Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Nazi werewolves

Discussion in 'The Secret War: Resistance and Espionage During WW' started by Class of '42, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    204
    An American intelligence officer started seeing a strange symbol near the end of World War II, etched across white walls in the Franconia region of Germany: a straight vertical line intersected by a horizontal line with a hook on the end. Most members of the Counter Intelligence Corps were of the opinion that it was merely a hastily drawn swastika.

    But to others, the mark referred to the Werewolves, young German guerrilla fighters prepared “to strike down the isolated soldier in his jeep, the MP on patrol, the fool who goes a-courting after dark, the Yank braggart who takes a back road and gets lost, etc.

    More out of desperation, the Nazi's turned to the supernatural for inspiration, creating two separate lupine movements: one, an official group of paramilitary soldiers; the other, an ad hoc ensemble of partisan fighters. Though neither achieved any monumental gains, both proved the effectiveness of propaganda in sowing terror and demoralizing occupying soldiers throughout Germany.

    The second attempt at recruiting “werewolves” came from Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels—and this time it was more successful. Beginning early in 1945, his national radio broadcasts urged German civilians to join the Werewolf movement, fighting the Allies and any German collaborators who welcomed the enemy into their homes. Reportedly dozens of mayors were killed by these werewolves who they thought were collaborating with the Allies.

    But really the most integral portion of the Werewolves was the Hitler Youth, which was the source of most of the human material for this desperate movement. Some Werewolf cells were composed entirely of teenage fanatics, and almost all units had at least several HJ members.

    Local acts of terror continued through 1947 and rough estimates that several thousand casualties likely resulted from Werewolf activity, either directly or from reprisal killings. But as Germany slowly returned to stability, fewer and fewer partisan attacks took place. Within a few years, the Nazi werewolves were no more than a strange memory left from the much larger nightmare of the war.

    wolfsangel-2.jpg
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,442
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    The Germans seemed to have a monopoly on delusion back then...
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,512
    Likes Received:
    1,086
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Goebbels' plan that never worked.
     
  4. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    204
    The most dramatic incident commonly associated with the Werewolves occurred shortly before the end of the war. On 21 October 1944, US troops captured the German city of Aachen near the Belgian-Dutch border.

    Most of the Nazi administrators, as well as much of the civilian population, had fled the city, and the Americans appointed a local politician with anti-Nazi credentials, Franz Oppenhoff, as acting mayor. Bent on making an example of Oppenhoff so as to discourage other Germans from collaborating with the advancing Allied forces, Henrich Himmler decided to have the US-appointed mayor assassinated.

    In January 1945, he instructed SS Obergruppenführer Hans-Adolph Prützmann, to use the Werewolf for this task, but Prützmann ended up assembling a small hit squad made up mostly of regular SS soldiers, apparently for lack of suitably trained Werewolves. Using a captured B-17, the Luftwaffe dropped the SS commandos over Belgium, where they crossed back into Germany and headed for Aachen.

    On 24 March, two of the assassins, SS Major Herbert Wenzel and SS sergeant Josef Leitgeb, reached Oppenhoff’s home where they identified themselves to the mayor as downed German pilots. Oppenhoff offered them sandwiches and advised them to surrender to the Americans.

    When the team leader, Wenzel, hesitated to execute the hospitable mayor, Leitgeb grabbed the pistol from him, pointed it to Oppenhoff’s left temple, and pulled the trigger. The mayor died instantly. On their flight from Aachen, the two SS men survived a shootout with American soldiers, but Leitgeb subsequently stepped on a mine and died. Wenzel disappeared in the chaos of post-war Germany and was never heard from again.

    Nazi propaganda touted Oppenhoff’s murder as a spontaneous vendetta carried out by local Werewolves.

    In reality, “Operation Carnival,” as the Nazis named the hit job, was a carefully hatched assassination plot executed by hardened SS men with critical logistical support from the Luftwaffe. Though the US Army’s intelligence services had been unable to prevent Oppenhoff’s murder, they quickly recognized it as an isolated incident, not as a harbinger of things to come in post war Germany.

    Moreover, SS Obergruppenführer Prützmann turned out to be a bad choice to lead the Nazi stay-behind Werewolf organization. Though intelligent and ideologically committed, he was also an arrogant, unfocused braggert. He never managed to turn the Werewolves into anything like the powerful organization portrayed by German radio propaganda, and he committed suicide shortly after falling into British hands in May 1945.

    An optimistic estimate puts the total membership of the Werewolf at 5,000 to 6,000, mostly underage boys and named after a cheap patriotic adventure story by an early twentieth century German writer named Hermann Löns.
     
  5. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    PNW
    CAC likes this.
  6. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    204
    Dug this out of some archives..wth???

    Werewolf Women of the SS Comics.jpg
     

Share This Page