Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Book discussion and reviews related to the German military.

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panzermahn
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Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by panzermahn » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:29 pm

Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei: Himmler's Wartime Institutions for the Detention of Waffen-SS and Polizei Criminals

http://www.amazon.com/Strafvollzugslage ... 781555605/

Image

I am aware of several German language books that had been published about Bewahrueng Einheits in the Wehrmacht (not sure about the Waffen SS though) but I think this is the first book dealing about SS penal system in English. Should be quite interesting

lustrum
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:38 am

Thank you for posting the link panzermahn.

This book has taken seven years to mature and has received help from a myriad of European archives and veterans families, including the son of the last Kommandant des StVL. Danzig-Matzkau. In unprecedented detail it describes the imprisonment policy of the Waffen-SS and reveals the operational history of the SS-Straflagern at Dachau, Danzig-Matzkau, Förrenbach and a myriad of smaller branch prisons.

Highly detailed biographies of the SS prison staff and the felons they guarded are provided and a chapter is devoted to the front probation process.

I'm currently working on a history of the HA SS-Gericht and a biographical examination of the SS-Richterkorps, so if anyone can help with these projects, please do not hesitate to contact me using this forum.

Stuart. :-)

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by panzermahn » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:12 pm

Hi Stuart

Many thanks for giving us a sneak peek on your book's content. I believe this is the first book in English to deal with such topic and I believe many of the folks in Feldgrau would be interested in it.

Just curious, although your book seems to focus mostly on SS penal system, would it by any chance discuss about Waffen SS penal units such as the Bewahruengsoldaten (probationary troops) of the SS Fallschirmjaeger Bataillon 500/600 as well as the infamous SS-Sonderkomando Dirlewanger?

Thanks
Panzermahn

lustrum
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:35 am

Thank you for the kind words of support Panzermahn.

My book does explains the evolution of the front probation program and contains many case histories for those felons assigned to the Bewährungsbataillone der SS und Polizei, the Arbeitsabteilung der SS, Polizei, the SS-Fallschirmjägerabteilung 500 and the SS-Sonderkomando 'Dirlewanger'.

I was convinced when starting this project that the history of the SS StVL. could not be achieved without explaining the front probation program, given the intertwining of the prison/parole punishment.

I've been very humbled by the help that I've received while researching this book, especially the willingness of veterans families to unselfishly aid my efforts. In particular, I have to thank the last living officer of the HA SS-Gericht, who related to me his 1942 visit to Danzig-Matzkau. You can imagine that his impressions of this penal institution was of immense help.

Stuart. :-)

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by John P. Moore » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:14 pm

I am very excited that Vol. 1 will soon be in print and I believe that Stuart and his publisher made an excellent choice of the topic to introduce readers to the Judicial arm of the SS. I have assisted Stuart with some of his research during the past 5 years and I am very familiar with the breadth of his research. He has spared no personal time or expense to obtain all available relevant information. Not being content to merely acquire the personnel records and photos of the members of the Hauptamt SS Gericht and the persons who had the misfortune to cross their path, Stuart has scoured the records of archives throughout Europe and the USA along with municipalities in Germany to unearth important related material. The author has also successfully contacted former members of the Hauptamt SS Gericht and their families to add to the personal dimension of his study. The reader will be astounded by the severe punishments handed down by the courts for a variety of offenses. Can anyone today imagine that the punishment for homosexuality could result in the loss of an officer’s rank and being followed by a very unpleasant time at a special detention center, the conditions of which the author describes in great detail, and then being sent to a Waffen-SS engineer unit to clear landmines and participate in other dangerous missions, sometimes having their rank restored upon their death. There will be stories about the stupid things that SS officers did while under the influence of alcohol and the trouble they later found themselves in. Severe punishments were handed out for the fraternization with Russian and Polish women. Some officers were plainly criminals and engaged in embezzlement or other fraudulent activity. All of these offenses were investigated in great detail so that when someone appeared before the court, their fate was usually sealed. Stuart and I have become close personal friends during his many years of research on this project and I wish him every success with these volumes which are excellent examples of original research and will surely be a pleasure for people to read.

John

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:45 am

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement John, much appreciated.

A final decision has been taken on the front cover and here it is:

Image

Fonthill are aiming to publish this work by October 2016 and I am presently engaged on my two-part history of the HA SS-Gericht.

Thanks you to everyone who has helped me with this and my other projects.

Stuart. :-)

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by richdlc » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:03 am

is there any more news on this book? Amazon seems to think it has been released but no copies are available..

thanks for writing about this most interesting subject. I have always harboured ambitions to research the history of the Dirlewanger Brigade. I don't believe there is one definitive book in English - are there any in other languages?
I'm looking forward to reading anything about this notorious unit in your book. I was surprised to learn, for example, upon reading Wachsmann's 'KL' that some political prisoners from the camps were forced to serve in the Dirlewanger unit.

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:05 am

is there any more news on this book?
So far as I'm aware, the book is with the printers as I write and will be released soon.
that some political prisoners from the camps were forced to serve in the Dirlewanger unit
Criminal and political KL prisoners 'volunteered' for 'military service' and then found themselves inducted into the SS-Sonderregiment/Brigade/36th Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS.

Hope my reply has been of some help.

Stuart. :-)

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by richdlc » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:20 am

many thanks for the reply!

lustrum
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:19 am

Hi Guys,

I am reliably informed that 'Strafvollzugslager' has been published and is available to purchase.

I'd like to thank you everyone who has supported my efforts, and continue to advise and help with my current project, the history of the HA SS-Gericht.

Stuart. :-)

richdlc
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by richdlc » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:56 pm

well, I bought the book and was greatly looking forward to it...

now for the bad news.

I'm a dozen pages in, and there are already nearly two dozen grammatical and syntax errors...I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but the book is crying out for a good proof reader. I will plow on as far as I can as I am interested in the subject, but it's really disappointing considering how much I paid for the book.

Rich

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by leib1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:07 am

richdlc wrote:well, I bought the book and was greatly looking forward to it...

now for the bad news.

I'm a dozen pages in, and there are already nearly two dozen grammatical and syntax errors...I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but the book is crying out for a good proof reader. I will plow on as far as I can as I am interested in the subject, but it's really disappointing considering how much I paid for the book.

Rich
Does it contain factual errors though ?
Good price here
http://www.speedyhen.com/Product/Stuart ... I/20349676

richdlc
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by richdlc » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:17 pm

I only managed a chapter but will give it another go. I did find one factual error yes, when a couple of years were mixed up (author said one thing but meant another), but in terms of historical accuracy, I have no doubt that the research involved will be accurate. The author knows far, far more than I do. I just picked up on the bad editing..

like I said I'll give it another go as I want to know this stuff

lustrum
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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by lustrum » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:14 am

Hi guys,

Here are the prison diagram legends omitted from ‘Strafvollzugslager’:

Page 71:

SS-Straflager Dachau:
A – Wirtschaftsgebäude.
B – Court yard.
C – Lager Arrest
D – Main gate.
E – Administrative building.
F – SS-Straflager Dachau.
G – Gefängnis Abteilung.
H – Execution wall.
I – Garden.

Page 126:

Aussenstelle Allach:
A – Lager Karlsfeld.
B – Aussenstelle Allach.
C – Road to the factory.
D – Barrack.
E – Convict accommodation/Administrative building.
F – SS Firing range.
G – Betonbunker der SS.
H – Transformerhaus and main gate.

Page 138:

Strafvollzugslager der SS und Polizei Danzig-Matzkau:
A – Kraftfahrstaffel.
B – Motor Room.
C – Petrol Station.
D – Wirtschaftsbarracke/Kitchen.
E – Main Entrance.
F – Guard Accommodation.
G – Schreibstube.
H – Parade Ground.
I – Guard accommodation/Stabsgebäude.
J – Reiterhalle.
K – Football pitch/Firing range.
L – Water Tower.
M – Assembly point.
N –Krankenrevier.
O – Arrestgebäude.
P – Kommandantheim
Q – Entrance to the Kraftfahrstaffel.

Page 239:

Zweiglager Ludwigsfelde:
A - Zweiglager Ludwigsfelde.
B – Soviet Labour Camp.
C – Prisoner of War Camp.

Communicating with Arno Huth recently, (an absolute gentleman) we agree that the Zweiglager Ludwigsfelde stood in the black shaded area of the site:

Image

Page 243:

Strafvollzugslager der SS und Polizei Förrenbach:
A – Main Entrance.
B – Parade Ground.
C – Guards Accommodation/Stabsgebäude.
D – Wirtschaftgebäude.
E – KL Förrenbach.
F – Convict Barracks.

A correction to page 430:

1st SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler
Feldpostnummer: 05.113
Established: Eureux/France on 24 September 1942
Notes: Punished for attempted desertion, the SS- und Polizei-Gericht VI, Cracow assigned Oscha. Voß to this Strafkompanie in September 1942.[172]

Stuart.

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Re: Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

Post by John P. Moore » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:21 pm

I have just finished reading all 573 pages of Stuart Emmett’s remarkable new book, “Strafvollzugslager der SS und Polizei”. This book is about a very dark side of the Waffen-SS. It covers in great detail the judiciary system of the SS with its many prisons and jails throughout Europe where soldiers and police officials were sent for offenses ranging from the most trivial infractions such as being AWOL for a few hours or drunkenness through more serious crimes like homosexuality, murder or desertion. This book highlights the strictness of German society at the time where severe punishment was meted out for minor offenses like telephone pranks where a drunken police officer telephoned an unpopular Party official and the local hospital and then conferenced the two parties together. By the end of the war 6% of the personnel of the Waffen-SS had ran afoul of the legal system of the SS, an increase from 2% in 1941. This increase is attributed to transitioning from a volunteer force to taking in recruits from democratic nations who were not accustomed to the strict discipline common in Germany together with the influx of conscripts and forced transfers from the Luftwaffe. The author goes into great detail to explain the typical day of an inmate at one of the SS prisons such as Dachau or Danzig-Matzkau. Inmates were fed 70% less food than a regular member of the German military and worked at hard labor for long hours performing such demoralizing tasks as digging gravel from a pit in the morning and moving it to another location under a strict production quota. In the afternoon they dug the gravel back up and moved it back to the original location day after day while being harassed by camp staff. The life of these convicts was very grim. Throughout the war a rifle range near KL Dachau appears to have been the main execution site for the SS. It has been reported by camp clerical personnel that 5 – 15 men were executed by firing squad 3 – 4 times a week. Inmates were often given the opportunity to redeem themselves at the front after taking a course in disarming enemy mines. These probationers were usually placed in special sections of the engineer battalion of a Waffen-SS division where they were given extra hazardous assignments. Examples are given of a former Hauptsturmführer and Obersturmführer on the staff of SS-Junkerschule Tölz who were caught in homosexual activity, court martialed, stripped of their ranks and sent to languish in separate concentration camps. Later on they were sent on a mine disarming course and assigned to the engineer battalion of the SS-Totenkopf Division. Both men were blown to bits in May 1940 on the same day while disarming mines in France. Later in the war prisoners on parole were sent to the Sonderkommando Dirlewanger or the SS-Bewährungs Abteilung where convicts were only pardoned after they had been killed or badly wounded.

The author did not satisfy himself with only the officer personnel files from the US National Archives or Bundesarchiv which often contain great detail concerning the military career of convicts, but also extensive reports of investigations concerning their offense along the punishment handed down and often their ultimate fate. Scores of detailed examples are given for the range of offenders as well as their overseers. The author carried his research much further by pouring over the records of the Hauptamt SS Gericht and post-war “Spruchkammer” denazification tribunals that he obtained from various German municipalities plus important documents from the Wiener Library and the Munich Staatarchiv. The author’s research was further significantly assisted by his contacts with former SS judges and legal staff or their relatives.

Unfortunately, there is a serious shortcoming to this book, despite its wealth of interesting and amazing new information. Apparently, there was a misunderstanding between the author and his publisher, Fonthill, concerning responsibility for editing and the level of effort that would be applied to that critical task prior to publication. Consequently, the reader will find numerous errors in spelling and syntax. On a positive note, the book contains more than 60 previously unpublished photos of the SS prisons at Danzig-Matzkau and Dachau along with senior staff and some convicts. Some present-day photos of the Danzig-Matzkau complex are also included. The resolution of the photos is very good.

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