Welcome! This is a Non-Political and a Non-Profit site (to include its authors and contributors) and does not subscribe to any revisionist organizations. This site is only to explore the combat role and history of the European Waffen-SS in World War II. Enlistment rolls show that a total of 950,000 men (German and foreigners) served in its ranks between 1940 and 1945. This blog contains a collection of real events and information on these volunteers for historical research and documentation.
ϟϟ-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Meyer – the Abbaye Ardenne Case, Canadian Military Court 10-28 December 1945
SS-Standartenführer Kurt Meyer
Kurt Meyer's SS-Panzergrenadiers after surrender
Kurt Meyer always led from the front and was wounded numerous times and several of his drivers were killed fighting alongside him. On June 14 1944, a British naval barrage hit the command post of 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend in Venoix, southwest of Caen, killing SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Witt leaving the division without a commander. The High Command appointed SS-Obersturmbannführer Meyer. He took command on June 17 1944 at the age of 33, thereby becoming the youngest divisional commander on either side during World War II. The Abbaye Ardenne Case: On December 10 – 28 1945, a Canadian Military Court in occupied Germany accused Kurt Meyer of having, as Commander of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25 of the 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend, incited and counselled his men to deny quarter to allied troops. The Canadian court had not found him guilty of directly ordering the killings, but merely of tacitly condoning them - the court sentenced Kurt Meyer to death. In Meyer's closing statement before sentencing, he chose not to ask for clemency, but instead defended the record of his unit and the innocence of his soldiers. Meyer was probably saved by a petition written on his behalf by Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen, the archbishop of Münster, and shortly before the sentence was to be carried out, the commander of Canadian forces in Europe, Christopher Vokes had second thoughts. Vokes' main concern was the degree to which a commander should be held responsible for the actions of his men, feeling that it was not simply enough for a commander to fail to prevent such killings. Discussing the case, Vokes conceded that: there isn't a general or colonel on the Allied side that I know of who hasn't said, 'Well, this time we don't want any prisoners; indeed, he himself had ordered the shooting of prisoners in 1943. Even Canadian Army officers and journalists confirmed this in their attempts to overturn what was probably an unjust decision. Vokes commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. Meyer petitioned for clemency in late 1950 - somewhat surprisingly including an offer to serve in the Canadian military force if released. He was released from prison in 1954.
Later Canadian troops found themselves accused of having killed captured German soldiers on the June 1944 invasion of Normandy. It was claimed that forces of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division were ordered to take no German prisoners of war during the Normandy campaign, but this for a variety of reasons were not investigated by the Allied powers after WWII, or they were investigated and a decision was taken not to prosecute. On June 7 1944 notes were found by Waffen-SS Grenadiers on captured Canadian prisoners saying German soldiers who had surrendered during the campaign would be shot, information later confirmed by Canadian infantry under interrogation; that prisoners were ordered not to be taken if they hindered operations. Hubert Meyer also confirmed this story; he stated that on June 8 1944 a Canadian notebook was found that contained orders to not take prisoners if they impeded the attacking force. Bitterness between Canadians and soldiers of the Hitlerjugend became a vicious circle throughout the battle for Normandy. Left image: Kurt Meyer as SS-Standartenführer in Normandy, France 1944. Commons: Bundesarchiv. Right image: An SS-Obersturmführer and an SS-Unterscharführer of Kurt Meyer's SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 26 taken prisoners in Normandy on June 26 1944. Public domain.