- Published: 18 August 2013 18 August 2013
- Last Updated: 23 August 2013 23 August 2013
In the Slovakian part of Czechoslovakia the volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) were represented by the Karpatendeutschen Partei. On 9 October 1938 it became the Deutsche Partei (DP) under the leadership of Volksgruppenführer Franz Karmasin. This party would try to copy several of the organizations formed by the NSDAP in Germany, for example Arbeitsfront der Volksdeutschen (AdV) was a copy of the Reichsarbeitsdienst, the Deutsche Jugend a copy of the Hitlerjugend and the Deutscher Aufbau Dienst (DAD) a copy of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront.
The Freiwilligen Schutzstaffel (FS) was formed as an equivalent of the SS. Within the FS a paramilitary formation was formed in copy of the Verfügungstruppen, the forerunner of the Waffen-SS, the Einsatztruppen (ET).
By early 1942 only about 750 FS members had joined the Waffen-SS and considering the massive losses suffered in the east this was not enough for the Germans so the SS Ersatzkommando Südost tried to introduce conscription among the Slovak volksdeutsche. This was strongly opposed by Karmasin who was worried that he would loose the best men from his organization and managed to avoid outright conscription by agreeing to encourage more men to sign up. This agreement held until January 1944 when conscription was enforced and in June the volksdeutsche serving in the Slovak armed forces were also conscripted into the Waffen-SS. A unit made up of Slovaks was never formed within the Waffen-SS and the men were instead distributed among the regular units as needed.
In August 1944 a Heimatschutz, a home guard unit and rough equivalent of the Volkssturm, was formed and manned with FS members. It was used mostly for rear area security during the Slovak Uprising in 1944 and later for the evacuation of volksdeutsche from eastern Slovakia. The most capable members of the Heimatschutz were taken over into the Waffen-SS after the uprising and mostly ended up in the 32. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division 30 Januar and the 31. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division.
March 1940 5.622
Mark W.A. Axworthy - Axis Slovakia: Hitler's Slavic Wedge 1938-1945
David Littlejohn - Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, Vol 3
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