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A man I knew well. he was a good friend of my wifes grandparents and used to come visit for tea every few weeks.

I hope the badge shots are to your liking...

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I agree with Robin above Good photo, the shoulder straps piping looks dark Artillery?

cheers

Gary

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Hi,

He was a Doctor. Originally from Romania, his Soldbuch had a photo of him in a SS Medical school /unit in Berlin with SS Runes, then he transfrerd to the Handschar. Was there from day one when the unit was formed, tilll the end of the war.

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Hi,

He was a Doctor. Originally from Romania, his Soldbuch had a photo of him in a SS Medical school /unit in Berlin with SS Runes, then he transfrerd to the Handschar. Was there from day one when the unit was formed, tilll the end of the war.

Chris,

Thanks for the extra info.

cheers

Gary

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That is a great photo, Chris. What did he do after the war? Open a medical practice?

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That is a great photo, Chris. What did he do after the war? Open a medical practice?

Indeed he did... was the doctor in the next village.

I hate discussions about " SS Men - lords of battle" etc.

but a few things ...

He was as vain as you could imagine, but very "correct".. he once told me, that he had never known of death camps, Auschwitz etc. Which I am sure you will agree sounds ridiculous... On the other hand... he told me of men in his regt throwing men, women and children into a barn and burning/machine gunning it (of course, he was not "there" he was back at the first aid post)...

So, it has always been a bit of a mystery to me... how can one claim not to know about death camps... which one had nothing to do with... but at the same time admit to knowing about crimes against humanity from ones own unit ?

I think in those days people knew less than we do today, we have internet and CNN, they had party press and news.

Anyway, until his 90th birthday he used to cycle the 10km's from his village to ours to have some tea...

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He definately sounds approachable. Most military doctors I know are very vain as well as "prim and proper". take it he passed away? Did he receive any personal honors(KVK or ect)? What was the highest rank he held?

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He definately sounds approachable. Most military doctors I know are very vain as well as "prim and proper". take it he passed away? Did he receive any personal honors(KVK or ect)? What was the highest rank he held?

Hi,

he had KVK2, EK2 and a croation thing "Zowonir" or something like that. I thin Lt. was his highest rank.

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Thanks Chris.

Do you have any other photos to post(even post war)? I would love to be able to talk to a medical veteran someday... but time is quickly running out.

Paul

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For a basic refrenc on this unit read the divisional history 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre which I posted a review on. It has the names of the officers of the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' (kroatische Nr.1) in it. Give me a name of your former Untersturmf?hrer friend and I will search him up for you. A nice photo though, with the details on the M42 tunic and Ostmadaille ribbon.

K

Edited by Helmut Von Moltke

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For a basic refrenc on this unit read the divisional history 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre which I posted a review on. It has the names of the officers of the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' (kroatische Nr.1) in it. Give me a name of your former Untersturmf?hrer friend and I will search him up for you. A nice photo though, with the details on the M42 tunic and Ostmadaille ribbon.

K

Chris,

Great photo. By chance did this person keep any of his uniforms etc? I recently obtained an 100% untouched Hanschar Tunic from the Imperial War Museum, its the only other authentic example I have come across since 1994. If he did have any, did you get them?

Dr. Jones

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Dr. Jones,

I would be interested in seeing the tunic you mentioned. Why dont you start a thread on it?

Regards

Paul

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Dr. Jones,

I would be interested in seeing the tunic you mentioned. Why dont you start a thread on it?

Regards

Paul

Sure. I am here at work, and only have one photo on this PC. If you want I will email it to you, and you can post it here, then I will follow-up with some better shots. The shot is sorta far, its a shot of my den.

Dan

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For a basic refrenc on this unit read the divisional history 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre which I posted a review on. It has the names of the officers of the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' (kroatische Nr.1) in it. Give me a name of your former Untersturmf?hrer friend and I will search him up for you. A nice photo though, with the details on the M42 tunic and Ostmadaille ribbon.

K

Hi,

Dr. N. Frank

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Had a check, sorry I had an error there. It only covers Battalion commanders. Still a great book.

Anyway, just to inform about another member of the division, according to the January 2004 issue of the HIAG magazine 'Der Freiwillige' published by Munin-Verlag and the author Mr George Lepre of the divisional history of the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' (kroatische nr. 1) of Bosnian Muslim volunteers, named 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' who corresponded with him in the writing of the history, Imam Dzemal Ibrahimovic, the Imam of SS-Flak-Abteilung. 13 of the division and the last Imam of the division, who was living in exile in Germany after the war, unfortunately passed away on 25 September 2003 in Nuremburg. Mr Ibrahimovic's excellent words in pg 316 of 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' probably represent his comrades.

I was young then, religious, and raised as an anti-communist. And in this division, I must honestly say, we saw a bulwark against Bolshevism. Moreover, we had witnessed what the Cetniks had done and were determined to aid our countrymen. This stirred us to join the division. Who else was in a position to help us? The Germans were willing to provide us with weapons and military leadership. We weren't politicians - in my eyes, (our) decision was purely a military one. We (sought to) end the Serbian attacks and to save what remained of the Muslim settlements 9in Bosnia) after the massacres at Gorazade, Foca, Zenica, and near the Drina.

Although not exactly one of the leading formations of the Waffen-SS, the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' performed well in anti-partisan operations in 1944 in their homeland and with their solid base of German officers and NCOs, a competent unit, with patriotic heritage dating back to holding back the Turks hundreds of years before in the defense of Europe despite being of the Muslim region and the competence of it's regiments in the Austrian-Hungarian army. If anything, it's mass desertions in late 1944 back to their homeland during V. SS-Gerbigs-Korps and the Wehrmacht's retreat from Bosnia did not make them shirkers and cowards, but instead proved that it's men were not loonies of the 'Thousand Year Reich' but men dedicated to their homeland.

Rest in Peace Dzemal Ibrahimovic.

Respectfully,

K

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[quote name=

Although not exactly one of the leading formations of the Waffen-SS, the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' performed well in anti-partisan operations in 1944 in their homeland and with their solid base of German officers and NCOs, a competent unit,

Rest in Peace Dzemal Ibrahimovic.

Respectfully,

K

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That being said, many of the men had to be restrained as many Bosnian Muslims in the division wanted revenge on the Serbs and judging by the violent ethnic warfare of the area, most recently seen in the 90s, these things were an unfortuante occurance on both sides. However the division still peformed it's operations well and defeated several partisan divisions.

Speaking of partisans, by the laws of the Geneva Convention back in the 40s partisans were not legitimate combatants and could be legally executed. In partisan warfare there was little mercy on both sides, and this bloody series of events culminated in the Bleiburg masacre of tens of thousands of Croatian troops and civilians whom the British unfortuantely handed back.

K

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Just to get the topic moving again, mentioning the divisional commander now.

Here are a few photographs of SS-Gruppenf?hrer Karl Sauberzweig. He lost an eye in the First World War. He was promoted to Oberst on the German General Staff on 1 Febuary 1942, and was formally transfered from the Heer to the Waffen-SS on 1 August 1943 and took command of the 13. Waffen-Gerbigs-Division der SS 'Handschar' on 9 August. Sauberzweig handed command of the division to Desiderius Hampel on 19 June as he was taking higher command of the IX. Waffen-Gebirgs-Korps der SS (kroatisches), which contained 2 divisions, his old command and the newly forming sister division 'Kama'. In the final weeks of the war Sauberzweig returned to the Heer and commanded a corps in Heeresgruppe H in northern Germany. Sauberzweig committed suicide with cynaide on 20 October 1946 in the British Prisoner of war camp at Neuengamme as he was facing imminent extraction to the Yugoslavian Communist Regime for his command in the Balkans. His decorations were:

1914 Iron Cross I. Class

1914 Iron Cross II. Class

1939 ribbon to the 1914 Iron Cross I. Class

1939 ribbon to the 1914 Iron Cross II. Class

War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) with swords

1939 Wound Badge (Verwundetenabzeichen) in Silver

Honor Cross for Combatants (Ehrenkreuz f?r Frontk?mpfer)

SS Totenkopfring

Order of Military Merit 6th Class (1st Grade) of Bulgaria

Sauberzweig in his Heer uniform in late May 1940 in Belgium.

post-5489-1169640238.jpg

Sauberzweig wearing his Waffen-SS uniform. He also wears the Waffen-SS Gerbigs Patch on his left shoulder.

post-5489-1169640693.jpg

Sauberzweig wearing the Waffen-SS 'Handschar' Fez.

post-5489-1169640746.jpg

Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler on his second visit to the division's training base at Neuhammer on 11 - 12 January 1944. There are 6 photographs of this visit and his earlier visit on pages 126 - 128 of Mr Lepre's divisional history. Sauberzweig is at far right, wearing glasses and wearing the Waffen-SS officer's Bergmutze with Edelweiss, along with greatcoat.

post-5489-1169641421.jpg

Sauberzweig meeting a Muslim official, possibly during the division's enagement in Bosnia or a representative/subordinate of the Grand Mufti of Jersulem, an Arab propagandist in Germany, during the Grand Mufti's visit to the division at Neuhammer. Sauberzweig is at right, wearing glasses, with fez and a leather greatcoat.

post-9-1085316356.jpg

Sauberzweig giving orders on a Schwimwagen vehicle.

post-5489-1169640833.jpg

Sauberzweig studying a map. He is the with the glasses and wearing the Waffen-SS officer's Bergumtze with a greatcoat, seconf from left in the photograph. I also have seen this photograph surface in old Charlie Syndor's site, and pg 20 of the November 2005 issue of the HIAG magazine 'Der Frewillige'.

post-5489-1169641119.jpg

K

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Found out some more information about SS-Untersturmf?hrer Dr. Nikolaus Frank. From the Personal diary of Hans-Meschendoerfer adjutant of the I/28,, entry from 30 April 1944. During that date the I/28's companies were decimated in savage combat with the partisans at Sekovici during Unternehmen 'Maibaum'. Form page 191, Chapter 7 'Maibaum', 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre.

'The battalion aid station is swamped. Our physician, Dr. Nikolaus Frank, works without respite. The companies need reinforcement and ammunition desperately. The last reserves, the pioneer platoon and the pack animal tenders, have been thrown into the fighting.'

Here are a few more.

A colourised photograph of a SS-Sturmann of the division. Location unknown.

197860983ozwmpephtc0.jpg

An autographed portrait of an SS-Oberscharf?hrer of the division.

197861823yjpvhjphso3.jpg

2 recruitment posters for Croatians and Bosnians to join the Waffen-SS. They show a Christian wearing the Bergmuetze and a Bosnian Muslim with the SS-fez.

197860905efqtszphoz1.jpg

197864465enhcgzphdy2.jpg

A photograph of SS-Standartenf?hrer Herbert von Obwurzer, originally commander of a regiment of the 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division 'Nord', charged with the formation of the division. He formally handed command to Sauberzweig on 9 Aufgust 1943 at Mede, France.

227913451mvddejphtm9.jpg

The solemn induction into the Waffen-SS is sworn by men of the division at the Zagreb Festival Square on 12 May 1943. It was originally intended as the swearing in of the oath of loyalty but it was not done as the Croatian authorities were outraged that the oath was not sworn to Ante Pavlic. From right to left on the speech stadiums are SS-Sturmbannf?hrer Kirchbaum, SS-Standartenf?hrer von Obwurzer, SS-Sturmbannf?hrer Braun, and SS-Hauptsturmf?hrer von Rautenheld.

197864465enhcgzphso3.jpg

A post-war colourised photograph taken in 1944 of SS-Sturmann Ejub Jasarevic, decorated with the EK II by Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler for saving Dr. Schweiger's life during the mutiny at Villefranche on 17th August 1943 and the role he played in the crushing of the mutiny. He originally was an orderly to one of the murdered German officers of the 13. Pi. Btl. He and another enlisted man, Adem Okanadzic, outraged by the mutiny, accompanied Dr. Schweiger and convinced the conspirators that they were on their side, thus allowing the trio to reach the headquarters of the 2. Kompanie, and Btl. HQ, thus contacting and allowing reinforcements to arrive. This appeared in it's originaly black and white form in page 91, Chapter 4 'Mutiny' of 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre.

197860905efqtszphxl2.jpg

A divisional newspaper, 'Handzar', announces the visit of SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Arthur Phelps, commander of the V. SS-Gebirgs-Korps on 28 August - 1 September 1943 to the division in France. He is shown inspecting a captured British Sten Gun captured from local French Partisans. He is wearing the 'Prinz Eugen' cufftitle as before his command he was commander of the 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division 'Prinz Eugen' made up of Volksdeutsche from the Balkans. This appeared in page 65 of, Chapter 3: 'Formation and Training of the Division in France' of 'Himmler's Bosnian Division' by George Lepre. There are 8 more photographs of Phelps' visit in pages 66-69 of the book.

197861666ssvpvzphyp8.jpg

A SS-Sturmmann of the division pins a portrait of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Hussenei, on his barracks wall during the division's training in the training grounds of Neuhammer in Silesia. This photograph appeared in 'Europaische Freiwillige in Bild', a photo book about foreign volunteers of the Waffen-SS.

197861720pabzlfphbc2.jpg

K

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What an interresting thread. A rare unit. I love the history come from the single photo. One word : bravo

Christophe

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A photograph from ullstein showing the Mufti inspecting a guard of honor led probably by a German Waffen-SS NCO during his 1 January 1944 visit to the division at Neuhammer. The Mufti's Muslim Arab aide is right behind him and to the Mufti's right is SS-Gruppenf?hrer Sauberzweig, followed by his aides and officers.

handscharmb1.jpg

A portrait of an SS-Sch?tze of the division, wearing the divisional collar patch. He is also probably wearing either an M42 or M43 tunic.

ssschtze15nk.jpg

K 00009176.gif

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Seems to be the unfortunate record of a unit "performing well".

what that doctor was talking about didnt happen while he was with the Handschar division I guarantee you.

Handschar was constantly in engagements with the partisans, to the point that the division was near exhaustion. It had no time for the mass killings that the serbian propaganda machine pumps out.

a common engagement was where a partisan division attacked an outnumbered Handschar battalion. So thats, 5,000 men vs 700 SS men.

At the end of the day what won the day for the SS was combined arms, artillery and superior tactics.

my best argument is right here

http://www.fantompow...itska_gorge.htm

total crap disguised as historical evidence and a first hand testimonial

here's some more on the division

http://panzergrenadi...hp?f=25&t=13540

Edited by BandenKampfer

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Also I have to add that whole "you better not be captured by the SS or partisans" thing......

Handschar caught nearly 2,000 partisan POWs in 1944, all of which werent harmed, but rather transferred over to the German police units for questioning.

Also.....there was an amnesty for a long time for foreign SS men, Ustasa and Domobran units who wanted to join the partisans. They were accepted.

Entire units changed sides overnight.

That being said, I have not heard of an SS member from Handschar being caught or surrendering to the partisans in battle. In the counterinsurgency battles in the Balkans, those numbers are often listed as missing in action or deserted.

Victors write the history books.

thats all I can say on that.

Edited by BandenKampfer

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what that doctor was talking about didnt happen while he was with the Handschar division I guarantee you.

Well, as it was the only division he served in, from the formation of the division to the end... what other division could it be?

As I believe him to have been a very credible man, I think the onus in on you to prove it wrong.

Best

Chris

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