Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/11/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Nazis and Leicas
From: Marc James Small <>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 10:39:31 -0500

At 10:08 AM 11/26/1999 +0100, Alan Hull wrote:
>Yes the SS were a special corp, BUT, many in the SS were just ordinary
>policemen doing police work.  How do you (or the pole) know what he
>deserved?  To be arbitrarily shot and robbed by a one man judge and
>jury is disgusting, and his INDIVIDUAL action is no worse than many
>other war crimes.

Hmm.  I think you are arguing apples-and-oranges here.  Technically, the
kriminalpolizei were not SS, nor were many of them taken into the SS --
Eichmann and Mueller being two of the exceptions.  There was the honorary
SS, and virtually everyone in the Third Reich who had any prominence held
an SS rank of some sort, even Werner Von Braun.  The uniformed SS in a
combat zone, however, were either part of the Einsatzgruppen, whose primary
duty was rounding up grist for the Holocaust mill, or Waffen-SS, who were
under the jurisdiction of the Wehrmacht (the uniformed military services)
but who were quite atrocity prone.  I would find it surprising that an SS
member of any rank caught in a combat zone would NOT have been involved in
some atrocity or other.

None of which, of course, defends the summary execution described here:
the fellow was entitled to his day in court.  

Alan, do you know any veterans of the War in Europe?  Your neighbor,
perhaps, or his father?  Ask him about this:  in most US units, summary
executions of captured SS was not unknown and, in some units, it was rather
common.  And this WAS unfair, as the junior SS might well have just been a
fresh-caught draftee without any culpability at all.

This is a puzzling and worrying issue, but it really doesn't belong on the

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!