The mutual aid community of former members of the Waffen-SS eV (HIAG) was founded in 1951 as a “tradition of association” in Germany. The founders, officers and speakers were different e officer of the Waffen-SS. The Federation dissolved in 1992, but regional organizations exist sporadically on. The HIAG was observed temporarily as right-wing extremist Protection of the Constitution and was becoming increasingly controversial in the population and the media from the 60s. One of the stated goals of the HIAG was the change in the social and legal perceptions of members of the SS as a normal soldier.


Organization and History

The former SS Brigade Commander and Major General of the Waffen-SS Otto Kumm was the founder of the HIAG.

The HIAG was first organized locally, but this structure was not abolished in the 1950s. The aim of “aid community” was the legal equality of the former members of the Waffen-SS soldiers of the Wehrmacht, and the rehabilitation of the Waffen-SS. The union was carrying member of the “Association of German soldiers” and exerted a great influence in the network of soldiers and traditional associations. To date, there are associations but still more at the country level and regional level.

As of November 1951, the Viking reputation appeared as the voice of HIAG. He was replaced in 1956 by the well-monthly magazine The volunteer. She appeared in a maximum circulation of 12,000 copies, in 1992 there were 8,000. The editor was Erich Kern. The journal is published today in the “Munin-Verlag”. Main contents of this publication are the representation of the Waffen-SS nostalgia than normal combat troops and military, in addition, there are also historical revisionist articles related to not only the history of the Waffen-SS.

Upon dissolution of the HIAG federal umbrella organization in 1992 that twelve state associations, and twelve troops were attached numerous fellowships circle. The last Federal Executive belonged to Hubert Meyer 1992 August Hoffmann and Johann field. Up to this time the national leadership “observed object” of the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution was, and it was targeted information within the meaning of § § 3, 4 of the Federal Constitution Protection Act is collected and analyzed.

Some national associations and regional camaraderie s HIAG and founded in 1993, are “War Graves Foundation When all our brothers are silent,” continued. This foundation is based in Stuttgart is headed by the Chairman August Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer Heinz Berner Werner Bitzer. Your task is by his own admission in the first place, “soldiers’ graves at home and abroad – especially our troops – to search, to secure and to give the plants the grave German War Graves Commission.”

Accrued against war crimes

The delineation and rejection of the allegation of war crimes is a constant theme of HIAG. Even the club’s name is a positioning against the general SS, which was not kept in practice. Although the club name refers to the “former members of the Waffen-SS” and thus the HIAG positioned as military veterans association, also members of the Totenkopfverbände or SD were organized in it. One reason for this is certainly the relative permeability of each SS parts. For example, Theodor Eicke was initially involved as commander of the Dachau concentration camp and Inspector of Concentration Camps instrumental in building the German concentration camps. Later he was commander of the SS Totenkopf Division, which had come from the associations of the concentration camp guard. A traditional meeting of the SS Division Totenkopf with HIAG took place about 1979.

Dealing with war criminals

Kurt Meyer, who in 1959 became the spokesman for the HIAG, defended criticism that the HIAG represent the SS Death’s Head units and the SD, from: “Where the crime begins to listen to the camaraderie.” Against this self-representation is the fact that Meyer himself had been convicted as a war criminal for the murder of Canadian prisoners of war. Other officials of the HIAG such as Otto Kumm, Sepp Dietrich and Richard Schulze-Kossens were involved in war crimes and for T. has been convicted.

The HIAG no troops joined the Waffen-SS for committed war crimes or other crimes from the fellowship of. In April 1975, the HIAG celebrated the 80th birthday of SS General Gustav Lombard, who had coined the term “dejudification” organized by him for the murder of Jews in German-occupied areas in Eastern Europe.

The HIAG advocated for imprisoned war criminals. For example, in 1960, she asked an ad in The volunteer donations, parcels and mail for three “prisoners of war in Italy”. These were the two SS-Sturmbannführer and convicted war criminal Walter Reder and Herbert Kappler, as well as Josef Feuchtinger was determined against the perpetrators of the massacre of Bassano.


•Bert Oliver Manig: The politics of honor.The rehabilitation of the professional soldiers in the early Federal Republic, Wallenstein Verlag, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89244-658 X-

•Karsten Wilke: Spiritual regeneration of the SS in the early Federal Republic?The “Mutual Help Association of the former members of the Waffen-SS” (HIAG). In: Jan Erik Schulte (Eds.), The SS, Himmler and the Wewelsburg, Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn, 2009, ISBN 978-3-506-76374-7, pp. 433-448.

•Karsten Wilke: The “mutual aid community” (HIAG) 1950-1990).Veterans of the Waffen-SS in the Federal Republic. Schoningh, Paderborn 2011, ISBN 978-3-506-77235-0

Waffen SS

Club (Germany)

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