Waffen-SS; Casualties and losses

Nordic volunteers taking their oath by swearing upon an SS-Führerdegen
Where the Iron Crosses Grow
Total casualties amongst the Waffen-SS will probably never be known, but according to a report from July 12 1972 approximately 950,000 men passed through the Waffen-SS up to the end of World War II, and 253,000 were listed as killed or missing in action or died in Prisoner-of-War camps. This equals just less than 27 percent. Other reports, however, indicates that the Waffen-SS suffered 314,000 killed and missing in action or died in Prisoner-of-War camps. This equals just less than 35 percent. Wounded or captured volunteers were often executed when falling in Soviet hands once their interrogations were completed. The volunteers had no illusions about their fate if taken prisoner. The Soviet atrocities carried out against surrendered elite troops were well known among the Waffen-SS. On several well-documented occasions their fallen comrades had been found bestially mutilated and murdered. For the survivors, it was a small, but appreciated act of thanks when, in 1990´s, Finland and newly-independent Estonia issued memorial medals to foreigners who had fought against Communism in those two countries during World War II. The dead have also been honored in recent years through memorials placed in Canada, Estonia, Flanders, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Top image: according to various sources, Nordic Waffen-SS recruits swearing the oath of allegiance in 1941. PD. Bottom image: a volunteer SS soldier mourns by the fresh graves of his fallen comrades somewhere on the Eastern front. The left grave marker's name inscription is Karl Herbrechter, possible from the Leibstandarte SS, an Zugführer SS-Untersturmführer Karl Herbrechter born 1918, is known to have served in the 14th Company of the 3rd Battalion of the Leibstandarte SS in 1941. Commons Bundesarchiv.

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