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Kevin H

Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei

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A new book that might be of interest to those who collect and study the area of military prisons is this new release that focus's on the prisons of the Waffen-SS that were used to imprison their own. 
Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei (ISBN: 978-1781555606) is by Stuart Emmett and certainly looks to have produced an extensive history with the book spreading to over 570 pages. Despite the title it is in the English language. My copy has only just arrived so I have not managed to have a good in-depth look through but I get the feeling that this is going to be an interesting book that covers an area that not many people know anything about. Not only does it give details about the prisons it also gives details on some of those who served as staff within the prisons and also those who were punished, such as Dr Sigmund Rascher who joined the NSDAP in 1933 and the SS in 1939 and whose last rank was SS-Haupsturmführer in SS-RFSS and who died in Dachau in April 1945 while on remand.

I will use the publishers blurb to cover the rest...

Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei: Himmler's Wartime Institutions for the Detention of Waffen-SS and Polizei Criminals is a book that Heinrich Himmler would not have wished written. Preferring that this corner of the SS history remained forever in the shadows, the existence of the SS penal system had the potential to besmirch his entire organisation. In an effort to disguise the true extent of criminality within the ranks of the Waffen-SS, the Reichsfuhrer-SS temporarily expelled those SS men incarcerated in the Strafvollzugslager der SS- und Polizei, giving the appearance that Hitler's bodyguard did not suffer the scourge of serious criminality. In unprecedented detail, this study illuminates the reasoning behind the imprisonment of Waffen-SS and policemen in purpose-built institutions, describes the regulations governing their detention and reveals the operational history of these fascinating institutions. The Waffen-SS gaols established at Dachau, Danzig-Matzkau, Forrenbach and a clutch of smaller branch prisons are the focus of this in-depth study. Composed with the assistance of veterans' families, their contribution has ensured an unparalleled presentation of the convict's daily life and enumerated the lives of those tasked with the prisons operation. Ensuring that the convict's National Socialist spirit was undamaged by their punishment, the prison guards provided the malfeasance elements of the Waffen-SS with an SS suitable environment which enabled their further use to the regime. Eventually, these institutions become portals through which inmates passed to return to the front. No book written on this subject would be complete without analysing the various Waffen-SS field probation units that accepted paroled convicts. Here, at the front, Himmler commanded that they faced death, or serious wounding as the means to earn their full rehabilitation and return to the ranks of the SS. Scrutinised as part of this process is the SS-Bewahrungsbataillone, the infamous SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger and the SS-Fallschirmjagerabteilung. Criminal case histories are tendered throughout this work and describe the crimes and punishments imposed on those who had brought shame on the SS.

 

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