The 'devilish', 'destructive', 'depraved' deeds of Dr. Dirlewanger revisited.
A journey through darkness into night.

Beginning at the End

There's no doubt about it, in the annuls of the Third Reich one figure stands out amidst the 'dramatist personnel: the figure who has assumed almost sulfuric satanic proportions. Indeed, you could almost state that the very velocity of the attacks gives the writers some perverse pleasure.

"Hey at last, at long last, we've found the man!
The man who represents all the depravity of the Third Reich.
See we were right all along. Aren't you glad we overcome such vile people and their perverted ideals?"
"Just look at him and the blood lust"

Giving you some more of the considered calm opinions based on analysis of these writers I choose, based on nothing more than random sampling:

Knut Stang - "Terror warfare methods" - "amoral personality"
Peter Longerich - "continual alcohol" - "abuse, looting, sadistic atrocities, rape, murder"
Richard Rhodes - "Raped, tortured young women"
Martin Windrow - "butchers, rapists, looters" - "unspeakable crimes"
I could go on to:
Steven Zaloga - "psychopathic killer" - "child molester"
Richard Rhodes - "violently sadistic"
And most damning of all, by J. Bowyer Bell - "devotee of sadism and necrophilia"

Indeed, if you didn't know they were writing about a military commander you could be so easily forgiven for thinking this was being written about some highly dangerous individual from the urban hell holes of New York, or Chicago, or London. Which their globalist destructive policies have produced. You could, easily, think that and perhaps in that hereon lies (no pun intended) the key.

So, let's have a look Dr. Dirlewanger, dispassionately

Career to 1939

For clarity, as well as brevity, I'm presenting this in schematic form.

1st World War

-enlisted as a private
promoted to lieutenant -Awarded the Iron Cross for personal bravery. 1st and 2nd Class.
-Personally led his 600 company back from Romania in what can only be called an amazing feat of logistics, determination, and personal leadership.

Interwar "Civil War" 1921

-Smashed the communist Max Hoelz group in Sangerhausen. Later receiving "honorary citizenship" and always referred to as "The Liberator".

-Organized students, yes students - proper students (!) into a Highway Watch in Württemberg. This was an incredible, very academic, grouping reading Schiller by night and organizing armed academics by day.

Doctorate 1922

Awarded for outstanding contribution in political science from the prestigious Goethe University, Frankfurt. This was equivalent to Harvard today, and he was invited to join the staff as a reader/lecturer, which he declined.

Management and Executive career

-Appointed Manager
Thence main Board Director
Thence Executive Director
(basically the equivalent of chief executive) of the Erfurt Textile Company.
1933 -Appointed Executive Director for the Heilbronn Employment Agency. Identifying future leaders for state and private institution, not necessary exclusive for NSDAP purposes as the post-war "literature" suggests.

Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

-Enlisted in Spanish Foreign Legion, thence transferred to the Condor Legion. Noted for his "outstanding leadership". Wounded in battle three times - Awarded the Spanish Cross with Swords in Gold. Not bronze as the post-war "literature" incorrectly states.

The Rape Charge - 1934 and All Tales Told

A single man, Oskar Dirlewanger, a person of outstanding abilities and leadership not withstanding what the "shocked school" of post-war writers may say, had, or tried to form a relationship of some form, some type, with a 14 year old girl from the B.D.M. [League of German Girls]. Without having the benefit of the transcript of the trial, a critical contemporaneous document, we can only deduce from said documents. The development of this incident, firstly, is described as 'rape', which in 1934 was not 'rape' as we understand it today. Rape in 1934 was defined as an improper relationship with a minor (under 21 in 1934) [As a point of interest modern German 'statutory rape law is violated when an individual under age 21 has consensual sexual intercourse with a person under age 14'-editor].

Again, from what I can deduce, the girl, doubtlessly star struck by the glamorous Dr. Dirlewanger, approached him on numerous occasions and a friendship ensued (and apologies for writing this in legal speak but it is important I do). This resulted in Oskar approaching the parents to request she become legally adopted by him but still enjoying full access and guidance from her parents. Doing our judgment call today it was a stupid blind, unworkable and naive idea. The parents banned the girl from further being with him and approached the state authorities via their lawyer on the 1934 definition of rape.

This resulted in his conviction, although pleading his innocence, and subsequent two years imprisonment in 1934. The sentence length is important as the court recognized no sexual perversion (legalese for penetration) had occurred. Otherwise his sentence would of certainly been more severe even up to five years of hard labor, or even more if enticement was involved. As a result of this conviction, together with an unconnected charge of driving a government vehicle whilst drunk (he basically wrote off a provisions car). The N.S.D.A.P. district expelled him from the party, the university withdrew his doctorate, and he lost all of his military ranking and bravery awards. Even by the higher standards that were practiced in those far off days this was very harsh, and for a lesser person, would of almost certainly finished them off.

Myths, Magic and legend: 1939-1945

I'm going to completely skirt around the pages, pages and yet more pages of uncorroborated, enhanced, re-written, invented, "eye witness" accounts of the brutality, rape, "boiling women alive" type stories of Oskar Dirlewanger and the Dirlewanger Brigade and just simply deal with the hard provable facts of certain critical military actions we actually know.

I do like proof and evidence. Strange, I know but in the world of pseudo-historical literature that has been produced (I truly do not write "written") about this Oberführer and the Brigade it becomes more vital, so let's start with the actual citation to Oskar Dirlewanger's Knight's Cross, a very high award, not given lightly, especially in the Waffen-SS where at one stage, actual awards were at a 1:23 ratio to recommendations.

Oskar Dirlewanger was awarded the Knight's Cross (his third recommendation) on 30th September, 1944, as Commander of the S.S. Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger. In conclusion the citation reads "Through his repeated deeds, S.S. Oberführer has shown that he belongs to the bravest of the brave, especially considering that he came out of the First World War in a 50% disabled state. I therefore recommend him for the award of the Knight's Cross."

The citation, in summary, references a 24-4-1944 partisan action. It states "Fighting in the foremost line, and showing great determination and personal energy, he succeeded in surprising the enemy, cutting off their retreat and inflicting severe losses upon them."

For the massive Soviet attack on Army Group Center in 1944, his citation states "on 7-7-1944... in Lida... he fought at the head of his men and gave them an example of decisiveness and determination which inspired them to defend bitterly against a much larger enemy force and without his bold action [his regiment] would otherwise have faced encirclement and certain captivity."

For his real, not the imagined "boiling women alive" type lurid fantasy literature of the Warsaw Communist urban ground war of 1944, mythologized as the "Warsaw Uprising", as, briefly, it was a planned, financed, and visualized operation from Moscow to tie the Axis Forces down in "Rattenkrieg" (rat war) or a "second Stalingrad" and thus prevent these forces being deployed against the Soviet advance. I could develop this into a whole new entry, but it would deviate from the main thrust of this account. Most of it is in the Russian Archives anyway if some proper historian came to examine it. To continue, the Dirlewanger Brigade was only active to the Western outreaches of Warsaw, not engaged in a "injecting women with strychnine after raping them" type account, in the middle of Warsaw as lurid fantasies have opined. Mounting his well-planned offensive to the overall objective, the citation states:

"it was only the tactical abilities, boldness and ruthlessness of S.S. Oberführer Dirlewanger that insured that this attack stayed in motion 'and personally crushing enemy resistance nests alongside his men with a weapon in his hand' [and] over the course of the heavy urban combat the bold attitude..."

Also, and I must mention the operation in the Old Market area of Warsaw -- it is in the center of the city, tourists go there now, where all the myths abound like Kitsch keepsakes (made in China!), his citation reads:

"S.S. Oberführer Dirlewanger went on to show great military skill, bravery and fearlessness... always fighting with his men he eliminated hostile resistance nests and snipers."

Finally, on the last offensive of the Vistula bank section on the 4th September 1944 his citation reads:

"Once again fighting in the foremost line, he inspired his men to swiftly advance forwards through his fearless example. In this manner he helped bring about the clearing of the Vistula bank, not withstanding the friendly losses."

All of this is important, it was a critical action of the Ost Front. The "Second Stalingrad", beloved by the Soviets, was now null and void. It can be argued, successfully I believe, that this effectively forced the Soviets to develop the "broad front" strategy almost mirroring the Allied strategy in the West. It brought the Axis forces much needed time, desperate time, and Dr. of Political Science, academic, 50% disabled, struggling with alcoholic demons, leading a ragtag and bobtail unit of all the rejects that society can ever produce, Dr. Oskar Dirlewanger played a decisive part in it.

...Of course there is not a "boiled alive" woman in sight, nor one injected with strychnine, nor a line of tortured, raped women, not much time for "necrophilia" activities either. Its shaming reading these accounts. Utterly showing. They are the accounts of a massively defeated Soviet promulgated, Polish communist planned military action that Dr. Dirlewanger played a decisive part in completely defeating, so they demonized him and the Brigade as "Devil's Division", as though they were overwhelmed by some dark primeval force which actually "eats children". Please stop buying into it. Let's move on.

Savage Death and Reborn Life

Almost without exception the accounts of his death read the same. Whether it be on Wikipedia or anywhere. To construct this one story which is typical, this is from Wikipedia "Dirlewanger was arrested on 1st June 1945 near the town of Altshausen in Upper Swabia by the French occupation zone authorities while he was wearing civilian clothes and hiding under a false name in a remote hunting lodge... and brought to a detention center. He reportedly died around 5-7 June 1945 in a prison camp at Altshausen, probably as a result of ill treatment."

It doesn't take much questioning to even slightly take this story as problematic. Taking one critical element "probably as a result of ill treatment". This refers to one, that's one, uncorroborated report of another internee who remarked that he "saw him being beaten to death by the Polish guards". To take the critical other:

"reportedly died around 5-7 June" again is merely the date stamp on the second-hand account of the verbal conversation of the so-called eyewitness internee. None of them are of what we call "prime source", not even validated, not even a cell number, nor anything like a death certificate even superficially validating any of this. So where' the body? So where is the grave? Are there any remains whatsoever? There are none. Simply because it never happened. Oskar Dirlewanger survived the war and... well... please read on.

Alan Clark was a British Cabinet Minister of repute, son of the esteemed Lord Clark of Saltwood, and a superb military historian and writer. An establishment figure down to his highly polished brogues. Not a person given to flights of historical fantasy or writing political or "cultural" history which is what primarily the Third Reich books and articles are these days, in 1965, he wrote the first definitive account of the German-Russian war. It was titled "Barbarossa" and was reprinted in 1985, 1994 and 2005. It's a masterpiece of a work. Truly compulsive reading of the conflict. He was the first military historian to plow through the Russian as well as the German archives. Most importantly for us he was still able in 1965 to actually interview a lot of the critical personnel, still living, to present a most vivid account of the people involved and present them in a superbly written way. One of the people he became fascinated by D. Oskar Dirlewanger. Here is what he wrote, and what actually happened. I'll do it in referenced page form from my 2005 Cassell edition: page 391 (re. note 8) "S.S. Oberführer Oskar Dirlewanger... (extensive note)... Dirlewanger, incidentally, bribed his way out of the Allied net after the war and is living in Egypt (1963)".

... "Dirlewanger,... is rumoured to have escaped (the Soviet massacres at Halbe in April 1945) by hiding under a pile of bodies. He surfaced in Egypt in 1955, and currently lives in fine style in a villa in Cairo, although it is rumoured that the Israelis periodically send him explosive packages." (page 460) The latter part I'm going to assume is Alan Clark being slightly mischievous to say the least!

Finally, in the appendix, giving prime facts of the dramatis personae in the conflict, page 469, "Dirlewanger... disappeared, May 1945".

Why Cairo? Why Egypt?

"Sawf yaraa kl min yabhath ean alhaqiqa"

"Sa'afaja 'lidha im yadhhab 'iillaa al haqiqa"

But that's another entry.

Mike and Earl

Back to Gallery