German intelligence has declassified information about the organization of the “German sword,” with which the veterans of the Wehrmacht and the SS wanted to fight against the USSR
May 16, 2014, 08:51
Text: Stanislav Borzyak
For many years in Germany illegally operated “secret army”, which was carried out by retired officers of Hitler’s SS veterans and influential policy West Germany. The purpose of this organization was to mobilize the population in case of a new war with the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as spying on “unreliable” by the Germans.
The Federal intelligence service of Germany (BND) has unveiled the 321-page file called “Insurance” from which the information was stored in archives for more than sixty years and “surfaced” due to the unfocused historical research. As it turned out, for a long time in Germany there was an illegal paramilitary organization composed of veterans of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, the purpose of which was to protect the country from the Communist threat. However, it was not offensive and defensive plans, and therefore “insurance.”
As reported by the influential German magazine Der Spiegel, released archive it follows that a secret society called the “German sword”, began in Munich no later than 1949, and put strong roots in the South of Germany (the units were in Stuttgart, Ulm, Heilbronn, Karlsruhe, Freiburg). In total it consisted of about two thousand Nazi veterans, supported by industrial capital, and officials. Among the members of the “Sword” found sales representatives, miners, lawyers, teachers and even mayors. Among the sponsors – influential businessmen (though mostly at the regional level).
In the years gained momentum, the cold war, the Soviet Union possessed one of the most powerful armies in the world and the most powerful in Europe, and the former officers of the Reich believed that in the foreseeable future, the cold war would progress to the new “hot.” The task of the veterans was proclaimed “protecting Germany” from the “Eastern aggression,” in the case of a new war with the Soviet Union and opposition to communism on the domestic front,” in case of civil war. That is, in Germany implied the presence of a Communist “fifth column” and an immediate attack was expected, primarily from the GDR. According to the researchers, “German sword” if necessary, could raise up to forty thousand “bayonets”, and the weapon in case of occurrence of “x hours” it was supposed to from the vaults of the special units of the Federal police, which had one of the supporters of the organization.
But this is in case of war. Meanwhile, in Europe, established a fragile as it seemed to the veterans of, the world, and in the center of their attention was “unreliable”, that is, those who in varying degrees, sympathetic extremely popular in the postwar period of Communist ideas. Moreover (and this is worth noting) Europeans were attracted not so much of Marx’s theory and practice of Lenin, of how much gratitude: they knew what “red” to the end kept the wall from fascism, seriously affected by the repression and, in the end, defeated Nazism. It is clear that veterans of the Wehrmacht and the SS were far from such sentimental feelings. From published materials, it follows that not all of them were “die-hard Nazis” and honored the memory of Hitler (in contrast, its role in the German catastrophe they were well aware of). However, the fundamental anti-Communists they really were, what motivated them consistently. In addition, the influx of personnel “Sword” provided “syndrome the dogs of war”, as well as a banal adventure and a thirst for adventure. For example, documents show that retired Lieutenant General Hermann Heller “didn’t feel happy just working in the office.”
Objects close observation (to put it simply, espionage) from the “Sword” in the end visited, including the infamous German people. At that time, the students, later – the officials and diplomats (one of them is Joachim Peckert – in the 70-ies he worked in the German Embassy in Moscow for executives). It all came down organization owner, good counterintelligence involved, including the former counterintelligence.
Thus, the “secret army of the Reich” was pretty influential organization, and has carried out intense activity. It is important to emphasize – absolutely illegal activity. From the documents makes it clear that “Sword” was created to bypass state structures of Germany and the “allies” – the United States, Britain and France, so it was a “community initiative”.
However, it is known that German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer knew about the existence of the “Sword” – the secret service informed him no later than 1951. To suppress the activities of “secret army,” the Chancellor did not, though, and gave the order to “good look” for veterans of the Wehrmacht. The motive of the leader of West Germany, of course, could not be sympathy for Nazism – principled anti-Nazi and Antihitlerite he was and when it was deadly dangerous (twice the Gestapo arrested him as an enemy of the regime). But either Adenauer really believed that the “red menace” could pose a real danger to Germany in this case “German sword” could be useful. Or – more likely – did not want to fight with veterans of the Wehrmacht, the benefit of one of the main goals of the policy was the unification of post-war Germany society for a common future. As part of this society was as a significant number of former Nazis and their opponents. Finally, open conflict with a powerful military could undermine his political position. In the end, the conspirators escaped arrests, and “Sword” – defeat, although it acted under the noses of the government and Parliament. Moreover, the existence of a “secret army” Adenauer was subsequently informed how the Western allies and the left opposition in the Bundestag, apparently to share responsibility.
How influential was “Sword”, clearly illustrate the names of its leaders. So, one of the prominent members of the organization and its actual founder was albert SNEC, held the Second world Colonel, and subsequently passed into the Bundeswehr and entered into the nearest environment of Minister of defence Franz Josef Strauss (it is also known that SNEC has been in direct contact with the world famous saboteur, obersturmbannfuhrer of the SS and the “Savior of Mussolini Otto Skorzeny). And SNEC is not the only functionary “of the Sword”, made after the war, a brilliant career, his colleague in the conspiracy” Adolf Heusinger became the General inspector of the Bundeswehr, Anton Grasser, chief inspector of the Ministry of internal Affairs, and Hans Speidel, the Supreme commander of NATO forces in Central Europe in 1957.
Still a mystery remains: when, and under what circumstances the “German sword” was dissolved: SNEC died in 2007, never giving any of his secret, nor any of its “associates.” “Documents under the innocuous name of “Insurance” disappeared, but something is still in the hands of the security services, which they are stored. Until yesterday”, concludes Der Spiegel.
Note that anti-fascist (as, indeed, anti-Communist) Adenauer, in principle, not aimed to rid the leadership of former Nazis. Just due to the fact that this was not possible: in the mid 50-ies found that more than half of the employees of the German foreign Ministry once was the Nazi party, and to recruit new staff in a short time was simply nowhere. At some point, the Chancellor had even stood in the way of “denazification” which, in his opinion, turned into a “witch hunt” and let move the country forward, deepening the already serious contradictions in the ranks of the survivors of the defeat and surrender of the Germans. This led to the fact that the government of Adenauer over time, there is a very odious figures among the former Nazis. For example, his Advisor was listed as Hans Globke, once carried out the legal paperwork, racial laws (the famous “yellow star”, by the way, coined it). And the chair of Minister for refugees housed Theodor Oberlander – member of the “Beer hall putsch”, a member of the NSDAP since 1933, a former obersturmbannfuhrer SA, former commander of the battalion “Bergmann”, and after the reduction due to criticism of the policy of the Nazis in the East, communications officer at the headquarters of the liberation army of Andrei Vlasov. The Soviet government accused Oberlander crimes against the civilian population and even personal involvement in torture. In addition, he was called a murderer of Stepan Bandera to cover KGB agent Bogdan Stashinsky, eliminate the leader of the OUN (ironically Oberlander at one time exercised political leadership of the battalion “Nachtigall”, the head of which the Ukrainian side was Roman Shukhevych). In the end, against the officer was initiated several investigations (for example, the killing of a civilian in Kislovodsk in 1942), which forced him to resign. Last time he tried to condemn shortly before his death in 1996.
In turn, nationalists of the Soviet republics and Yugoslavia, once actively collaborated with the Nazis, did not disdain to use in the fight against Communist regimes, the new allies of Germany in NATO. Many of those who managed to avoid trial at home, was United in the organization of the Anti-Bolshevik bloc of Nations, for many years headed by a close associate of Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko. His successor in this position, and the wife subsequently returned to the Ukraine and even managed to visit a member of Parliament.