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Old 05-01-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Nassau/Queens border
1,461 posts, read 1,569,704 times
Reputation: 1055
Default Information on Nazi Defectors

Does anyone know how to go about finding out information about those who defected from the SS during Nazi Germany? My Uncle (who I never met) was supposedly a defector--my Grandmother hid him and he was subsequently turned in by a girlfriend. He was arrested and beheaded. My Grandmother was placed in a Prison Camp as a result. She told me that the Nazis sent her a picture of her son after he was beheaded.
Are there any records that I'd be able to find? Unfortunately the only evidence I have is my late Grandmother's numerous stories of her two years in Prison Camp.
Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: American Expat
2,108 posts, read 2,210,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlonaG View Post
Does anyone know how to go about finding out information about those who defected from the SS during Nazi Germany? My Uncle (who I never met) was supposedly a defector--my Grandmother hid him and he was subsequently turned in by a girlfriend. He was arrested and beheaded. My Grandmother was placed in a Prison Camp as a result. She told me that the Nazis sent her a picture of her son after he was beheaded.
Are there any records that I'd be able to find? Unfortunately the only evidence I have is my late Grandmother's numerous stories of her two years in Prison Camp.
Thanks.
Was he in the Wehrmacht at one point or another?

BTW. I do not think the Nazis sent out pictures...
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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Desertion was pretty rampant in the SS, especially later in the war. The SS was expanded in 1942 to bring in members that were ethnic Germans but living in areas that were not directly part of the Reich. In 1943 it expanded again and this time they opened it up to foreign "volunteers". By late 1943 and early 1944 there was such pressure that many people were forced into joining the SS from Germany and the conquered territories. Desertion from training camps was common and was punished by death as was desertion during battle on the Eastern Front.

The death could have come in many forms and certainly could have been beheading. I have no ideas on photos, but it wouldn't surprise me, especially later in the war. In the early years, enemies of the Reich would have been killed and then had their ashes returned to their family as a message. This was depicted in the movie Swing Kids and was definitely true.

Overall, around 80k-100k Germans were killed for various levels of resistance to the Nazi's whether real or assumed. Most of these deaths happened in concentration camps, but summary execution after questioning was also common.

This is the official website to request records from the German government.

Bundesarchiv - Über uns

Be as specific as possible and give them all the information you have like name, birthdate, date of death, any service information, etc. They can tell you what they know. At the very least you would probably be able to find his enlistment information and whether or not he was listed as a deserter and any arrest/death records that were there.

The only thing I would caution is that you may find out things that you didn't want to know. More then one person has started digging to verify a family story or find out about someone only to receive a major shock about what their ancestors relative really did during the war.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Nassau/Queens border
1,461 posts, read 1,569,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Desertion was pretty rampant in the SS, especially later in the war. The SS was expanded in 1942 to bring in members that were ethnic Germans but living in areas that were not directly part of the Reich. In 1943 it expanded again and this time they opened it up to foreign "volunteers". By late 1943 and early 1944 there was such pressure that many people were forced into joining the SS from Germany and the conquered territories. Desertion from training camps was common and was punished by death as was desertion during battle on the Eastern Front.

The death could have come in many forms and certainly could have been beheading. I have no ideas on photos, but it wouldn't surprise me, especially later in the war. In the early years, enemies of the Reich would have been killed and then had their ashes returned to their family as a message. This was depicted in the movie Swing Kids and was definitely true.

Overall, around 80k-100k Germans were killed for various levels of resistance to the Nazi's whether real or assumed. Most of these deaths happened in concentration camps, but summary execution after questioning was also common.

This is the official website to request records from the German government.

Bundesarchiv - Über uns

Be as specific as possible and give them all the information you have like name, birthdate, date of death, any service information, etc. They can tell you what they know. At the very least you would probably be able to find his enlistment information and whether or not he was listed as a deserter and any arrest/death records that were there.

The only thing I would caution is that you may find out things that you didn't want to know. More then one person has started digging to verify a family story or find out about someone only to receive a major shock about what their ancestors relative really did during the war.
Thank you so much. I had a feeling you'd be the one to ask. I have absolutely no problem with uncovering things. I'm at the point in my life where I need to know the answers to so many questions concerning my family. Some things I knew about for a fact, other things are sketchy, such as the paternity of various family members-we believe that at least some were the result of rape by Russian liberators. When my Grandmother was imprisoned (she told me the name of the camp she was in and sadly I do not remember it and she's no longer around to ask), it was in 1942 and my mom was 6 years old. She and my other Uncle (who was 8 at the time) were sent to a Foster Home until the camps were liberated. I'd also love to try and find that information. I am still attempting to write my memoirs, even if it's only for myself.
Oh and my Grandmother did have an SS Arm Band she used to show me as being her son's. And she did tell me more than once, how she was sent a photo of her beheaded son. I always believed it. She did, after all hide her son in the basement.
Thanks again -- I will go to that website.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Northern Va
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This does not suprise me.The SS was their elite force and to them desseration was an embarrasment.
Just an example of how fanatic they were the would have to kill thier own dogs after raising them.
Crazy I tell you..My Grandfather was a survivor and i could tell you some stories.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:46 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 16,411,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlonaG View Post
Thank you so much. I had a feeling you'd be the one to ask. I have absolutely no problem with uncovering things. I'm at the point in my life where I need to know the answers to so many questions concerning my family. Some things I knew about for a fact, other things are sketchy, such as the paternity of various family members-we believe that at least some were the result of rape by Russian liberators. When my Grandmother was imprisoned (she told me the name of the camp she was in and sadly I do not remember it and she's no longer around to ask), it was in 1942 and my mom was 6 years old. She and my other Uncle (who was 8 at the time) were sent to a Foster Home until the camps were liberated. I'd also love to try and find that information. I am still attempting to write my memoirs, even if it's only for myself.
Oh and my Grandmother did have an SS Arm Band she used to show me as being her son's. And she did tell me more than once, how she was sent a photo of her beheaded son. I always believed it. She did, after all hide her son in the basement.
Thanks again -- I will go to that website.
I hope it helps, that is pretty much the main repository for information on people who were in the military and paramilitary forces. If you have more details, some other sites (actually forums) you may want to check out are "Feldgrau.com" and "axishistoryforum.com" there are a lot of researchers on those sites that may be able to give you more details/direction.

On the camps, it of course helps to know which camp they were in, but there are also extensive records out there on many different websites. The "jewishgen.org" site has extensive lists of all the camp names, where they were located and the types of people held there; even the ones no one has heard of. It may be worth it to contact them and see if they may have links to searchable prisoner lists that you could look for the names on.

Good luck with the search, glad I could help.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Nassau/Queens border
1,461 posts, read 1,569,704 times
Reputation: 1055
I have been on axis (a great forum by the way). I've never heard of Feldrau however.
I know also that two of my aunts were placed in actual concentration camps although my family is not Jewish. I can't wait to get started on this research
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: American Expat
2,108 posts, read 2,210,406 times
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If he wasn't in the Wehrmacht, there's nothing you will find. There's no documentation for what you are looking for. Besides, it would only be available upon written request.
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