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1 8th June 07:24
charles farley
External User
Posts: 1
Default 283 Americans,Brit's and Countless Others

It's dishonest not to differentiate combat deaths from accidental

Regardless, the same thing occurred in post-WWI Germany -- good thing
today's liberals were not running things back then, the Nazis would
still be in power.

Minutemen of the Third Reich (history of the Nazi Werewolf guerilla

By Perry Biddiscombe

The Werewolves were originally organised by the SS and the Hitler
Youth as a diversionary operation on the fringes of the Third Reich,
which were occupied by the Western Allies and the Soviets in the
autumn of 1944. Some 5,000 -- 6,000 recruits were raised by the winter
of 1944-45...

The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives
of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers -- perhaps even that
of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who
was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident
in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were
favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen
police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and
thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the occupiers were given
widespread publicity through Werewolf leaflets and radio propaganda,
and long after May 1945 the sabotage methods promoted by the
Werewolves were still being used against the occupying powers.

Although the Werewolves originally limited themselves to guerrilla
warfare with the invading armies, they soon began to undertake
scorched-earth measures and vigilante actions against German
'collaborators' or 'defeatists'. They damaged Germany's economic
infrastructure, already battered by Allied bombing and ground
fighting, and tried to prevent anything of value from falling into
enemy hands. Attempts to blow up factories, power plants or waterworks
occasionally provoked melees between Werewolves and desperate German
workers trying to save the physical basis of their employment,
particularly in the Ruhr and Upper Silesia.

Several sprees of vandalism through stocks of art and antiques, stored
by the Berlin Museum in a flak tower at Friedrichshain, caused
millions of dollars worth of damage and cultural losses of inestimable
value. In addition, vigilante attacks caused the deaths of a number of
small-town mayors and, in late March 1945, a Werewolf paratroop squad
assassinated the Lord Mayor of Aachen, Dr Franz Oppenhoff, probably
the most prominent German statesman to have emerged in the occupied
fringes over the winter of 1944-45. This spate of killings, part of a
larger Nazi terror campaign that consumed the Third Reich after the
failed anti-Hitler putsch of July 20th, 1944, can be interpreted as a
psychological retreat back into opposition, even while Nazi leaders
were still clinging to their last few months of power.

Although the Werewolves managed to make themselves a nuisance to small
Allied and Soviet units, they failed to stop or delay the invasion and
occupation of Germany, and did not succeed in rousing the population
into widespread opposition to the new order. The SS and Hitler Youth
organisations at the core of the Werewolf movement were poorly led,
short of supplies and weapons, and crippled by infighting. Their
mandate was a conservative one of tactical harassment, at least until
the final days of the war, and even when they did begin to envision
the possibility of an underground resistance that could survive the
Third Reich's collapse, they had to contend with widespread civilian
war-weariness and fear of enemy reprisals. In Western Germany, no one
wanted to do anything that would diminish the pace of Anglo-American
advance and possibly thereby allow the Red Army to push further

Despite its failure, however, the Werewolf project had a huge impact,
widening the psychological and spiritual gap between Germans and their
occupiers. Werewolf killings and intimidation of 'collaborators'
scared almost everybody, giving German civilians a clear glimpse into
the nihilistic heart of Nazism. It was difficult for people working
under threat of such violence to devote themselves unreservedly to the
initial tasks of reconstruction. Worse still, the Allies and Soviets
reacted to the movement with extremely tough controls, curtailing the
right of assembly of German civilians. Challenges of any sort were met
by collective reprisals -- especially on the part of the Soviets and
the French. In a few cases the occupiers even shot hostages and
cleared out towns where instances of sabotage occurred. It was
standard practice for the Soviets to destroy whole communities if they
faced a single act of resistance. In the eastern fringes of the
'Greater Reich', now annexed by the Poles and the Czechoslovaks,
Werewolf harassment handed the new authorities an excuse to rush the
deportations of millions of ethnic Germans to occupied Germany.

Such policies were understandable, but they created an unbridgeable
gulf between the German people and the occupation forces who had
pledged to impose essential reforms. It was hard, in such conditions,
for the occupiers to encourage reform, and even harder to persuade the
Germans that it was necessary.


The Last Nazis by Perry Biddiscombe, is published by Tempus. The book
explores the background to the movement, its operations and its wholly
negative legacy to the history of reconstruction in postwar Germany.
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