Waffen-SS Units Implicated in War Crimes

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Waffen-SS Units Implicated in War Crimes

Post by David Thompson » 29 May 2003 05:52

As an aid to researchers, this is the second in a series of "stickys" which will group war crimes allegations by unit or administrative office. This "sticky" will deal with Waffen-SS units implicated in war crimes.

The JuNSV website lists West German war crimes trials by the defendants' unit or agency in German at:

http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/brd/Dienstdeufr.htm

and in English [partial translations only] at:

http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/brd/Dienstengfr.htm

The East German war crimes trials are organized the same way. They may be found at:

http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/ddr/ddrdienststfr.htm

This allows one to view the Waffen-SS units whose members were tried in postwar German courts for war crimes. Off to the side of the unit are the case numbers of the trials involving that unit. One only has to click on the case number to get the details on the case. For all German trials, here's the list of Waffen-SS units:

West German Trials
http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/brd/Dienstdeufr.htm

Reiter-SS
- 20.SS-Reiterstandarte 511, 579
- SS-Kavallerieregiment 2 570
- SS-Reitersturm 2/20 511, 579

Waffen-SS
- 1.SS-Inf.Brig.(mot) 793, 877
- 10.SS-Inf.Rgt. 806
- 11.SS-Infanterieregiment 247
- 13.SS-Armee-Korps 421, 461, 494
- 17.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division 'Götz von Berlichingen' 466
- Ausbildungslager Trawniki 833
- Bataillon 'Götz von Berlichingen' 111
- Division 'Das Reich' 649
- Division 'Götz von Berlichingen' 243, 315
- Division 'Hitler-Jugend' 428
- Division zur Vergeltung 2 458, 486, 508
- Ersatz- und Ausbildungsbataillon 5 'Götz von Berlichingen' 201, 251
- Führungsstab Bauvorhaben Happurg 223
- Genesenden-Bataillon in Langenau 513
- Jagdverband 599
- Jagdverband Süd 062
- Kampfgruppe Trummler 437
- Kampfschule Martinsthal/Rheingau 413
- Kavallerieregiment 2 682
- Kommando Mühldorf 241
- Korps Gille 342
- Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler 491, 685
- Nachschubkommandantur Russland-Mitte 830
- Panzergrenadierausbildungs- und Ersatzbtl.III 860
- Propagandastandarte 'Kurt Eggers' 424
- Remonteamt Rejowiec 782
- Schule Hohenwang 559
- Sonderinspektion III in Happurg 223
- Truppenübungsplatz Debica 802
- Truppenwirtschaftslagers Krakau 249
- Versorgungsamt Braunschweig 177


* * * * * * * * * * *

East German Trials
http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/ddr/ddrdienststfr.htm

Waffen-SS 20.SS-Grenadierdivision 1079
Waffen-SS Ausbildungsersatzbtl.2 2030
Waffen-SS Gruppe Godesberg 1438
Waffen-SS in Magdeburg 1755
Waffen-SS Lublin 1452
Waffen-SS SS-Bewährungsbtl. Dirlewanger 1381
Waffen-SS SS-Division Florian Geyer 1083
Waffen-SS SS-Division Prinz Eugen 1619
Waffen-SS SS-Panzergrenadierdiv. Nibelungen 1156
Waffen-SS SS-Panzergrenadierrgt.4 'Der Führer' 1009
Waffen-SS SS-Totenkopfdivision 1078, 1198
Waffen-SS Einheit unbekannt 1531, 1583

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 29 May 2003 11:24

If you have any facts about warcrimes associated with Waffen-SS units (trails, accusations in books etc), please post that info in this thread along with a source.

But please, this is a thread to post facts only, if you want to discuss anything mentioned in this thread, please start a new one to discuss it, thanks.

/Marcus

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Post by David Thompson » 19 Jun 2003 05:23

Here are some Waffen-SS units implicated in war crimes trials held by the Netherlands. The arrangement of these trials is very similar to that used for the German trials. The Netherlands trials can be found on the JuNSV website at:

http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/NED/NL-Dienststfr.htm

Waffen-SS

Feldgendarmerie NL169
Sonderkommando Feldmeyer NL168
SS-Jagdkommando Zeppelin NL145
Wachbatl. Nord-West NL100, NL185
Einheit unbekannt NL138, NL203

Landstorm

Landstorm Nederland 8.Regt. NL100, NL222
Landstorm Nederland Regt.84 NL164

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Post by David Thompson » 28 Jun 2003 21:20

Here are some previous threads and posts from this section of the forum on the subject of Waffen-SS war crimes:

12th SS "HJ" and the Canadians
"'Other War Crimes': No Prisoners:"
viewtopic.php?t=14359

LSSAH Oct. 1941: Take No Prisoners
viewtopic.php?t=45198

W-SS War Crimes in Slovenia
viewtopic.php?t=20483

Das Reich and No Prisoners
viewtopic.php?t=13797

Wiking and No Prisoners
viewtopic.php?t=5651

Warcrimes of the Wiking Division
viewtopic.php?t=45197

The Killing of Galizian Jews 1941/42
viewtopic.php?t=17478

Totenkopf: Elite or Criminals
viewtopic.php?t=11475&start=0

Something About Waffen-SS War Crimes
viewtopic.php?t=14522

Erntefest and the Waffen-SS
viewtopic.php?t=12462


and here is an off-site link to a trial based on a "no prisoners" order:

The Trial of SS-Brigadefűhrer und Generalmajor der Waffen SS Kurt "Panzer" Meyer
http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/WCC/meyer.htm

and another outside link on the working relationship of the Waffen-SS and the RSHA Einsatzgruppen:

The Einsatzgruppen: Waffen-SS Report on the Killing of Jews in the Pripet Marshes
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/d ... fenss.html
Last edited by David Thompson on 12 Mar 2004 19:01, edited 4 times in total.

Timo
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Post by Timo » 29 Jul 2003 11:50

From Edwin Meindesma's website http://www.waffen-ss.nl

The 'SILBERTANNE' murders and Sonderkommando Feldmeijer

The 'SILBERTANNE' murders and Sonderkommando Feldmeijer In 1943 Dutch resistance fighters committed a series of attacks on several collaborators, killing a number of leading Dutch 'national-socialists'. General Seyffardt, the commander of the Dutch Volunteer Legion, was among the victims and the German occupiers as well as the Dutch collaborating movement had no choice but to react. Rauter and the Germanic SS in the Netherlands, led by Henk Feldmeijer, all shouted for revenge. They got it in the so-called 'Silbertanne' Aktion. Rauter and Feldmeijer had been looking for a fitting reply to the increasing illegal Dutch activities. Both gentlemen had expressed their preference for the execution of anti-German Dutchmen early on. Mussert did not approve of executions despite the high frequency with which NSB men were the victim of such liquidations in 1943. He did concur with so-called reprisal-deportations of anti-German Dutchmen to the prison camps, however.
On 5 September 1943 the Generalkommissare Rauter, Wimmer, and Ritterbusch decided in secret to commit 'assassinations' as a reprisal to resistance attacks. In practice, this meant that for every attack on a 'national-socialist individual' three (initially ten) people from the region in question who were known to be 'anti-German' would be killed by Dutch SS men. The Sicherheitsdienst (SD), which was represented by Brigadeführer Erich Naumann (former commander of Einsatzgruppe B) in the Netherlands, would assist in these actions by supplying the assassins with cars, false license plates, false Ids, etc. Because of the secretive nature of the operation it was decided to give it a code name. After the name 'Blutbuche' (bloody bash) had been disapproved because it was too transparent the name 'Silbertanne' (silver pine) was chosen.
What remained was the actual formation of the assassin squads, a task which was given to Feldmeijer. He secretly recruited a number of men (three to six) from the five regional Standaarden of the Germanic SS in the Netherlands who were to form the regional assassin squads. Lists of potential victims, to which the NSB and the Germanic SS in the Netherlands made a large contribution, were compiled. The final decision on who was to be killed was with the chiefs of the Aussenstellen of the SD, who were officially informed about 'Silbertanne' on 13 September 1943.
In the night of 28 September 1943 the first 'Silbertanne' assassinations were committed. The murders were a reaction to three attacks committed by the resistance in Southeast Drenthe. Under command of the regional SS-Standaard leader T.J.S. van Efferen a garage keeper, a surgeon from Meppel, and a teacher from Staphorst were killed in silence. The next day the papers reported the murders and wrote about the possible cause, running headlines like: 'the police are at a loss'. The 'Silbertanne' murders continued for eleven months (late September 1943 to early September 1944), claiming the well-known writer A.M. de Jong as one of the victims of these ruthless reprisals.
Historian Lou de Jong distinguished two phases in 'Silbertanne'. In the first phase (until April 1944) the murders (33 in number) were committed by the Standaarden themselves, who each had a squad of about five assassins at their disposal. In the second phase (until September 1944) the murders (at least 21) were committed by a single commando, namely Sonderkommando Feldmeijer. Why had the procedure been changed?
As it turned out the Germanic SS-Standaarden in the Netherlands were not all capable of performing the assassinations in a manner that was to the satisfaction of their commanders. According to Feldmeijer and Rauter, the composition of the assassin squads (who were all volunteers for the Eastern front) was changed too often. Only the most fanatic, complemented by several new men to make a total of fifteen, remained in the end. This group was placed directly under Feldmeijer's control in the Sonderkommando Feldmeijer. The disgraceful performance of this group was much better appreciated by Rauter and after only a few months the first military honours were awarded.
Other prominent nazis in the Netherlands were less happy with Aktion 'Silbertanne'. Naumann's replacement, SS-Brigadeführer Eberhard Schöngarth, ended this campaign of murder as soon as he learnt of its existence. He was concerned the murders would give the SD an even worse reputation and expose the fact that they were unable to find the resistance fighters and therefore lowered themselves to committing assassinations. The immediate execution of resistance fighters (Niedermachungsbefehl) had by this time been allowed as well, making a campaign of terror such as 'Silbertanne' unnecessary. The Germanic SS men from Sonderkommando Feldmeijer were given a new task from early September 1944: guarding Feldmeijer himself.
Not all the names from the assassination squads are known. After the war Feldmeijer's chief of staff Jansonius gave the following names: J.T.S. Van Efferen, C.F. Mink, Smid and Lantinck. It is furthermore known that the Germanic SS men L.Th. van Gog and D. Bernhard killed the writer A.M. de Jong. Even though the operation was officially a Sicherheitspolizei operation, it was performed by Dutch veterans from the Eastern front who were members of the Germanic SS. Those involved, as far as they were arrested, were condemned to very harsh sentences after the war. Rauter, for example, was condemned to death partly for his role in 'Silbertanne'.

Source: http://www.waffen-ss.nl/silbertanne-e.php

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Post by David Thompson » 29 Jul 2003 15:42

Timo -- Thanks so much for your post on Operation Silbertanne (Silver Fir). I've been wondering about it for the last two years. The Netherlands section of the JuNSV site lists a large number of Germans convicted of war crimes for participating in this action.

Your description of the action makes me think that, along with a similar operation in Denmark, this is a very early example of the "death squads" which have become popular as a counter-insurgency technique.

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Post by Timo » 29 Jul 2003 15:51

My pleasure David. But do notice that I've credited Erwin, who's the author of this article.

BTW, in my opinion those involved in the Silbertanne murders are the most despicable people . Killing your unarmed, unsuspecting countrymen just because they do not agree with the occupying force you're collaborating with is the lowest thing one can do.

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Post by Timo » 29 Jul 2003 15:59

For example:

Two Silbertanne Kommandos rang writer A.M de Jong's doorbell late in the evening. His wife opened the door and they asked if her husband was at home. She went back inside and notified her husband that there were some men to see him. Suspecting no danger, as he wasn't involved in any resistance activities, he went to the door to see them. As he glared into the darkness (we all know how impossible it is to see anything going from the light into the dark) he was shot by his murderers, who left him dead on his doorstep.

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Post by Timo » 29 Jul 2003 16:27

One of the lesser known war crimes committed by the LSSAH, the murder of eleven African American soldiers in Wereth on December 17, 1944. Probabely by men from Kampfgruppe Knittel.

Private Curtis Adams
Corporal Mager Bradley
Pfc George Davis
Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Forte
Tech 5 Robert L. Green
Pfc James Leatherwood
Private Nathaniel Moss
Pfc George W Moten
Private William E. Pritchett
Tech 4 James A. Stewart
Pfc Due W Turner

Image
Last edited by Timo on 10 Aug 2003 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 29 Jul 2003 17:50

For atrocities allegedly committed by German Army and SS mountain troops, see:

viewtopic.php?t=27886
Last edited by David Thompson on 06 Feb 2004 00:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Waffen-SS Units Implicated in War Crimes

Post by observer » 27 Aug 2003 15:29

David Thompson wrote:- Korps Gille 342


It is actually worth studying the cases, you have listed:

This one for example is a strange outlier:

Erschiessung eines Oberscharführers wegen Aufsässigkeit und Dienstverweigerung in amerikanischer Kriegsgefangenschaft nach der Kapitulation


(as the indicted has a German name (sentence 4 years), it sounds like one W-SS member shot another in American (!) custody 8O

Also this one is revelatory:

(concerning LSSAH, Nr. 685)
Eigenmächtige Verhaftung und Erschiessung von insgesamt 22 italienischen Juden in mehreren Teilaktionen am Lago Maggiore


verdict: case dismissed! (Nr. 685) Nr. 491, also LSSAH, mentions a sentence of 5 years to someone who shot 2 escaped Soviet POWs.

What does this tell us?

First and foremost that this list is only touching the surface of all cases (no mentioning of the truly criminal act of the destruction of the village Boves in Northern Italy Sep 43 (a bat. of LSSAH under command of Jochen Peiper).

Secondly, that not much came out of these cases: in the Laggo Maggiore verdict, 5 were indicted, but none was sentenced :wink:

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Post by c.g. » 30 Oct 2003 22:20

Dear fellows researcher:
Apparently two main bodies of atrocities were perpetrated by LSSAH units in northern Italy in 1943: One group in north-western Italy, a second group in Istria.
The first group - as some of the preceding posts in this trhead show - is already well known. To it belong two cases:
a) the killing of 23 civilians following skirmishes between SS men (III.(gep.)/Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 2 LSSAH/Joachim Peiper) and Italian soldiers near Boves (Cuneo) on September 19th.
b) the multiple murders of Jews perpetrated between 17 and 24 September and again between 9 and 11 October in Méina and in other places on Lago Maggiore. There, a battalion of the Leibstandarte, which had moved into quarters on the western bank of Lago Maggiore, came upon several Jewish families, who were then arrested.
The battalion (I./SS-Pz.Rgt.2 LAH) had moved its command post to Baveno on 15 September and was busy on the western bank of Lago Maggiore disarming, assembling and transporting out "booty" and securing important military and economic facilities.
In the course of the following days, members of the battalion murdered them. Some of the bodies of the 54 victims of the massacre were sunk in the lake’s waters and some were buried in mass graves in the nearby woods. The events at Lago Maggiore were the subject of a trial in Osnabrück. The trial, which, in the first instance, had led to the accused parties being convicted of murder or of aiding and abetting murder, was stayed in 1970 by the Federal High Court of Justice on the grounds of time-barred prosecution.
Sources: Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv, Freiburg/Br., RS 2-2/21, Part 2, daily report of 15.9.1943, Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler to IInd SS Armoured Corps; ibid., General Command, IInd SS Armoured Corps, Intelligence daily report of 17.9.1943 to Army Group B/Ic: "Numerous Jews are being secured at Lake Maggiore"; ibid., General Command, IInd SS Armoured Corps, Intelligence morning report of 18.9.1943 to Army Group B/Ic: "The Jews reported from the Lago Maggiore area are being concentrated in camps".

Near Cuneo, SS soldiers under Joachim Peiper were involved in hunting for about a thousand Jews who, in September 1943, had fled from the French Maritime Alps to Italy. With help from local clergymen and authorities, many of the refugees were able to hide with farmers in mountain villages. Some 300 of them were arrested and taken to a makeshift concentration camp in a former barracks in the small town of Borgo San Dalmazzo. On 21 November, they were deported to the French transit camp of Drancy and from there they were sent to Auschwitz; apparently only 14 survived the extermination camp.
The records of General Command, IInd SS Armoured Corps, from the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg, contain clear indications that Peiper's battalion was actively, directly involved in the arrests. In the early morning hours of 20 September, the Corps passed on the following to the Army Group: "216 Jews detained in Borgo San Dalmazzo. Waiting for SD", Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv, Freiburg/Br., RS 2-2/21, Part 2, General Command, IInd SS Armoured Corps, Intelligence morning report of 20.9.1943 to Army Group B/Ic.

The following story, however, doesn’t seems to be already known: In February 1944 a German deserter from II./SS-Pz.Rgt.2 LAH run over to British troops near Orsogna and was interrogated. He stated to have “heard of various executions carried out by Oberscharführer VOGT on orders of Sturmbannführer SANDIG” when he was in Turin. He also stated that he
“actually saw two civilians and six escaped British PW dead in the cellar. The bodies were afterwards taken by Russians (attached to SS Div LAH for menial tasks) on lorries to be thrown into the river. The bodies were robbed.” (US NARA, RG 165, Entry 179, CSDIC Reports).
Since the German POW had occasionally lied, the British interrogation officers didn’t trust him completely (however they seemed to consider the atrocity stories more reliable then other, more strictly military parts of the testimony). On the other hand, according to the official records of the Medical Examiner Office in Turin, bodies of killed allied POW were actually recovered from the river in that period (hands tied beyond the back and car batteries hanging from their bodies as weights). So this story is most likely true.

The second group of killings of civilians took place in October 1943 during IInd SS-Panzerkorps operations in Istria. It is interesting to note, that most cases are located in areas in which LSSAH troops were operating, particularly in the province of Pola/Pula.
The following cases may have been perpetrated by LSSAH units:
2-11 October, Brgndac-Pinguente, 37 civilians
4 October, Nova Vas, 18 civilians
6-7 October, Arsa-Albona, 60 civilians
7 October, Kresini-Gimino, 58 civilians
9 October, Krmed-Rovigno, 31 civilians
10 October, Abrega di Parenzo, 10 partisans shot
16 October, Kanfanar, 26 civilians

The data is taken from E. Collotti, R. Sandri, F. Sessi, Dizionario della Resistenza, Vol. 1, Storia e geografia della Liberazione, Einaudi, Torino 2000 and has been compared to the situation maps of IInd SS-Panzerkorps operations in Istria (BA-MA, RS RS 2-2).
C.G.


Timo
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Post by Timo » 02 Nov 2003 21:45

Thanks for this very interesting info c.g.!

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Post by c.g. » 02 Nov 2003 22:36

Dear Timo,
I got your PM but while trying to answer I got kicked out of my system twice. I'll try again.
Thanks
C.G.

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Post by c.g. » 14 Nov 2003 11:28

Hallo Rob,
thanks for the addition. As I see it the LSSAH units were undoubtedly among the first to start antisemitic actions in occupied Italy. We have traces of Alois Schintlholzer of the Waffen-SS Mountain troops school starting to arrest Jews in Merano on 9.9.43 which were immediately deported.
What is not clear at all is the role of SiPo/SD men attached to LSSAH since August 1943 (and wearing LSSAH uniforms). I am wondering if anyone ever heard of those SiPo/SD men in the ranks of the Leibstandarte in Italy in Summer/Fall 1943. (I am wondering if it might be worth to start a thread on this issue)
Best
C.G.

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