Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
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wm
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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by wm » 10 Dec 2015 13:22

Certainly, but the sources look reasonably legit - most likely the pictures are not from them. This is a really obscure part of history, so I'm afraid only Mr Kochanowski and God himself know anything about it :)

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by tom_deba » 10 Dec 2015 13:35

Certainly, but the sources look reasonably legit - most likely the pictures are not from them. This is a really obscure part of history, so I'm afraid only Mr Kochanowski and God himself know anything about it :)
Correct but..."Legion Orla Bialego" is a myth:)

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by wm » 17 Dec 2015 22:32

The unit seems real - the legion, Eagles, patches and pictures are are most likely fakes. The underclass people they say were recruited to that unit couldn't afford cameras and weren't sentimental. So pictures and mementos are highly unlikely.
michael mills wrote:As for the mayor of Jedwabne at the time of the massacre of most of the town's Jewish inhabitants, his name was Marian Karolak, which hardly suggests a person of German ethnicity.
WW2 Polish pilots: Ludwik Steinke, Zygmunt Jaeschke, Tadeusz Schiele, Mieczysław Mümler, Kazimierz Wünsche, Jan Zumbach, Witold Retinger, Maciej Kirste, Zygmunt Klein, Marceli Neyder, Jerzy Schmidt, Werner Kirchner, Leon Jaugsch, Eugeniusz Ebenrytter.

WW2 German pilots: Walter Krupinski, Alfred Grislawski, Eberhard von Boremski, Eduard Koslowski, Herbert Kowalski, Erwin Laskowski, Gerhard Michalski, Freidrich Wachowiak, Hermann Wischniewski.

As to collaboration the Poles simply had no reason for collaboration. The Ukrainians or the Lithuanians had no choice, because of the USSR they had no future anyway. The Germans were their only however feeble salvation.
But the Poles firmly believed in and expected the Allies' victory and restoration of their country independence, after all their Government and their army existed all the time. The Allies were, it seemed firmly on their side.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by michael mills » 18 Dec 2015 01:52

WW2 Polish pilots: Ludwik Steinke, Zygmunt Jaeschke, Tadeusz Schiele, Mieczysław Mümler, Kazimierz Wünsche, Jan Zumbach, Witold Retinger, Maciej Kirste, Zygmunt Klein, Marceli Neyder, Jerzy Schmidt, Werner Kirchner, Leon Jaugsch, Eugeniusz Ebenrytter.

WW2 German pilots: Walter Krupinski, Alfred Grislawski, Eberhard von Boremski, Eduard Koslowski, Herbert Kowalski, Erwin Laskowski, Gerhard Michalski, Freidrich Wachowiak, Hermann Wischniewski.
I note that the Polish pilots with German surnames all have Polish given names except one, Werner Kirchner, while all the German pilots with Polish surnames have German given names.

It seems to me that the given name is a more accurate sign of ethnic identity than the surname, since the given name is chosen by an individual's parents whereas the surname is inherited from a distant ancestor who may have had a different ethnic identity.

The mayor of Jedwabne had the given name Marian, which I think is distinctively Polish, suggesting that his parents identified as Polish rather than as German.
As to collaboration the Poles simply had no reason for collaboration. The Ukrainians or the Lithuanians had no choice, because of the USSR they had no future anyway. The Germans were their only however feeble salvation.
Surely the same consideration applied to ethnic Poles living in the territory annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939, since they had suffered just as much from Soviet oppression as ethnic Lithuanians and Ukrainians, perhaps even more. The Polish residents of Jedwabne had been under Soviet rule, and had had the same experiences as the Polish population of the Soviet-annexed territory as a whole; they also had no future in the USSR, where ethnic Poles had been proportionately the most victimised ethnic group during the Great Terror of 1937-38, with only ethnic Germans and Koreans coming close.

It is significant that the only documented cases of AK units collaborating de facto with the Wehrmacht against Soviet partisans occurred in West Belarus, an area that had been under Soviet rule from 1939 to 1941. Apparently those AK units saw the German occupiers as the lesser of two evils.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by 4thskorpion » 18 Dec 2015 17:32

A Pole in the uniform of the Polish 1st Armoured Division and an earlier a portrait of the man dated 1941 in German uniform. Interestingly one has caption on the reverse written in Polish and the other in German.
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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by Askold » 31 May 2018 20:32

Henryk Slowianski - Mascot of the 202 Polish Schutzmanshaft Battalion
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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by wm » 31 May 2018 21:21

He is Ludwik Słotwiński, a child which lost contact with his family during Barbarossa and for two years wandered around in the countryside. Later was adopted by a Polish family in Germany. In the seventies he discovered his true family thanks to Polish TV.
He said then that 202 Police Battalion was full of people serving under duress, and their families were held hostage to ensure their proper service.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by Askold » 15 Sep 2020 05:01

Volunteers from Polish Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 202. Photos taken from this website:

https://almanaquedosconflitos.wordpress ... illon-202/
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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Sep 2020 06:15

It seems clear from this thread that there was no significant number of Poles who voluntarily served with the Germans. The fact that so much of it is dedicated to specific individuals implies that they were very much exceptions, not the rule.

There were undoubtedly tens of thousands of Poles from Danzig-West Preussen who were given Volksdeutsch status who were conscripted, but they tended to be of doubtful reliability. The Canadians brought back four German prisoners from the Dieppe raid, three of whom were from this source.

The conclusion I draw from this thread is that (1) the Germans didn't want self-identifying Poles in their armed forces and (2) that self-identifying Poles didn't want to serve in the German armed forces anyway.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by wm » 15 Sep 2020 19:04

Askold wrote:
15 Sep 2020 05:01
Volunteers from Polish Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 202.
They weren't volunteers, they were forcibly drafted from the Blue Police.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by history1 » 16 Sep 2020 04:58

wm wrote:
31 May 2018 21:21
He is Ludwik Słotwiński [...]
He said then that 202 Police Battalion was full of people serving under duress, and their families were held hostage to ensure their proper service.
LOL
What else would he say as he knew very well by then how collaborateurs and simple people from the German ethnicity were treated after WWII in Poland. Millions of them were expelled to the West in death marshes from their homes were they did live since centuries.

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Re: Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by wm » 16 Sep 2020 18:22

Simple people from the German ethnicity had nothing to do with it.
The Germans were sometimes treated roughly, but nobody death marched them, they generally traveled on trains.

Most of the policemen didn't volunteer for the job. They didn't want to be Nazis, invade Britain, conquer the USSR.
They were there because the pay was good, and the job-protected them from being sent to Germany as slave labor as all unemployed Poles were.
Serving in the Blue Police wasn't a crime, as long as you didn't commit crimes yourself. They protected the population from crime and wartime banditry.

Generally, the Blue Police was a positive force in apocalyptic times.
After the war, the communists sentenced about 600 of them (from 10,000). 20 percent was accepted in their new police force.

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