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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henryk
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Post by henryk » 23 Mar 2004 22:02

An excellent book covering also collaborators in Poland is:
POLAND’S HOLOCAUST, by Tadeusz Piotrowski,1998.
On participation in the Waffen-SS by ethnic Poles:
(p84-5)
One weakly documented instance of Poles serving in the Waffen-SS can be found in Jerzy Turonek’s otherwise well-documented work dealing with Belorussia under the German occupation. According to Turonek, Oberstrumbannfuhrer Siegling’s 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russiche Nr. 2), organized in 1944, consisted of predominantly Belorussians but had “quite a few Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and others” within their ranks.
Interestingly, neither George Stein nor Gerald Reitlinger nor even The Oxford Companion to World War II, published in 1995, mentions Poles as belonging to the 30th or to any other SS division. Judging from their desertion, perhaps these Poles were not volunteers.
(p232 and 236) Russians and Ukrainians served in the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russiche Nr. 1). No mention of the 28th Division.
(p156)
A plan to organize a Belorussian SS brigade- the Waffen-SS Grenadier_brigade “weissruthenian” -never materialized. Many Belorussians, however, were thrown in with Seiling’s 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russiche Nr. 2) which after being depleted by desertions and Andrei Vlasov’s army, was transformed into the 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (weissruthenische Nr. 1).
There is no mention of Jagdeinsatz Polen.
Instances of collaboration with Germans by the AK, NSZ and AL. are also discussed.

Ostuf Charlemagne
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Post by Ostuf Charlemagne » 26 Mar 2004 01:24

Jagdeinsatz Polen belonged to Otto 's Skorzeny Jagdverband OST,formed with german and foreigners from the Brandenburg division ...You may find it within "Forgotten Legions" book of Antonio Muñoz at
http://www.axiseuropa.com

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Jeremy Chan
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Re: Polish volunteers in Germany Army (or Waffen-SS) in 1945

Post by Jeremy Chan » 01 Apr 2004 19:41

orlovci wrote:I would like ask all who knows documents and facts about Jagdeinsatz Polen, which training in 1945 in sabotage center near Walbrzych (?)
or
Polish volunteers of NSZ's (NArodowe Sily Zbrojne=National Armed Forces) formation "BRYGADA SWIETOKRZYSKA" which evacuated by Silesia and Protectorate B-M to the American Forces
or
any other Polish in 28. Grenadier Division der SS (1. byelorussian) ?
or
...

Thanks for all information
Orlovci
There were no Poles who served in the Waffen-SS considering the treatment meted upon their country by the German occupiers.

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Allen Milcic
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Re: Polish volunteers in Germany Army (or Waffen-SS) in 1945

Post by Allen Milcic » 01 Apr 2004 20:44

Colonel SteelFist wrote:There were no Poles who served in the Waffen-SS considering the treatment meted upon their country by the German occupiers.
SteelFist:

You base this on actual sources or is this your opinion? Many other states that were occupied by the Germans, and generally treated roughly, provided at least some volunteers to the Waffen SS - look at "Yugoslavia" as an example. Why not some Polish volunteers?

Allen/

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 02 Apr 2004 23:10

This was probably mentioned before, but out of 7 Galician police regiments, one was distinctively polish.

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Jeremy Chan
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Re: Polish volunteers in Germany Army (or Waffen-SS) in 1945

Post by Jeremy Chan » 04 Apr 2004 07:11

Allen Milcic wrote:
Colonel SteelFist wrote:There were no Poles who served in the Waffen-SS considering the treatment meted upon their country by the German occupiers.
SteelFist:

You base this on actual sources or is this your opinion? Many other states that were occupied by the Germans, and generally treated roughly, provided at least some volunteers to the Waffen SS - look at "Yugoslavia" as an example. Why not some Polish volunteers?

Allen/
Hi Allen,
My source -- this is what I read from Men At Arms series: The Polish Army 1939-1945 by Steven J. Zaloga:
The brutality of the German regime far exceeded anything seen in Western Europe and resistance met with massive reprisals, with ten Poles being executed for every German being killed; massacres of whole communities, on the scale of the Lidice atrocity, were numerous. Not surprisingly, Poland was one of the few occupied countries which did not contribute a volunteer Waffen-SS unit on the Eastern Front; and the Germans were unable to form a collaborationist government
Prior to reading that, I hadn't thought much about whether Poles were in the Waffen-SS or not.
cheers,

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 05 Apr 2004 14:54

Hi Steelfist:

Thanks for the response and the quote. It is true that the Poles did not have a "Polish" unit within the Waffen SS, that is easy to ascertain. The writer does not say, however, that there were "no POLES" in the Waffen SS, only that the Poles "...did not contribute a volunteer Waffen-SS unit on the Eastern Front".

Allen/

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henryk
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Post by henryk » 10 Apr 2004 19:36

For Allen Milcic
You base this on actual sources or is this your opinion? Many other states that were occupied by the Germans, and generally treated roughly, provided at least some volunteers to the Waffen SS - look at "Yugoslavia" as an example. Why not some Polish volunteers?
There are two main differences between Poland and those countries which supplied volunteers to the Waffen-SS.
First the bitter animosity between Poles and Germans. Following the partitions of Poland, Germany (Prussia) occupied a main portion of ethnic Polish territory and its citizens. Under Bismark a campaign of forced Germanization occurred, stopped only by World War I. After World War I this territory was taken back from Germany by armed force (Poznan area). Armed conflict also occured in the Silesia area. Poland considered the League of Nations plebiscite which determined the German-Polish border in Silesia to be rigged in Germany's favour. Between World Wars I and II Germany undertook many actions to hurt Poland's trade and viability. And then the occupation in 1939, with thousands of people killed or sent to concentration camps.
Second there is the political culture in Poland at that time. Other than Czecho-Slovakia (which remained democratic) and the USSR, Poland was the only non-right, non-fascist authoritarian state in Central and Eastern Europe. Pilsudski's Coup D'Etat was left wing.
See my previous message for references on the lack of any significant number of "ethnic" Polish volunteers.

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Allen Milcic
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Post by Allen Milcic » 11 Apr 2004 19:35

Hi Henryk:

I absolutely agree with the claim that there were no significant number of ethnic Poles in the Waffen SS; I am just wary of claims that there were "NO Poles whatsoever" therein.

Best regards,
Allen/

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henryk
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Post by henryk » 13 Apr 2004 21:39

An example of Polish feelings against collaboration:
Last year I visited the War Museum in Valetta, Malta. In the entrance hall I saw a plaque on the wall commemorating the activity of the Polish Navy in defending Malta. I wrote about this in a letter to a friend. He wrote back that he mentioned the plaque to a German friend. The friend said he remembered well the Polish Navy there. He is of mixed German-Polish descent, with a Polish name, living in German Silesia when the war started. Recognizing he was going to be drafted he enlisted in the German Air Force. He became a fighter pilot and participated in the attacks on Malta. During one flight he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire from a ship. He was pulled from the water by the crew of the ship which he discovered to be a Polish Navy destroyer. When the crew heard his Polish name, they attempted to kill him but were stopped by an officer. He was sent to a POW camp in Canada where he subsequently became a citizen.

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Post by mietek » 24 Apr 2004 19:03

Hi.

If we speak about Polis volunteers we should define, what means Polish – origin, or citizenship?
Before 1939 in Poland lived 34,8 mln citizens. According to data from 1921 69% had Polish origin, 14% Ukrainians, 8% Jews, 4% Byelorussians, 4% Germans and other (Lithuanian, Czech, etc.) Except it, also were people from Polish-German marriages (like my family) later they were asked to sign volksliste what gave them opportunity to get German citizenship, also we had people from Silesia and north part of Poland (Kaszubi) they were in German’s opinion not Poles, but different nations without Slavic origin.

What could be interesting, many Polish soldiers served during WW1 in German army, many of them even had German origin and family names. In 1939 they fought in Polish army and later they didn’t collaborate with Germans. (adm. Unrug during WW1 captain of U-boat awarded RKI and II, gen. Romml, gen. Thomme, gen Mond, gen Kleeberg etc.).


People of Polish citizenship (before 1939) served in German (Wehrmacht, Police) and even in national units (Waffen SS)– Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Belorussian, Germans of course. When Germans were short of soldiers they send also volksdeutches to the army. Often people (especially from Silesia and Kaszubs) didn’t have chance to refuse service in German army (family could be arrested and sent for slave work to Germany or concentration camp). Common were situation that they served: 1939 – Polish army, than German, later again Polish after they escape or become POW. Many of them of course die in German uniform.

Germans didn’t create Polish national military unit. There was Police (usually based on pre-1939 staff) – some of them collaborate with Germans, but other with resistance. Also was created Jewish Police what was unarmed, to help control Jewish population in ghetto.
Other Polish- German cooperation was only in Galizia, Germans accepted and even armed Polish self-defense paramilitary troops what protected villages against Ukrainian attacks, by other hand Germans also armed Ukrainians.

Generally was not common collaboration with Germans, of course some Poles and Jewes (often they were killed by resistance) helped Germans but it was minority.

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tom_deba
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Polish soldiers in the Wehrmacht/Waffen-SS?

Post by tom_deba » 24 Jul 2004 22:20

Why authorities of Third Reich did not create a legion of Polish volunteers to fight on the German side on the Eastern front against bolshevism and comunism? There were lots of people who would have enlisted to such unit...

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Kurt_Steiner
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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 25 Jul 2004 19:01

Perhaps because Poland was going to be reduced to a slave situation? Because Hitler didn't trust them?

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tom_deba
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Post by tom_deba » 25 Jul 2004 20:34

I do not think so... It should be admitted that during the war many units has been formed from "Ost"-people who were also believed to have been created to be slaves for German Reich.
The matter is more complicated to prove and explain.

/tom/

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 25 Jul 2004 22:11

Do a forum search on "Blue Police" - they were formed from Poles.

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