05 March 2009

Americans in the SS

This am amended repost of something I wrote in June 2006 when the Poor Mouth was but a babe in arms and my posts were a lot more serious.

Compared with what is available on the British Free Corps (BFC) there is a dearth of information on the Americans who fought for Germany in WWII. Frustrating as this is, what little there is out there is still quite interesting

There is no reliable estimate of the number of Americans who fought for the Reich. Marcus Wendel’s Axis History Factbook notes that in 1940 there were five US citizens in the Waffen SS in May 1940 and at least eight Americans died in its service during the war. Only two Americans are named Martin Monti and Peter Delaney. Both served in the journalism unitSS Standarte Kurt Eggers and Delaney appears to have been killed in 1945.


There is more information about Martin Monti . A lieutenant in the USAAF, Monti was also a hard line catholic who viewed the Reich as the bastion against communism. In 1944 he deserted his unit in India and made his way to Italy where he was able to take an F5 (a reconnaissance version of the P38 Lightning fighter) and fly it to Milan which was still in Axis hands. He ultimately gained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Kurt Eggers unit and broadcast on Italian fascist radio.

After the war Monti was initially tried only for theft of the aircraft and after a sentence of hard labour he was able to rejoin the newly formed USAF, finally leaving 1948. It was only after this that he was arrested and convicted for treason. Sentenced to 25 years in prison he was paroled in 1960.

A post on a militaria forum lists 7 American citizens who gained officer rank in the SS

Hstuf (Captain). Josef Awender, a medical doctor in the “Frundsberg” born in Philadelphia in 1913,
Ustuf (2nd Lieutenant). Robert Beimes, a signal officer in the “Hitler Jugend” born in San Francisco in 1919, whose father was a translator in the SD,
Ustuf. Dr. Hans Eckert, born in Buffalo, NY in 1917 and assigned to the SS hospital at Dachau in November 1944,
Ostubaf (Lt Colonel) . Viktor Fehsenfeld, born in Elk Rapids, Michigan in 1894 and an administrative officer in the SS-WVHA,
Hstuf. Franz Stark, born in St. Louis in 1901 and assigned to the SD,
Hstuf. Eldon Walli, born in New York City in 1913 in the SS-Kriegsberichter
Abteilung (war reporters)
Hstuf. Paul Winckler-Theede, born in New York City in 1912 and who was a military judge in the “Das Reich” division.

It is claimed that their records are available in the Berlin Document Centre. Whether this is true or not I have no idea. There is no indication whether these had renounced their citizenship before joining the SS or if they were tried after the war. Perhaps these men were born in the US but returned the Germany when young.

There are rumours of an American SS unit called either the American Free Corps or the George Washington Brigade. The origins of this rumour surely comes from Kurt Vonnegut - In Slaughterhouse Five the American traitor Howard Campbell tries to recruit for the George Washington Brigade (See also Mother Night - Cambpell is the main character of this novel). In reality there is no evidence whatsoever the Germans attempted to recruit American POWs for a waffen SS unit

It is a shame that little research has been done on this subject. Perhaps a historian will take it up at some stage. There is rather more information on the Americans who broadcast for Germany and Japan during WWII and I will probably talk about them at a later date

6 comments:

Shinade said...

Hey Jams,
when I ran my political blog I did quite a bit of research on The Bush family ties to Hitler.

Gee whiz I wish I could remember where my notes are.

But, apparently, Goerge SR.'s father and grandfather were involved in helping launder money for Hitler and The Reich.

They were part of a group of investors that formed or held the majority of stocks in a bank.

This continued until they were caught and stopped by our government.

They were involved in this process during the time that George senior was a navy pilot in our Naval forces.

Interesting huh? The fact is public record I do believe. However, I don't think any of them ever suffered any consequences for their actions.

The entire thing scared me to death and continued to scare me as long as W was president.

Also just imagine...George senior headed up our C.I.A. for years.

I don't know if you guys have heard the news over there yet.

But, President Obama just released a huge list of names containing people held and tortured under his reaign as president. Along with the names of the prisoners Obama also released the names of the C.I.A. and other government officials who were involved.

Word over here is that they will most likely be tried for war crimes.

Good job with this post. These people should be exposed no matter what country they hail from!!

Jackie

James Higham said...

Yes, this connection, particularly the corporate connection, is a puzzle until you see who runs America.

jams o donnell said...

A lot of people and a lot of families have very murky pasts Shinade. I had not head about Obama's release of information. Iwonder what happens next

What can you say James. For me I am interested in the individuals. I wish more research was done on this small footnote of WWII

Anonymous said...

Well as Captain Mainwaring would say "Its a shabby Nazi trick" I don't quite understand what the old Bushes alleged money laundering has to do with GHWB or GWB? I dont think either were closet Nazis.
I dont think so.

As for war crimes what about Bill Clinton being tried for the illegal war he started in Yugoslavia? I think we should all grow up there's enough stuff to go around for all

Nevin said...

A very interesting post. Thanks Jams.

What about the involvement of IBM with Nazi Germany? It is a well known fact that IBM kept a record of all the personal numbers of prisoners in the concentration camps... But now days, seem to wipe it's hands off all that dirty and mirky past...

While I am at it, let's not forget to mention Boeing's involvement with the "extra ordinary renditions" during Bush's War on Terror?

jams o donnell said...

All interesting points but the reason I posted was because I am interested in the backwaters of history. I simply would like to know more about these Americans