Waffen SS flak units

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
Anton
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Waffen SS flak units

Post by Anton » Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:02 am

I am trying to pinpoint my fathers regiment. He served between feb 1944 and march 1945 with Waffen SS Hitlerjugend, as a gunner in a flak unit.

His father was already at the front in Kriegsmarine and saw action in Norway, Tubruk and the Russian front. As most of the german population in Danzig, they where early partymembers. My father was thus born in to the Hitler Jugend.
He was drafted at age 16 to Waffen SS HitlerJugend. The whole school class was formed into a unit, with an assigned teacher to it.

They where first stationed outside Berlin as flak, using a russian AA-gun, and downed 16 planes, maily Lancasters. After the 16:th downing they where visited by Goebles personaly who asked what they wanted. They all answered better canons, which he promised them.
In June 1944 they picked up new 88 guns from Dachau and where transfered to Bordeaux. Now this is where I am a little puzzled. They stayed at Bordeaux until beginning of 1945.

As I understand the Waffen SS Hitlerjugend was in action much north of Bordeaux. Did they have reserve units that was more spread out? Where there more SS Hitlerjugend units that where not in the official OB?

In January SS Obersturmfhurer Soeren Kam, was given the task of leading the flak units in the retreat to Germany. Kam (who is still alive), a danish national, had distinguished himself in the Kampfgruppe Wiking. And won the Knights Cross at Warschau.

They fought theire way back along the northern side of the Moselle river, hunted by Pattons 3rd. The versitile 88s where tilted and used as anti tank guns. When the tanks came they first removed the US infantery with grenade shells. Then anti armour shells to stop the advancing Shermans.

My father rememberd the school teacher recommending his pupils to stay drunk! They found much wine in the cellars of Mosel, at one time Soeren Kam saw them and laughing called them "Beude Gemaner" (Booty germans).

On March 10 they had reached Koblenz where they, after demolishing the bridges, took stand on the southern side of the river. At Karola Höhe south of Koblenz, they temporarly stoped the advancing americans. Luckely the sky was all clouded and no airplanes could operate.

My father was dug down in a foxhole when a grenade shoot the head of his hole mate and left my fathers leg full of sharpenel. He was then taken to nearby castle of Ehrenhart Breitstein, which served as a hospital. During the same night the americans marched in and he was transfered to an outdoor prison camp. The sharpenel is still to this day in his bones.

His unit is supposed to have been fighting all the way to Tegensee, Bavaria, where they where summed up. Soeren Kam still lives in Germany. Even if no on-line records showes him at command over this SS Hitlerjugend- unit.

My father then spent three years on an english farm. They where young and filled with propaganda, so the denazification process took time. The old man is still alive, but a stroke of cancer has led me to investigate this part of the family history before he goes. I have some documents and a lot of photographs. Other then that I do not know more than that he was in Waffen SS Hitlerjugend. The original unit was formed with boys born in 1926, but my father is born in 1928. Maby they drafted replacements?
Last edited by Anton on Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Jason Long
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Hitler Jugend flak

Post by Jason Long » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:23 pm

Your father sounds like he was assigned to the general Hitler Jugend organization and worked as a flak helper (Helferinn <sp?>) since 12. SS-PzDiv didn't have any flak units in Berlin or Bordeaux. Don't confuse the division (which was recruited from the organization) with the organization proper.

Jason

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Post by Roger Griffiths » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:28 pm

A fascinating story. I feel your relation was not in 12SS PD. I think he was more likely in flak unit (Luftwaffe?). Sometime in 1944, most likely after 20th July, schoolboys spent mornings at school and afternoon in flak units.

Roger

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Post by Anton » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:17 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I talked to my father and he confirmed that they where flak hielfe. He got the ground training with HitlerJugend. Every thursday from 1940, they had military training.

In jaunary 1944 he was transfered to Elbing for Flak-training. During the Berlin time he had a russian Bofors canon 7,65 modified to 8,8. But without automatic shell rejection.

Also in Bordeaux he was a flak hielfer, but before leaving Bordeaux they where "vergattet", i.e. turned into SS-soldiers. They had to give the oath to Adolf and was given the SS-arm band. They where then told that the allied troops shot all political soldiers, thus motivating them to keep on fighting. This late formed SS-unit was headed by Ubersturnfhurer Soeren Kam.

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Post by charlie don't surf » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 pm

Anton, have you thought about contacting Kam about this?

Best rgards/ Daniel

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Post by Anton » Sun Apr 11, 2004 11:24 am

After searching the net I found a lot of articles about him. Apparantly Soeren Kam had help from his SS-friends and changed identity after the war. He worked as manager of a Bavarian brewery and is today retired.

During the war he was involved with the murder of a danish publicist. Even if he was accuitted of the murder in Berlin in 1943, the danes want him.

In 1995 Kam felt so secure that he attended a SS-meeting in Austria. On his chest, he wore the Knights Cross that he been awarded. This SS-alumni assosiation is led by Heinrich Himmlers daugter! Now all old camerades where not present, so someone shoot a video for them. The video got in the hands of a german journalist that aired it. Then some one recognized Soeren Kam. The danish authorities has asked Germany to give him out, but they refuse.

All that might change as new anti-terrorist laws where introduced in the EU in januari 2004. The new law might apply and get him extrodited.

I am of course no nazi, but my father has told me about Kam is all good. Without him my father would not be alive and I would never have been born. I do not think that he should be sentenced. On the other hand I do feel it is a little creepy that he met with Himmlers daughter and Jörg Heider, who also took part in the meeting.

I do not have his e-mail, but his telephone and adress. I will write him. I´ll keep you posted on his reply.

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Post by Hans Kristian » Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:14 pm

About Soeren Kam:

Danish volunteer in Waffen-SS, National socialist.

During 1942-43 in Denmark after action on the eastern front.
Participated in numerous "Gestapo"-like actions in this period, for which he is wanted by the danish authorities.
The murder-charge in 1943 was dropped - reason given, that it was an incident under war-like conditions. Note that this was an SS-judgement - maybe not that reliable under the circumstance?

I have more references in danish, and given a little time I might find more info, if needed.

Sincerly,

Hans Kristian Lauritsen
Denmark

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Post by charlie don't surf » Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:22 pm

Anton, good luck with contacting Kam. He's should be able to help you with your questions. He usually reply very fast to letters.

Best regards/ Daniel

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Post by Anton » Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:21 pm

Have you actually written to him before!? That's very good news. The only thing that delays me is that my german is not 100%. Takes an effort to write. Or did you write in english or danish to him?

HansKristian: Did he really partake in numerous gestapo actions? I have only found information about that one puplicist. Anyway, Kam was only 21 years old (born in 1921) at the time, could he really have had that much influence on Genstapo as he is accused of?

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Re: Waffen SS flak units

Post by Groscurth » Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:03 pm

[quote="Anton"] They stayed at Bordeaux until beginning of 1945.

[/quote]

Not possible. Perhaps you mean that they stayed as Germans in one of the U boat bases that were still in their hands like St Nazaire our Lorient.
But then again, you make a mistake, there were no Hitlerjugend troops or members from the organisation in those ports that Hitler liked to see as a Festung. Because they were not there and because Bordeaux was allready libereated in 1945 and the other lacunes your story, I do ask myself if you haven't invented the whole story.

How do you explain all those mistakes?
Also very hard to believe, "16 downed Lancasters" with a Russian gun "less good then a 88mm" less good because like you say yourself "that Goebbels himself asked what they wanted", just like Goebbels had noyhing else to do then visite Luftwaffe freiwillige of the HJ.

You should not have exagerate the number of downed and used Axmans name and made less mistakes with the dates like "German occupied Bordeaux in 1945" from wich "a Luftwaffe HJ unit break out and fought back to ther German lines near the Mosselle in Alsace -Loraine (wich is approx. 800 km far of Bordeaux through allied liberated France).No units break out from the ports and Bordeaux was allready liberated in "early 1945"...
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Anton
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Post by Anton » Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:50 pm

I only write what my father has told me. I have no reason to invent anything. :x May be that I misunderstand some parts, but it all get more clear as you help me out.

As for Bordeaux, it was the pens that they defended as you point out. He did mention that they never saw the inside of them. I was also surprised that the germans where there at that late date.

I have absolutely no reason to belive my father would lie about this. He also have photographs of him in France after being vergatted.

As for the Lancasters, I am told they had 16 rings on their gun, one for each confirmed hit. I will ask him again about the Goebbles episode.

I have never taken that much interest in WWII. I devulge my time with much earlier wars. I am only here to futher my knowledge about my father and grand fathers war history. I am happy for all help given.

Anyway I have composed a nice letter to Kam, I hope he will shed more light on the unit, their composition, activity and fate.

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Post by Groscurth » Mon Apr 12, 2004 8:01 pm

[quote="Anton"]I
As for Bordeaux, it was the pens that they defended as you point out. He did mention that they never saw the inside of them. I was also surprised that the germans where there at that late date.

.[/quote]

Well, some of the U boat ports were never conquired by the allies until 08 may. Ask more information because no men could reach the German lines but the Kriegsmarines U-boats that still used the ports to take oil, torpedo's aso.
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Post by Anton » Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:25 am

Ok now he say they must have left the Bordeaux area in the beginning of december 1944. They moved before the allied troops came and went first south and then east. The unit consisted of six 88 guns and halftracks to carry them. Kam was responsible for bringing them back to Germany, they had another higher officer that was responsible for the Flak-guns.

During the retreat they moved forth and back on small roads and through forests in order not to be involved with the enemy. Though from the start of the Moselle upto Koblenz they had regular contact with the enemy.

My father has bad memory on the exact dates. But he remember that he was at Koblenz on his birthday March 13. He thus got wounded on March 14 1945.

Goebels was Gau Leiter in Berlin. At the day of his visit, my fathers unit had downed two aircrafts. Besides the new canons, they also where given dancing lessons! Museum-staff girls from Berlin spent two days with them for that purpose, on the soldiers request.

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Hans Kristian
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Post by Hans Kristian » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:49 pm

Anton, sorry i didnt see your question before.
Many Danish volunteers who for some reason returned to Denmark for a periode (Wounds etc.) would join or be associated with a danish nationalist organisation called "Schalburg-korpset" after the Known and much admired 1 st chief of "Freikorps Denmark."
This unit was known for its hunt for opposition against the German occupation and the underground movement i Denmark.
Søren Kam was assosiated to this organisation (probably not a "enlisted" member....) during his stay in Denmark.
I shal try and do some serious reading and come back to you later, OK?
Last edited by Hans Kristian on Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Hans Kristian » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:52 pm

Anton, by the way: If you want to write a letter to Søren Kam, I would not mind translating it, if you wish.

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