- Weimar Germany & the Nazi Rise to Power
- The Nazi State & German Society
- The Nazi Racial State
- Nazi Germany at War
- Writing the History of Nazi Germany
Quotes about the Waffen SS
Quoted is Commander Eberhard von Mackensen who tells Himmler about the general opinion of Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler,
“Herr Reichsführer, I can assure you that the Leibstandarte enjoys an outstanding reputation not only with its superiors, but also among its Army comrades. Every division wishes it had the Leibstandarte as its neighbor, as much during the attack as in defense. Its inner discipline, its cool daredeviltry, its cheerful enterprise, its unshakable firmness in a crisis (even when things become difficult or serious), its exemplary toughness, its camaraderie (which deserves special praise) - all these are outstanding and cannot be surpassed. In spite of this, the officer corps maintains a degree of modesty. A genuine elite formation that I am happy and proud to have under my command and, furthermore, one that I sincerely and hopefully wish to retain. This unrestrained recognition was gained by the Leibstandarte entirely on the strength of its own achievements and moreover on the basis of its military ability against anenemy whose courage, toughness, numbers, and armament should not be slighted. The aura which naturally surrounds the Fuhrer's Guard would not have sufficed, here at the front, to allow this recognition to fall into its lap."
Himmler to Goebbels about the SS’ ideological conviction allowing them...
“to hold on in the instant that [they] would normally break down” - “the hour of need permits [them] to transcend themselves.”
Field Marshal von Manstein -
“In a daring and energetically led attack along the west flank of the army, the division [Das Reich] has destroyed a considerable enemy force, and thus created the necessary condition for further operations. I convey to the division and its officers my special recognition. Mention of the division in the Wehrmacht communique has been proposed.”
General Wohler of the 8th Army -
“[Totenkopf] stood like a rock in the Army, while the enemy broke through in neighboring sectors.” “Totenkopf - a lightning sword of retribution - [fought] with unshakable fortitude”.
General Eisenhower -
“As on former occasions, the fanatical tenacity of the Nazi leader and the ingrained toughness of their men had led the Germans to cling too long to a position from which military wisdom would have dictated an earlier defeat.” “While the SS elements as usual fought to annihilation, the ordinary German infantry gave themselves up in ever-increasing numbers.”
“He [Hitler] had lost confidence in the Wehrmacht quite a while ago….This afternoon [22 April] he said that he was losing confidence in the Waffen SS, for the first time. He had always counted on the Waffen SS as elite troops which would never fail him but the failure of the SS troops to hold the Russians north of Berlin had apparently convinced Hitler that his elite troops had lost heart. The Fuhrer always maintained that no force, however well trained and equipped, could fight if it lost heart, and now his last reserve [the Waffen SS] was gone.”