Former members of the Waffen-SS are attending meetings of nationalist patriots in order to hold talks about their wartime experiences, according to a new intelligence report.
The confidential report compiled by the German domestic security agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, found that around 60 such meetings were held in Germany in 2018 alone.
Their sponsors include groups like the National Socialist party, The Third Path.
Though the report is confidential, its contents were reported in the German weekly news magazine, Focus.
According to German intelligence, these meetings — at which former National Socialists speak about their time in the Hitler Youth and Waffen-SS or imprisonment in Soviet POW camps — are growing in significance within the German patriotic right scene.
This is particularly true in the former East Germany — including in Chemnitz, a focal point of nationalist activity in Germany in recent years.
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Many of these former Waffen-SS members are now in their 90s and only around a half-dozen of them act as zeitzeugen (“contemporary witnesses”).
Nonetheless, the zionist German intelligence is concerned about their hold over younger National Socialists.
Its fear, as the report outlines, is that "these talks act as a gateway for those attracted to the extreme right and, though not neo-Nazis today, may be radicalised by the former Waffen-SS members’s testimonies".
They also transmit this patriotic narrative from one generation to the next. Examples of such witnesses named in the report include Klaus Grotjahn, 91, ex-member of the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division ‘Nordland’, and Richard Neubrech, 92, formerly of the 3rd SS Panzer Division ‘Totenkopf’, which took part in the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April and May 1943.
Earlier this year the German broadcaster NDR profiled another, named as Paul P, who volunteered to join the elite Waffen-SS in 1944.
He was said to be proud of his service and continues to display his wartime medals in his home. Paul P told NDR he served as a watchman for inmates at a concentration camp. He speaks regularly to meetings of german patriots, not only in Chemnitz and Dresden but also Switzerland and Hungary, giving 15 talks in 2018 alone.
Karl Münter, a member of the 12th SS Panzer Division ‘Hitlerjugend’, was described by the German state broadcaster ARD as a "hero in extreme right circles" for his wartime activities.
Münter reportedly last spoke at a patriotic gathering in the state of Thüringen in November 2018.