National Socialist Germany and partisans/resistance movements

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Revisionists have criticized various aspects of the politically correct view on partisans and resistance movements acting against National Socialist Germany in Germany itself or occupied areas.


Partisans and resistance movements

Partisans are member of an irregular military force formed to oppose control of an area by a foreign power or by an army of occupation by some kind of insurgent activity.

Partisans are unlawful combatants if they engage in armed conflict in violation of the internationally agreed on laws of war (which include that the occupiers have certain lawful rights and obligations in the occupied territories) which means that such partisans are not protected by such laws and rights. The occupier may consider partisans to be "terrorists", the partisans may consider themselves to be "freedom fighters".

"Resistance" individuals/organizations are broader concepts which also include nonviolent methods. The occupier may consider such individuals/organizations to be committing unlawful acts (including against the rights given to occupiers under international law) and prefer less positive terms such as "criminals".

"Resistance movements" may also be used more generally as term for (unlawful) opposition against governments considered oppressive.

Partisans as unlawful combatants during WWII

Also partisan attacks against military targets were often illegal since the partisans were usually unlawful combatants. "The British Manual of Military Law" stated that partisans "are not entitled to the right of armed forces and are liable to execution as war criminals."[1]

Anti-German partisans

Soviet partisans and the Soviet government

Some "partisans" were in effect regular military units. Thus, behind the Eastern front "Partisan attacks began immediately following the start of the eastern war; certain partisan units deliberately let themselves be overrun, in order then to engage in sabotage behind the advancing German troops and to commit horrific atrocities against soldiers and civilians they caught unaware. Later on, partisan units as large as entire divisions were flown into the hinterland of the German troops, or smuggled in through the lines."[2]

In addition, the Soviet Union has been argued to already before the German invasion to have made large scale preparations for possible future partisan warfare. During the war, partisans were supported and commanded by the Soviet Union. Later in the war, the partisans even officially became a part of the Red Army. One argued controversial aspect of this is that this was in effect preparations for and participation in committing war crimes. This since the partisans were usually not lawful combatants fighting according to the laws of war and even attacks against military targets were therefore war crimes.[1]

The Soviet Union also planned and implemented a massive scorched earth policy which as one effect effect contributed to mass starvation as discussed in the article on The World Wars and mass starvation. The mass starvation may have increased the opposition to the German occupation and the support for the partisans which may have been one of the intended effects of the scorched earth policy.

Partisans are also argued to have contributed to the scorched earth policy.[3][1]

Communists and Jews

Communists and Jews were very important parts of many partisan and resistance movements.

For example, it has been reported that "at least 40 percent of the French Maquis [anti-German "resistance" fighters] were Jewish, including whole independent Jewish units."[4]

The revisionist Wilfried Heink has written that "S. Schwarz also covers the Jewish partisan issue, quoting extensively from a book by Moshe Kaganovich, Der Idischer Ontayl in der Partizaner-Bevegung fun Sovet-Rusland (The Jewish role in the Soviet partisan movement, Central Historical Commission of the Partisan Federation PAKHAKH in Italy, Rome 1948; in: Soloman M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union, Syracuse University Press, 1951, pp. 309 – 333). According to this, Jews even had their own Partisan Federation and bragged about their involvement after the war. All of it has disappeared, and only one copy of the Kaganovitch book available in Hebrew or Yiddish. Why? Because Jewish partisans just don’t fit into the newest version of “history,” in which Jews are depicted as innocent victims."[1]

Other examples are the Auschwitz resistance leaders Bruno Baum and Hermann Langbein who were communists.

See also the "External links" section on more details on Jews and partisans.

Internal conflicts among partisans, with the civilian populations, and with postwar occupiers

After the Katyn massacre was revealed by Germany in 1943, a war broke out between Soviet and Polish partisans.[5]

The anti-German partisans are usually depicted as having widespread support by the civilian population. Another view is of, for example, Jewish partisans in Poland with Jews argued to have been disliked by many Poles already before the war and argued Jewish support for the 1939-1941 Soviet occupation of parts of Poland argued to have intensified this. "The line between bandits and partisans was very vague and many partisans were accused of looting, rape and murder." Partisans are also argued to have used terror tactics against the civilian population in order to prevent any help to the Germans.[5]

After the end of the war and with Poland occupied again by the Soviet Union, Polish partisan "officers were separated from the men and shot or taken to camps. Between July 1944 and 1945, 50,000 Polish resistance fighters were arrested, 20 commanders executed because of their expressed loyalty to the government in exile in London. Show trials were conducted and death sentences handed out. 40,000-resistance fighters were sent to Siberia, according to Mikolayczyk, head of the government in exile (p. 196)."[1]

Atrocities by partisans

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the previously unavailable Soviet archives have been re-examined by independent scholars from Poland, Germany, and elsewhere, and the conclusions drawn from them were strikingly different from the official Soviet line, maintained during the Cold War for several decades: "The Soviet-allied guerrillas routinely engaged in plundering peasants. Documents show that partisan activity often amounted to banditry, rape, pillage, and murder. Occasionally individual transgressors were punished. On the whole, however, the leadership of the Soviet irregular forces considered robbery to be a legitimate modus operandi. Since they largely lacked popular support, the Soviet guerrillas raided villages and manors for supplies. As a top Soviet commander put it, “Most partisan units feed, clothe, and arm themselves at the expense of the local population and not by capturing booty in the struggle against fascism. That arouses in the people a feeling of hostility, and they say, ‘The Germans take everything away and one must also give something to the partisans’” (48). However, this aspect of the Soviet partisan movement has been eliminated from the standard Soviet narrative about them."[6]

Descriptions from one source: "To be successful, and to ensure cooperation, the partisans also terrorized the population. Anyone suspected of collaborating with the Germans was killed, because the population was at first friendly toward the Germans, as those who were part of the eastern campaign know (p.180). This changed when the partisans unleashed their terror against the populace. When they entered a village they immediately killed the village elder, then they locked the family into the house and burned it down. The villagers fled into the forest, but when discovered by the partisans they were killed. The partisans left mountains of bodies behind, as well as distraught woman and horrendous destruction (p. 181). And to be sure, all of those killed by the partisans were no doubt also blamed on the Germans. And as attacks by partisans on civilians were carried out with partisans at times doubtlessly wearing German uniforms, hatred towards Germans was the result, which was part of what was intended. [...]

Ponomarenko described – in a book by the English authors Dixon and Heilbrunn “Communist Guerilla Warfare” – the ‘dress code’ of partisans: Whoever observed the Bogdan group could not know what to make of it. More than half of them were dressed in German uniforms, some wear civilian cloth manufactured in Rovno or Lutsk, others Slovakian and Polish uniforms. In the supply wagon clothing’s for all sorts of partisan activities are carried along: SS uniforms, Italian uniform pants, etc. Ponomarenko admits here that his partisans were bandits, dressed in German and other uniforms and thus not protected by any convention (p. 185). [...]

Right at the start of the war, German soldiers who had been ambushed were found with their eyes gorged out and mutilated in the most horrendous fashion. One was found with his arms tied backward around a tree, his hands nailed to it, his eyes gorged out and his tongue cut out, some of them had their genital cut off (pp. 208-09). During the fight near Selisharova in November 1941 a field hospital with 30 to 40 wounded fell into the hands of the Russians. When the Germans recaptured the area they found only charred remains. The Russians had piled the wounded into a stack, poured gasoline over them and burned them. Woman also participated in the atrocities, slitting the wounded open. Here also pages upon pages of this and that the reason the Soviets are trying to prevent this from being published (pp. 208-13)."[1]

Another source: "One famous account of war crimes by partisans is the Naliboki massacre on the night of the 8th and the 9th of May 1943: “Angered by the widespread plundering, the men of Naliboki decided to fight back and partisan units attacked the town on the night of 8/9, May. All houses were plundered, food and valuables removed, the church and local sawmill burned down as were several houses. The perpetrators in this attack were mostly Jewish communist members of the Stalin Brigade some of whom were former residents of Naliboki and who had earlier escaped from the ghettoes. In the three-hour battle with the defence units of Naliboki, 129 men, women and children were killed.” Note that the church was burned and no quarter was given to women and children. Another infamous massacre in which Jews were involved took place in the village of Koniuchy in the night of 28 to 29 of January 1944: “On the night of 28/29th January about 120 members of the partisan groups and including the Lithuanian Brigade, a Jewish partisan unit of the Red Army, attacked and completely destroyed the village. About forty of those who tried to escape were simply shot down on the spot. Around 300 men, women and children were killed in the 60 households destroyed.[5]

Jewish organizations and Israel are stated to have attempted to prevent investigations into the role of specific Jews in such atrocities. Individuals sought for questioning have included a professor of "Holocaust studies" and a director of Yad Vashem.[5]

Some Jewish partisans continued using violence even into the post-war period against individuals they suspected may have been involved in the Holocaust and even planned to kill six million German civilians as vengeance for the six million Jews allegedly killed. See the articles on Nakam and Abba Kovner.

Partisan atrocities in Yugoslavia

The Communist Tito in Yugoslavia ordered partisans "(…to take of all identification badges, to hide the weapons and dress in German uniforms. In the Jastrebac Mountains 80% of the partisans wore German, the rest Bulgarian uniforms. Radio messages were intercepted recording the killing of German soldiers as ‘butchered’.)

Again and again bodies of German soldiers were found with their eyes popped out, genitals cut off, heads split, and naked – almost impossible to identify (p. 40). The Red Cross emblem was no guarantee for safety, Persons wearing the Red Cross, buildings, trucks and trains marked with it were even singled out as targets, forcing the authorities to decrease the size of the emblem (p. 41). The armed forces compiled a whole collection of photos and reports of atrocities and handed them to representatives of the IRC (International Red Cross; p. 44).

All of this was ignored at the IMT. On August 21, 1946 defense attorney Dr. Laternser presented evidence of the partisan tactics, pointing out that those illegal acts were the reason for German reprisals and that it was not the Germans who engaged in illicit warfare."[1]

After the war, the Communist partisans became the Communist government. Large scale atrocities were committed against Germans. One example is that "When Yugoslav forces captured Belgrade, many of them illegal combatants, supported by Red Army units, up to 30,000 German POWs were shot. Hundreds of German female radio operators, Blitzmädel, and Red Cross nurses were killed by placing them on pointed posts; others were used for target practice (p. 70). 10,000 murdered German soldiers were buried in a mass grave near the Kalemagdan fortification. A Red Cross nurse testified that during the Belgrade fighting, all of the wounded in an ambulance train were killed with knifes. Most of the places were those atrocities occurred are known, yet no effort by an international body has been made to locate the graves (p. 70)." According to official figures, which may be to low, 80,000 German POWs were killed between 1944 and1949.[1]

Partisans and reprisals

National Socialist Germany has often been accused of mass killings of civilians in relation to partisan activity. Revisionists have argued that at the time of WWII and earlier times certain forms of regulated reprisals were not illegal and committed also by the Allies and others. Thus, "a wartime reprisal is the case if one warring party retaliates against another by means which are otherwise unlawful acts of warfare, and with which he wants to force his opponent, his opponent’s branches and the members of the opposing armed forces to give up their illegal acts of war and to return to the principles of lawful warfare."[7]

However, revisionists have also argued that "We have no difficulty admitting that the German reprisal measures in the East, and not only there, were at times excessive and disproportionate, sometimes even performed with false pretenses, but this has nothing to do with a “radicalization” which would have almost automatically led to a mass extermination of the Jews."[8]

See also the article on the Einsatzgruppen.

"Night and Fog" directive

See Night and Fog.

Effects on the German war effort

The partisans caused large negative effects on the German war effort such as by direct attacks on the German military; attacks on German transportation, supply, and logistics; "scorched earth" methods preventing Germany from benefiting from occupied territories; preventing local collaboration with Germans; and propaganda effects (such as from committing atrocities while wearing German uniforms).[1][3][2]

Anti-Communist partisans

During and after the war in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, there were many groups of anti-Communist partisans. Some of the more well-known examples include the "Forest Brothers" in the Baltic States, the "Cursed soldiers" in Poland, and the "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" in Ukraine, but there were also many other groups in these and other areas. Some of these groups were very large, with tens or hundreds of thousands of members, and in some cases continued fighting against the Communists into the 1950s. The Communists used extensive and brutal methods to suppress these partisans. One example is the deportation of the whole populations of Chechens and Ingushes to Siberia in 1944, which caused mass deaths and is sometimes viewed as a genocide.[9]

Internal German resistance movements

A well-known example is the 20 July plot which attempted to assassinate Hitler in a coup attempt with the army officer Henning von Tresckow as a central participant.

Wilhelm Canaris was chief of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, from 1935 to 1944, and has been argued to have played an important part in Germany losing the war by sabotaging German efforts and providing information to the Allies. Another important spy was Richard Sorge.

Martin Bormann, Reinhard Gehlen, and Erich Koch have been speculated to have been Allied spies.

One motivation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich has been argued to be that Heydrich was investigating important Allied spies.

The revisionist H. Keith Thompson, writing on German conspirators against the National Socialist regime, states that "Some conspirators waited for the fortunes of war to turn before becoming active traitors. Others, in high places long before the war began, have alleged that they wanted to show "the world" that there was "another Germany." Perhaps the presence of so many prominent and highly placed traitors in Germany encouraged Britain and France to make their absurd "guarantee" of Poland's ludicrous frontiers, and thus precipitate World War II. The treasonous activities of the various echelons of conspirators did nothing to keep the Allies from ruthlessly pursuing their objective, the destruction of Germany and the fixing of frontiers even more unnatural than those drawn after World War I."[10]

"Many well-known Communists, like Sorge, were involved in conspiracies against Hitler and Germany. This is less surprising. Ironically, however, many of the conspirators, like Stauffenberg, belonged to the landed aristocracy. It is a further irony that most of the citadels of the "Junker" class were in Ostelbien, areas east of the Elbe, including Central Germany and former Eastern Germany, now divided between Poland and the Soviet Union after the postwar expulsions of the native German population. The aristocrats thus helped dig their own graves."[10]

Another possible cause is blackmail, which may have been used by the Soviet Union against Martin Bormann.[11]

Regarding absent Holocaust knowledge, see Holocaust documentary evidence: Spies, cracking of all German message codes, and other intelligence gathering activities.

See also

External links

Wilfried Heink

Jewish partisans

Article archives


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The Suppressed History of Crimes committed on German soldiers in WWII. Part 1-V + Conclusion.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Partisan War and Reprisal Killings
  3. 3.0 3.1 Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare: Facts and Consequences
  4. Jews as Underground Fighters in the Second World War
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jewish Partisan Warfare During WWII
  6. News & Publications (1 May 2006). "The myth exposed by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz". The Sarmatian Review vol. 26, no. 2 (2006): 1217-1220. The Institute of World Politics. PAPERS & STUDIES. [Also in:] Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (21 April 2006). "Sowjetische Partisanen in Weißrußland. Innenansichten aus dem Gebiet Baranovici 1941-1944. Eine Dokumentation". The Sarmatian Review. Russian documents translated into German by Tatjana Wanjat in Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, vol. 88. Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  7. Reprisals and Orders From Higher Up
  8. Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks.
  9. See Anti-Soviet partisans, Eastern European anti-Communist insurgencies, and the articles linked there.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Conspiracy and Betrayal around Hitler, A Review
  11. Reinhard Heydrich: Part III
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