution that appears to have done so on enough occasions for it to be judged part of a criminal organization at Nuremburg.

But, as I posted before, mere membership of the W-SS was not adjudged as criminal. Individuals had to be convicted of specific crimes. 99%+ weren't.

Sid.

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Peter89 » 20 Sep 2019 10:50

Yuri wrote:
13 Sep 2019 11:34
Peter89 wrote:
19 Aug 2019 08:19
One grandfather of mine was a Waffen-SS veteran. But even that is an overstatement, because he was conscripted as an ethnic German in Hungary, and pressed into service at the later stages of war.
In that case, your grandfather was granted German citizenship (see: article I., paragraph 2., Erlass des Führers vom 19.5.1943).
43-05-19_Erlass_des_Fuhreres.jpg
Nice find, Yuri :wink:

But I think he would rather forget about his "military career" in the W-SS after the war, when he started out as a communist politican and as a major construction / factory head. In fact, he was drafted once again into the Hungarian People's Army, served his time there. Interestingly, after the Revolution of 1956 (when his life was in direct danger) he applied to the Worker's Militia, another armed party organization. Gave up his gun peacefully in 1989.

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Peter89 » 20 Sep 2019 11:34

I have met about 4 or 5 Waffen-SS veterans in my life. One of them was quite proud of his achievements and saw his service as a fight against bolshevism, which was eventually successful (his unit defended a few villages until they could evacuate westwards).

The others were ill-equipped, untrained troops pressed into service, young boys who only wanted to go home. And this is not a clean SS myth. By 1944/1945 the masses did not want to die for a lost cause. Or at least that was my understanding of their POV.

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Yuri
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Yuri » 20 Sep 2019 23:58

Peter89 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 10:50
Yuri wrote:
13 Sep 2019 11:34
Peter89 wrote:
19 Aug 2019 08:19
One grandfather of mine was a Waffen-SS veteran. But even that is an overstatement, because he was conscripted as an ethnic German in Hungary, and pressed into service at the later stages of war.
In that case, your grandfather was granted German citizenship (see: article I., paragraph 2., Erlass des Führers vom 19.5.1943).
43-05-19_Erlass_des_Fuhreres.jpg
Nice find, Yuri :wink:

But I think he would rather forget about his "military career" in the W-SS after the war, when he started out as a communist politican and as a major construction / factory head. In fact, he was drafted once again into the Hungarian People's Army, served his time there. Interestingly, after the Revolution of 1956 (when his life was in direct danger) he applied to the Worker's Militia, another armed party organization. Gave up his gun peacefully in 1989.
I'm found some documents you might be interested in. This is the affidavit of an SS General in Hungary who was the main culprit behind What happened to your grandfather and fellow Hungarian guys of German descent.
He pointed out that in 1944 about 50,000 Hungarian Germans (Swabians) were sent to Waffen-SS.
In addition, another 50,000 were sent to the Wehrmacht. And about 200,000 more were sent to Germany to form four Hungarian divisions. These Hungarian divisions were formed in Germany.
During the battle of Budapest, this German SS-General was the commander of SS9 Corps. Now I have only Russian translation of this document. However, it says that there is its original in German. If I can't find the original, I'll point you to a Russian document. Especially as I understand you know Russian.

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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Peter89 » 21 Sep 2019 10:39

Yuri wrote:
20 Sep 2019 23:58
Peter89 wrote:
20 Sep 2019 10:50
Yuri wrote:
13 Sep 2019 11:34
Peter89 wrote:
19 Aug 2019 08:19
One grandfather of mine was a Waffen-SS veteran. But even that is an overstatement, because he was conscripted as an ethnic German in Hungary, and pressed into service at the later stages of war.
In that case, your grandfather was granted German citizenship (see: article I., paragraph 2., Erlass des Führers vom 19.5.1943).
43-05-19_Erlass_des_Fuhreres.jpg
Nice find, Yuri :wink:

But I think he would rather forget about his "military career" in the W-SS after the war, when he started out as a communist politican and as a major construction / factory head. In fact, he was drafted once again into the Hungarian People's Army, served his time there. Interestingly, after the Revolution of 1956 (when his life was in direct danger) he applied to the Worker's Militia, another armed party organization. Gave up his gun peacefully in 1989.
I'm found some documents you might be interested in. This is the affidavit of an SS General in Hungary who was the main culprit behind What happened to your grandfather and fellow Hungarian guys of German descent.
He pointed out that in 1944 about 50,000 Hungarian Germans (Swabians) were sent to Waffen-SS.
In addition, another 50,000 were sent to the Wehrmacht. And about 200,000 more were sent to Germany to form four Hungarian divisions. These Hungarian divisions were formed in Germany.
During the battle of Budapest, this German SS-General was the commander of SS9 Corps. Now I have only Russian translation of this document. However, it says that there is its original in German. If I can't find the original, I'll point you to a Russian document. Especially as I understand you know Russian.
I think you refer to Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, but he was wounded and captured during the breakout attempt from Budapest.

My grandpa was conscripted into the 37th SS Cavarly Division, but I think its initial commander Waldemar Fegelein (a former commander in the 8th SS Cavarly Division) had little impact on what was going on. The main perpetrators were the Organisationsabteilung of the Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS, and the hungarist / nazi Szálasi regime.

I can understand Russian, so if you have a Russian source, that's fine for me.

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Yuri
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Re: How do you see Waffen-SS veterans?

Post by Yuri » 21 Sep 2019 14:35

Peter89 wrote:
21 Sep 2019 10:39
I think you refer to Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, but he was wounded and captured during the breakout attempt from Budapest.

My grandpa was conscripted into the 37th SS Cavarly Division, but I think its initial commander Waldemar Fegelein (a former commander in the 8th SS Cavarly Division) had little impact on what was going on. The main perpetrators were the Organisationsabteilung of the Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS, and the hungarist / nazi Szálasi regime.

I can understand Russian, so if you have a Russian source, that's fine for me.
Yes, Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch he was Chef of the Organisationsabteilung of the Kommandoamt der Waffen-SS in Hungary. Commander SS-IX Corps he was appointed when it began the battle for Budapest.
500-12480-35 pp.48-57 (10 pages)
http://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/pages/165795/zooms/8
p.48
SS-IX Pfeffer-Wildenburch Karl.jpg
ObrstLt Lindenau Gustav - SS-IX Chief of staff.
500-12480-35 pp.58-69 (12 pages)
p.58
SS-IX Lindenau Gustaw.jpg
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