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Waffen-SS vs. Einaatzgruppen

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Hummel, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    What was the Waffen-SS attitude towards the Einsatzgruppen etc? Was there animosity? I am pretty sure there was a general feeling of anti-semitism, or, rather, anti-Judaism in the Waffen-SS (weren't there Muslim members? as well as soldiers from all over towards the end), but what was the attitude of the regulard Waffen-SS towards the monsters running the camps?

    Also, has anyone read "The Hour of the Avenger"? Is it worth finding and reading?
     
  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Why post this in the western europe section?

    and

    W-SS was a political indoctrinated force. You cannot polish a turd.
     
  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Good point, Jaeger. I'll move this thread to the Ostfront section.
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Very diplomaticly put!
     
  5. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Please understand, I hate nazis. Read my other posts to see what I am talking about. I am mainly interested in the hardware of the war, and the technical developments to come from them. I know someone who maintains, staunchly, that there was a clear difference between the w-ss and the einzatzgruppen/totenkopfs or however you spell them. I maintain there isn't, that they were all nazis, and all should have been pushed up against the wall, chained there, and let the camp prisoners have a go with picks and shovels and screwdrivers and what-have-you. I don't hold with this person's "but the w-ss was no longer predominantly German" at the end of the war. They still agreed with the principles of the nazis enough to join this ALL VOLUNTEER army. What I want to know is about an INTERNAL discord between one group of monsters and another. It doesn't make one group good -- in ANY way imho. I just want to know if the w-ss hated the camp-ss and vice versa.

    As for posting it in the western Europe section originally, that was because I came across this webpage: Col. Howard A. Buechner's account of German Soldiers executed at Dachau by I Company, 157th Regiment, 45th Thunderbird Div. which most certainly takes place on the WESTERN front as it happens to be about American soldiers @ Dachau, one of the few camps we actually liberated (as opposed to the Russians on the Eastern Front). It wasn't a mistake, just a response to that website. Also, because the book I am talking about, Hour of the Avenger, is a book about Dachau and the events when the US Army liberated the camp and town. FYI Dachau is about 20 km NW of Munich.

    Thanks
    Hummel
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    As far as I can tell, I don't think there was much discord at all. According to this site, many of the Einsatzgruppen were drawn from the Waffen-SS, as well as other sources.
    The Einsatzgruppen received much assistance from German and Axis soldiers, local collaborators, and other SS units. Einsatzgruppen members were drawn from the SS, Waffen SS (military formations of the SS), SD, Sipo, Order Police, and other police units.
    Einsatzgruppen (Mobile Killing Units)

    I also found this

    The Composition of the Einsatzgruppen There were approximately 600 to 1000 men in each Einsatzgruppe, although many were support staff. The active members of the Einsatzgruppen were drawn from various military and non-military organizations of the Third Reich. The bulk of the members were drawn from the Waffen-SS, the military arm of the SS. In Einsatzgruppen A, for example, the breakdown of active members was:
    Waffen-SS: [​IMG] 340 Gestapo: 89 SD (security service): 35 Order Police: 133 Kripo: 41 (Taylor, Anatomy, p. 510.)
    Each of the Einsatzgruppen were further broken down into operational subunits known as Einsatzkommandos or Sonderkommandos.

    An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen

    My guess is that members of the Waffen-SS shared many of the same traits as the Einsatzgruppen, and might even have been anxious to serve in them. I have no evidence of that, but it seems logical.

    Hope this helps.
    (Taylor, Anatomy, p. 510.)
     
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  7. Iverson

    Iverson recruit

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    Not all foreign volunteers in the Waffen SS believed in nazi ideology. The Estonian SS volunteers for example, joined the ranks of the Waffen SS in order to fight the Soviets and defend their homeland from them. The Soviets had conquered Estonia prior to Operation Barbarossa and tortured and murdered many of the Estonian people. When German forces "liberated" Estonia from the Soviets, the Estonians treated the Germans as "liberators" and decided that they would rather help the Germans than the Soviets. The Germans then created the Narwa battalion, and the 20th Waffen Estonian Divison. Those units and others fought bravely on the Eastern Front against their enemy, the Soviets. When Estonia was falling in 1944 to the Soviets, the Estonians in the Waffen SS were asked if they would like to stay behind and many did so, going to to fight with the forest brothers during and long after the war. The Estonian volunteers, along with many other foreign volunteers did not commit war crimes like some other units had, they simply would rather fight the Soviets than the Germans.
    I know thats alot, but all I am trying to say is that being in the Waffen SS did not mean that you were a true National Socialist and believed in all the Nazi Ideals, later in the war even regular German people were being Conscripted into the Waffen SS due to the need for troop replacements.
     
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  8. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    ...
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Iverson, first welcome to the forum. Within any organization there are the true believers, the social climbers and the odds and ends. The Waffen SS was a political army rather than a national one, as for the foreign volunteer's, they did have a mixed bag of reasons for fighting as part of Hitler's reich. Still when you choose to take up the uniform, you accept what ever it stands for.
     
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  10. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I do remember reading that Estonian SS volunteers did not have a problem handing over Jews to their "Liboraters".

    IMO, siding with the devil in order to punish a bully has its draw backs...
     
  11. Paul Errass

    Paul Errass Member

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    Welcome Iverson and thanks for the only considered post in this discussion , are you Estonian ?
     
  12. Paul Errass

    Paul Errass Member

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    A choice between Stalin or Hitler what a decision to have to make !!!
     
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  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Baltic countries were putsched three times at least, in 1940 by the Soviets, 1941 by the Germans, and 1944 by the Soviets again. What a fate...
     
  14. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    The Waffen SS did begin as a political force. Himmler wanted to expand it but could not get enough manpower because of the recruitment quotas applied by the Wehrmacht, especially from the Heere. This was a way to limit the size for fear of having it grow too big like the SA. Himmler found a way around that by recruiting foreign volunteers. No foreigner could serve in the Wehrmacht. This also allowed those who were not German but who wanted to fight the communist the ability to do so. These foreign volunteers were more facists than nazis. So there were instances where those foreign volunteers did not buy into the Jewish question. Yes they ended up being labeled as nazis and everything that came with it but majority of them just wanted to fight communism.
     
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  15. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there was much contact between both:there were in june 1941 a few thousands of the Einsatzgruppen and some 100000 of the WSS in the east .Probably some units of the WSS never did meet members of the Einsatzgruppen :ex:Kampfgruppe Nord who was fighting in Finland with Dietl .
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I can accept on a technical level that you cannot call all SS Foreign Volunteers Nazi's per se. Yet many of these formation's substituted a differing ethnic group to be oppressed and exterminated because they had their own race hatred. They also employed reprisal killings on any civilian near a partisan attack in Russia and the Balkans. There was a reason the SS was declared an illegal or criminal organisation. Were there honorable men who joined, probably, did they continue to act honorably, possibly, but on the whole the nature of the organisation was corrosive and regularly called upon it members to do things that cannot be defended as reasonable acts of war. The Waffen SS had more in common with the NKVD than the USMC.
     
  17. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    The Norwegian volunteers in the 'Nordland' regiment was taught nazi ideology during their training. The soldiers in the Norwegian Legion were technically part of the SS, but were trained in Norway and was a 'Norwegain' unit.

    During the last few years the staunch defenders of the norwegian volunteers had to give up the ghost. Civillian reprisals in the balkans, and executions in the east was finally proved.

    Singing (like Shaggy) it wasn't me doesn't cut it anymore.

    As for the honorable bit I think the german film Stalingrad captivate it well. The real bastards are the ones who proclaim not to be nazis.(hard to recount the event I don't have the film on DVD, only VHS but my VHS machine is long gone...)
     
  18. gorehound

    gorehound Member

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    If you were in the Waffen SS then you did the unspeakable.There is no excuses for these people.They were right there butchering innocent civilians be they jewish or non-jewish.you wore their uniform and you did
    unspeakable disgusting things.
    killing babies by bashing in their skulls,murdering jews in ditches layer upon layer of corpses,killing off whole villages who may have sheltered partisans.
    i have no love for the waffen ss.they were and are a criminal organization not an army like the wehrmacht.
    and who knows how many of the wehrmacht commited criminal acts against innocent civilians ?
    all the books and research i have done says the waffen ss were a bunch of hard core nazis who had no problem doing the bad things.
     
  19. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    This is like asking what the difference is between thuggish street criminals and professional gangsters or, the attitude of criminals towards say one who just murders their victims and those who choose to rape and then murder them.
     
  20. Paul Errass

    Paul Errass Member

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    What an excellent considered reply !!!
     

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