Non-Germans in the Waffen-SS: A Cultural History

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Funded by the Gerda-Henkel Foundation, this project investigates the encounters between perpetrators of genocide during the Second World War, notably those of SS volunteers from all over Europe. In the spring of 1945, roughly half of the one million men of the Waffen-SS were non-Germans. Our project is the first to explore this transnational dimension of the Second World War from an academic and genuinely transnational perspective. We seek to investigate the mentalities and motivations of those involved, their daily interactions with volunteers from different national backgrounds and the aftermath and legacies of the deployment of non-German SS and police personnel after 1945, both in terms of the legal prosecution of collaborators and of the highly fragmented and nationalized memories of collaboration.

This project is jointly organised with the University of Jena and a conference on this subject was held in May 2014 at the University Torun. Click here to see the Conference Programme.

Project Coordinator is Prof. Robert Gerwarth: