Surrender of Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht troops in Böhmen (Pilsen)

Surrendering SS and Wehrmacht troops

An unidentified SS-Sturmbannführer
U.S G.I. with an unidentified SS unit
The film shows the withdrawal of armed Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers from Prague (Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren) where they organized the safe passage of many German civilians, non combatants and regular troops and SS rear area units. Ethnic German civilians residing in Prague, administrators, officials, and family members of the German military were the easiest targets of Czech communists. They had to flee by any means, including stolen vehicles, in order to save bare lives. The Sudeten German population of Bohemia-Moravia was expelled after the war and tens of thousands were murderedIn Prague alone, according to Otto von Habsburg (one of the architects of the European idea and of European integrationand Czech newspapers published in June 1945, there were 27,000 suicides of Germans within the three weeks following May 8 1945. On that day there lived roughly 60,000 Germans in Prague, to which must be added a large number of wounded soldiers in hospitals who were killed almost without exception. It is quite obvious that, in reality, the word "suicide" is simply a euphemism for murder and execution. The grainy film shows column of trucks with surrendering battle-hardened Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht troops passing trough Czech civilians in the U.S. occupied zone of Czechoslovakia (see Sign Limit of advance – all U.S. troops) in April 1945. It includes shots of G.I.´s who directs route of surrender and disarms SS officers in a staff car. Truckloads of surrendering elements of 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich and civilians riding past the camera. Two Luftwaffe officers talking to U.S. officer and an SS-Sturmbannführer from either an SS Guard Battalion or the Waffen-SS who seems satisfied — they made it out. German civilians and soldiers walking up road. Long line of surrendering troops marching down the road. Faces of troops as they pass the camera. Film Edited by Stabswache de Euros. Source: NARA. Producer: U.S. Army Air Force 4th CCU. Public domain. External link shows Waffen-SS and regular panzer troops (20.Panzer-Division) surrendering to U.S. troops near Pilsen in former Czechoslovakia on May 9 1945.

2 comments:

  1. 90th Light13/10/18

    A lot of the Germans and civilians with the Germans that you see in this film clip may not have survived. For many, the horror is about to begin. They were handed back to the Russians or put into POW compounds run by the newly liberated peoples of Czechoslovakia. Keep in mind, the Americans were told to leave Czechoslovakia to the Russians and any prisoners taken were Russian zone POW's.

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  2. 90th Light13/10/18

    "One of the units mingled in the column is the "Der Fuhrer" Regt. of "Das Reich" Div., the reason their vehicles were swamped with wounded soldiers and hospital personnel because of a rescue. The "Der Fuhrer" Regt. passed through Prague and evacuated the military hospital before the good people of that city could slaughter them. That's why there are wounded Heer, Luftwaffe, and nurses in the column. It was quite the drama. -MB"

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