Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

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Kritonner
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Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Sat May 02, 2009 2:47 am

We are in the proces of making a documentaryfilm about the Market-Garden operation 1944. We want to show all sides in this battle. So far it is really hard to find German or Dutch vets who took part in the battle of Arnhem. More specific we are trying to find veterans who fought in the SS Wachbattalion 3, stationed in Amersfoort. If you are a veteran of this unit or you know somebody who was, please send us a message.
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Kritonner

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haen2
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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by haen2 » Sat May 02, 2009 7:03 pm

Hello Kritonner,
Did you not already pose that question before ?
I seem to remember answering to it.
Yes i was involved in "Market Garden" ; was a "krad/rad/fuss, und bauch melder" ) motor cycle, Bicycle, Foot, and Belly (crawling) dispatch runner) as well as a sanitater/helfer.
The 2nd company (ersatz und ausbildung kompanie), to which i belonged, was heavily clobbered; as was the rest of the battalion under the MISmanagement of Stubaf. Helle. Who got relieve of command, and most of his remaining men were absorbed by other units, like Hohensyaufen. Except for a group of about 200 or so, that had been put together by Hptsf.Ziegler, who in theory took command of W.B.3 (Nordwest) under orders from Gen. von Tettau.
There are some excellent deescriptions on market Garden on "Defending Arnhem" webside.
As such he actually commanded a rather small kampfgruppe, which also absorbed stragglers from other units at the time. (we actually had a few Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe soldiers.)
We arrived actually rather late on the scene, as we just had returnded fron escorting a group of "crininals??) mainly ex-waffen SS, serving a sentence or awaitiing trial, from the Kriegs-Wehrmachts Gefängnis in Scheveningen to Dachau. The main body of the guards (about 40) were Russians(Ukranians) and about a dozen Hollanders were there to keep an eye on the Russians who were not trusted by Ziegler, who was in command of the detail.
Oh well.
HN
joined forum early spring of 2002 as Haen- posts: legio :-)

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by John P. Moore » Sat May 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Kritonner - If you really expect to get the best possible response from people, I suggest that you start out by telling people who "we" are and more details about your objectives. One really has to wonder why you appear to be hiding behind a screen, rather than using your real name if you are engaged in a legitimate production. Haen is correct, you already asked the same question back in March on the thread below and he answered you.

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=30396

John

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Sun May 03, 2009 8:54 am

Yes, this is a second attempt to find a veteran. The information from Haen2 is alteady used to create a better picture of the German response. It would be great to be able to interview a member of the German or Dutch SS troops who fought the battle on Ginkel Heath near Ede. So far we have interviews with the civilians, members of the 4th Para who landed there and 7th KOSB who protected the dropzone for 2 days.
"we" in this case are my company (ec2c, a small publisher of books and films), a school for filmmakers in Ede and the local historians in Ede and Arnhem. We are supported by the Airborne Museum in oosterbeek, the Military Museum in Ede and the Camp Amersfoort historic site and museum in Amersfoort. The film is based on the book : The battle for Ginkel Heath and the book Diary of a red devil. The film will be shown in the Tom Odems Filmtheatre (Reehorst, Ede) at the 65th anniversary of the Market-Garden operation, 16-20 September 2009. This year we expect more than 100.000 spectators on Ginkel Heath during the Memorial jump. The film is an answer to the question "what happenend here ?" Furthermore the idea is to show the "grey zone" in this particular part of the war. The fact the most part of the SS were dutch is one of the rather unknown and painfull aspects. Another aspect is the far too optimistic way of planning and executing the operation by the british forces. The results will also be shown as history lessons at the schools in Holland and in a short version in the Airborne Museum and the Ede History Museum.
I hope I answered your questions and I sincerly hope that one or more veterans will respond. It would make the film complete and cover the story as a whole.
You can answer direct by sending an email to [email protected]. As you can see hiding behind a sheet is not my style. On the contrary, I would like as much publicity as possibble.
Regards,
Kritonner

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Sun May 17, 2009 6:21 am

I'm afraid the search ends. It appears that Haen2 is the only living vet. The story of the Wachbattalion has to be told by a sort of voice over. It's better than no story at all. Thanks to Haen2 for clearing up some of the details !
Herman

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haen2
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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by haen2 » Sun May 17, 2009 11:54 am

Hello kritoner,
I think there must be more than just me, survivors of the W.W.3. The problem is that if they live in the netherlands, they still have to cope with the "sting" of being seen as concentraitioncamp guards. Also many of my fellow octagonarians, are not very computer savy :( . In realtY the Kamp Amersfoort, as well as Vught were under the supervision of the "Grüne Polizei" (SIPO), and the SD (sicherheits dienst, who were a part of the Algemeine SS, but dressed in fieldgrey uniforms with SS runes, so they woulld be seen as soldiers, rather than political stormtroopers with almost unlimited power. It also seems that a few were transferred after being wounded irreparably at the Eastern fron, to campguard duties. which would cost them dearly when the war was over.
For example, Amersfoort was "perimeter guarded by the first kompany of the W.B. who also contained the "spielbanzug" who also were under strict orders to stay ???? feet away from the Fence, and were only allowed to man the towers and walk "streifen" AROUND the camp.
They were in therory backed up by the 2nd company ( Ausb.& und Ersatz Ko), who, IF detailed to guard duty, also NEVER were allowede inside or within ????feet of the perimeter.
There WERE a few SS noncoms asigned inside the camp for maintenace duties, as bekleidungs kammer, etc., and some of them have to say it nicely not been the nicest persons to the prisoners. AND a few ( i don't know why) of the Russians (Ukranians) of the first company. I think that they were there to act as contacts with the russian part of the "häftlings", ( I have no idea who or what they (the russian prisoners) were).
Interestingly many of the "jobs" inside the camp were performed by prisoners themselves, who had their own hierarchy of rank and status, and without whose help the camp could not have been run as well (or as bad) as it was.
But that seems to have been the norm with all the camps, where those who got there first had seniority, knew all the tricks and commanded the best jobs.
Back to the survivors of WB3: i wonder if someone would put an ad in some local papers, to ask for cooperation for making a documentary, if some of the old ss men would come out of their closets.
Anyway, if and when my "book" ever gets published (it's in English) you may fins some titbits that I at present overlooked.
Success with the video.
HaEn. (my initials pronounced in Dutch)
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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Mon May 18, 2009 2:44 am

Hi Haen,
I knew that it was a long shot but worth trying. I figured out your name by the defending-website and your initials. The webmaster told me that nobody else is alive. It seems that the Ss WB 3 part of the story has to be told by a historian. But they also are not fully informed. Still most of them if not all, think that WB 3 were primarily campguards and as you put it yourself not very pleasant people. I'll try to set this story as straight as possible. Thanks for your help and I'm looking forward reading your book,
Regards,
Kritonner

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haen2
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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by haen2 » Sun May 31, 2009 6:30 pm

I just reread the answer i gave. Ohmegosh ! so many typos. I do have rehumatism (arthritis) in my hands and use the hunt and peck system. And... because my eyes are not as sharp as they were before, I do now always spot them right away. Thus . . .my apologies for the typos.
Otherwise 'von Westen nichts Neues"
Greetings,
HN.
joined forum early spring of 2002 as Haen- posts: legio :-)

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think !

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:12 am

The search goes on. We've managed to obtain some rare footage of the Amersfoort camp. The research shows that the mainstream opinion of the WB3 is biased. Most historians see the policereport as genuine. We have discoverd - thanks to Haen - that the report is incomplete and pictures the WB3 as outlaw and outcast which is not the case. It's probably the way the Dutch people wanted to see the WB3 after the war. The museum Kamp Amersfoort is searching funds for a study. Part of this study is a documentaryfilm made by my company.

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by haen2 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:22 pm

Again, Thanks Kritoner.
Of course the main stream Dutch press was biased. Being otherwise, meant to be branded as "Collaborators"; consider newspapers as De Telegraaf, Het volk, and so.
They were AFTER the war branded as collaborators, because they had reported and printed everyday news as allowed by the German occupational authorities.
From their safe haven in England, our "hahahaha" other run away government, was able to "hetz" the people up against everything that was German, as well as those who by permission of the THEN lawful government in the Netherlands had cooperated with the Germans.
Keep in mind that at first our heroic Queen Wilhelmina advised all public servants to keep the government running as usual.
Those who survived camps as Vught, Amersfoort etc. were just about treated as heroes, came in line for the best jobs ( I had several in my immediate family), and realized it was to their best advantage to paint the picture as black as possible.Don't misunderstand me . . I still am APPALLED by what some of the so called military wearing the same uniform as I did, had perpetrated.
But we were not "criminals by association" as I was told shortly after the war.
As for that those of us who later became part of the Koninklijke Landmacht, part of which fought in Indonesia, could tell you some stories of equally not so nice, Dutch soldiers.
So, as i taught my students many times: There are THREE sides to every report, Mine, Yours, and the FACTS.
"servus"!
HN
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Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think !

Mansal D

Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Mansal D » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:10 pm

Many memoirs from Dutch volunteers were written on tiny slips of paper while in prison and carried around secretively. I find it to be a shame the way some were treated - after losing much of their great years in war, they again had to lose time in prison.

Speaking of which, HaEn - when is your book coming? I know those publishers fiddle-faddle a lot :wink:

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:38 am

The documentary is almost finished. It will be published by Aspekt publishers in the Netherlands. Furthermore it will be shown at the open air filmfestival in Renkum (Airborne museum) on 17 and 18 September. We are trying to raise sufficient funds for the open air festival on Ginkel Heath itself, but time is running out and everybody thinks that there is an economic crisis going on. I've made some arrangements for the next chapter, the WB3 point of view. That part is planned for next year. It's difficult to obtain sufficient information but the Niod-institute and the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz must have something in their archives, but it's hard to find. The Dutch Waffen SS is still a sort of no go area.

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Alex Dekker » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:36 am

And a lot of information is in the hands of collectors I think. I took a look at the papers of the German 347. ID at the NIOD, it wasn't much at all. On the other hand, I'm the owner of a card with information about a car they uesd. There's more info on this card than in Amsterdam. :?
Always in need for info about: Dutchmen in the NSKK, HJ and TeNo.

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Kritonner » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:47 am

For the complete story we have to wait for Haen 2's book. The film is finished. It contains both sides of the story and I hope it shows a realistic picture of the WB3. At least it has started a discussion between historians and let us hope that someway and somewhere more information is revealed to complete the German side of the battle.
Thank you for all of your comments.

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Re: Veterans SS Nordwest who served in Holland

Post by Alex Dekker » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:01 am

Great job! Will it be on national television?
Always in need for info about: Dutchmen in the NSKK, HJ and TeNo.

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