“The Germanic soul experiences God… in the law of the earth, in the rustling of forests, in the raging of seas and storms, and the observation of the star-filled heaven it speaks reverently and piously.”
WHAT’S THE SPOKEN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘SS’ AND ‘ẞ’?
Assuming you are not a native speaker of German, you may ask yourself this: Why do we have ss and ß if they’re pronounced the same??? Where’s the logic in this logical language??? Mainly, it’s about the vowel that comes before the ss/ß. They decide whether it’s a long or a short vowel.
If a vowel is followed by ss, it’s short. If it’s followed by ß, it’s long.
Fluss - short u, long s Fuß - long u, short s Hass - short a, long s Spaß - long a, short s
This goes for Umlaute (ä,ö,ü) and Diphtonge (äu, eu, ai, ei) as well.
Note: In the “old” orthography you’d spell it “Spass” and “Haß”. Basically the rule was the other way around. But you can ignore that for now, as long as you know that ss and ß were mostly switched in 1994-96 and old books still have them the other way around.
British cargo ship SS Maplewood under attack by German submarine SM U-35 on April 7, 1917, 47 nautical miles/87 km southwest of Sardinia. The U-35 participated in the entire war, becoming the most successful U-boat in WWI, sinking 224 ships, killing thousands.
Member of the Free Corps Denmark (Frikorps Danmark) who went missing in actions against Russians on 22th May 1942.
“His eyes were actually dug out of his head, leaving only the empty caverns, cheeks was shorn up and forehead perforated by the characteristic triangular Russian bayonets.
In addition, his genitals was cut away and when you notice that the man had been lightly wounded by a shot through the hand and otherwise had no other wounds on the body, he must have met death under the horrible torment.”
If any real life historical figure could be a Bond villain, Otto Skorzeny would definitely be a leading candidate. A former Nazi SS commando, stalwart fascist, and Cold War soldier of fortune, Skorzeny was the stereotypical cloak and dagger “bad guy” from any dime store spy novel, complete with a gnarly facial scar. Seriously, he could be a villain straight off of “The Blacklist”. During World War II he was an SS colonel, commando leader, and Hitler’s favorite soldier. He was best known for the daring rescue mission of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who was captured by Allied forces after the surrender of Italy. He also commanded a special infiltration unit composed of English speaking German soldiers who wore American uniforms and infiltrated American units behind enemy lines. Throughout the war Skorzeny would become one of Germany’s most highly decorated soldiers, participating in and commanding several commando missions.
After World War II Skorzeny was prosecuted for war crimes, but was released when British MI6 decided not to use their evidence against him as it would expose their intelligence networks. A man without official citizenship with any country, he first lived in Ireland, then Spain after gaining the support of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He was eventually granted a passport by his home country, Austria, and Spain, but Skorzeny wasn’t the sort of man who needed a passport to travel across the world. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he was a member of ODESSA, a clandestine group which smuggled ex-Nazi’s out of Europe to avoid war crime tribunals. He founded a large fascist political network in Spain, which printed and destributed fascist propaganda and created branch organizations throughout Europe and Latin America. He also served as advisor to Argentinian President Juan Peron and bodyguard to his wife Eva.
In the early 1950’s Skorzeny began to organize a mercenary group mostly composed of German SS, Gestapo, and Wehrmacht veterans. The goal of the group was to support fascist regimes and right wing extremist movements across the globe. This was mostly in the form of training, especially guerilla groups, but also by providing crack commando troops and boots on the ground. In 1960 his mercenary group was officially incorporated as “The Paladin Group”, co-founded by a rogue American CIA Special Operations officer and ODESSA member named Col. James Sanders. If there was a conflict that occured in Europe, Africa, Latin America, or Asia during the 1950’s to mid 1970’s, you can bet your bottom dollar The Paladin Group (or it’s nameless predecessor organization) had some role in it. The roots of The Paladin Group can be traced back to 1952 when Skorzeny was recruited by CIA man and former WWII German General Reinhard Gehlen for operations in Egypt. At the time Egypt’s monarch, King Farouk (CIA codename “Fat Fucker”) had been overthrown in a military coup, and Egypt was led by President Gen. Muhammed Naguib. Naguib used Skorzeny and his men to train the newly modernized Egyptian Army and various commando units in preparation for a possible plan to oust British forces from the Suez Canal. Skorzeny would later become advisor to Naguib’s successor, President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
For the most part, The Paladin Group supported fascist/dictatorial regimes or right wing extremist guerilla/partisan movements and vehemently opposed left wing or communist movements. However, Skorzeny often took jobs that either suited his needs or put a lot of cash in his wallet. A perfect example would be in the mid 1950’s when he was contracted by both the Israeli’s and Palestinians. Among his most famous (or infamous) clients was PLO leader Yassir Arafat, and Skorzeny planned Palestinian raids into the Gaza Strip in 1953 and 1954.
Throughout the 60’s The Paladin Group served a wide variety of clients. The Spanish Government hired them to fight a clandestine war against the Basque Nationalist Group ETA, they were hired by the South African Bureau of State Security, there were even rumors in the Soviet KGB that Skorzeny was training Green Berets for secret operations in Cambodia and Thailand. One of Skorzeny’s biggest clients was the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddaffi, who hired The Paladin Group to help plan and execute the coup which put Gaddaffi in power, then to train the Libyan Army.
Between 1967 and 1974 The Paladin Group also took part in the organizing and execution of a series of military coups in Greece, leading to a civil war in which the Greek monarch, King Constantine II, was ousted from power and replaced with a military dictatorship.
The Paladin Group came to an end in 1975 with two major events. First, Otto Skorzeny died of lung cancer. Second, Francisco Franco likewise passed away. With Franco gone a new democratic government came to power, one which had little tolerance for fascist organizations. The Paladin Group was expelled from Spain. Without a home and the leadership of Skorzeny, The Paladin Group was disbanded. Peashooter hopes that producers make a retro James Bond movie with Otto Skorzeny as the bad guy. That would be so awesome!
The Denial of Homosexuality: Same-Sex Incidents in Himmler’s SS and Police
In public, Heinrich Himmler minimized the existence of same-sex sexuality within the elite Schutzstaffel (SS). “In the whole of the SS there occur about eight to ten cases per year,” Himmler announced to his senior SS generals in February 1937, clearly satisfied that the “problem” of homosexuality was almost solved. Soon he hoped to reduce the number further by sending miscreants to concentration camps and having them “shot while trying to escape.” Their fate would serve as a dire warning. Himmler’s estimate of the prevalence of homosexuality in the ranks of the SS was hardly accurate. In the city of Leipzig alone, four SS men were arrested for homosexual offenses in 1937 and 1938. Burkhard Jellonnek’s calculation that 57 percent of those arrested in Düsseldorf on such charges during the Third Reich belonged to one or another Nazi organization makes it likely that there were SS men among them, too. In 1940, sixteen cases of homosexuality were brought before the internal SS courts, and in the first quarter alone of 1943, no fewer than twenty-two convictions were recorded. Richard Plant’s proposition, that from the time of the Röhm Purge, “no halfway intelligent gay was likely to join the homophobic SS,” seems to stand confounded.
While these figures are modest when compared to the thousands of ordinary Germans convicted every year by Nazi courts for homosexual offenses, it is nonetheless instructive to focus on the incidence of such “crimes” in the SS and police. The SS was the organization meant to embody the highest National Socialist values, and it played a central role in the most public homosexual scandal of the entire regime, the murder of the chief of staff of Hitler’s Sturmabteilung (SA), Ernst Röhm. As the leader of the SS and the police, Himmler himself deserves special attention. His speeches and writings dealt more obsessively with homosexuality than did those of any other Nazi leader, and his comments were broadly consistent in their sharp condemnation of homosexuality. On several documented occasions between 1934 and 1943, Himmler spoke or wrote of the acceptability, even the desirability, of killing homosexuals. However, the actual disciplining of suspected homosexuals in the SS and other organizations under Himmler’s control was far from uniform or consistent. Since punishment for those convicted of homosexuality did not become increasingly severe, even after the legal enactment in November of 1941 of capital punishment for such offenses among the SS and police, the model of “cumulative radicalization” does not accurately describe Nazi policy on homosexuals. The precise nature of the offense was no predictor of the outcome of a trial. SS courts did not usually make snap judgments but weighed the evidence quite carefully and sometimes approached the evidence with a little common sense. When the death penalty was prescribed, appeals against the sentence were occasionally successful. Even Himmler’s own position vacillated: while he was all for summary justice in 1943, he showed at least partial lenience in the winter of 1945 by sending convicted men to the front to prove themselves instead of ordering their executions. This essay suggests why he made such decisions at particular moments and examines them in the broader context of wartime policy and cultural fears.