FlyingStukas wrote: ↑
01 Feb 2020 15:03
and also, what about my previous question? I don't want to drift away from the topic of "Handschar Photos" (and discussion), but did the Albanian fezzes get dropped or simply used scarcely once the 21st SS was established? If you, Ivan, or Dmitry know the answer, I'd be very thankful to hear it.
The idea of using Albanian hats in the SS-Division "Handschar" was connected with the need to determine the cultural identity of the Albanians and personally belonged to H. Himmler. As with the fez of Bosnian Muslims, the use of Albanian hats as part of the soldiers uniforms was connected with the propaganda component of the division emphasizing its Muslim status. In November 1943 Himmler discussed this topic with the leader of the SS-Wirtschafts-und Verwaltungshauptamt (SS-WVHA), Oswald Pohl.
First, Moroccan-style fez were used (those that you see on the bulk of the division’s military personnel), which, in accordance with Himmler’s order, were cut and repainted. In the photographs, these fez (the correct name is "ćulaje") are clearly distinguishable from fez that were later made specifically on the basis of already national Albanian hats. For example, you can see it on General Sauberzweig at the time of presentation of awards to the Albanian battalion. It is worth noting that not all Albanians wore these fez because part of the Albanian soldiers did not serve in I./28, but was in other units of the division, where they used conventional hats. After the personnel of I./28 was sent to Skanderbeg in early May 1944, the Albanians for the most part stopped using fez and switched to the usual headgear of German mountain shooters (Bergmütze).
This was due to the desire of the Albanian government of Mehdi Bey Frasheri to abandon the fez as a symbol of Turkish rule and the pronounced guardianship of the unit on the part of Islam, since Albania's domestic policy was based on national, not religious principles (such as in Bosnia and Herzegovina). Thus, the religious status of the soldiers was leveled, and the propaganda of the SS division “Skanderbeg” accordingly did not focus on the Muslim component.
P.S. Some Albanian soldiers still continued to wear their fez after transferring to SS-Division "Skanderbeg"
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