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Source pic/quote: http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschiffe ... 0764304836Book Description
This is a brutal story - but, from the safety of fifty years distance in time - it is an extremely compelling one. It is also an enduring lesson that a military unit, formed under an evil ideology, led by a social outcast and composed of vicious criminals, will sink to its lowest common denominator - hate. The Dirlewanger Battalion, also known as "Sonderkommando (special commando) Dirlewanger" was perhaps the least understood, but at the same time the most notorious German SS anti-partisan unit in World War II. German propaganda correspondents and wartime photographers did not follow them in action. And for good reason. Wherever the Dirlewanger unit - named for and led by Oskar Dirlewanger - operated, corruption and rape formed an every-day part of life and indiscriminate slaughter, beatings and looting were rife. Formed as a battalion of convicted poachers in 1940, the unit operated in Poland until 1942, guarding Jews in forced labor camps and making life miserable for Poles in Lublin and Cracow. From there Dirlewanger spent two years combating partisans in central Russia, giving no quarter and expecting none in return, during vicious fighting against an elusive foe in the midst of inhospitable swamps and dismal forests. In 1944 Dirlewanger savaged Warsaw during the Polish Uprising, before moving to Slovakia to crush another rebellion there. The end of the war saw the unit, which was now a division in size, fighting for its life south of Berlin against the Soviet Army. Medieval in their outlook on war and certainly not indicative of many German military formations, this unit none-the-less remains a reflection of a segment of mankind gone mad in the inferno of World War II on the eastern front. Size: 6" x 9" over 50 b/w photographs, maps, fully annotated
02. "Valhalla's Warriors: A History of the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1941-1945" by Terry Goldsworthy, page 76:Most fiersesome of all off the trains in the Warsaw stockyards were the Dirlewanger and Kaminski brigades. The former was commanded by Oberst Doctor Oskar Dirlewanger, a sexual offender given a second chance with a penal unit. He traveled with his pet monkey on his shoulder and was frequently drunk.
Dirlewanger and his unit were a military abnormality by any standards. During the defence of Hungary in 1944, Colonel-General Freissner noted the following when he visited Dirlewanger`s unit:
"When I reached Dirlewanger`s staff I was met by a strange sight. The Brigadeführer, a not very appealing adventurer type, was sitting at his desk with a live monkey perched on his shoulder. The monkey was said to have accompanied him everywhere, including Poland. When I discovered that the staff was packing up I ordered them to stay on the spot. The unit was, as suggested before, a wild bunch. One company, communists who were expected to prove themselves on the front, had just deserted to the enemy".
...he later wrote one of his most recognized works, The Khatyn Story, and the screenplay for the film Come and See.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_and_SeeThere is a town called Perekhody currently in Smolensk Oblast in Russia.
Consequently the Dirlewanger battalion really was in this village.The most infamous unit, however, was the Dirlewanger Battalion. It took part in 14 major operations between March 1942 and July 1943 and wiped out an especially large number of huge villages with all their inhabitants, including Borki (rayon Kirov), Zbyshin, Krasnitsa, Studenka, Kopazevichi, Pusichi, Makovje, Brizalovichi, Velikaja Garosha, Gorodez, Dory, Ikany, Zaglinoje, Velikije Prussy and Perekhody.