Tragedy of the Faithful „Schwedenzug“

3.Kompanie SS-Aufklärungsabteilung 11 (Schwedenzug)
The knocked out command vehicle (Sd.Kfz 250) of the Swedish SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans-Gösta Pehrsson, commander of the so called Schwedenkompanie (11.SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland), at Friedrichstraße in Berlin. The body lying to the right of the vehicle appears to be Pehrssons dead driver, the Swede SS-Unterscharführer Ragnar Johansson. The escape attemt took place the night between May 1 – 2 1945. The above halftrack with licence plate 'SS 900915' was manned by the AA11. They came under heavy Soviet fire at Friedrichstraße. The driver SS-Unterscharführer Johansson was killed and the Swedish SS-Hauptsturmführer Pehrsson, commander of the very same vehicle, later identified the fallen in this photograph as his driver Ragnar Johansson. Pehrsson himself was wounded, but he managed to get away from the Soviets at the time. Fortunately, Pehrsson had time to get rid of his uniform jacket and changed into a Wehrmacht one before being taken prisoner. He was sent to a prison camp, which he managed to escape from. Pehrsson then hide himself in an apartment in Berlin. After a while, he met another Swedish SS-man and together they walked to the British occupation zone and on June 2 1945 they began an adventurous journey back to Sweden. Since the SS-Volunteers who had returned from World War II were not chased or discriminated in Sweden, Pehrsson had the chance to return to civilian life and found a good job as a salesman and engineer. Hans-Gösta Pehrsson died on March 16 1974 in Stockholm. Source: Twilight of the Gods: A Swedish Waffen-SS Volunteer's Experiences with the 11th SS-Panzergrenadier Division Nordland, Eastern Front 1944-45. Image: Soviet photographer Mark Redkin, Berlin in May 1945. Public domain.

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