Wegbereiter der Shoah
Die Waffen-SS, der Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS und die Judenvernichtung 1939-1945
Martin Cüppers

Soldaten wie andere auch, soldiers like any other, is the image many Waffen-SS veterans after the war like painted. The fourth branch, together with army weapons, war Navy and Air Force. Unjustly sentenced said second related to the fact that the Tribunal in Nuremberg rated SS as an organization of crime. After more than 60 years since the end of the war continues SS and Waffen-SS continues to fascinate the world with its dark and bloody history. Some read solely on the contrary the Waffen-SS took part in and focus on high decorated, generals to say something.

Both the SS Waffen-SS as described in countless books each year, from different angles and perspectives. These range from detailed uniforms books to academic works on the homicide unit SS really was. Unfortunately, these academic books translated into English not so many who are interested in the topic rarely have the overall picture of the SS or Waffen-SS. Overall; there are very few books on the subject in English, except on a few exceptions. They give unfortunately not the whole picture of the organization.

There is still a great interest in the Second World War in general and the SS in particular. Many, like myself, whose parents were born after the war and interest in the subject is referred to the books, unless you get the opportunity to have contact with any veteran. The former soldiers from the Waffen-SS as answering letters and emails like in 9 cases out of 10 do not hear about the murders actions Waffen-SS committed and / or participated in. Were they soldiers like any other .... Or?

The answer is a big no; they were not soldiers in any other. They were Hitler’s and Himmler’s political avant-garde’s vanguard, permeated by the Nazi ideology of "Mr. People, the Aryan warriors who would be Germany and throughout Europe's elite. Bolshevism and Judaism would be literally destroyed, in addition to the handicapped, gypsies, homosexuals and dissidents. Waffen-SS was to become an important cog in this unimaginable murder machinery at the end of the war cost the lives of millions of people. Unfortunately there are too many who find it difficult to take this fact that the Waffen-SS at times was deeply involved in what we today know as the Holocaust. Photographic evidence shows how several well-known "profiles" in the Waffen-SS visiting different types of concentration camps and was not at all unaware of each proceeding behind barbed wire fences.

When talking about the Holocaust as associate most with this camp as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and other extermination camps. Less known is that between 1.5 to 2 million people were murdered in the field of teams, police, army and other units, including the Waffen-SS. Dr. Martin Cüppers has in his thesis, Wegbereiter der Shoha focused on parts of the units from the Waffen-SS and Waffen-SS units that were subordinated to the Command Staff Reich Führer-SS (Himmler’s command staff), which very much contributed to the dismal statistics of murdered people who became known after the war. In the units Cüppers have listed, we find the backbone to many famous Waffen-SS divisions and many familiar names, high awarded generals and officers in some cases almost icons. Cüppers also shows that the Waffen-SS participation in the Holocaust were not individual phenomena but are systematically used in pure terror and killing operations. The list of towns and cities where the Waffen-SS were deposited can be made very long, Tarangorod, Lidice, Warsaw Ghetto, Pripjetswamp, Lublin, Lvov and Krakow is just a few examples where the Waffen-SS units committed extensive war crimes. The destruction of the town of Lidice, a terrible revenge for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, and the destruction of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw are just two examples of how the soldiers of the Waffen-SS training and reserve not got its baptism of fire on the battlefield but through murder and terror against innocent men, women and children. After the bloody actions against Warsaw ghetto, Stroop wrote encouraging words, The Stroop report, about the young men from the replacement troops how good they were!

The grade can only be the maximum: 5 / 5

(Reviewed by Martin Månsson)

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