Interview with Ingo, 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, Germania club, 1987.
[As a side note, the name 'Ingo' is boy's name of German origin meaning 'protected by Yngvi'.
Yngvi is the god better known as Freyr, the ruler of peace, fertility, rain and sunshine.
Ingo is the male version of the female name Inga and is rather unknown in modern Germany.-Ed.]

[Above: The Odal rune, symbol of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. The Odal rune signifies ancestral inheritance, tradition and persistance.]

Thanks for letting me ask some questions, can I start by asking how you came to join the Waffen-SS?

Ingo: Yes, I must say you are persistent, I tell no one of my service time, and you caught me at a good moment. So here we are. I was originally from a small farm in the Siebenburg area [The historical region of Transylvania in Romania. In 1940 Northern Transylvania reverted to Hungary as a result of the Second Vienna Award-Ed.]. I must first explain the area so you understand the racial history that has caused so many problems. The Arabs invaded this area of Europe many times, and it was usually through the Balkans. It is interesting to note they were stopped at the borders of the Germanic lands. Due to the conquests of these areas they took Europeans as slaves and even sex slaves. They bred their dark genetics into the purer European gene pool. You can see it in many of the people from these lands; they have darker traits, like eyes and hair. The Arabs depopulated the area as well; they killed or enslaved the men, and raped the women to breed for them. They wanted to make the land like their own, and forced out the Christians. Later on the crusades freed these areas, and later again, wars of liberation forced out the Arabs.

They left behind Islam, and the poisoned well of genetics that will last for many generations. When the last wars were fought and peace made, many Germans moved into the areas to repopulate with Germanic blood. With this came the Germanic culture that showed in many of the towns until they were de-Germanized by the reds. It was a beautiful land, matched only by the Reich itself, the Churches especially took on a German look. More and more Germans came to these areas; the communities could number many thousands and reached as far as deep Russia. Some of these areas had been hundreds of years old.

Because there were also the remnants of Arab blood, and their customs, the Balkan States fragmented along ethnic and religious lines. By the time the late 1800s came there had been border wars, and disputes all along the frontiers, it was quite volatile. The Austro-Hungarian Empire tried to rule all these people as one, and it was impossible. The Serbians had received Russian help, and other states got help from Turkey, and others. The reds worked hard on these people as well, many turned to them for a way to overthrow the old European caste system. This is what triggered the killing of the Arch Duke.

You know what happened then. It left the area a mess and the people hated each other more than ever. This is what Hitler walked into in 1941. My area had to form self-protection forces as there were raiders who traveled from far away to rob the mainly German farmers. The local governments were powerless to stop them. When Hitler invaded the area, and Romania joined the war, many Volk Germans [The Volk Germans, or 'Volksdeutsche' were 'people whose language and culture had German origins but who did not hold German citizenship'-Ed.] flocked to fight. We wanted to destroy Marxism; we did not know the fight would be in our backyards. I saw a poster that was put up requesting men for a new mountain division, and was chomping at the bit to join.

[Above: A recruitment postcard for the Prinz Eugen Division and possibly the poster Ingo is referring to.]

Did you feel like you were looked down upon for not being from Germany?

Ingo: Not really, there may have been some resentment but I saw none of it. We spoke German, however with a hard dialect that some Germans found hard to understand. I say we fit right in with them, but the division had very few Reich Germans in it. So I actually felt very comfortable as we outnumbered them. We trained in the mountains and attended school in Austria; we took the name of a general from Savoy, Prinz Eugen. We received a black and white sleeve band to identity our division. I remember we trained hard between 1941 and 1942. We had a good time however and I was assigned to the 13th regiment. We had a general from my area, Artur Phleps, he wore the Hitler mustache, which was very popular back then. Our insignia was the Odal rune which meant our blood and land are tied into a holy covenant.

We wore the field tunic like all other German forces, but had many old weapons, which caused some anger in our men. Phleps went to Himmler to correct this after our first actions. I remember my first rifle was from the first war. For our training we learned to be soldiers and how to fight, the children and ladies would come out to spy on us while we marched and drilled. We would also once in awhile receive treats from the local bakers. You sometimes never knew a war was going on, it was peaceful. The people were always quite kind to us, and could even get us in trouble. Many comrades sought the company of the ladies and would sometimes be late getting back to base. That old natural force of attraction will get soldiers all the time. It was good morals however, we usually found a girl, and then had to sit and be entertained by her parents the whole time, so no hanky-panky, as it should be young man.

Now there were some units of the division who did not speak German, and that caused problems, why non-Germans were put in German divisions is a mystery. There were rumors of fighting between the men, but my regiment was mostly German speaking. All we fought about was what region had the best soccer team or prettiest women.

[Above: The noble knights of the Prinz Eugen Division, before battle during Operation Landstrum, an anti-partisan operation in Omiš, Ploce and Biokovo, in the Dalmatia region, Croatia. October 14, 1943.]

Do you remember your first time going into action and what the fighting was like?

Ingo: Yes I do but let me explain why we went into action. The war was going well for us at the time, Rommel was victorious, the east front was moving east and the occupied areas were peaceful. That changed however, the Allies saw a chance to use partisans, and so they started arming and training these people. Rommel needed supplies and many flowed down to Greece. These partisans started blowing up trains, bridges, and attacking supply convoys. Our allies sent militia forces to deal with them, but they were weak, and sometimes joined them instead of fighting them. This is why the SS divisions were formed in this area, to hunt the partisans. The Balkans were aflame with local wars going on and we stepped right into it. We were ordered to move our regiment towards Serbia and to attack forces that had attacked loyal militias. On our move we started to see evidence of the wars; burned homes, wrecks, and warning posters saying looting and sabotages will bring death.

Himmler and some officers had us review before them before we left. It was a proud moment for us to do this, he spoke and made sure our dinner was very nice. After this it was all serious business and we prepared for war. We looked like a motley collection with our old weapons and vehicles. We came into the action area after a few days, and found that the partisans had taken and fortified villages with mines, machine guns, and even artillery. They even had the civilians helping them fight, this is why this type of warfare is so hard, and you never know who the enemy is since they do not wear uniforms.

We had been told to watch civilian casualties and try not to hit homes that were not in the fight, but this was impossible since it was our first real action. We fired on one village and soon it was on fire, people running everywhere. We had a loudspeaker that said any civilians should run away to the nearest soldier to be out of the fight. I remember seeing a man and woman run but they were shot down, it appeared, by the partisans. This only increased our fire and effort to defeat them. We had the small 7.5 cm mountain gun and I could see the shells hitting the homes and destroying what had not already been destroyed.

This was how our battles were the whole time we fought, the partisans would take control of towns and villages, and we had to free them. This is what made this war so deadly, they involved civilians who instead of fleeing to us, stayed and helped them. In this way they became partisans themselves and were subjected to punishment. I have to say that we tried to be very kind to the civilians. Today the communists have claimed we killed everyone we came across, which is not true. We understood, and it is common sense, that if you harm or impose on the people they will revolt. We opened schools where we could; we sometimes had time to help farmers or repair homes, and gave medical care.

We tried our best to make friends, but this area was cold, the hate that overtook the different groups would not leave. They patted us on the back one minute then stabbed us the next. This does not mean we did not have our friends and allies, we had many, and they gave us shelter and food. There was a great propaganda war waged in this area, and the Allies won it. They convinced the people we came to kill and enslave, when really we came only to secure our supply routes to the south and defeat those disrupting them. When civilians not in any uniforms attacked our forces, they paid the price as terrorists.

[Above: Cuff title of Prinz Eugen.]

Can you comment on the accusations regarding the Waffen-SS being accused of crimes?

Ingo: Well I can not speak about the entire Waffen-SS; we were only a small piece of the pie. Like I said, we faced different groups who were enraged by propaganda and believed they were defending their borders and ideas. We had very good relations with the people we came across who saw us as no threat to their livelihood. When it came to the fighting, it was severe, and it involved civilians, largely by their choice. I will say there were a couple of times where an attack appeared to have killed people who were not involved. In one case we attacked a heavily fortified town, and the partisans locked away those who did not want to fight.

Shells and machine gun fire started a fire that burned them all and the partisans made no effort, it appeared, to help them. Another case was almost the same, except there were survivors who told us the partisans forced them into a small church, and we shelled it, causing a fire. We took the town quickly and opened the locked doors letting the survivors out. I can tell you with honesty we committed no crimes or murders like the papers say. The crime no one talks about is what happened to all the Volk Germans who lived in the Balkans and above. They were all expelled after the war and countless died. There are mass graves of Germans and our allies all over the land.

Men, women and children were butchered after the war by the blood thirsty reds, and their allied 'patriots' who hated with zeal. They then concocted stories to blame us for all the deaths in the war; they did this to take attention away from the claims of their crimes made right after the war. What better way to remove your guilt than by blaming your opponent for everything. They used their comrades and allies as witnesses and showed some destroyed villages as somehow proof of German brutality. No one thinks to ask for the context of a battle or the aftermath, they just believe whatever the news or papers say to believe.

How did you make your way to Ohio?

Ingo: Well that is a story in itself. The division surrendered at war's end to mostly partisan forces. They sent out riders to say all would receive fair treatment, and we believed them as the fighting ended. We had nothing to worry about on our end as we had fought with honor and chivalry. I think it was in mid May of '45 that they started to separate us based on rank, regiment, and the region where we came from. It was now that we started to see what 'humane treatment' to expect and we saw beatings and shootings. This was not good, and they put me on a truck with some fellows who were from my area, saying we were going to be interrogated.

I remember our guard said to keep our heads down or we will be shot. I just happened to look and see as we passed a clearing that showed some people who had been shot. I could make out a large group lying close to each other, and I saw a brown uniform going up to one and shooting it. This unnerved me for the first time; I knew we were going to be executed. I made a plan that when the truck rounded a curve I would get up and jump off. I had my chance on a very tight road with many trees; I jumped up, jumped on the seat, then grabbed the rail and let myself drop to the ground.

I could not believe that no one really noticed or said anything, I ran into the woods, and the truck stopped, but I was running downhill so they did not even bother to pursue. It was very warm so I made my way to the nearest village I found and went to a farm. Farmers usually were for us and were loyal. I met the farmer's daughter in the field, she was watching her flock. I asked her if partisans were nearby and she said no. I was taken in, given food and old used farm clothes. I smelled and looked a sight, but it helped me. They told me it was too risky to stay so they wrote me a map, gave me a canteen and food and wished me well.

I was able to make it to the coast, then told the police I was a political prisoner who had been freed and wanted to go to Greece, they gave me money, a pass, and put me on a boat. From there I was able to make it to Spain, where the sentiment was much better for us. Franco was an ally of Hitler. I was able to work on a farm by Madrid and to save money. I wrote home and learned the Soviets took the area and were forcing all Germans out. My family had friends in Karlsruhe so they were going there. They wrote when they arrived, saying the trip was bad, my parents both were beaten by a mob going through Czechoslovakia. They made it to Germany with nothing but their clothes on their backs.

I stayed in Spain, as I could not be hunted down there. Rumors were all over saying that my comrades were all dead or sent to Siberia. I met another SS man from the Nordland Division. He told me he had family in the states, and I should move with him. I agreed. We had the money, so we took a boat to New York. I left the past behind me, and moved to a German village here. Many Germans were in New York, and said Columbus, Ohio had a large German community, so I would fit in. I never mentioned my service time, only that my pass said I was a political prisoner. I had to do whatever it took to survive. So here we are, I met my wife at Saint Mary's, she was a postal girl from Bremen. She moved to get away from the occupation; she said if they are occupying us, then I will occupy them. So there you have my story young man, very few people know what I told you.

[Above: Here's a great shot of the Prinz Eugen collar tab showing the Odal rune.]

[Above: August Schmidhuber, who led the men of Prinz Eugen through many fires. He was murdered after the war by a communist kangaroo court.]

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