Is it the truth that the Waffen SS units were utilised as a fire break and became cannon fodder as demanded by Wehrmacht Generals? There is no doubt that many fought with exemplary courage for the Fatherland, but became mired in atrocity, brutality and indeed The Holocaust. They were a so-called elite amongst the German military. With the inclusion of less-than supposed-strictly-aryan specimens, this then saw through the failed ideology Hitler had proposed. For the Muslim Brigades and Divisions, this is a contention which many who study the period of World War II are engaged in. I have no real interest in the relative status of these Divisions as fighting units. Some state the Waffen SS’s exemplary fighting nature prior to the inclusion of misfits, bandits and the Muslims, but they were an illegal body, cold hearted and ruthless.
The Waffen SS, as with their equally brutal Policing, Intelligence and Camp Guard ranks wore their humanity hidden beneath a specific uniform. These legions, their uniform ritually adorned with a skull, had a sinister acceptance that was selectively genocidal. I would state that with their immersion in all aspects of Hitler’s ideological hatred, they too mounted the plinth of an absurd dogma and acted in accordance with Hitler’s murderous wish. Without conscience and with little regard for the necessary compassion Humanity demands, they did their master’s bidding. Hitler unleashed his SS forces upon an unsuspecting world, in a military conflict that would be bound by no moral code or Convention. Here are but three of those Divisions and their role in an atrocity well recorded. The Waffen SS presence in the annals of The Holocaust is also well known. 3rd. Waffen SS trained at Majdanek. Their assistance of der Einsatzgruppe, at Babi Yar for instance has been well documented.
1st. SS Panzer Division (Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler)
On December 17th. 1944 members of a Kampfgruppe, of the 1st SS Panzer Division (Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler) Murdered 80 American Prisoners of War. Peiper’s Kampfgruppe did not restrict itself to this single Massacre. 73 Waffen SS personnel were held accountable. 43 received Death Sentences, which were later commuted, 22 gained Life Sentence tariffs and 8 were given lighter sentences. Also, units of the Division Murdered Mademoiselle Maujean in front of her 5 Children in Tavaux. They set her alight, locked the Children in the cellar and poured petrol down into it. The 9 year old put out the flames, saving the 4 other Children and himself.
2nd. SS Panzer Division (Das Reich)
On June 10th. 1944, the 642 inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane, Men, Women and their Children, were Murdered by a Waffen SS unit from 2nd. SS Panzer Division (Das Reich). The Oradour Community was forced into the local Church and incendiary devices were placed around the building! The Church was set alight and those who sought to escape were machine gunned. In total, 190 Men, 247 Women and 205 of Their Children, all Innocent Civilians, were slaughtered.
3rd. SS Panzer Division (Totenkopf)
Theodor Eicke was the Dachau Kommandant before embarking upon his Waffen SS career. He became the Inspector of Concentration Camps. Rank and File members of the 3rd. SS Motorised Division were drawn from Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps. Within nine months of operations in Russia Totenkopf was decimated to such a degree, 80% of its 17,200 force were casualties. On May 27th. 1940. the Le Paradis Massacre against British Prisoners of War was conducted by 14th Company, 3rd. SS Panzer Division (Totenkopf). British Forces were in retreat toward Dunkirk. Troops from the 2nd Battalion, of the Royal Norfolk Regiment were defending a farmhouse surrounded by the Waffen SS task force. Without ammunition, the British Troops surrendered. 97 British Prisoners of War were Machine Gunned against a wall. Murdered!