|Original Waffen-SS Recruiting Poster|
Waffen-SS Service Records
Over 125,000 non-German West Europeans volunteered for the elite Waffen-SS. Enlistment rolls show that more than 60,000 men from the Germanic nations were accepted and fought with distinction within its ranks. Another 21,000 men from the Latin nations joined the Waffen-SS. It is obvious that these volunteers felt that they were justified in their fight. These men enlisted voluntarily for many different reasons. The majority of the Western European Volunteers were idealists, with a strong pan-European identity. The vast majority of the Eastern Europeans who joined the Waffen-SS did so primarily to defend their own homelands against Soviet occupation. Nearly 310,000 foreign volunteers from no less than 16 countries served in its ranks between 1940 and 1945. A total of 950,000 men (German and foreigners) fought in the multi-national Waffen-SS at some point during World War II. Image: A general version of a Waffen-SS recruiting poster. Public domain.