The SS-Sonderkommando ''Dirlewanger'': A Memoir

The SS-Sonderkommando ''Dirlewanger'': A Memoir

by Editor Michaelis


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The SS-Sonderkommando ''Dirlewanger'': A Memoir by Editor Michaelis

A rare look inside the Sonderkommando "Dirlewanger," the SS anti-partisan unit notorious for atrocities in Poland and Russia during World War II. These memoirs were written by a former member of the unit from its formation in 1940 to the end of the war and took part in nearly all its operations. A first hand account of the brutal and barbaric methods used by Dirlewanger against partisans - methods that appalled even some SS commanders - are revealed here in this memoir. SS-Sonderkommando "Dirlewanger" was originally manned by convicted poachers, however as the war progressed replacements were found by emptying prisons and filling the ranks with more hardened criminals. Here are the chilling recollections of a soldier in the SS-Sonderkommando "Dirlewanger" during the Polish and Russian campaigns, the 1944 Warsaw uprising and the final battles near Berlin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764344794
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Publication date: 12/28/2013
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 9.42(w) x 6.28(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 4

Childhood and Adolescence 8

Poaching and Prison 8

Enlistment in the Wilddiebkommando Oranienburg 11

Deployment to the General Government 15

Relocation to Belarus 18

"Gypsies" and "Old Fighters" Strengthen the SS-Sonderbataillon "Dirlewanger" 26

The Partisan War, 1943 28

Operation in the Minsk Ghetto 31

Decorations and Leave 33

Back to Belarus with Career Criminals 35

Deployment to the Front Lines near Polatsk 42

I Shoot Down an Airplane 44

We Line Up for a Counterattack 45

"Social Misfits" from Concentration Camps as Battalion Reinforcements 53

Retreat from Belarus 55

Operation during the Warsaw Uprising 61

Wehrmacht Felons, Turkmen, and SS and Police Convicts 64

Political Prisoners 70

Establishing the SS-Sturmbrigade "Dirlewanger" 72

The Prisoners Defect 73

I Become Company Commander 76

The Battle for Lubisko and Guben 78

Shooting Down a Tank 83

Halbe 92

The Last Days of the War and Returning Home 95

War Captivity 99

Postwar Period 101

Looking Back At My Time as a Soldier 102


Formation of the SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger 105

Timeline of the SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger 112

Endnotes 125

Bibliography 128

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