Volume 5 of "German Cross in Gold Holders of the SS and Police" is now with the publisher. A rather complicated primary unit due to multiple duplicate units for the Polizei Division and simultaneous Kampfgruppe resulted in the most expanded and detailed elements chapter of the series so far. A lot of corrected and new data added to previous books on the formation and its history, likewise with the divisional commander and Ia biographies in addition to the German Cross in Gold holders primary topic. I expect copies early 2010. Below the contents and acknowledgments, the latter in case I missed someone and can add when I have blue lines.
German Cross in Gold Holders of the SS and Police
Polizei Division and Police Units
Adam to Laurinat
Table of Contents
Division and Kampfgruppe Titles
Division and Kampfgruppe Commanders
Polizei Division and Police Unit German Cross in Gold Holders
Hennig von Cölln
Hans Deschner (NCO)
Hans Deschner (officer)
ROLL of HONOR CLASP
CLOSE COMBAT CLASP in GOLD
Ignacio Arrondo is again deservedly on the cover of this volume. One of the oddities of today's communication technology is having a closest friend I've never met, our exchange going back to the days of now antiquated postal "snail mail." I appreciate and personally admire his character as a husband, father, and individual far more than the obvious diversity or depth of his historical knowledge. But it is his personal support and motivation for me during periods of poor health that is responsible for this volume, so the readership has him to thank to a significant degree for it being completed. I'd also like to thank his wife and children for sacrificing their personal family time taken by his contribution to the project. This series is the last I will write and I deeply hope that in the future my colleague and friend will continue historical preservation by compiling texts on his own facets of interest.
As he has been for 30 years, Otto Weidinger is always remembered and still acting as my primary motivator despite having passed away in 1990. His wife Anneliese, celebrating her 91st year in 2009, also added her kind and appreciated support as always. Writing this type of book is never financially lucrative so other forms of impetus and goals are needed to undertake the rather intense effort involved. While I write for a variety of those reasons, Herr Weidinger remains my singular personal inspiration. He was and always will be both my mentor and a close personal friend.
As this volume was compiled I was especially inspired by the historian of the Pionierkameradschaft “Dresden,” Kurt Imhoff. A graduate of Junkerschule Braunschweig who served with the Polizei Division and "Hohenstaufen," both documentation and photo material he shared with me is in this volume. I deeply miss our lengthy and frequent correspondence since he passed away. He was the personification of the word historian and a good friend, fully supporting the idea of a German Cross holder series from its conception.
Jess Lukens was there and always came through with photo material I needed as he has for more years then either of us now want to remember. He has been a large contributor to every book starting with "Knights of Steel" in the 1980s. A steadfast character describes him and I'm proud to call him my friend.
Despite a busy career and family, John Moore took time to graciously continue with help, advice, and sharing of his own research work and material. That aside from decades of friendship that is more valuable. Few people are lucky enough to have colleagues or friends for decades but I have been fortunate in that regard.
My appreciation is extended to decorated former Polizei Division members Hans Traupe, Karl Auer, Heinz Jürgens, Lothar Hofer, Wilhelm Schlüter, and Hans Scherg. Sadly, all six passed away prior to this volume being completed. A special thanks goes to my good friend Hans Kempin, the former Commandant of the SS-Panzergrenadierschule "Kienschlag" and eventual commander of two divisions, who passed away in 1992. I'd also like to thank the families of Knight's Cross and German Cross in Gold holders Günther Anhalt and Helmut Dörner for their kind contributions, the latter officer also being eventually awarded the Swords. I consider their assistance to be a privilege.
Photos or documents from the militaria collections or libraries of Roger James Bender (Army officers), John Moore (German Cross holders for this and later volumes), Andre Meyer (Raith and Gieseke), French MacLean (Wettstein), Alex Jordt (Rump and "Das Reich" images), Bertino Adler (Gieseke and Harnack), Peter van Holsteijn, Eric-Jan Bakker, George Lepre (Braun), Peter Whammond of "The Collector's Guild" (Gösch), Niklas Hansson (Butte), Derek Crouch (Knight's Cross holder signed photos and documents), and Mike Melnyk (14th SS Division officers) grace this volume. I'm profoundly thankful their time, efforts, and contributions that added visually to the biographies or individual units. They all fit in this single paragraph but how grateful I am to each for their help is hard for me to express. Extending my deepest thanks is the best I can do. For me, every single item offered matters greatly since it adds to the recording of history. That was, is, and always will be both my purpose and singular goal.
George Nipe found time to help with archive research despite his own massive writing projects and to offer suggestions for the manuscript. Our friendship began decades ago with a short letter by post telling me he was going to write a book. Any who study campaigns and battles related to the Waffen-SS acknowledge his research expertise in that area, a specialist skill far beyond my capacity that corrects and adds to that aspect of history.
Andreas Jasa was again essential with his contributions, as well as insight and diverse knowledge I would not otherwise have. That help was combined with his pleasant personality I both enjoy and appreciate.
Despite their appreciably busy schedules, Peter Imberger and P.T. Gavin took the time to offer suggestions, comments, or corrections for the manuscript that were very much appreciated. Much of the addendum information of this volume regarding volume 3 (“Nordland”) was provided by Tommy Natedal. His continuous research of the Nordic Waffen-SS units in minute detail is a benefit to all.
Well known and knowledgeable specialist book dealers Jack Hatter (“Volume Control”) and Bob Ruman (“Articles of War”) remain the sources for my book needs. Jack also provides humor and insight, our lunches together are a rare chance for me to both relax and vent. One of my few working breaks are the laughter generated from his numerous e-mails.
I’ll always be thrilled to have Roger James Bender as my publisher. His patience, attention to detail, desire to preserve history, and goal to create the best books possible is what I’ve always wanted. Also, he manages to remain positive and pleasant while appreciating (and dealing with) the stress I place on myself with this series. I wish I could learn the calm patience he has and is always affectionately referred to as "The Boss." Writing for him was a wish and goal since before I was old enough to drive a car. I also wish to thank his computer expert, Carl Morcate, for his detailed assistance with programs and preparation that hopefully allow the book to appear as I envisioned it.
While this book and the previous volumes were being written, image contributions have been received for future volumes of the series that are simultaneously in progress. My appreciation to Robert Kondor, J.W. Bode, Robert Hassler, Malcolm Gray, Tony Sidoti, Erik Rundkvist, Hans-Peter Rackete, and Richard Mills for those material offerings with all being in addition those previously listed. Their kind assistance will be further elaborated on in the acknowledgments of the volume that contains their material.
My sister Leslie and my buddy Cindy, both of whom I respect and adore, are always here in spirit when needed. That is even more valued and appreciated since neither have even the slightest interest or knowledge in the topic of these books. To the most extreme degree, there is nothing I would not do or sacrifice for either of them without hesitation.
If I have inadvertently missed any material contributor please accept my sincere apologies and assurance I'll rectify the omission within the acknowledgments of volume 6.
Finally, Ralph and Lucy continually add more than their share of feline influence and disruption. Both now needing daily medication makes for a dreaded event involving chase, capture, and the occasional ingesting of a pill. I often wonder what neighbors think when hearing the one sided conversations of a pet owner. I'd donate my own organs if they needed them and would never give them up. But some days I'd seriously consider loaning them to some unsuspecting person for a single day. To save confusion, if I get another cat, it will simply make more sense to name it "No, No, No."
Mark C. Yerger