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The band of the SS-Standarte "Deutschland" was formed in Munich in November 1934 and was given the initial numerical designation of I./SS/l. (the last 1. referring to the Standarte).

The barracks for the band was established in an old hospital building on the Josefspitalstrasse. Placed in charge of constructing the band from 36 volunteer musicians was SS-Ustuf. Gustav- Adolf Bunge. In a short time the band was expanded to 45 men. The musicians had to undergo an abbreviated six-week military training course before being allowed to serve with the band.

In the mornings the bandsmen rehearsed together and in the afternoons they practiced individually. During evening hours, public concerts were usually held, quite often in beer cellars that were run by well-known breweries. It was a common practice at the time for German military orchestras to put in an appearance at such facilities. Along with their band duties, the SS musicians were trained as medics. The "Deutschland" band also participated in the changing of the guard ceremonies at the Feldherrnhalle and gave concerts at the Munich-Hellabrunn zoo and over the local Munich radio station. These were well received by the local citizens. In its special concerts the band played symphonic, dance and popular music. The "Deutschland" band also took part in all of the official state celebrations and parades that were held in Munich.

In 1937 the band went on a concert tour of the Rhineland and performed with great success in the cities of Heidelberg, Darmstadt, Worms and Mainz. In the same year the band was sent on a "strength through joy" cruise to Norway on the passenger ship "Monte Sarmiento."

After the peaceful occupations of the Sudetenland, Austria and Bohemia-Moravia, the "Deutschland" band held concerts in Iglau, Kufstein and Prague. Shortly before the outbreak of war, the bandsmen were transferred to East Prussia and took part in the Polish campaign as a medical detachment with the SS Rgt. "Deutschland." In a small town near Sierce, part of the band element was ambushed from behind by Polish stragglers and eight of the SS musicians were killed. Their bodies were found gruesomely mutilated. On 13 September 1939, SS-Hscha. Hermann Schuster took command of the band after Hstuf. Bunge was sent back to Munich to form a "Deutschland" reserve band, so that the regiment would always have musical representatives in Munich even if it was dispatched to some distant front.

In 1940 the original band took part in the French Campaign with the SS-VT Div. and upon reaching the border with Spain, held a special concert for friendly Spaniards. Over the next several months the "Deutschland" musicians spent time in Hilversum, Amsterdam, Belgium, the Banat, Romania (Temesvar), Hungary, Belgrade and Gallsbach in Austria. At the beginning of the Russian Campaign the band was sent to Pulari in Poland where it was dissolved. The musicians were subsequently attached to the various "Deutschland" companies as medics and their instruments were put into storage. Just before this transpired there was one further change of command when Hstuf. Laubmann replaced Hscha. Schuster who had been transferred to the Waffen-SS HQ staff band in Berlin.

The official march of the "Deutschland" Regiment, which its band often played, was the "Parade March of the Tall Fellows" (PARADEMARSCH DER LANGEN KERLS) by Marc Roland, which was derived from a 1930s motion picture and had no particular historical origin. The successor to the old "Deutschland" band, was the Musikorps E/SS-"Deutschland," capably led by Hstuf. Bunge in Munich. It carried out its duties in the Bavarian capitol and in cities throughout the Reich, including Berlin, Augsburgs, Berchtesgaden, Bad Toelz, and even Cracow.

Radio concerts were also conducted in Munich and Prague. In the fall of 1940, the reserve band was stationed in Prague with the Replacement Battalion of the Rgt. "Deutschland." It had a special band platform at the Hus Memorial before the national museum on the Wenzel Square. In 1941, the band returned to Munich where it became the musical representative of the SS Artillery Replacement Rgt. that was established in that city after the E./Btl./SS-"D" Rgt. was disbanded.

In 1943, the band became a temporary transfer unit for SS musicians under the guidance of the musical inspectorate of the SS Main Office. Bandsmen were trained in Munich before being sent to join other Waffen-SS units. The band’s strength at this time was over 100 men. During 1944, the SS AER (Artillery Ersatz Rgt.) left Munich, but the band stayed behind and was now attached to the SS Flak Training and Reserve Detachment. In 1945, before the city fell to the Americans, the band was finally evacuated from Munich and ultimately dissolved once and for all.

Fife and drum corps and band of II/“Deutschland”

“Deutschland” band leading the regiment back from maneuvers

Trumpeter Corps of the SS Signals Detachment in Berlin

Published in "Siegrunen" Magazine - Volume 7, Number 2, Whole Number 38, April - June 1985

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