Saturday, March 26, 2011

A new and different start

I had acquired another job in Allach in a Supply Depot after WOJG Milton F.Plier had fired some else and hired me. What he saw in me I don't know I can only guess, "a lonely boy who needed parental help".I was 18 years old and in many ways still naive. He took very little interest in me during my stay, but obviously had not forgotten our original discussion that I rather be working in a mess hall or a kitchen where I could get at least a meal as I did not want to get hungry again, but he saw it only from the American point of view and had only a smile on his face. I will come back to this back later on.
General Lucius Clay, the Deputy to General Eisenhower,stated: (who's myopic political vision regarding the threat of communism was just as bad as Eisenhower's)"I feel that the Germans should suffer from hunger and from cold as I believe such suffering is necessary to make them realize the consequences of war which they caused[1].
US occupation forces were under strict orders not to share their food with the German population, and this also applied to their wives when they arrived later in the occupation. The women were under strict orders not to allow their German maids to get hold of any leftovers," the food was to be destroyed or made inedible", although in view of the starving German population facing them many housewives chose to ignore these official orders[2]In August 1944 a Handbook for the Military Government in Germany was ready, after reading it President Roosevelt rejected it, a new document was drafted (JCS1067) on March 20 1945 Roosevelt was warned that this order was not workable it would stew the Germans in their own juice "Let them have soup kitchens! Let their economy sink!" Asked if he wanted the German people starve, he replied,"Why not?"[4]

My main function in Allach was to keep incoming material  stored and issued when required, this also included receiving the EM's  uniforms as well as bed sheets pillow slips etc taken to the QM Laundry in Dachau for dry cleaning and washing. On one of these trips, our driver James Walters wanted to show me what those God damn Germans did during the war just around the corner in a crematorium, this was mid 1946. I was fully aware of the activities of the SD and Einsatzgruppen in Russia as a youngster when my uncle told my parents(I pricked my ears to listen)  that Germans committed mass murder of people that were racially not pure. As the older generation never believed that Hitler could ever win this war, they always felt and said when no one else was there:"Die Rache der Sieger an das deutsche Volk wird unbeschreibar".(The retaliation of the victors towards the German people will be indescribably).

The Crematorium
Well my first impression to walk a tree lined gravel path towards the crematorium was almost serene, it was tree lined and curved slightly, and on that day no one was present, yet what I noticed first were dog kennel type of boxes, three on each side, stacked with flower pots which puzzled me and only very much later I was told these were used to hold the ashes of the cremated victims.
James and I entered the few steps towards the delousing chambers which had sculls and cross bones "Achtung" markings on steel doors with chalk markings indicating time durations"zu"=shut and "offen"=open written on them. One of the chambers still had a padded Jacket hanging on  a rail with a coat hanger still inside it. We wandered around into various rooms which showed nothing of interest to me.
Then he got excited and furious to show me the gas chamber with the description BRAUSEBAD written above it. First of all I had a good look at the steel door, why a steel door? It was of the type that is used on battleships to create watertight compartments, it had rubber type seals around it very similar you have on fridges and two large handle bars for locking, you could not unlock this door from the inside. I went inside but not very far as I had the feeling of claustrophobia when James locked the door from the outside and it was completely dark no light of any kind and momentarily I was scared.At that time I did not think much about its purpose and the expression Holocaust was not in use. My own opinion now is:That the chamber was intended to be used for homicidal purposes but the installation was never completed or considered impractical and some internal changes were made to be altered at a later stage.Perhaps as a shower. I was not horrified when I saw the ovens as such, for me it was and still is a matter of cremating the dead as quickly as possible to avoid spreading of diseases. How they died in the Camp is another matter. The last to use these facilities were the American Military to dispose of the 12 Nazi war criminals sentenced to death by hanging at Nuernberg. In fact a total of 14 boxes had been trucked to Dachau. As this was the last indignity in some way a symbolic act of the Americans, only Goering had been shown were he would eventually finish up, yet he cheated the hangman.[3]I doubt that any guide will tell you this.
We had a good look around the building but I can not remember anything like the controversial chutes or modification that are shown now in various publications. There was a sort of rack with mannequin inmates bent over it and a fierce looking SS-man beating them. Also a sign underneath an oak tree which was described as a Hanging Tree. At one place there was a covered ditch, which was described a "Drain for blood" after the shooting and executions of Russian political Commissars their blood would flow there. I have seen blood during my short fights during the war,but the blood of the dead never ran that much. What a story!
Controversies
When I first saw the crematorium building in 1946 I can not recall seeing the so called chutes that would take Zyklon pellets into the chamber. There were always rumors that they had been added on at a later stage to make the function of a gas-chamber more plausible to visitors. As the building was constructed under SS supervision and their standards from my own experience were extremely high, they would never have accepted the shoddy workmanship that was performed on it. The whole thing does not fit in. During my stay in Dachau I met a number of ex-inmates as well as SS-POW's in 1948 and sometimes it came to heated debates as both parties knew more about the activities than any others but were even to this date reluctant to talk. What was almost a laughing matter to them(the SS-men) was the BRAUSEBAD wording above the chamber door. I was bluntly told:"If you don't believe it that it was put on when the Amis were there, just touch the letters and you will find they are almost fresh in comparison to the rest of the painted wall'. So I did. The impression I had that it was stenciled on and not done by a sign painter. These types of stencils are used during spray painting of US Army vehicles. One thing that strikes me odd is the letter E which has been done in revers i.e. the middle bar is normally in the center or in the upper part of the letter, not in the lower, but it can be used in both ways.

 During my stay at Allach,here again at the Supply Depot quite a lot of thieving was going on. The most desirable items were kept in three rooms and only myself and another elderly gent who had always been there as Germans had excess to them apart from the American personal plus two young women who did the cleaning, who were checked when they left the building, yet nothing was ever found how the missing items like shoes, soap and clothing, blankets etc went missing. What the Americans never looked at was the dirty water buckets of the two women. And I had been asked to look the other way!

Slowly but persistently the Cold War was heating up and attitudes as well as condition improved by 1948, the D-Mark was introduced and thanks to the Marshal-Plan  with the aim of cranking the German economy up, not only in Germany but war torn Europe as a whole except East Germany. This effected the Ordnance Field Maintenance Shop as well, as it was originally the property of the Dornier Werke who had manufactured compressors there during the war for their fighter planes. Non essential Units were I worked were the first to be closed or transferred to Dachau, the entire process took a number of months and I was made jobless. Mr.Plier had not forgotten my plea when I first met him that I did not want to get hungry again and I was employed for some time in the Mess Hall as waiter for the remaining officers until the shift to Dachau was completed. Here again he had been instrumental that I was employed in the Dachau Garrison Mess later on for a short period until I found other work in the Camp. At that time I was not aware that he had spoken for me, nor was I ever able to thank him.
I would like to relay here a typical example of how the attitude of Americans towards came to the surface:I was wearing GI fatigues (HBT's) had a crew cut,GI glasses (which a kind soldier had given me,his spare pair) and perhaps looked like a GI. I was sweeping my place in the mess hall,when the Provost  Sgt. approached me, and said:"Look soldier,you don't have to do that let those Krauts do the dirty work!" One of the cooks told him:"He is one".

Camp Dachau
It was here that I came in contact with American GI's that were kept in the original Jail Proper,which shows the sign "Arbeit macht frei".This was an Army stockade. These were short time Army Prisoners, accompanied by guards with shotguns when they arrived at the mess hall. I don't think this appears in any guide books. I knew one of them a Sgt.Bachman from way back who was caught taking food for his German girl friend and family, he had meant well for his adopted family but it was an offense  nether-the-less.
I finally found a more secure job to my liking as a clerk in a Ordnance Supply Depot at the end of 1948, where I worked with a young widow aged 23 by the name of Anita Haug. Only later on did I found out that her father had been a high ranking SS-Officer since 1933 in the Administration of the Concentration Camp, but was killed in action during the fighting in Hungary 1945. To avoid repercussion from inmates or the "Liberators" together with other families had been evacuated to Tyrol and returned to Dachau living in rather spartan condition at the Wuermuehle. She was a very attractive looking young women, men like to be seen with. I would have called her a "Good Time Girl". To come to the more serious matter that haunts me to this day, are her statements and that of her mother, that the  beloved heroic "Liberators" not only committed murder of 500 so called SS-Guards, but also dragged other SS-Personnel out of their villas that had been maintenance people mechanics and the like, put them against the wall opposite the main Louisiana Drive and shot them.
Mothers had given their small children cyanide capsules and told them to take them into their mouths and bite onto them like a lolly as soon as their Daddy is shot. Both, her mother and her, claimed that about twenty young children died this way before the Americans realized what was happening and the shooting was stopped.
I have searched in the vicinity close to the perimeter of the fenced off golf course for the graves, where a former inmate apparently have buried them, there was also a web page which  describes his own feelings. I did find three mounds close to the fence but did not take it any further. I did raise this question again if it took place and how, but was ignored.
Mrs. Anita Haug married an American Sargent lives in the States under a different name and I feel strongly about the incidence for some scholar to have her statement for historical purposes investigated. I am able to give more details of her life (but not on this blog) by contacting me via e-mail>herbstolpmann@gmail.com<

Living Conditions
For the first time I was happy with my accommodation in the old SS-Hospital located behind the infamous coal bunker with all the comforts of home. It was a close knit community of about 500 employees that worked for the various American Army Units, but there was a vast gulf despite the fact that fraternization had taken place, between those(The Germans)and us (The Americans). I worked as an Editor for the Ordnance Supply Office responsible for most Military Equipment for the Munich Sub Area. Our office was located in the abandoned War Crimes Tribunal Buildings, however we were still treated as second class citizens we were not allowed to use the toilet facilities next to my office but had to walk about 100meters to the main building to relieve ourselves. This and other little quirks the Americans insisted on, made us think of the segregation in States between Whites and Blacks, which we felt was applied to us as well. Admittedly conditions improved once the Koren War had started.
I met my future wife here, who was emigrating to New Zealand  and I followed her at the end of 1956, got married had a family and was trying to forget the past! Still, memories linger on.
PS<The Hospital site which was a Home from Home for a number of years was destroyed later on
Source[1] Richard Dominic Wiggers pg.278
             [2]Eugine Davidson"The Death and Life
                   of Germany"University Press Missouri
             [3]Kollektives Gedaechtnis:Willi Witte
             [4]M.R.Beschloss"The Conquerors pg196

Krefeld Hungerwinter Demonstration, sign reads: We want COAL we want BREAD
The average German civilian received 1,200 calories per day[1]
Displaced Persons were receiving       2,300 calories
Adult calorie in USA was 3,200-3,300, UK 2,900 and US Army 4,000[2]
source[1][2]R.D.Wiggers pgs 280,285

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sonndorf POW Camp to Dachau KZ

By May 4th 1945 almost all German resistance had ceased, at Montgomery's headquarters at Lueneburg Heath I think it was Doenitz that signed the surrender documents for all forces in Holland, Denmark and North Germany.Emissaries arrived at Eisenhower's headquarters and after attempts to delay the process, signed on May 7th May 1945. Eisenhower signaled to London and Washington moments later:(He refused to shake hands with the German representatives as was customary).
                  "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 02:41 local time, May 7, 1945.
                                                               Eisenhower"
This was not quite true, the final act was  signed in Berlin together with the Russians in the morning of May the 8th.At that time my platoon of 15 boys and one Officer, Lieutenant Becker marched towards the German border from within Czechoslovakia in the area of Schuettenhofen..There was a sort of no-mans land and all troop movements were strictly forbidden, we did not adhere to this order. As we had thrown all our weapons down to comply to Doenitz's command, except our Lt. who carried his MP38 to protect us to some degree against Czech partisan's ambushes when we met the first American soldiers confronting a massive column of tired and dejected Germans that all were trying to avoid capture by the Russians.I have never seen my Lieutenant ever since.
We were only briefly searched and put onto trucks (GMC6x6) into the direction of a small village which we later found out was called Sonndorf in the Bavarian Woods.(Bayrischer Wald).We were virtually dumped on a large unploughed potato field that was slightly sloping down into a expansive meadow which was dissected by a fresh water river. Which was a blessing in a number of ways.(The German Field Hospital was already established on the other side of the river)
As more youths arrived in Luftwaffenhelfer uniforms we were all herded into so called sections,mine was section 16 and immediately asked and separated from any NCO's or likely officers that might have been "slipped" in with us. At that time we did not know that Eisenhower had issued an order on March 10th 1945 and verified by his initials on a cable of that date, that German Prisoners of War be predesignated as "Disarmed Enemy Forces"DEF.He ordered that these Germans did not fall under the Geneva Convention, and were not to be fed or given water or medical attention.The Swiss Red Cross was not to inspect the camps, for under the DEF classification, they had no such authority or jurisdiction. Records do indicate that he(Eisenhower)had that order prepared during his stay in Paris,but held it back until he was certain of Germany's final defeat, as he expected retaliation from Germany against Allied POW's to release this order too early.
There were no facilities of any kind at Sonndorf,except an old abandoned  farm house and stable that was to become the HQ for American interrogators and guards within the camp. Older more experienced soldiers from the Russian front immediately started to dig a pit so we could relieve our-self's. You simple sat on a rough tree trunk which was supported by wooden blocks at each end (this was the so called "Donnerbalken")together with others you sat and did you "business", but soon  most of us could not walk that far or fast enough to reach the pit and did it were you stood and covered it up with soil. They also built another pit where you could urinate, which was partially filled with river-stones to avoid splashing and the liquid was quickly absorbed into the ground. Later on we did get Lime from the Americans to avoid spreading of any type of diseases every body was afraid of or an epidemic.
Shelter was a problem for all of us, most in our section had German Army triangular tent sheets which were quite unique in that they had an opening in the center and you could make a protective waterproof jacket out of it.I slept like that for a few days until four of us got together, dug a square hole in the ground,buttoned four tent sheets together which looked like a pyramid and protected us from the elements, although it was May and reasonable weather.
Food was our main problem we did not have any!
For the first few weeks it was the most difficult time, I did as others, boiled dandelions in a tin over open fire, it was a bitter taste but I managed to swallow it, after you boiled it several times, with the result that I never made it to the pit! What went in on one end came out quickly on the other.I was so weak that I could no longer get up and was carried into the Field Hospital across the river,(weighed in at 50 kg) where I was slowly nourished back to reasonable health. I have permanent loss of muscle tissues in my arms ever since. This may have been due to the fact that I was young and still growing. When it comes to deaths I could only account for five men which my have died from other causes than starvation alone, while I was at the Hospital. I don't really know apathy had set in and nobody cared. .
Some of the other Units arrived at this collection center with their kitchens etc in "full operation" one of these had to provide Section 16 which had approximately  30 boys with about a pint of watery soup with dry onions in them, sometimes a slice of bread per day, but the abuse we received from older soldiers, when queuing up for our ration was unbelievable, it bordered almost on hate. With bowed heads we always waited our turn, while they drank their soup while we waited, changed their appearances by taking their caps or jackets off and received a second helping. I did meet some later on, after discharge, that became "very" religious in a Catholic community and I only hope that they may rot in hell!
There were no barbed wire fences around the camp, as the terrain would have been too difficult to do so, furthermore entire motorized German Units arrived from all direction only to escape from Russian capture.We tried to raid these incoming trucks for food but had little success against older men who simple punched you and took what ever you had. I will never forget when I found a rather large home-made chunk of soap, which kept me clean in the the months to come, and was able to wash my underwear in the river, but its smell was awful.
Watchtowers which had a simple platform were manned by American guards as well as GI's from the Military Govt. patrolling the camp, but conditions did not improve,interrogation of some sort took place and our details had been taken,this was done by German-American GI’s as well as officers.The only one who spoke up against poor condition and hunger were German communists,they were not afraid,would bare their tattooed chests and would shout at the guards,”come on why don’t you shoot”.In a way I must admit I admired them for their courage,while others felt this will make conditions even worse.This went on until July1945 when I was lucky enough yo be taken to Grafenau as a work-team to repair potholes in roads leading to Passau.We were fairly free with a Military Government Pass and two pleasant guards who directed and supervised our work.Myself I was still very weak and did only interpreting.We had our own cook who received meat from a local slaughter house.(Meat used from these animals were killed due to sickness what was called "Notschlachtung) This did not last very long and we had been told by the civilian authorities that we all be returned into our Heimat,what a lie.To our horror we finished up in Sonndorf but only for a week.Some changes had been made and we were staying in wooden huts that had been erected by those that stayed behind.I looked for my old “Home” and sure enough I found the old tent and took  three sheets with me as I had a feeling that things may go wrong again than better.
We were taken by trucks to Regensburg and virtually dumped into a mud field with no facilities of any sort,luckily I had my tent with many “friendly” comrades to help me to set it up.Myself, I almost finished up sleeping at the opening flap. I estimate there were about 10000-20000 POW’s.The aim apparently was to build a proper camp near a sugar factory which a Hungarian company had already started.It was here later on when a rather sophisticated and well educated German Sgt. took me under his wings who was in charge of a six -men work team to re-glaze the shattered windows of a boys Gymnasium in Regensburg that was taken over by an American Army Topographical Unit.The work was light and we had our daily GI-Chow.Yet to this day this Sgt remains an enigma to me who he really was,his English was better than mine but never used it,had contacts with outside civilians where-ever we went,how he did this was a mystery to me.Only once that I became suspicious when he told me to ask the guard if he could go across the road to meet his wife and only shook her hand.When he returned,the guard said”das war nicht seine Frau”!(That was not his wife).I can only guess he was an Agent setting up safe houses and escape routes for wanted war criminals.He disappeared when almost the entire camp was trucked away to France,Belgium and Holland or other German destinations for work. I finished up in Hohenbrunn,south of Munich in an old KZ Sub camp at an ammunition factory. This camp had all facilities except toilets. We had to get used to the old method of  "Donnerbalken"
The main work was loading heavy ammunition cases onto trucks into craters and destroyed with explosives.The work was heavy and I soon collapsed.
It were Gi’s in general that saw that  I was still undernourished and had pity with me, made changes, and I was able to help in their mess-hall making coffee or tea for their division.This was a full time job and it lasted from September 45 to January 1946. I did some interpreting for a friendly Lieutenant who was also responsible for the POW Camp and thought due to my youth to give me my freedom,so I could do what I liked don’t have to obey any rules or orders etc.He only saw this from the American point of view, be free! Anyway it was done and I was discharged into civilian life.What a culture shock! I was being treated by the civilian population as a Prussian Refugee,although I was staying with a family that had a fairly large slaughter house never suffered through the war, the treatment I received were unbelievable shocking.The only consolation I had that I was able to work in the mess hall as before,so I asked my friendly Lt. please let me go back into the POW Camp again.”Sorry,but I cant do that,Herb. But there is another Camp in Taufkirchen where Hauptmann Heinrich has given me his word of honor that none of his soldiers will escape and have free movement I will talk to him, so you can stay with them.”
That’s what happened,and I was ever so grateful to him. I borrowed a handcart loaded my belongings of two US Army duffel bags with all the goodies mainly clothing I had been given to me by well meaning and caring GI's towards another camp. As the Administration of Hohenbrunn went into civilian control and I was sick of Jackboots and clicking heels,I tried my luck in Allach near Munich at an US Ordnance Maintenance Shop at their Supply Depot. Here again I was lucky when a WOJG by the name of Milton F.Plier walked by the Personal Office when the Lady in charge asked him if he had any vacancy for this young man. After asking me what I had done before etc. he told me to come back in two days time. I found out later on that he had fired another German and I got his job in a Unit Supply Depot of which Mr. Plier was in charge. He very rarely ever spoke to me but he was fluent in German and I stayed there until we were transferred to Dachau KZ in 1947/48. were I lived in the old SS-Hospital,house 52B with all the home comforts one could possible ask for. I was employed as an Editor verifying Army requisitions and issuing of military equipment to various Units within the Munich Sub Area. The Administration and Depot was housed in the disbanded War Crimes Tribunal complex,and I did some "Research" of my own what had happened from 1933-1945 . Later on I met my future wife and followed her 1956 to New Zealand and worked for the Ford Motor Co, and later on for a Plastics co until my retirement I should add a note here: I had a friendly relationship in general with Americans, I even did some Baby-Sitting for one family and as they all lived in luxury and splendor and had plenty,which many German families at that time lacked, a lot of thievery on a grand scale was going on when I was stationed in Allach and Dachau. I was initially not trusted by some of my colleges, but was told to look the other way in no uncertain terms as I knew how it was done, but told them I would not report them, but made it clear that I will not lie if asked about their activities. I lied once!
The Provost Marshal was a Filipino, a fency dresser, full of badges that were not military issues, and very conceited. I would have given him the correct answers to his questions, which he conveyed through an interpreter, he was not aware that I spoke English and thus could formulate my answers in advance. He made two vital errors, interrogating two of us, the other (Hans Gollwitzer) was a friend of Fritz Heckert the accused of stealing petrol for his own use and making money plenty on the side. He, Heckert was a most despicable character and my room-mate, working in this endeavour with two others, mostly at night time. Strangely enough that trio died within a short time under peculiar circumstances. Anyway, there was an unwritten rule; 'Anything you can take or steal from the Americans is acceptable and you were bound to uphold that 'honourable Prussian' understanding never to reveal the facts'. Thus I was bound to lie, but not if I would have been asked on my own. The other most offending conversation the Provost Marshal had with the interpreter was his comment: 'This piece of shit knows more than he is telling me'. He was correct, and I did give him shit, which I signed:
HK Stolpmann
PS. Read if interested about Eisenhower's Death Camps:http://www.whale.to/b/bacque1.html

Military Training and Punishments

There seems to be still some misunderstanding when it comes to methods of our SS Instructors to basic training and punishments. In my case I did not brake any violation of the Wehrmacht code, I had distributed leaflets which came close to pornography.My punishment was supervised by an officer,yet we received explicit instruction in sex education which again were held by officers,professionals on the subject.One of our men was engaged (he was 19) to be married and Hess would never give up to degrade him in any way possible.Most of us were Theology Students and looking back it was simply a matter of breaking our spirit.He did break the rules by hitting and punching boys that could not and would not accept his teachings of the NS doctrine.The training was harsh and brutal.Two boys committed suicide, one by holding the barrel(pipe) of a Panzerfaust against his chest and fired himself to pieces.The other one simple hanged himself over trumped up charges, he allegedly had urinated inside a corridor wall which had frozen in the cold.In fact an NCO had used his canteen and had poured water along the wall.This was a method of getting rid of those that “did not fit in”.It was common practice by both Wehrmacht and SS not to send Instructors with recruits into combat,you would simple shoot them in the back at the first opportunity.Some of the boys were deeply religious and when it came to practicing Genick-Schuss shooting on dummies, I too was thinking of the commandment:"You shall not kill".I will come back to this subject of de-programming later on.

Executions by US Forces
When it comes to the execution of Jungvolk members by US forces, you have to realize that these were forced into our depleting ranks sometimes at gunpoint still in their Jungvolk or older ones in HJ uniforms and thus not legally members of the Wehrmacht. US armored columns spearheaded way ahead of the main bunch and we were caught “behind”enemy lines. I do not know what treatment was dished out when taken prisoner in HJ uniform, I never seen any one in a POW camp.
The execution I referred to took place in the Harz region (Thueringen) by an American Advance column that had to retreat later on.I have no pictures of the execution,but they were published and are still available through the archives of the German Bildzeitung Der Stern.I will later on show a typical method of shooting in my blog.
Only briefly, I had no rank but was addressed as Hilfsausbilder, was billeted with a nice family for a couple days in the vicinity south of Limburg an der Lahn.One thing they always did, shut the doors tightly behind them, as if to hide something. They had two sons. During assembly I was told to search that house. The mother cried and told me "We made you welcome and now you come with a gun".I took her sons!

Ones own Faith
Most of the intake were High School Students,some of us in mid-term studying Theology thus taught by the commandment not to kill, although Nietzsche said "Gott ist tot,es gibt nur einen Uebermenschen" also sprach Zarathustra, some strongly believed in God. So it was one of the functions to de-program us of what was a necessity in war time to shoot and kill your fellow man. With an exception of one boy,these expert were successful, but only down to the age of three to four. It was impossible to break you of the first little prayer that a mother or grandmother had taught you, and I am now more or less agnostic.Yet I still remember my little prayer:"Ich bin klein mein Herz ist rein darf niemand drin wohnen als Jesus allein".
PS>I failed after the war to get back to full study as a Missionary, the panel of three Pastors told me that I failed on one point only:"You do not believe in God".

My Training

My Training by SS-Instructos
. I was called up for a short period to become a Hilfsausbilder December 1944 at Friedrichstrasse in Berlin which was at that time a garrison for the Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler"and given papers to  go by train to the 5th Reichsausbildungslager in Bistritz am Hostein, Slovakia (a rather beautiful place). These training facilities were entirely run by the SS. The total number of trainees amounted to 500 boys aged 16-19.(Another 500 were "weeded out" as unsuitable.)The instructors were without exception all NCO’s. Most of them wounded and unfit for combat.(It is my understanding that there were several Training Facilities like this, one in Belgium that trained Tank Drivers, another one in Austria training Gebirgsjaeger.)

  We were in groups of 7 and I had a rather fanatic NCO by the name of Hess, his rank was Unterscharfuehrer. My offence was that I had copied a number of a
“Love Letters” that was quite “innocent” unless you read every second line which was of a sexual nature.I had been reported and as I had degraded the “honour” of the Germanic Womanhood (there was not much honour left after being raped by the Russians) I received a punishments like carrying a rock while running and the usual crawling in the mud etc.
After my successful completion of training I was sent to Ruedesheim am Rhein which was a Wehrertuechtungslager (this was run by the Wehrmacht our commander was  Hauptmann Stuemmer) to teach in the use of the Panzerfaust, this was my main task, to young and old, partly Volkssturm-men. We all had our Soldbuch which states clearly that you are a member of the “Wehrmacht”. Yet due to the small sizes of uniforms unavailable we did wear the Luftwaffenhelfer outfit which was Air Force blue in colour. My Unit was the 12th Panzervernichtungsbrigade, which was in part decimated during the fighting after the Americans crossed the Rhein at Remagen. To refill our ranks, members of the HJ or Jungvolk were forced into combat with disastrous consequences. Anyone taken prisoner by the American forces were shot without mercy. I myself saw the bodies unearthed out of a shallow grave in the vicinity of the Harz Mountains.They were some of ours OK, a priest had been present during the execution and confirmed the event what had taken place. (It was the practice of US armoured Units to push ahead way into our lines as scouts and later withdrew) As we were pushed back towards the Tschec border it was decided to surrender part of the brigade, except 15 men and one Lt. and we roamed through the Sudeten Mountains until we heard of the unconditional surrender of Germany and became POW’s, under Eisenhower in a number of his Death Camps were 1.7 million Germans died of starvation, yet I doubt this figure although I have been eating grass and my weight was down to 50kg. There was no Red Cross or the Geneva Convention for us.
I have never been a member of the HJ or Volkssturm only part of the younger Junkvolk and have no regrets nor did it ever harm me in any way.
As a footnote about 7-8 SS Instructors were unmarried and all of them had rather attractive Jewess girl friends working within the military installation. It shows you when boy meets girl and the chemistry is right religion colour or creed does not matter. They (instructors) taught the official NS-Party line (Politishe Weltanschauung) when it came to their private life it was a different story.
German prisoners are marched down an Autobahn near Giesen, as American Forces roll pat them on their way to the front. By late April1945, German units were surrendering en masse, aware that the war was all but over, and there was little point fighting on.
 



German soldier gives signal of surrender when overtaken by an American Tank. This type of surrender was like a double edged sword. The so called "Fliegendes Standgericht" operated in closed Panel Trucks close to the front lines, executing any deserters or who showed a white flag.
This one may have been an emissary to negotiate for his Unit.(My platoon would cease fire if the enemy waved a white flag on a stick or on a rifle meaning he wanted to talk. This also applied to the Eastern Front.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My own surrender to the 3rd US Army 9th May 1945

and lasted to January 1946:Eisenhower made us DEF's "Disarmed Enemy Forces",thus had no rights under the Geneva Convention

An American solders guards members recruted from the Hitler Jugend,although they are in Wehrmacht Uniform, the Western Allies tended to treat HJ as children fighting because they had no choice, the Soviets made no such distinction, and treated Hitler Youth members as ruthlessly as adult soldiers. This picture seems to be staged, if you look into their faces of the "captured" youth there are no expression of fear or apprehension, and were perhaps members of a Labor Service Company. Their trousers are "work pants".

 It was an entirely different position the Allies took when HJ members were captured or surrendered in their original uniform, with their swastica armband on their sleeves. On April 20th 1945 Hitler decorated some of them who had seen action in Berlin. These boys had no rights under any rules to be treated as POW's when captured and were faced with summary execution. One boy in this picture survived and is mentioned in the memoirs of one of Hitler's secretary. I might be able to come back to this later.

Execution of 16 Year Old Heinz Petry by the US Fire Squad 


Not only was Heinz Petry mere 16 year old when executed, his execution took place on June 11, 1945 -long after World War II hostilities in Europe ended.

There were actually three boys, two of them students of AHS.(Adolf Hitler School) Of the latter one who was arrested by the Americans, could escape. The other two were convicted and executed on 01.06.1945. That was the Adolf Hitler students Heinz Petry and the Hitler Youth Josef Schöner (not Schener). In the court's opinion of the U.S. military the accusation of spying served only as a pretext for the Chairman of the Military Court who emphasized in the court's opinion "that the responsibility for the fate of the two boys lies with the Nazi leaders, and they only, will send send them  to their deaths. The German military and political leaders force us", said the chairman,"to fight fire with fire and blood with blood. We will not tolerate those responsible to hide behind women and children". Unless the presiding judge considered this a "deterrent sentence", he unjustly sentenced the sixteen and seventeen year-old boys whose guilt as so called spies did not justify the death penalty. Read the text quoted in the "Aachen News"
View: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yaG7uTPQ6M


 
A typical method the American Army applied during execution by firing squad, a stake in the ground, rope around the prisoner and blindfolded, usually hands tied behing the stake. This photograph shows the victim's body falling as bullets sever the rope which had tied him to the stake. Wooden splinters are cascading through the air. The victim in this case was French.
Meeting Henry Ford in Wellington NZ in January 1970. I am standing at the right in this picture


to be contiued on

Sonndorf POW Camp to Dachau KZ

  http://dachaukz.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/sonndorf-pow-camp-to-dachau-kz.html

Addtional post

20-12-2013

On 20 April, his 56th birthday, Hitler made his last trip from the
Führerbunker ("Führer's shelter") to the surface. In the ruined garden
of the Reich Chancellery, he awarded Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the
Hitler Youth. By 21 April, Georgy Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front had
broken through the defences of German General Gotthard Heinrici's Army
Group Vistula during the Battle of the Seelow Heights and advanced into
the outskirts of Berlin. In denial about the dire situation, Hitler
placed his hopes on the undermanned and under-equipped Armeeabteilung
Steiner (Army Detachment Steiner), commanded by Waffen SS General Felix
Steiner. Hitler ordered Steiner to attack the northern flank of the
salient and the German Ninth Army was ordered to attack northward in a
pincer attack.
During a military conference on 22 April, Hitler asked about Steiner's
offensive. He was told that the attack had not been launched and that
the Soviets had entered Berlin. This prompted Hitler to ask everyone
except Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Hans Krebs, and Wilhelm Burgdorf to
leave the room. Hitler then launched a tirade against the treachery and
incompetence of his commanders, culminating in his declaration—for the
first time—that the war was lost. Hitler announced that he would stay in
Berlin until the end and then shoot himself.
By 23 April the Red Army had completely surrounded Berlin, and Goebbels
made a proclamation urging its citizens to defend the city. That same
day, Göring sent a telegram from Berchtesgaden, arguing that since
Hitler was isolated in Berlin, he, Göring, should assume leadership of
Germany. Göring set a deadline after which he would consider Hitler
incapacitated. Hitler responded by having Göring arrested, and in his
last will and testament, written on 29 April, he removed Göring from all
government positions. On 28 April Hitler discovered that Himmler, who
had left Berlin on 20 April, was trying to discuss surrender terms with
the Western Allies. He ordered Himmler's arrest and had Hermann Fegelein
(Himmler's SS representative at Hitler's HQ in Berlin) shot.
After midnight on 29 April, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil
ceremony in the Führerbunker. After a modest wedding breakfast with his
new wife, he then took secretary Traudl Junge to another room and
dictated his will. The event was witnessed and documents signed by
Krebs, Burgdorf, Goebbels, and Bormann. Later that afternoon, Hitler was
informed of the execution of Mussolini, which presumably increased his
determination to avoid capture.
On 30 April 1945, after intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet
troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery, Hitler and
Braun committed suicide; Braun bit into a cyanide capsule and Hitler
shot himself. Both their bodies were carried up the stairs and through
the bunker's emergency exit to the bombed-out garden behind the Reich
Chancellery, where they were placed in a bomb crater and doused with
petrol. The corpses were set on fire as the Red Army shelling continued.
Berlin surrendered on 2 May. Records in the Soviet archives, obtained
after the fall of the Soviet Union, state that the remains of Hitler,
Braun, Joseph and Magda Goebbels, the six Goebbels children, General
Hans Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed. On 4
April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five
wooden boxes at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg. The remains from the
boxes were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a
tributary of the nearby Elbe. According to Ian Kershaw the corpses of
Braun and Hitler were fully burned when the Red Army found them, and
only a lower jaw with dental work could be identified as Hitler's remains.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Discharge Papers from P.O.W camp


as a member of the wehrmacht 



please note Birth date and Location have been removed for Identity protection