Sunday, 27 August 2017

Wenn alle Bruder schweigen - Association of the Waffen SS

Title: Wenn alle Bruder schweigen
Author: Association of the Waffen SS
ISBN: 978-3-942145-00-8
Publisher: Edition Zeitgeschichte
Year: 2014
Pages: 592
Photos/ Maps: hundreds

In the early 1970’s The Association of the Waffen SS set out to create a commemorative book for their members that memorialized their wartime experiences in photo’s. The call for contributions was met with an overwhelming response from veterans and their families. Thus it is that this book contains literally hundreds if not thousands of never before seen photos of the training and wartime experiences of all branches of the Waffen-SS. The authors have drafted an introduction that discusses the development, recruiting, training, wartime and postwar experiences of the units as well as their international recruitment; however, the vast majority of the book (98%) is given over to photographs. All text in the book is in German and English. Also included are photos and descriptions of rank, uniforms and unit emblems.

The book is a fascinating picture study of the Units and their participation in the war. Following the cessation of hostilities, the Waffen-SS presented a difficult problem for the post-war German government given its history. Members and their families were denied any kind of support from the Government and were not allowed to join the newly formed German Heer (Army); they therefore relied upon themselves and their associations for support.

The introduction to the book was drafted by SS Oberstgruppenfuehrer and Genraloberst Paul Hausser, senior General of the Waffen-SS just before his death in 1972.

The book is not political nor is it an apology, it represents a pictorial history of the some of the hardest fighting, most capable and controversial units of the German military in World War 2 and I recommend it for anyone with an interest in German Second World War history.

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