The article

is extracted from “uncovering the dust: looking for German soldiers in World War II”. Author: Zhu Weiyi Publishing House: Tongxin Publishing House

. Mr. Eckart lives in a rural village in Saxony anhart. One of the main reasons why I chose him as the interview object is that he once worked in the SS. During the

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and “World War II”, not only Germany’s enemies and prisoners in concentration camps, but also the soldiers of the German national defense force thought that the SS was a terrible special team. The abbreviation of “SS” in German is “SS”, while the literal translation of “SS” should be “armed SS”, that is, “armed SS”.

because I have read some books about “World War II” before, I am no stranger to “armed SS”, but my real understanding of this so-called fourth armed force outside the German army, navy and air force began with an interview with Eckart. Eckart is a very ordinary member of the SS. He joined the team only in the late stage of the war and has only worked for more than half a year. However, compared with those who observe the SS from a long distance, his interpretation of the army is undoubtedly more authoritative.

in 2002, my friend introduced me to Eckart, who was 79 years old at that time. When I called, he was tidying up the vegetable field in front of the door. Germans living in cities like to plant grass in the open space in front of their doors, while people living in the countryside prefer to plant vegetables in their own yard. After shaking hands with me, Eckart said, “the dishes he grows are natural without pesticide or chemical fertilizer. It’s safe to eat.” The old man has a hunchback and looks rather short. Wearing an East German cloth military cap, he spoke slowly but had a clear mind. He lives with a single son who is not much younger than him in appearance. He lives downstairs and the “old” son lives upstairs. This small building with ordinary appearance is also an ancient building in the local area. It was built by the ancestors of Eckart in 1850 and has a history of one and a half centuries. Alcatel was born here on April 14, 1923.

after graduating from Eckart middle school, he chose fitter as a profession, became an apprentice for three years from 1938 to 1941, and then joined the army.

he said: “From my childhood to joining the army, I have experienced great social changes in Germany around the 1930s. I have personally experienced the national hunger before taking office and the economic revitalization after 1933. On the eve of World War II, the Germans, including me, were very excited, proud and United. At that time, there was a saying most often heard:” one person, one person 。’ Despotism brought economic miracle to Germany, which gained the upper hand in the Democratic competition with Britain and France. The common people have seen the failure of the democratic system implemented in the Weimar Republic and the economic success of the dictatorship implemented by the Nazi party after it came to power. They have no reason to hate and resist autocracy. How many people have read my struggle? I didn’t, and no one I know has read it. We value practical interests and trust the people who bring them these interests. In this mentality, most people’s attitude towards joining the army is positive, otherwise the German army would not be able to fight like this.

“I was not in the SS at first. When I joined the army in March 1942, I joined the air force and worked on the ground. I first received four months of training in southern France, and then served as an airport guard in central France. Since September 1942, I have received half a year of training as an aircraft mechanic. According to the above arrangement, after training, we should have been transferred to the battlefield in North Africa, but there was no training there At the end of our training, the war situation was so bad that it completely lost the significance of troop surge. In May 1943, the German North African Legion in Italy surrendered in Tunisia. The number of captured German soldiers reached 130000, and North Africa was completely controlled by the allies. So we were sent to Sardini, Italy, when the Allies were preparing to land in Italy.

“At that time, the plane was not far away. Shadini island was a midway gas station of the German air force in southern Europe. My task was to lift bombs, maintain machinery and refuel the aircraft, so that these aircraft could go from here to attack the British army in North Africa and destroy and delay their plan to land on the Italian peninsula. On this big island in the Mediterranean, I spent days with a group of brothers It’s been speculated that where will the Allies land? Is it Sardini or Sicily where we are? Fortunately, the Allies finally chose Sicily, and we withdrew from shadini to the mainland of the Italian peninsula without any fighting.

“in September 1943, I was transferred to northern Italy and kept moving from airport to airport. In France and Italy, the aircraft I was responsible for maintenance was mainly u52 aircraft, which had 2000 horsepower. After flying hundreds of times, I needed to change the motor.

“In 1944, Germany was increasingly short of fuel and aircraft were greatly reduced. The air control power had been completely controlled by the US and British air forces. The German air force had run out of gas, and our workload decreased accordingly. Under this situation, I was transferred back to Germany in September this year, and then I was sent to the eastern front battlefield and incorporated into the SS. I changed from an airport mechanic far from the front line to a SS soldiers who have to fight on the front line, which is a bad change for me. The background of this change is: on July 20, 1944, a group of German soldiers led by Colonel Stauffenberg failed to plan to assassinate Hitler, which increased Hitler’s suspicion of the national defense force and decided to increase the proportion of the SS in the army. His way is to directly integrate many national defense force soldiers into the SS series. In this way, I was incorporated into the 5th SS division – Viking division. ”

“Viking master?” I interrupted, “I’ve heard of it. It seems to be the main armored division of the SS. It’s very fierce and has been fighting on the eastern front. Isn’t it?”

Eckart nodded and said, “it’s rare.You know Viking. It would be nice for 1% of today’s young people to know. ”

I then asked, “does the so-called ‘Vikings’ refer to the Vikings called’ Vikings’ around the 9th century?”

Eckart said: “Yes. Because the Viking division was originally dominated by Nordics, Himmler gave it such a name, hoping that they could be as fierce and powerful as the Vikings in history. However, later, with the development of the war, many foreigners were gradually added to the team, and the Viking division became a real multinational force.”