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The crimes of Sturmbannführer Hermann Müller-John.


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#1 Timo

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 12:29 PM

The Musikkorps of the LSSAH was formed on 04.08.1933, 36 musicians under "command" of SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Müller-John. In 1934 the orchestra was expanded to 72 men, selected on musical, health and racial qualifications. In the end the korps had a Sollstärke of 108 Musiker, but actual strength was 96 men. Musical education took place at the Staatl. Hochschule für Musik and in several Konservatorien, military training (parade training) took place together with I./LAH under command of Truppführern Plöw and Schmidl. Info about several concerts is given, if you're interested.

Müller-John's official title was Leibstandarten-Obermusikmeister, called Obumei by his men. He was 1.Musik-Inspizient der SS-VT and Mitglied des Reichs-Kultur-Senats. He made some radical changes to the orchestra, by adding Saxophones and other "Bigband" influences. He was respected by people like Prof. Erich Schumann and Erich Gutzeit (both composers) and Heeres_Musik-Inspizient Prof. Hermann Schmidt.

In 1945 he committed suicide in Austria, together with his wife and daughter. According to Lehmann this was his way to find peace with his involvement in the killing of 50 Polish civilians in 1939 (of whom several were Jewish).

According to Hstuf. Keilhaus and Hstuf. Ewert, the Musikkorps was shot at from a group of houses when their bus halted on a square. Several men were killed or wounded. Müller-John ordered the men of the Musikkorps and the medical column to search the houses. Weapons were found and the captured men were shot. v.Reichenau and von Rundstedt ordered a conduct and a trial and Müller-John was found guilty by a military court. Dietrich complained to Hitler and the führer signed a pardon. Officially because "crimes committed out of anger caused by the way the Poles treated the Volksdeutschen should not be punished". But Müller-John considered himself guilty of a war crime. According to Weingartner he told Paul Hausser: Wo das Verbrechen beginnt, hört die Kameradschaft auf!"

Are there more examples of SS officers who said "yes, I am guilty" during the war?
Also spricht der Narr: 'der Umgang mit Menschen verdirbt den Charakter, sonderlich wenn man keinen hat.'

#2 Panzerknacker

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 12:35 PM

Their was-i think his name was Josef Schmidt-he was a Sergeant in the Heer and he helped Jews escape a death camp(perhaps Treblinka or Maidanek, but not sure)-and he didn't hide it-he said yes-guilty as charged-and was executed....
"GARRY OWEN"-Traditional war-cry of the US 7th Cavalry.
"CURRAHEE"-War-cry of the US 506th PIR.
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#3 Timo

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 02:30 PM

Hmmm. Actually I was thinking about SS-officers who considered themselves guilty of a warcrime.
Also spricht der Narr: 'der Umgang mit Menschen verdirbt den Charakter, sonderlich wenn man keinen hat.'

#4 Stevin

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 02:33 PM

Very interesting piece of history here, Timo! Thanks for sharing. I downloaded several pieces of their music with Kazaa. If the captions that go with it are correct.

I personally don't know of any other SS men finding themselves guilty, although I am interested in the case of Otto Rahn. Of course he committed suicide in 1938, before the war. But his reason was, it has been said, that he was desillussioned with what he thought he had set out to do and how Himmler (in particular) molded his work into something he did not believe in...
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson
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#5 C.Evans

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 09:20 PM

Great work Timo--this is a great addition here--very nice reading. I had not known a thing about LSSAH's musikkorps before this topic.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#6 PzJgr

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Posted 17 July 2002 - 09:30 PM

This was some interesting information. I do recall reading something about a soldier being tried for such an action and Hitler pardoning him. I did not know it was this incident. Good information.

As for your question, I know only of a few instances told to me by my grandfather of his taking part in such actions. His first was during the infamous Minsk shootings where Wehrmacht and Einsatzgruppen were shooting the Jews in that pit. As a matter of fact, there were 5 different sites. He was at a site where Wehrmacht troops were performing the executions and he was there to sign off that it was done properly. There were 2 more but he did not go into detail. He did say that it may have been wrong by today's standards but at the time, it was part of the war. Again, I guess you had to be there.
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#7 Friedrich

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 01:28 AM

Getting saxophons into a classic orchestra is already a crime!!! :mad:

But I think there were very few who got the guts to say: 'Yes, I am guilty'.

And about your Opa, PzJgr, yes, we must put ourselves in their shoes and consider circumstances at that moment.
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#8 Timo

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 10:26 AM

I agree that it's easy to look back after 60 years and condemn people by todays standards. However, one must not forget that there's also something called 'humanity'.

On a sidenote: ofcourse the saxophones etc. were only used when modern compositions were played, not in classical pieces.
Also spricht der Narr: 'der Umgang mit Menschen verdirbt den Charakter, sonderlich wenn man keinen hat.'

#9 Friedrich

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Posted 18 July 2002 - 11:03 PM

Oh, I see...

Yes, the Führer would have been the first who had ordered shooting them if they played Wagner or Beethoven with saxophons... hehehe
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun




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