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> Oskar Dirlewanger and his men, bravery and criminality in the SS
ANDREAS
Posted: February 25, 2012 12:45 pm
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Probably most of us read at least one of Sven Hassel books, where we can follow the experiences of a group of former common-law convicts serving their sentence on the first line of the front. If both the author and his stories are very controversial (unable to be confirmed as having a real substrate) at least one unit of this kind has earned fame (definitely negative) bearing the mark of his creator, Oskar Dirlewanger.
http://www.thedarkpaladin.com/dirlewanger.htm
The story is fascinating (as so many stories of evil characters), the author is both courageous as he is perverse and criminal.
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Florin
Posted: February 25, 2012 09:13 pm
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In one of the Sven Hassel books, he wrote that Dirlewanger was hanged by legs by few of his own men, and while his head was hanging down, a fire was lit under him.
This way he was slowly burned for few hours, while the Polish partisans had the scene in their binoculars, and let it go.

I think your link is more documented than the book of Sven Hassel, and I would trust that link regarding the real death of Oskar Dirlewanger. Who knows, maybe his death was as described by Sven Hassel, but the authors were as mentioned in your link.

This post has been edited by Florin on February 25, 2012 09:16 pm
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Petre
Posted: February 26, 2012 08:42 am
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21 inf
Posted: February 26, 2012 09:41 am
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ February 25, 2012 02:45 pm)
Probably most of us read at least one of Sven Hassel books, where we can follow the experiences of a group of former common-law convicts serving their sentence on the first line of the front. If both the author and his stories are very controversial (unable to be confirmed as having a real substrate) at least one unit of this kind has earned fame (definitely negative) bearing the mark of his creator, Oskar Dirlewanger.
http://www.thedarkpaladin.com/dirlewanger.htm
The story is fascinating (as so many stories of evil characters), the author is both courageous as he is perverse and criminal.

I doubt that a notorious criminal as Dirlewanger was could be courageous. He probably also had mental issues (even if not medically diagnosed and recorded in consequence). Maybe his desperation in some situation or his mental issues were misunderstand as "courage" or needed for propaganda issues. I must tell that I was really surprised when I read for the first time about his "courage", as for me this issue of this character didn't fit in the general description of him. In my opinion, a rat doesn't have courage. A rat is just a rat. I this manner of pointing what is courage or not, the men from Dirlewanger brigade could be classified as "courageous" but my supposition is that they were just desperate - they faced very few options: death in KZ, death on battlefield and a slight chance to survive battle and surrender to americans. A handful of survivors from Dirlewanger's brigade were prosecuted by Poles in late 2000's and asked for extradition. As war progressed in Dirlewanger's brigade were drafted the most notorious and violent criminals german's could find in their prisons or lagers.
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Radub
Posted: February 26, 2012 10:07 am
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There is a sying: "There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. If you get away with it, you are brave. If you don't, you are stupid."
Radu
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 26, 2012 12:11 pm
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21inf, when I talked about the courage of Oskar Direlewanger, I had in mind a comment that does not appear in the link posted, but in a book written by Rolf Michaelis called Direlwanger, german edition from 2005, which I have read, where the author said that the unit fought in the first line from november 1943 until february 1944 in the region south of Nevel (northern part of Eastern Front) where they performed relatively well. Later they were involved in crushing the Polish insurrection and the Slovak one. About Oskar Dirlewanger personally the book mentioned the direct participation at almost all combat actions of his troops, he was wounded many times in combat and was rewarded with many medals for his unit succeses in combat against partisans from Belarus. It is mentioned his participation at combat actions on the front line in end 1943. This is the the reason I mention the courage, which however does not cover crimes, atrocities and massacres in which he and his men have been involved. The case is similar to what I read about Stalin, which is said to have lived a modest life, similar to a soldier, lacking any trace of luxury or pleasure (as later Khrushchev or Brezhnev), which do not rehabilitate him from the crimes he made or ordered.
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Florin
Posted: February 26, 2012 05:09 pm
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QUOTE (21 inf @ February 26, 2012 04:41 am)
................I doubt that a notorious criminal as Dirlewanger was could be courageous. He probably also had mental issues (even if not medically diagnosed and recorded in consequence). ...............

Why not? It happens. I am aware of at least another example: a French collaborationist (former French officer ousted from the French Army for becoming opium addict in Indochina) who tortured French patriots, and also fought with bravery on the Eastern Front and was decorated there. (That was in French Waffen SS.)
Indeed, usually criminals and those who torment people are cowards, and also get scared by the slightest wound inflicted on them.

Of course he had mental issues - there was no doubt about it even in the days of the Nazi Germany. It put his "career" in jeopardy even in Nazi Germany (from the link offered by ANDREAS). In most (if not all) countries deeming themselves as civilized, having sex with a minor is not only a mental problem, but also a felony punishable with jail time. Roman Polanski, director for the movie Chinatown (1974), is on the run, because in the U.S. would be arrested for having sex with a minor.

This post has been edited by Florin on February 26, 2012 05:17 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 26, 2012 06:48 pm
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Petre, thanks for the very interesting link you posted! I found some details that do not appear in the book I've mentioned!
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Florin
Posted: February 27, 2012 11:54 pm
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He has page on Wikipedia - while other better people don't have:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Dirlewanger
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ANDREAS
Posted: February 28, 2012 08:46 pm
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Florin, as I said and how it can be seen by watching entire press (not just tabloid!), low quality people (I was self restraint for not to use harsh words!) are incomparably more publicized than valuable people, horror and porn movies are more watched than art films, the jerk and villains always make career compared to decent and honest working people! Now as in the near or more distant past!
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MMM
  Posted: March 05, 2012 08:11 am
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QUOTE (Florin @ February 26, 2012 08:09 pm)
Roman Polanski, director for the movie Chinatown (1974), is on the run, because in the U.S. would be arrested for having sex with a minor.

Hey, do you compare Polanski with Dirlewanger?!?! :o
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Alexei2102
Posted: March 05, 2012 10:22 am
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Just bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Hunters-SS-Son...n/dp/0764304836

I will get back with some more info soon. Interesting reading about Dr O and his crew.

Al
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Florin
Posted: March 05, 2012 05:30 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ March 05, 2012 03:11 am)
QUOTE (Florin @ February 26, 2012 08:09 pm)
Roman Polanski, director for the movie Chinatown (1974), is on the run, because in the U.S. would be arrested for having sex with a minor.

Hey, do you compare Polanski with Dirlewanger?!?! :o

You would make a good career as reporter in the American mass media. Those guys have the habit to twist facts and get an unreal meaning for them.
However, as you addressed this matter, it occurs to me that yes, any man trying to or succeeding in raping an underage girl has something in common with Dirlewanger.
I think in the case of Polanski the sex was consensual on behalf of the girl, so he has almost nothing in common with Dirlewanger. From a legal point of view, if a minor has less than 16 years old, it is considered "statutory rape", even if the minor agrees in having sex.

This post has been edited by Florin on March 05, 2012 05:33 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: March 05, 2012 11:46 pm
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Alexei2102 the book you have bought looks very interesting! If you find some details regarding both criminal (something different than what is known) and to the military commander activity, please post them! Thank you in advance!
MMM I'm not speaking in Florin's name but as I understand the idea was (and I fully subscribe to it!) that a notorious criminal may be a courageous commander (I refer not necessarily to Dirlewanger, there are many examples in the Waffen SS or NKVD troops if we speak only about WW2)! The fact that Dirlewanger was regarded with some embarrassment even by the SS, do not have to make us see him as a owner of a higher level of criminality than the SS- they were from my perspective just as criminals as he was! In my opinion there is no crime more honorable than other! If Dirlewanger unit was more special than other SS units it's because his men were mostly common criminals compared to the SS recruits who became criminals during the war ;)
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Florin
Posted: March 06, 2012 12:51 am
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QUOTE (ANDREAS @ March 05, 2012 06:46 pm)
......If Dirlewanger unit was more special than other SS units it's because his men were mostly common criminals compared to the SS recruits who became criminals during the war ;)

I am not arguing with you, I am adding something.
Until 1943 the membership in SS was solely on a voluntary basis.
After 1943, you could be drafted directly into SS, regardless you liked it or not.
Toward 1945, some whole units (including divisions) were switched from Wehrmacht to SS, by the scratch of a pen.
It could happen with a whole army! I am quoting from Wikipedia:

"The 6th Panzer Army (6. Panzer-Armee) was a formation of the Wehrmacht Heer, formed in the Autumn of 1944...................The 6th Panzer Army is best noted for its leading role in the Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 25 January 1945). On 2 April 1945, it was transferred to the Waffen-SS. The 6th Panzer Army then became known as 6th SS Panzer Army (6. SS-Panzerarmee)......"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Panzer_Army

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