Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

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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Sturmschwein
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Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by Sturmschwein » 10 Aug 2021 21:08

Hello,

Did somebody know if non-ukrainians that lived in Galicia joined the 14th SS-Division? Galicia had some minorities like Armenians, Rusyns, Moldavians etc... I heard of one case in which a Pole from Galicia joined that division. I would be thankful for any information about this topic.

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RFVD11
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by RFVD11 » 12 Aug 2021 01:18

Are Rusyns another name for Great Russians?
AHK

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Aug 2021 14:10

HiRFVD11,

I think in this case he is referring to the Slavic population centred on Ruthenia, which was the westernmost province of interwar Czechoslovakia, but who over spilled into neighbouring areas of north-eastern Slovakia and the northern flank of the Carpathians in Poland. They could also be found in Hungary and Romania. Most were Catholics. Historically they always seem to have been ruled by others, mostly the Hungarians. However, they had had a state of their own for a single day, 15 March 1939, when the eastern end of Czechoslovkia declared independence, but within three or four days this was completely over run by the Hungarian Army. To some, Ruthenes are a Slavic people in their own right. To others, they are just the westernmost Ukrainians. The latter is the current situation for most of them.

Cheers,

Sid

AriX
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by AriX » 13 Aug 2021 15:07

RFVD11 wrote:
12 Aug 2021 01:18
Are Rusyns another name for Great Russians?
AHK
No, its an ancient name of todays etnick Ukrainians. In Poland it was used untill 1920s.Nowdays only a mall portion of people in Trancarpatian region of Ukraine call themself like that.

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Sturmschwein
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by Sturmschwein » 15 Aug 2021 22:34

Just google it
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyns

So back to my question. Did somebody know anything about this? I read claims that georgians served in the 14. SS Division but without any sources.

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Steve
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by Steve » 16 Aug 2021 16:25

I believe that when the division was formed most of its officers were German so you have a German element in an otherwise Ukrainian division. It is highly unlikely given the nationalist character of the division that you would find any Jews, Poles or Russians in it. The Polish AK warned that anyone joining the division would be classed as a traitor and face the ultimate penalty i.e. death. If there was a Pole in the division then he must have spoken Ukrainian very well and always remembered which side to cross himself on. When the division was being reformed after its near destruction it seems that it was not so fussy about recruitment and not all were volunteers. From memory a number of east European Volksdeutsche were brought in. I would guess that they were chosen because they spoke Ukrainian and so were perhaps from the area of Sub Carpathian Ruthenia. Maybe some strays entered the division from wherever during this period especially when it moved west. The division was screened by the British in Italy to see who were pre war Polish citizens as the Soviets were demanding the return of their citizens. The British found that all except for 112 were what was termed disputed pesons or pre war Polish citizens.

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Askold
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by Askold » 27 Sep 2021 17:30

While reading veteran's memoirs, I've come across two ethnic Poles and one person of Jewish origin that served in Galicia division. The first person received an NCO rank, but kept himself apart from other volunteers. He deserted at the first moment he had. The second Polish person, was a young men who volunteered because all of his childhood friends were Ukrainian and they joined the division. He later deserved and joined the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. I posted his photo in Waffen SS uniform in "Poles in Wehrmacht and SS" topic.

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thezerech
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Re: Non-Ukrainians in Galizien Division

Post by thezerech » 02 Nov 2021 20:42

I was going to mention the point Askold brought up, a handful in the early stages. I have also heard, more than once from a variety of sources that while the division was in Slovakia they took on "Slovaks" although I don't know what this means. My suspicion is that it is in reference to Ukrainian highlanders (Rusyns) from what's now Eastern Slovakia. I don't know what the numbers would be like, since I've only heard vague mention of Slovaks. If anyone has specifics I'd be happy to hear them, or be corrected.

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