Waffen-SS reunions

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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Helmut
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Post by Helmut » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:20 pm

Mark C. Yerger wrote:Anneleie

Those I attended were by invitation only. Many were annouced in the veterans magazine "Der Freiwillige" which resulted in some unwanted people coming/protesting. They then went to announcing without details except the person involved who took care of hotels, transporation, etc who one then contacted. After a reunion an article was posted saying the notables who came, how the affair went, etc. "DF" was Fri night through early Sun morning, meetings in the evening. People all stayed in the same town and lunches, walks, coffee, etc arranged with those you wished. It was grand, the actual meeting hall was invite only and one simply did not appear and walk in. It only took a couple of, untrue, "noisy" newspaper articles to produce probelms (including threats). They were just, as one KC holders son called them, "old warriors" gathering to see how old friends were doing. The jackasses (apology for language) who caused the negative reaction I never understood. Its sad that I felt it necessary several times to walk some older (70s and higer) men or widows to their veterans reunion in the evening, due to threats from lunatic younger generation members who had no clue what the Waffen-SS was or why they hated them. Everything SS is connected to the Holocaust in Germany, the paranoia amazed me and still does. The towns themselves welcomed the veterans for many years, most having it in the same location for decades.

Mark
Servus,
I was invited to a reunion of the TOTENKOPF Div back in 1983. It was great talking with the vets and having them show me their old pictures. I was there in my civilian car and they saw my US Forces licence plates and were immediately suspicious that they were being observed by the authorities. Once I came in and identified myself and they found out that I had been invited, I was treated as an honored guest. I was invited to attend a reunion of the LAH the following month. Unfortunately I was unable to attend. I found out later, reading in the STARS and STRIPES, that the LAH reunion turned into a virtual riot by left wingers.
The following year , I was back in the States, and read about the TOTENKOPF reunion. The paper said that it was a closed meeting and the veterans had a TIGER tank in their meeting hall. Any rational thinking person would have to question where these old guys would get a TIGER Tank.
It's a shame that these old men can't just get together and have a good time reminiscing .

regards,
Helmut

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Post by Annelie » Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:16 pm

Helmut
It's a shame that these old men can't just get together and have a good time reminiscing .
Yes, it is a shame.

Glad to hear how amiable they are to those that are interested.

Have women every been invited, other than maybe spouses or family?

Annelie

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Kameraden
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Post by Kameraden » Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:00 am

I spent 4 enjoyable hours in the company of a LSSAH Vet on Friday evening.
The funny thing was he lived just round the corner from my home in Scotland rather than back in Germany or the Continent.I actually walked home from his house to mine.

The first thing that struck was how ordinary he was.
Not superhuman and a typical pensioners house.
Quite humbling to hear his stories though and an experience of a lifetime for me.
Last edited by Kameraden on Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:37 am

I know exactly what you mean. I've spent a few hours with a veteran from Nord, and a couple of hours with one from Wiking. Just ordinary gentlemen, finishing out their lives as best they can.
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Helmut
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Post by Helmut » Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:37 am

Annelie wrote:
Yes, it is a shame.

Glad to hear how amiable they are to those that are interested.

Have women every been invited, other than maybe spouses or family?

Annelie[/quote]

Hi Annelie,
Yes , in fact there were some women there.

I got my invitation back when they used to advertise their reunions in DER FREIWILLIGE.
I read about the reunion and wrote to the point of contact and explained that I was interested in the TOTENKOPF because my father served in the division, and asked if it would be alright if I attended. The response I got was "cerainly, I could attend", and I had the time of my life. At another meeting I actually got to shake hands with Otto Kumm and found out that my father's cousin was his batman in the PE Div.

Sadly those days are over now since they cannot be so trusting as to accept requests out of the blue without any verification.

Regards,

Helmut

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Post by Thomas V. » Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:31 pm

It's very nice to hear everyone's expierences with meeting veterans. I myself visted many Treffen over the years. One of my best memories is attached to a private Treffen of SS-Junkerschule-absolvents. I was invited by a close personal friend, he followed 8.Kriegsjunkerlehrgang. The weather was quite nice, the food was good and the company was excellent. For hours I talked with officers who served with units such as SS-Jagdverband 502 to SS-Regiment ,,Der Führer''.

As Mark and Helmut pointed out, the situation in Germany in such that today there is less tolerance and understanding towards their own veterans then there was 20-30 years ago. Some German youths have been poisened by extreme-left, violent hate-speech. The only protestors 50 years ago were communists payed by the union to go and protest against "the fascists". A veteran once told me that a large meeting, one of the earliest assemblies of the Waffen-SS postwar, was met with a huge protesting wave ... of 12 communists against 5.000 SS-veterans.
I have been invited by SS-officers, NCO's and men to their homes numerous times and I will never forget those days.

Helmut, you mentioned an article about a Tiger-tank being mentioned- I know exactly the one you're talking about. I have it here somewhere but I can't find it right now. A veteran showed it to me and we both had a good laugh with it. The article even claimed that the SS-veterans "rode in Tiger-tanks to the meeting".

Below is a photo of the Ulrichsbergtreffen 2003. Sorry for small size and Kopierschutz, but I'd rather not see my photos turn up somewhere else without me knowing it.

Image

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Waffen SS Reunions

Post by hans becker » Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:42 am

My uncle served from the beginning to the end with the SS Police Division. He attended his yearly meetings as an obligation to the relatives of the deceased. He gave great comfort to those who did not know how or where their fallen relatives with his Division fell or the circumstances. He was able to fill in the details that were missing from official reports. Now deceased, sadly missed.

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Orzel
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Post by Orzel » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:29 am

"and some participants supposedly made openly anti jewish comments . The meeting was broken up and the group chastized for carrying on the "nazi doctrine" Anti semitic Aryan doctrine preached at an SS reunion, nah that must be simply allegetions, no SS-man ever contributed to the mass extermination of nations or ethnic groups.
"Some German youths have been poisened by extreme-left, violent hate-speech. The only protestors 50 years ago were communists payed by the union to go and protest against "the fascists". A veteran once told me that a large meeting, one of the earliest assemblies of the Waffen-SS postwar, was met with a huge protesting wave ... of 12 communists against 5.000 SS-veterans. " Yes of course anyone who protests the SS murderers from reuniting to continue their tradition of aryan superiority must be a hate filled youth who of course in your oh so ever educated opinions has no idea about the SS's true history etc. With dvision names like Der Fuhrer or LSAH I hardly see a connection to Nazi doctrine, and let me guess everyones response is going to be a flood that these were just ordinary soldiers remembering their comrades, and that you all are not nazi apologists and that my speech is hate filled, blah blah blah. To learn from the Germans as soldiers is one thing, I believe that much can be learned from german ARMY tactics etc, however to somehow raise SS-men to the status of honorable veterans is beyond me. I wonder how the Americans would feel about the SS and their so-ever friendly reunions if one Einsatz Gruppe was released to do its "god given German duty" in lets say oh I dont know New York or Pennsylvania. The fact is that these are the same old men who provide the basis and inspiration for the Skinhead and Neo-Nazi movement in Germany, which is ever growing. These are the same quiet older gentlemen who provide funding for the growing movement in Germany which wants to reclaim "ancient german" lands in the East or be compensated for them. And now to top the hypocricy cake the germans want to build a memorial to themselves as the victims of the war across the street from the holocaust meseum in Berlin, with affiliates in Wroclaw and maybe even Warsaw. Now you westerners will of course never see it this way since the war and its consequences was a curious chapter for you in a history book. The western europeans like the Norwegians and others will turn a blind eye since many of them collaborated with the Nazis and merrily continued a doctrine of aryan superiority and mass slaughter. And I do wonder for all of these devotees and "serious historians" on this forum who attended these reunions did anyone of you take the time to also visit Warsaw or Treblinka or Auschwitz? Or that wasnt important enough for you?No, no instead you chose to listen to some 80 year old kraut tell you how he spent his youth defending Europe from the evil Ivan and mongoloid hordes from the East. Didnt have the time or simply were afraid that seeing the truth you could never in good coscience look at the SS the same way? Ive been to the Warsaw Ghetto sites and spent a whole day in Auschwitz, let me tell you gentlemen after such a tour a very very deep anger builds inside of one towards the perpetrators and anyone who aided them. And using the arguement that these were simply soldiers bears no weight with me as these simple soldiers participated in murder just as well as the special squads, ask the canadians in normandy who encoutered the SS-youth division etc. In any case to sum up Im simply shocked at the naivete of some of the postings I found here, do you really think that the SS-,men would show their true faces when a westerner(American) was around in their midst? No of course not, they would play the role of the simple soldier who did his duty, I do wonder however how long after the departure of the observer the swastikas were rolled out?

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Kameraden
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Post by Kameraden » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:54 am

Orzel wrote:]"These are the same quiet older gentlemen who provide funding for the growing movement in Germany
Really?
Do tell more??
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Orzel
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Post by Orzel » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:13 am

"Although upwards of as many as 500 neo- Nazi mercenaries, formed into a so-called Freedom Corps, were sent to Iraq in 1991, their military effect was negligible at best. Eyewitness accounts say that most of the mercenaries did little other than parade around Baghdad in SS uniforms. The members of the ``Freedom Corps`` fled Iraq after the first night of Alliance bombing. Regardless of the ignominious military performance of the neo- Nazis in Iraq in 1991, this was an important event because it led to greater ties and cooperation among American right-wing extremists, European neo-Nazis and Islamic terrorists. "
Another German neo-Nazi leader, Heinz Reisz, appearing live on Hessian state television on January 25, 1991, gained a great deal of notoriety by proclaiming, ``Long live the fight for Saddam Hussein, long live his people, long live their leader, God save the Arab people.``

the entire document may be viewed at:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1089006/posts

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Post by Thomas V. » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:23 am

Kameraden wrote:
Orzel wrote:These are the same quiet older gentlemen who provide funding for the growing movement in Germany
Really?
Do tell more??
Don't mind Mr. Orzel, he's a simple provocator, look at his previous postings. His insults against the German people as a whole come straight of out some abject communist textbook. I have a friend (Untersturmführer) who was invited by the Russian city council to speak about his expierencies in the war to Russian schoolchildren. Why? Reconciliation. To make sure war doesn't take place again. Many Russian veterans greeted him and shared a glass with him. These obscure provocators like Mr. "Orzel" have a lot to learn and their hateful gibberish on a research forum is not the way to achieve this.

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Orzel
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Post by Orzel » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:10 pm

what exactly about my post was hateful? I merely point out that being a member of the SS is nothing to be proud of for the following reasons Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belsen and others. Do you dispute the existence of these places or that they were run by the SS? And as I said the arguement that we were merely soldiers doing our duty bears no weight with the SS as the SS was a voluntrary organization.

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Kameraden
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Post by Kameraden » Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:13 am

Orzel.

Tell us about the funding these old men provide for the neo-nazi's?
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Rudi Welz
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Reunion

Post by Rudi Welz » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:04 am

Pan Orzel,
please tell us what the old members of the former Waffen-SS have to do with skinheads or neonazis? Bring me only one source that veterans showed Naziflags or anything else during their meetings.
Why do you think veterans from the States still meet with veterans of the former Waffen-SS? They fought as enemies during wartime but are now friends for lifetime.
BTW, I am sure this could never happen with polish veterans.
/Rudi

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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:08 am

Orzel, your post was more shrill than hateful. Still, the presentation wasn't likely to gain you much support.

No one is denying that SS men murdered. It's been documented undeniably in the camps, with the Einsatzgruppen, and even the Waffen-SS. It happened.

For the most part, though, it's also been shown that the majority of the men in the Waffen-SS joined for reasons other than ideology and anti-Semitism. One of the greatest draws was that the Waffen-SS was perceived as an elite outfit. That draws young men!

One these forums, I have corresponded with three SS veterans. I have had the privilege of sitting and talking with two more. Of these two, I have every reason to believe that one had absolutely nothing to do with any atrocities. I'm reasonably sure the second is also free of involvement.

So just because someone wore the Sig runes 60 years ago, we should shun them? What about what they've done since? Does that not deserve acknowledgment?

Every nation, including mine, has atrocities in its history. We have to accept it, and work past it. Somehow. I don't know the best way, but I do know that your post wasn't it.
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