Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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John P. Moore
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Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:44 pm

I recently received some new DVDs from NARA and they were filled with plenty of new and interesting information. I will be posting some examples on Feldgrau in the coming months. One interesting find was a file on Waffen-SS Untersturmführer Björn Björnsson, who is the only known SS officer born in Iceland. Björnsson’s regular Personalakte in the NARA SSO microfilm contained only 5 pages of documents, but this unit file contained over 50 pages of documents. Björnsson’s SSO file was included in Part 5 of my Führerliste der Waffen-SS publication. I will post some of the more interesting documents from his unit file here so people will have a better understanding of this man.

John
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John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:45 pm

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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:46 pm

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John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:49 pm

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John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:50 pm

more Björnsson documents to come
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Marc Rikmenspoel
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:55 pm

The photos of him with and without his cap are by a guy named Feder. He was at some facility, probably in Germany, where various men came to attend a course of some type. Feder would take portraits and casual shots of the men, and also of local women who crossed his path. I saw his contact sheets when I was at NARA a few weeks ago. I noticed them because he took portraits of several Walloons (identifiable by their Rexist badges), along with a few men wearing Latvian armshields.

One group of men, including Björnsson, were war reporters. I scanned several shots from this grouping because I recognized the Swede Hans-Caspar Krüger. I now see that another photo I scanned is Björnsson with his cap on, it is a fuller print, that shows him holding an unlighted pipe. I scanned it because he is wearing an easily-readable Kriegsberichter cufftitle. Now I'm really glad I scanned that image!

I'm not sure if the documents posted thus far show this, but Björnsson was a student in Germany when the war broke out. He attended the 9. Kriegsjunker Lehrgang at Bad Tölz, but failed to pass the course. He eventually took other courses, and became an officer. I believe he and Krüger were both promoted to Ustuf. on June 21, 1944, so these Feder photos that show them as StObJu are probably from May or June of that year, after their course work was done, but prior to commissioning. Thanks for sharing this material!

John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:33 pm

Thanks for the comments Marc. I will be doing a thread on Hans-Caspar Krüger separately as he has an even larger unit file with some surprising information. Marc reminded me today that Björnsson was a citizen of Denmark as Iceland was a Danish territory at the time of his birth. Björnsson's father was the first president of an independent Iceland as the earlier posted promotion recommendation from 28.2.1945 mentions. That same document remarks how Björnsson was effective in influencing the Danish press. The document below is under the letterhead of Björnsson's unit in Copenhagen where he requests that his headquerters pay for a new uniform coat from a tailor shop in Munich and later on requests to know the status of his promotion.
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Marc Rikmenspoel
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:38 am

I believe that Björnsson was promoted to Ustuf. on June 21, 1944, and that the April 20, 1944 date in his file is his date of seniority ("mit wirkung von..."). I'm not certain of this, it is of course possible he was actually promoted to Ustuf. on April 20. However, I have photos of Björnsson and Hans-Caspar Krüger at a course, both as Standartenoberjunker, in what looks like May or June conditions.

John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:59 pm

note the places where his daughters were born
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John P. Moore
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by John P. Moore » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:01 pm

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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by Jan-Hendrik » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:22 am

Thank you for this info, dear John :up:

:[]

Jan-Hendrik

-michael
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by -michael » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:08 am

Marc Rikmenspoel wrote:I believe that Björnsson was promoted to Ustuf. on June 21, 1944, and that the April 20, 1944 date in his file is his date of seniority ("mit wirkung von..."). I'm not certain of this, it is of course possible he was actually promoted to Ustuf. on April 20. However, I have photos of Björnsson and Hans-Caspar Krüger at a course, both as Standartenoberjunker, in what looks like May or June conditions.
After the 2. Lehrgang für germanische Offiziere Björnsson was appointed to SS-Oberscharführer (RFA) from 25.9.1943. If I’m not mistaken, the title Reserveführeranwärter was later changed to SS-Standartenoberjunker der Reserve. On the Stellenübesetzungsliste of the SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers, Björnsson is mentioned as SS-Standartenoberjunker, this was changed with a pen into SS-Untersturmführer with Rangdienstalter of 20.4.1944. A long time to walk around as an officer candidate.

Marc Rikmenspoel
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Re: Björn Björnsson - W-SS Ustuf. from Iceland

Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:51 am

Björnsson had been a combat infantryman. I think his superiors recognized two things. First, he had the talent to become an officer. Second, he came from an important family. So, some time was given to finding the right role for him, which proved to be serving as a war reporter. Other men, without his special background, probably would have simply been sent back to the combat troops to serve as an NCO, as happened with others who failed their coursework.

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