The opinions of tens of thousands of men can only be generalized, but in their post-war writings, most Waffen-SS veterans express satisfaction at having acted. Many Waffen-SS veterans claim they fought to preserve their country's cultural and national identity. They consider themselves as European freedom fighters in German ranks to hold back a greater evil, the Soviet Union. Nothing is gained by either blanket praise for the Germanic volunteers as heroes, or by universal condemnation of them as mercenary traitors. They offered their lives and service in the name of Europe and anti-Communism in an act of conscience. Additionally, many Germanic Waffen-SS volunteers felt vindicated by the creation of NATO. They believe they set an example of international cooperation. Credit: Marc Rikmenspoel, Waffen-SS Encyclopedia. Image: A contingent of SS-Regiment Westland volunteers taking their loyalty oath of allegiance in September 1944. Westland was one of the three regiments of 5.SS-Panzer-Division Wiking. The other regiments were Germania and Nordland. Westland consisted mainly of Dutch volunteers, other nationalities like Flemings and Germans were also represented, but in much smaller numbers. Public domain.