Ukrainians in the Waffen-SS & Wehrmacht

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.
Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 15 Mar 2006 21:29

here are two officers from 14 Gal Div.

The collar patch with the lion device is worn differently by both men
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George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » 15 Mar 2006 22:09

Hi Mike -

Incredible photos as always.

Best regards,

George

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 15 Mar 2006 23:41

Mike, your pics are simply stunning! I really love the officer studio portraits.

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 16 Mar 2006 00:01

Jakub Tomek:

Thanks for so quickly response. You could be right that it was Florian Geyer Division. I didn´t know that 2nd Div UNA fought against Prague uprising. Where is possible to read something about this event and about 2nd Div UNA? Is it known where 2nd Div UNA was based at the beginning of May 1945?

Thanks a lot again for this excellent informations.


- Well, 2nd div. UNA did not really put down the upprising, but was one of the units to crush Vlassov's division that rebelled (Buniachenko's division). You can find all the info on 2nd div. UNA of my webpage:

http://ukr-ww2.onestop.net/una.html#vilna-ukraina

e.polis:

Thanks for the warning mate, but Galicia division does not have any warcrimes to worry about (no matter how much certain people try to accuse them). Afte 3 Royal Commissions, and recent Scotland Yard investigation, the division was found not guilty.

Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 16 Mar 2006 07:06

Hello

time permits today, between my domestic commitments, I will sit down and try and find out how to use this old and rather limited scanner. I will then do my best to find some more and interesting unpublished pics and post them for you all to see.

Mike

Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 16 Mar 2006 18:50

The Volhynian Self-Defence Legion which from October 1943, was under the direct control of the Sicherheitdienst (SD) as the Schützmannschaft Bataillon der SD Nr.. 31 During 1944 it absorbed 'The Kholm Self Defence, several east Ukrainians from 'Schutzmannschaft 207' and a few former officers of the Galician Division who had been discharged because of insufficient qualifications or because of their age. One reinforced company under the command of Oberst Petro Diachenko was utilised for several weeks along with the German forces in the suppression of the Warsaw rising in August 1944. I know one former member of this company personally who was at Warsaw and took part in the action and have interviewed him several times. In March 1945, in the village of Unterschwarz the unit was forcibly assimilated into the 14 Galician Division. These men were for the most part exceptionally tough and when operating under German command at best the Germans only exercised limited control over them. They didn’t take any nonsense from anyone. When they were incorporated into the Galician Division the Germans who rightly regarded them with trepidation, intentionally split them up so that no more than half a dozen of them were assigned to the same unit to avoid them ‘causing any trouble’.

I asked one Ukrainian veteran if there were any Germans in the Galician Division who were hated by the Ukrainians because of their behaviour towards them. “Yes” he replied unhesitatingly. I asked him how they coped with it and his reply has been etched in my memory ever since; “That was easy. When we were sent to the front in Austria, we picked our moment and shot him in the back with a Panzerfaust at close range”.

Mike
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Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 16 Mar 2006 19:33

For anyone that's interested, I have decided that because of the limited time I have available, I will post a new unpublished photo of the 14 Gal Div everynight for a week along with a few items from my archives which I never used in my book.

best wishes

Mike

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Georgien
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Post by Georgien » 17 Mar 2006 02:24

Dear Mr Melnyk

I just wanted to tell you that your book is really wonderful. I have very limited knowledge of Galicia 14 Division but your book with its amazing photo collection and research gave me a full presentation of this unit. As a reader of your book I wanted to thank you for your hard work and dedication for Ukrainian military studies.

Thank you again

with kind regards,

George Nikoladze

Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 17 Mar 2006 16:40

Although previously published in my book, I am including this war time picture of the SS blood group tattoo as applied to a member of the 14 Gal Div. after consultation. All those enlisted into this Division up until summer 1944 received the tattoo. In the immediate post war period, whilst the bulk of the Division was interned in Rimini, one of the doctors in the camp would for a small fee, remove the tattoo. This was done by applying a chemical which irritated and burned the skin, thereby obliterating the tattoo. It was painful but effective and a great many Ukrainians availed themselves of the opportunity to employ his services.
In later years, to my personal knowledge, professional surgical removal of the tattoo, was popular with those who still had it.
My father was enlisted in June 1944. He did not have the tattoo.

Mike Melnyk
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Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 17 Mar 2006 16:41

The Germans drafted youths from all occupied nations between 14-18 years of age to undergo pre-military training as Flak-helfers (Flak helpers) with the Luftwaffe. One such camp at which these boys were trained was in the Austrian village of Malta. This picture shows a few of the boys with their SS sports instructors.

Mike
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Mikedc
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Post by Mikedc » 17 Mar 2006 20:16

Hello Askold,

Thanks for letting me know.
So I'm still trying to find out who the men are on the following photos:
Who are the officers show in Lysiak2.jpg, 18mod.jpg, ek9.jpg, ek6.jpg, ek10.jpg, e7.jpg, col3.jpg and in 281.jpg???

And maybe Mike can tell us who the two officers are mentioned on page four of this thread.
And I agree with George, it are incredible great pictures.


Greetings,
Mike

Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 18 Mar 2006 18:26

These next two pictures were taken during Himmler’s visit to the Division in mid May 1944. The bottom picture is part of the official portfolio of shots. Copies of these are readily available from various sources including the German archives. In contrast the top picture is extremely rare. This candid photo was taken on the same occasion, but this time by a Ukrainian. Private photos were not supposed to be permitted. These are two of over 100 photos which I could not include in my book. The publishers argued that if I had included everything that I had wanted, the cover price would have been prohibitive (around £75.00 per copy). We eventually agreed on a compromise which meant leaving out some material including over 100 photos.

Mike
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Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 18 Mar 2006 18:33

Hello


I have found some more pictures which might be of interest.

Top Uscha JESIHKE radio operator, section IV
Hstuf. DIETZ adjt WGR 29
the three small portraits show the three main designs of the lion device on the collar patch. Once again, in the third picture the officer is wearing his patch upside down.

Ukrainians from this division also wore the SS runes, and on at least one occasion they were still wearing them as late as April 1945. The reality was not about regulations, but rather supply.

Mike
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Melnyk
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Post by Melnyk » 18 Mar 2006 18:51

Here is an extract from an interview I did in 1992 with a veteran of the Division that I edited out of the final text on request.

[….] “Almost all of our company (from WGR 31) were Ukrainians. A few days before the end of the war, our (German) company commander assembled the company and said, ‘it has been brought to my attention that when defecating in the woods, you are not following the correct regulations. You know that you should dig a hole with your entrenching tool and bury the waste. Why is this not being done?’
After a short pause someone said “Well you Germans have been shitting on Ukraine for years, now it’s our turn to shit on Germany”

Mike

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 18 Mar 2006 21:59

Great stories Mike! The one with Panzerfaust was especially interesting - similar actions occured withing all foreign volunteers. Here's a very interesting pic that my friend owns. The officer in the middle is wearing Croatian medal of King Zhivomir (I wonder how he got it) and the officer standing on the right is wearing Combatants Cross issued to Ukrainians who fought in Ukrainian wars for LIberation.
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