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Debunking the Myth of the Volunteers: Transnational Volunteering in the Nazi Waffen-SS Officer Corps during the Second World War

Author: GUTMANN, MARTIN
Edition/Format:   eBook : English
Summary:
This article explores the pre-war background of the Swiss, Swedish and Danish men who volunteered for the Nazi Waffen-SS combat formation during the Second World War. Through a detailed biographical examination of officer corps volunteers, this article contradicts what I call the myth of the volunteers - a long-standing popular and to some extent scholarly interpretation that perceives the volunteers as lower-class,  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: GUTMANN, MARTIN
OCLC Number: 999838456
Language Note: English

Abstract:

This article explores the pre-war background of the Swiss, Swedish and Danish men who volunteered for the Nazi Waffen-SS combat formation during the Second World War. Through a detailed biographical examination of officer corps volunteers, this article contradicts what I call the myth of the volunteers - a long-standing popular and to some extent scholarly interpretation that perceives the volunteers as lower-class, social outsiders of a criminally inclined or mentally unstable nature. Instead this article demonstrates that these men held a distinctly European outlook and were characterised by a high level of education, intellect and their strong personal character. Moreover, they had with few exceptions developed a longing for a radical reorganisation of the European political, social and economic landscape before joining the Waffen-SS. This longing was amplified by what these men perceived as a threat to the core of European civilisation coming not only from the Bolshevik East but also from the Anglo-Liberal West

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