Saturday, 17 August 2019

Beauty with the SS Rune

Allach, Tasks and Goals

“No folk lives longer than the documents of its culture!”

These words of the Führer, which are the guiding principle in all matters of cultural nature pertaining to the German folk, also stand over the intention of the SS-porcelain manufacturer Allach-München Inc..

Many may have asked why the Schutzstaffel produces porcelain. The explanation is simple. The Reichsführer-SS had been thinking about the plan for a long time to promote the spirit of the SS in cultural work more strongly than had been possible during the period of struggle. So in the year 1935 he founded the porcelain manufacturer Allach-Munich Inc. as an instrument of his intention in this area.

It certainly was not the objective of the Reichsführer-SS, through the founding of the porcelain manufacturer Allach, to create a new porcelain manufacturer in order to produce economic values there - crudely put, in order to make money with it. Allach was instead from the beginning entrusted with the task to create from one of the most charming materials that exists, from porcelain, works of art and objects of daily use, which correspond to the feeling of our time and give witness to generations after us about our art feeling and form-will.

Each time shapes its own forms of expression itself and impresses its cultural style on them. Our time as well. In the great buildings of the Führer we experience the emergence of a - of our - new architectural style, whose space formation compels new ceramic forms.

From this realization the Reichsführer-SS commissioned Allach to work exemplarily:

in artistic formation,
in quality of material,
in execution a processing and
in price setting.

A look back shows how things once looked in the past with porcelain manufacture: Once, almost all porcelain manufacturers were founded by rulers (State of Berlin by Friedrich the Great, Meissen by August the Strong, Sevres by the Marquise of Pompadour, just to name a few examples.) With a few exceptions, they served the sole purpose, for the glory of their founder, to produce noble porcelain of highest artistic value without regard for any economic use. Great artists were obligated and could, in quiet and isolation, freed from all economic concerns, realize their ideas. So did the beautiful porcelain of Rococo and the Empire emerge as the expression of their time - works of art, which always keep their value and are worthy of highest admiration as the proclamations of the art feeling of their creators.

Individual Pieces and Mass Wares

But times change. Among almost all porcelain manufacturers (one should note the meaningful name “manufacture” [Manu = with the hand], even today, porcelain manufacture is largely dependent on the trained human hand) economic considerations step more and more into the foreground. Earning money soon stood at the top. The aristocratic patrons and employers soon receded behind the merchants. Only too often, art was treated like a stepchild. Cheap mass wares dominated the field. A few manufacturers of world fame barely managed to preserve their line in these times of artistic decline.

First there is sculpture. How often did it, due to false processing and lack of artistic understanding, turn into a domestic monstrosity. Allach saw here above all a field to help genuine folk feeling triumph. Certainly, the path was not easy, and all the plans still could not be carried out. The artists, too, who create works of art out of the raw material of porcelain through the genius of their inspiration and the formative energy of their hands, had to first be found and won.

“The Victor“, sculpture from Allach


But the demand of the Reichsführer was: Art is every German house, especially in the house of my SS men! Beautiful, tasteful dishes on every table, not only in the residences, but also - and especially - in the canteens, so that the German worker, as well as the comrade under arms, in his rest hours, from the harmony of his surroundings, gains new strength for the great tasks that must be placed on him. It is an ancient truth that the most simple food tastes better from vessels beautiful in form than the most precious roast on a tin plate! Allach wants to serve this goal of the Reichsführer-SS with all its energy.

In the few years that have passed since the founding of the porcelain manufacturer Allach, an important special position in the field of porcelain manufacture could already be achieved. Created completely from the feeling of our time emerged heroic youth figures from the Wehrmacht and the auxiliaries of the party, amazing authentic looking peasant custom figures and above all noble animal sculptures, which show the animal in all its beauty, works of art that must be valued as document of a strong, natural sense of art feeling and a goal-conscious advance along the path of responsibility-conscious art formation.

Ceramics, jugs, vases, candlesticks with a beauty of form were created that would decorate any German home. The goal of the Reichsführer-SS: every commodity - even the simplest water jug - should be of flawless beauty - was already achieved here to a high degree. From the great art treasure of our ancestors, delivered to us through many excavations, stimulus was taken for shaping and decorating and carried over into the style of our time. So a bridge was built between the naturebound creation of our ancestors and the artistic feeling of our days.

The knowledge of the fact that the surroundings exert a tremendous influence on the well being and bearing of man has caused the Reichsführer-SS to give his porcelain manufacturer Allach the order to become leading in the field of porcelain manufacture. Into the house of each SS man, indeed of every German, should come only form-beautiful and tasteful dishes and art objects. Allach thus gives to the working man in his daily surroundings the beauty that enables him to again and again gain new energy and to prove himself equal to the great tasks that our placed on him by a heroic time.

W.
SS Leitheft, Year 7, Issue 2

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Edvard Grieg - Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16


Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Performance: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Piano: Krystian Zimerman
Recording: 1982 September 27 - 28, 1981 January

1. Allegro molto moderato: 0:01
2. Adagio: 14:02
3. Allegro moderato molto e marcato: 21:14

Monday, 12 August 2019

Die Deutsche Wochenschau – Newsreel No. 705 – 08 March 1944


- Léon Degrelle Reviews the Battle at Cherkassy;
- German Withdrawal Through Narva;
- Naval Action off the Coast of Norway;
- Luftwaffe Duels USAAF Bombers

Friday, 9 August 2019

Adolf Hitler - Speech Before His Generals - 22.08.1939


August 22, 1939

I have called you together to give you a picture of the political situation, in order that you might have some insight into the individual factors on which I have based my decision to act and in order to strengthen your confidence.

After this we shall discuss military details.

It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in the spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only after that against the East. But the sequence of these things cannot be fixed. Nor should one close one’s eyes to threatening situations. I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West. But this plan, which appealed to me, could not be executed, as fundamental points had changed. It became clear to me that, in the event of a conflict with the West, Poland would attack us. Poland is striving for access to the sea. The further development appeared after the occupation of the Memel Territory and it became clear to me that in certain circumstances a conflict with Poland might come at an inopportune moment. I give as reasons for this conclusion: 1. First of all two personal factors: My own personality and that of Mussolini.

Essentially all depends on me, on my existence, because of my political talents. Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I have. There will probably never again in the future be a man with more authority than I have. My existence is therefore a fact of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or a lunatic.

The second personal factor is the Duce. His existence is absolutely decisive.

If anything happens to him, Italy’s loyalty to the alliance will no longer be certain. The Italian Court is fundamentally opposed to the Duce. Above all, the Court regards the expansion of the empire as an encumbrance. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in Italy.

The third personal factor in our favor is Franco. We can ask only for benevolent neutrality from Spain. But this depends on Franco’s personality.

He guarantees a certain uniformity and stability in the present system in Spain.

We must accept the fact that Spain does not yet have a Fascist party with our internal unity.
The other side presents a negative picture as far as authoritative persons are concerned. There is no outstanding personality in England and France.

It is easy for us to make decisions. We have nothing to lose; we have everything to gain. Because of our restrictions (Einschrankungen) our economic situation is such that we can only hold out for a few more years. Goring can confirm this. We have no other choice, we must act. Our opponents will be risking a great deal and can gain only little. Britain’s stake in a war is inconceivably great. Our enemies have leaders who are below the average. No masters, no men of action.

Besides the personal factors, the political situation is favorable for us: In the Mediterranean, rivalry between Italy, France and England; in the Far East, tension between Japan and England; in the Middle East, tension which causes alarm in the Mohammedan world.

The English Empire did not emerge stronger from the last war. Nothing was achieved from the maritime point of view. Strife between England and Ireland. The Union of South Africa has become more independent.

Concessions have had to be made to India. England is in the utmost peril.

Unhealthy industrialization. A British statesman can only view the future with concern.

France’s position has also deteriorated, above all in the Mediterranean.

Further factors in our favor are these: Since Albania, there has been a balance of power in the Balkans. Yugoslavia is infected with the fatal germ of decay because of her internal situation.

Rumania has not grown stronger. She is open to attack and vulnerable. She is threatened by Hungary and Bulgaria. Since Kemal’s death, Turkey has been ruled by petty minds, unsteady, weak men.

All these favorable circumstances will no longer prevail in two or three years’ time. No one knows how much longer I shall live. Therefore, better a conflict now.

The creation of Greater Germany was a great achievement politically, but militarily it was doubtful, since it was achieved by bluff on the part of the political leaders. It is necessary to test the military [machine]. If at all possible, not in a general reckoning, but by the accomplishment of individual tasks.

The relationship with Poland has become unbearable. My Polish policy hitherto was contrary to the views of the people. My proposals to Poland (Danzig and the Corridor) were frustrated by England’s intervention. Poland changed her tone towards us. A permanent state of tension is intolerable. The power of initiative cannot be allowed to pass to others. The present moment is more favorable than in two or three years’ time. An attempt on my life or Mussolini’s could change the situation to our disadvantage. One cannot forever face one another with rifles cocked. One compromise solution suggested to us was that we should change our convictions and make kind gestures. They talked to us again in the language of Versailles. There was a danger of losing prestige. Now the probability is still great that the West will not intervene. We must take the risk with ruthless determination. The politician must take a risk just as much as the general. We are faced with the harsh alternatives of striking or certain annihilation sooner or later.

Reference to previous hazardous undertakings.

I should have been stoned if I had not been proven right. The most dangerous step was the entry into the neutral zone. Only a week before, I got a warning through France. I have always taken a great risk in the conviction that it would succeed.

Now it is also a great risk. Iron nerves, iron resolution.

The following special reasons fortify me in my view. England and France have undertaken obligations which neither is in a position to fulfil. There is no real rearmament in England, but only propaganda. A great deal of harm was done by many Germans, who were not in agreement with me, saying and writing to English people after the solution of the Czech question: The Fuhrer succeeded because you lost your nerve, because you capitulated too soon. This explains the present propaganda war. The English speak of a war of nerves. One factor in this war of nerves is to boost the increase of armaments. But what are the real facts about British rearmament? The naval construction program for 1938 has not yet been completed. Only the reserve fleet has been mobilized.

Purchase of trawlers. No substantial strengthening of the Navy before 1941 or 1942.

Little has been done on land. England will be able to send at most three divisions to the Continent. A little has been done for the Air Force, but only a beginning. Anti-aircraft defense is in its initial stages. At the moment England has only 150 anti-aircraft guns. The new anti-aircraft gun has been ordered. It will take a long time before sufficient numbers have been produced. There is a shortage of anti-aircraft warning devices. England is still vulnerable from the air.

This can change in two or three years. At the moment the English Air Force has only 130,000 men, France 72,000, Poland 15,000. England does not want the conflict to break out for two or three years.

The following is typical for England. Poland wanted a loan from England for her rearmament. England, however, only granted credits in order to make sure that Poland buy in England, although England cannot make deliveries. This suggests that England does not really want to support Poland. She is not risking eight million pounds in Poland, although she poured five hundred million into China. England’s position in the world is too precarious. She will not take any risks.

France is short of men (decline in the birth rate). Little has been done for rearmament. The artillery is obsolete. France did not want to embark on this adventure. The West has only two possibilities for fighting against us:

1. Blockade: It will not be effective because of our autarky and because we have sources of supply in Eastern Europe.

2. Attack in the West from the Maginot line: I consider this impossible.

Another possibility would be the violation of Dutch, Belgian and Swiss neutrality. I have no doubt that all these States, as well as Scandinavia, will defend their neutrality with all available means. England and France will not violate the neutrality of these countries. Thus in actual fact England cannot help Poland. There still remains an attack on Italy. Military intervention is out of the question. No one is counting on a long war. If Herr von Brauchitsch had told me that I would need four years to conquer Poland I would have replied: “Then it cannot be done.” It is nonsense to say that England wants to wage a long war. We will hold our position in the West until we have conquered Poland. We must bear in mind our great production capacity. It is much greater than in 1914–1918.

The enemy had another hope, that Russia would become our enemy after the conquest of Poland. The enemy did not reckon with my great strength of purpose. Our enemies are little worms (kleine Wurmchen); I came to know them in Munich. I was convinced that Stalin would never accept the English offer. Russia has no interest in preserving Poland, and Stalin knows that it would mean the end of his regime, no matter whether his soldiers emerged from a war victorious or vanquished. Litvinov’s replacement was decisive. I brought about the change towards Russia gradually. In connection with the commercial treaty we got into political conversations. Proposal for a non-aggression pact. Then came a comprehensive proposal from Russia. Four days ago I took a special step, which led to Russia replying yesterday that she is prepared to sign. Personal contact to Stalin is established. The day after tomorrow von Ribbentrop will conclude the treaty.

Now Poland is in the position in which I wanted her.

We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead and zinc. It is a mighty aim, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last moment some cur (Schweinehund) or other will yet submit to me a plan for mediation.

The political objective goes further. A start has been made on the destruction of England’s hegemony. The way will be open for the soldiers after I have made the political preparations.

Today’s announcement of the non-aggression pact with Russia came as a bombshell. The consequences cannot be foreseen. Stalin also said that this course will benefit both countries. The effect on Poland will be tremendous.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Latvian SS Grenadier Training and Replacement Brigade 15

In September 1943, the Training and Replacement Battalion for the Latvian SS Legion was relocated to the city of Jelgava (Mitau), where it was renamed the SS Grenadier Training and Replacement Bn.15 (SS-Ausbildung und Ersatz Btl.15). Up to the end of the year its primary function was to handle convalescent soldiers who had been released from hospitals but were not yet fully recovered. Once the 15th SS Division left for the front in late 1943, the battalion took over the job of training recruits as well.

Since there were large numbers of Latvian recruits and recovering wounded to take care of, the battalion quickly expanded to brigade strength and was reorganized to include the following elements:

- Staff
- Training Regiment
- Replacement Battalion
- Truck Transport Company
- Vehicle Drivers (Training?) Company
- Light Infantry Gun (close support artillery) Company
- 2 cm Light Flak Battery
- Light Mortar Company
- Anti-Tank Company
- Communications Company
- Engineer Company

Ostubaf. Garthe became the brigade commander; he had previously commanded the Escort Bn. „RF-SS“ in the 2nd Brigade during 1941/42. In the summer of 1944 he would be replaced by Staf. von Bredow and the brigade title would be changed to „Latvian SS Training and Replacement Unit 15.“ As such it soon became engaged in combat following the Soviet breakthrough near Vitebsk and the rapid advance of the Red Army into Latvia. Following a penetration by the communists into Lithuania, terrorist activity along the Lithuanian-Latvian frontier began to develop in earnest. So on 18 July 1944, the T. & R. Brigade formed an emergency battalion to help deal with the partisan threat along the Lithuanian border.

But the overall military situation continued to deteriorate and on 26 July 1944, Staf. von Bredow was ordered to form a battle-group from his command and place it at the disposal of Lt.Gen. Koeller. This task force was formed from the Emergency Bn. and several other Latvian SS companies and was sent to Janiski in the night of 26/27 July. Here it received orders to retake the enemy-held town of Sauli. In the morning of the 27th the battle-group advanced towards Sauli. Enemy artillery fire was received about 5 km from the town, but the troops managed to elude any direct hits and began a full-scale attack along both sides of the road leading into Sauli.

The Soviets were slowly driven back, but the Latvians were hindered by a lack of heavy weapons and machine guns and took heavy casualties. Towards noon their ammunition ran out and the Latvian soldiers fell back for resupply purposes. This completed, the assault was renewed in the afternoon, but the village was set on fire by Lithuanian partisans assisted by some of the villagers. As a result, another withdrawal had to be conducted. The only problem was that the retreat route to Jelgava was now occupied by enemy forces and had to be cleared!

Following much fierce fighting in which fully two-thirds of the battle-group was lost, the Latvian troopers reached Janiski at 21:00 hours. Out of the Kampfgruppen original 32 officers, 25 had been killed or wounded. But the worst was yet to come. In the course of the night a communist tank force overran the small Latvian SS contingent, completely scattering it. Staf. von Bredow and his entire staff became missing-in-action in this engagement.

The Latvian troops from the brigade that had remained behind in Jelgava now came under the control of Army Lt.Col. Jurko. On 27 July 1944 the city was declared a „Fortress“ by Lt.Gen. Pflugbeil, who ordered it held „at any price.“ Lieutenant Colonel Jurko was instructed to form his Latvian troops into some sort of combat force. He was able to assemble them into two companies, which on the surface at least appeared to be of dubious value, since they were chiefly composed of either sick soldiers or raw recruits. Nevertheless, they had to get ready for action.

On 28 July, Soviet motorized troops began their attack on Jelgava. Lieutenant Colonel Jurko’s Latvians were joined by assorted German units and another full battalion of Latvian soldiers and they fought like tigers! Throughout the day, numerous tank-supported Red attacks were shattered and the defensive lines held despite the fact that the city had been turned into a blazing inferno by enemy air raids. The Soviet onslaught died off during the night and did not resume again until 14:00 on 29 July. During the break in the action, the Latvian battalion that had joined the Latvian Training Brigade troops was pulled out of the lines and sent to join another German division.

When the communist attack began again, the weakened defenders found themselves hard-pressed and were forced to give ground, albeit grudgingly. The Latvians and Germans were pushed back into the city center where they continued to hold out in small groups. They kept up the fight in the heart of the burning city until 30 July, when they were compressed into a tight defensive zone around the Aa River bridge. Orders to evacuate Jelgava were finally received in the night of 31 July/1 August 1944. The battle proper ended at 02:00 on the 1st with the destruction of the Aa Bridge after the last defenders had passed over it.

The surviving Latvian soldiers were then ordered to return to their original units. Recruits and others who had gotten detached in the battle for Jelgava were shipped to Germany to serve as a nucleus for a new Latvian SS Grenadier Training and Replacement Bn., that was to be formed in Berent, West Prussia. This new unit was able to rapidly expand to roughly regimental size, and in February 1945 part of it was used to form another emergency battalion that consisted of eight officers and 375 NCOs and men.

This battalion was deployed for the defense of Marienburg and the combat engagement that ensued proved to be both its first and last. It was almost totally destroyed in the action with the survivors going into Soviet captivity. In the meantime, the troops from the Latvian SS Grenadier T & R Bn. that had stayed behind in Berent were marched to Gotenhafen and from there they were shipped to Denmark via Swinemuende. They finished the war here and went into English captivity, eventually winding up at the Zedelghem POW Camp in Belgium. A few of the Latvians (chiefly officers), who were on a KGB „wanted“ list were obligingly extradited to their deaths in the Soviet Union by the accomodating English, but most of the rank and file troops were eventually released to immigrate to various countries in the „free“ world. On the whole, the story of the Latvian SS Training and Replacement Brigade mirrored that of the Latvian Waffen-SS in general: a continual round of courage, calamity and ultimate catastrophe!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Zwei in einer großen Stadt (1942)

Two in a Big City


Directed by: Volker von Collande
Produced by: Robert Wüllner
Written by: Ursula von Witzendorff
Volker von Collande
Music by: Willy Kollo
Cinematography: Carl Hoffmann
Erich Nitzschmann
Edited by: Walter von Bonhorst
Production company: Tobis Film
Distributed by: Tobis Film
Release dates: 23 January 1942
Running time: 80 minutes
Country: Germany
Language: German

Starring:

Claude Farell: Gisela Meinhold
Karl John: Bernd Birckhoff
Marianne Simson: Inge Torff
Hansi Wendler: Gisela Brückner
Volker von Collande: Dr. Eberhard Berg
Hannes Keppler: Peter Pelle
Käthe Haack: Oberhelferin
Paul Henckels: Bumke
Margarete Kupfer: Frau Böhme
Hubert von Meyerinck: Spießer
Wolf Trutz: Ein Fremder
Georg Haentzschel: Band Leader
Horst Winter: Singer

Plot:

1941: the young Air Force sergeant Bernd Birkhoff has gotten a three-day pass and wants to spend one of those days visiting old acquaintances in Berlin. At the railway station Friedrichstrasse, he gets to know the Red Cross volunteer Gisela and both are attracted to each other on sight. A short time later, they meet once again at Wannsee as his acquaintances weren't able to meet him. The friendship between the two grows deeper, but a hidden jealousy keeps Gisela at arm's length. Only when they meet for a third time do the two admit to their love for each other; but then end up separated again. Finally, that evening, they meet once more and all the misunderstandings are cleared up; but then they only have an hour left together before the soldier must leave once more for the front.