Sunday, 24 September 2017

Wenn alle Bruder schweigen-When All Our Brothers Are Silent - Waffen SS Association

Title: Wenn alle Bruder schweigen-When All Our Brothers Are Silent
Author: Waffen SS Association
ISBN: 9-783-9-42145-00-8
Publisher: Edition Zeitgeschichte
Year: 2014
Pages: 592
Photos/Maps: 100’s/7

The Waffen SS has left an indelible mark and paradigm amongst historians and the casual followers of the Second World War. Whatever one might feel about their political philosophy and activities during the war, the fact remains that, as a fighting force, they were recognized by their adversaries as some of the most professional, tough soldiers of the German forces. Used as a ‘fire fighters’ as the war progressed, they were involved in all of the major campaigns and frontiers throughout the conflict.

When the war ended they were treated as pariahs by the new German State and neither veterans nor veteran’s families were entitled to any form of wartime compensation or recognition. As a result, the Waffen SS Association stepped in to provide some degree of assistance to the families of the soldiers as well as to provide support to one another. In early 1972, the Waffen SS Association called upon their members to provide photographs and recollections to put together a history of the SS in pictures of both wartime and prewar experiences.

The result is a remarkable book; written in German with full English subtitles. Many of the photographs are extremely rare and have been used in this book only. It provides a deep, visual history of the SS, the conditions under which they trained and fought, and the close bonds of comradeship that bound them together. There is a synopsis of the history provided in the beginning of the book that provides a good overall picture of the SS, their operational history and a discussion (albeit very brief) of some of the accusations raised against them. Further, the book provides a collection of unit emblems, renditions of uniforms and detailed rank insignia as well as regional maps of SS operational theatres. The clear focus of the book are the photographs and each is provided with an explanation. This book is an outstanding addition to any collection relating to the German Army of World War 2.

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