Remembering a past life as a Waffen-SS officer - my story

Discussion in 'Past Life Memories' started by BenjaminFR, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Hello!

    Thanks for your message!

    As for your question, related to if there is some continuity in our personas... I do feel a very close bond to him. I won't go into details about what I do now, but maybe this "leader" aspect has somehow carried on. I was always the kind of kid to organize games, lead projects as a student and I've been involved in the creation of two businesses already, loving the management and strategy aspects of it.

    On the contrary, I strongly dislike violence, never got into a fight (although I trained for years in a israeli martial art, funny twist of fate), and hate any form of cult or place where you're told how to think. I am very much an open-minded person, kind of a free spirit and I love discovering new cultures, I mean right now I live in a communist state so far away

    And yes, I have the feeling that, somehow, we experience things at the same moment in our lives. I realized the other day that my visions started at the age he joined the SS. And I remember that he went through very tough times throughout his younger years, with a catastrophic economy in Germany from 1916 until Hitler came into power. And yes, I can very much relate because my family was plagued by the 2008 crisis, where we lost our status, comfort and pretty much all belongings. I know the rage it feeds into your heart and mind, I even thought about joining the army (I wanted to go to Sandhurst, British military academy to train as an officer, or Legion if it didn't work out), but I ditched those plans because... I didn't want to stain my life with violence and suffering. It's funny because this happened before I found out the identity I carry inside me.

    I also remember having an "imaginary son", when I was a young kid (you know, some children have imaginary friends, well I had an imaginary son). I'd call him "my boy" and always refused to tell his name. I discovered later in my investigation that this soldier, whose memory I carry, never had the chance to see his second son, as he never got to come home between his son's birth and his death. Is there a link? I don't know but finding out this information revived a lot of sad emotions.

    As for the "SS stuff" you mentioned, I don't think it carried over at all. I never was interested in Nazi Germany at all, from a historical point of view, and still today I have no fascination for the Waffen-SS. I do see it as an elite formation (at least it was so in 1942,1943, before the war it was a joke), but I don't miss it, I don't fantasize about it, it was a copy-paste of every group that ever saw themselves as political elite in history. Take a generation of angry young guys, add some strong words about bringing the country back to its greatness (of course they're better than neighbours), powder with mysticism (take a look at what the SS ceremonies were like) and you've got the recipe for the SS. And pretty much every other group based on hate.

    One thing I remember though, is the unique bond you form with your fellow soldiers. I do remember that it was such a close and strong relation... a very deep and selfless commitment. I knew those men would follow me everywhere, and I'd do everything I could to ensure their safety and well-being. It's hard to describe how deep this bond is.

    On a lighter note, I want to tell you a funny story about the glimpse of another life I saw:
    In a regression, I drifted away for a moments and saw a scene from a much, much older life. I was in a forge, in the medieval times, and yeah, I was putting a lot of care into hammering an armor plate.

    As a kid, I used to ask for a lot of cardboard to my parents. It pleased me much more than toys, as I'd spend hours crafting armors with cardboard and duct tape. I'd do everything. From the helmet to every plate including articulate gauntlets.. my parents loved it. I started super early, when I was 5 I made the base model for my school's show (we mimed a battle so I made shields and body armors) and ended up doing like 20 sets in carboard for all kids... fun times.

    Anyway, I believe there is some kind of repetition or patterns, but I see them more as something you have to break away from. I guess my whole life has been a path to break free from the patterns you inherit from your family and culture
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  2. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Hey Kalos!

    Always nice to read you! Hope all is well.

    I find it fascinating that you share such a close bond with your old identity. The memories pre-war you mention are extremely interesting. Mine are somehow more sparse. I told you already that I feel that the memories I was allowed to remember are limited to what was useful. But it doesn't justify why I carry so much military knowledge about the Waffen-SS and it's campaigns.

    So far, I have had visions of streets and buildings when Eugen was very young, and few other scenes, but that's pretty much it. No names, few faces, vaguely aware of a little brother. However the scene of Eugen presenting himself in front of his father in black SS uniform for the first time is etched in my memory. I could draw you a map of the ground floor of the house, I could describe the glasses of his father like if they were in front of me. Once from that on I could pretty much tell you where he went and what he did until 1943. It's surprising and a bit sad to realize that his life -as I remember it- only bloomed when he joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe.

    It's a bit frustrating sometimes to have such a gap -before and after he joined. As of this day I still have doubts as to why he joined the SS. I somehow know that he wanted to become a career officer - now did he join the Waffen-SS for a lack of opportunity in the Wehrmacht, or for attraction towards national socialism? I have memories that support both options: his father was a veteran of WW1, I believe, but as an enlisted, not a career officer. And I don't think Eugen was fitting the standards of the Wehrmacht to train as an officer in 1934, however the SS was known to provide opportunities in their SS-Junkerschule for young men to follow an officer course regardless of social origin. On the contrary, I remember a hatred for the reds down to a young age, and have images of beating up communists while wearig civilian clothes.

    So I am still wondering, as of today, if I don't remember much of his youth comes from the fact that his life pre-SS was very tough. Not many happy moments. Just struggling. I mean I have had moments in my life now where I've struggled a lot for extended periods of time, and I have few memories from it also. I find it, for now, the most plausible answer to my dilemma.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  3. Yannovitch

    Yannovitch Member

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    @BenjaminFR
    I have a question for you.
    Since you remember many elements of your past life, do you feel you have kept within you any instinctive knowledge of the german language? Did you study german at any point in your life? if so did it come easily or not at all?
     
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  4. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Salut!

    Oh I have a funny relationship with the german language.

    I do speak very decent german now, with fairly good pronunciation, but I learned it at school during nearly 10 years (even though I never was a top student). I also spent a whole month in Frankfurt-am-Main, working there as an intern when I was 18.
    So I cannot say that I have an instinctive knowledge of it, since it was something I learned academically as a kid.

    However, I remember that, while at school, I had some words that I just "knew". Like the german teacher asked us how to say 'attack', and I shouted back "Angreifen" without thinking.

    I also remember catching myself thinking in German, a few months before this whole story unfolded for me. Later on, during my research, I was writing a memo regarding Eugen's medals and I clearly thought, almost like a voice inside of me, "Ich war kein Ritterkreuzträger", which roughly translates into "I wasn't a Knight's Cross wearer". Which was true, I was writing that but it turned out to be false, as Eugen only had a 1st Class Iron Cross.

    So yeah... I just like to say that the german language is a part of me for many reasons!
     
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  5. BellonaStrandt

    BellonaStrandt Child of a Tsar and Oberführer

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    Oh yeah, I have a question. Do you remember part of Germany Eugen was from? Was he from Darmstadt(or at least just the state of Hesse) by any chance? Reinhold(my Third Reich self) was from Darmstadt.
     
  6. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Hello Bellona! I did not remember precisely where it was from. I had to learn it, although I had a glimpse of a name that started with K... I thought it might have been Koln, when in fact he lived most of his adult life in Kiel :)
     
  7. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Dear all,

    Following was what rightly said by a fellow poster in this thread, I was reading today a very good article in the Guardian on the aftermath of the Great War.

    Here is actually a quote that I found extremely well written. Just so you know, the author here was an editor of an English newspaper during WW1, and happened to lose his only son in 1916 in France. So he knew very much the price of war: after covering the Versailles treaty signing in 1919, JL Garvin described the whole thing as "peace with folly". He wrote that "its terms repeat the fatal precedents that always led back to war and made the end of one struggle the beginning of another". The treaty, he wrote, "scatters dragon's teeth across the soil of Europe. They will spring up as armed men unless the mischief is eradicated". It left the Germans "no hope except in revenge".

    14 years later, Adolf Hilter was elected chancellor of Germany.

    I do hope that we, my generation and the next, will remember that peace is something we plant through mutual cooperation and by uniting our destinies to make our world a place where humans can build bridges and not walls.
     
  8. Angie Brown

    Angie Brown Senior Registered

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    Yes.
    Imagine if all countries had, or did now, adopt a peaceful form of Buddhism? There would be no wars, and all peoples would be free of at least the worst aspects of....let's say fiscal matters and frauds. What is now Israel and Palestine would be at peace, all Africa also, all of Europe, every living soul everywhere.
    Peoples could have their own countries, own races and colours, own identities without being 'ists' of one type or another, because there would be mutual respect and co-operation for the good of all - including of nature as a whole.
    Although not Buddhist myself I would adopt it if it were likely enough people worldwide would, and if the powerful in particular adopted it.
    Wishful thinking on my part.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  9. Jupiter 11

    Jupiter 11 Senior Member

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    Hi Benjamin,

    Just wanted to tell you that I saw the pictures of Eugen on tanker's thread, and I find that you look a lot like him. ;)

    Sadly, I coundn't find any portrait of my pl identity, perhaps because photography wasn't that common at the beginning of the 20th century.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  10. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Salut!

    Ha yes, the physical ressemblance. It's funny because I don't really look like my parents. The day I found Eugen's name and cause of death in a book, I managed to find a picture straight away on internet, and while it was somewhat low quality, I still could recognize myself on it immediately. It was a big shock!

    Here is the first picture I found, with Eugen on the right (attached below). It states Eugen's rank as SS-Standartenführer, which is equivalent to Colonel, as he was promoted two ranks up posthumously - I would assume it's to provide his widow with a better pension, and reflect his actual responsabilities of Regiment commander. I have no memories of this rank, and only found out about it a year ago, since I remembered Eugen being SS-Sturmbannführer, or Commandant/Major.

    I actually showed the picture to my mum (she was next to me when I found it!) and told her "Mum, this man died the same way I remember dying, he lived a life very similar to my memories, have the same rank and today is his birthday. Look how similar we look!". I will never forget the look she gave me :D

    WeChat Image_20181107142449.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  11. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Hello everyone! I wanted to paste here the details of the historical research I have conducted to trace the military career of Eugen, from 1934 to 1943. I was sharing it on a private conversation but I figured that it might be of interest of everyone.

    He was trained in Bavaria, going to the SS-JunkerSchule Bad Tolz, from early 1934 to 1935 when he graduated and was comissioned officer. He then stayed there about a year more, to teach. From there:

    Basically, being from the north of Germany, he was sent in early 1936 to take command of the II. Sturmbann of the SS-Standarte "Deutschland". In March 1938, he took command of the I. Sturmbann of the SS-Standarte "Der Fuhrer". He was promoted to the rank of Hauptsturmfuhrer and, in 1939, became Adjutant of the SS-Infanterie Regiment "Germania".

    During the France campaign, he was assigned as commander of the 15. Kompanie of the SS-Infanterie Regiment "Germania".

    In December of the same year, he was appointed Ib (quartermaster) of the SS-Division "Deutschland" (which was later renamed "Reich", and later on "Das Reich"). He held this position in the Reich Division until March 1942. Quartermaster, in case you wonder, is right below Chief of Staff (Ia in the German nomenclature). During this time, the Reich Division fought hard during Barbarossa, but I have no memories of this period surprisingly. One reason could be that Eugen wasn't there, as some records state a 9 months break in his assignments, as he rejoined the Reich Division on the 7th of September 1941 as Ib. For the Reich Division, it was hard fights with Barbarossa until August 1941, when it was removed from the front. It was then sent again to the front in September to take part in the offensive on Moscow.

    In June 1942 he was appointed Ia of the 6-SS-Gebirdsdivision "Nord", so Chief of Staff under direct command of Matthias Kleinhesterkamp, a man that I believe took under his wings, in this mountain division who fought in Norway on the northern front of Leningrad.

    On his birthday, 9th of November 1942, he joined the 3-SS-PanzerGrenadier Division "Totenkopf" as commander of the I-SS-Panzerabteilung. I think it was his first command of armoured units. He took command 4 months after of the II. battalion of the 3-SS-PanzerRegiment of the SS-PanzerDivision "Totenkopf". He fought in the streets of Kharkov as commander of his own Kampfgruppe, which was a small self-sufficient battlegroup formed to complete the objective of retaking the city of Kharkov.

    A little note regarding how he was appointed commander of the 3-SS-Panzerregiment: the founder and "father" of the Totenkopf Division was Theodore Eicke, who died in 1943 (quite stupidly btw.). Well, his son-in-law, a guy I only remember under the name Leiner, was an incompetent, worth nothing officer. He was the first commander of the Panzerregiment when the Totenkopf PanzerGrenadier Division was transformed into a full-PanzerDivision. Leiner was quickly kicked out of his command when it became clear that in Kharkov, he didn't have the skills or nerves to run a regiment. And I took his place.

    Then came Kursk and you know the rest.

    Throughout his time at Totenkopf, he served in Army Group South. Before, Army Group Centre with Reich and a brief stint at Army Group North with the Nord Division.
     
  12. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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  13. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Ritter,

    I hope you will start your own thread on your PL, your posts are very interesting. I agree with your sentiments in re the writing of history books and especially in regard to "political correctness" (which I detest in general). What came as a surprise was your viewpoint on the overall impact of the German offensive in the East on the spread of communism and the Soviet Union. I had never thought of things that way before. I'm not sure I totally agree, but I'm definitely going to be reviewing that in my mind from a new angle over the next few days or weeks.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
  14. briski

    briski Senior Registered

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    Welcome to the forum @Ritter, I agree with S&S you definitely need your own thread on this, your post is very interesting
     
  15. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Hello Ritter!

    What a beautiful surprise! I thank you a million times for taking the time to write such a long answer. And you are writing to me on a special day, as today is Eugen's birthday. It is very special to read your words.

    It makes me feel less alone to know that I am not alone it remembering the slaughterhouse of the East. I don't think words can truely describe what went down there.

    I would be very interested to hear a detailed account of your story, even if your answer is already very precise.

    Leibstandarte was the elite, like the Reich and Totenkopf. We saw the toughest battles. I could talk about fighting the Soviets for days, personally. They took us to the deepest parts of hell. It has been a very tough thing to remember, and it made me feel extremely alone for a long time. However I have to say that it doesn't drag me down that much, today, since it's part of something bigger and, as I said previously, it is now a very strong fuel towards living a life that I choose. I am the captain of my own life and it is very good this way. Suffering was a brilliant teacher but I'm free now.

    I do however share a lot of what you said about what the Waffen-SS really was. They were not a band of trained sadists as it is often pictured now. I remember very trained, disciplined men who held themselves to the highest standard of fidelity towards their units. Apart from a minority, most were not psychopaths, they were men forged in troubled times who, growing up in a nation traumatized by the aftermath of the Great War, went on and formed ruthless and fierce band of soldiers.

    I do share with you the feelings regarding Communism back then. I don't think Eugen was a pathologic antisemit like some key-figures of the SS. His demons were communism, as he held them responsible for the chaos, somehow, and felt that they were the ennemy to beat and banish. As I said earlier, I remember him in street fistfights with communist bands before enlisting.

    But I don't really share your point of view regarding the intelligence we had prior to Barbarossa. I remember realizing that there had been a huge underestimation of the reserves of the Soviet forces. I read that the Germans had estimated that, during Barbarossa, the Soviets would be able to raise 150 Divisions - 100 Divisions existing plus 50 more to be formed after beginning of the invasion. Well in reality, my friend, the Soviets had formed 851 Divisions at the end of Barbarossa. 16 times more than estimated. Hell, we even could only guess the identity of their highest commander. Same thing during Kursk, I read that the OKW hadn't been aware of a whole army in reserve behind the Steppe front on the Southern Salient of Kursk. That's nearly 800 000 men we couldn't foresee.

    Regarding the professionalism of the Waffen-SS: a lot of things were said about how cruel they were, when today I remember their cold, hard efficiency, however sad it was for who they faced. Rapists and pathological personalities simply wouldn't handle the discipline of our ranks. I do have strong negative feelings for the original Totenkopf Division. I remember that, along the men of the SS-Verfügungstruppe, they stood out as less battle-efficient, less disciplined, and the joke would go that they were only good for elimination of resistance pockets that we would leave behind while we'd do the real job. Lot of it came from the personality of their founder, Eicke, who was a political animal who made a name for himself when he shot Röhm, the head of the SA, in his cell to ensure the dominance of the SS as the strong arm of the Nazi Party. His men were all originally concentration camps guards and, albeit they fought hard, they did so with little tactical skill and got an entire generation of Totenkopfverbände officers killed in 1941.

    When Eugen joined the Totenkopf Division, it was after it was written off on the aftermath of the Demjansk pocket and rebuilt as a PanzerDivision in early 1943. Purged from it's bad elements, it was finally a decent fighting force and Eugen clearly commited to make it efficient and well-commanded.

    Ah, I could talk about it for hours.

    We, Waffen-SS and Soviets, became ruthless. I still acknowledge the many war crimes of both, especially the ones I witnessed or committed personally. Those were the hardest to remeber. Among the officers and political commissars we captured, few ever saw an internment camp. It must not be forgotten, although you are right, both sides were brutal and merciless.

    It's very sad to see how history remembers the losers. No prayers for them
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  16. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    As for my purpose, it's not clear, but I sometimes have very deeply pessimistic thoughts about the future.

    I think that telling Eugen's story is really important for me, you know. I am writing his book and it's for now my biggest ambition. I want to tell what our sacrificed generation wishes to shout to the world.

    Because sometimes, when I see where we are headed, it deeply saddens me. We have forgotten, O too soon, that we could very much create another chaos and carnage. I hope that we all, by sharing our stories, might enlighten the others as to how little it takes for hate to take over and lead nations on a collective suicide.

    I hope I didn't come back to witness it again, because I live in China and it can be scary sometimes, where it's heading.
     
  17. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Benjamin and Ritter,

    First, as to the issue of history, the real tragedy is not when a nation or region's soldiers are ill-thought of by the enemy, but when they are ill thought of by those who they fought and died for. And, that is the ultimate goal of political correctness and historical revisionism. No respect is allowed even from those from whom it might be proper and due. Even in their own country, all MUST deny the bravery, sacrifice and courage of the ordinary and extraordinary men who fought for Germany, because the top leaders of their nation were of the worst. The same can definitely, and perhaps even more, be said of Stalin and the leadership of the Soviet Union. They were utterly despicable. But their WWII soldiers are not disavowed in Russia, disdained and forgotten. Despite their contemptible acts against conquered soldiers and civilians they are lionized. No one is demanding that the Russians do otherwise. I feel this keenly in terms of what is currently taking place in the U.S., where the minions of political correctness seek to destroy all respect for those who fought for their people in the past, either because they were not "pure" enough by the politically correct standards of the current day, or because they were on the wrong side of a conflict that the politically correct count as "their" own.

    Second, I am keenly aware of the danger you mention in regard to China. Much or what I see that comes from there seems to harp on the same type of refrain that brought Germany into a second world war. The idea that: We have been and are being dishonored and taken advantage of by outside forces and must, by whatever means necessary, recover our honor and rightful place in the world. And, so it seems to me, MAKE THEM PAY for doing what they did to us. Perhaps you see it differently, but that is the way it seems to me.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
  18. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    "Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern"

    Now I understand what man I am talking to, no need for further explanations or translation. Have you been cursed with an officer point of view of this carnage aswell?
     
  19. BenjaminFR

    BenjaminFR Senior Member

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    Oh well :D

    It's not the first time somebody warns me.

    I won't divert from my current course. I love this world too much to give it up. Wether we are headed for the wall or not, however how depressing news can be, I still see hope and I refuse to let go of any chance I have to weigh in on what I consider the right direction.

    I have hope because I see in China a generation of men and women, very much like in every country I have visited, who have a much broader identity and want to change the status-quo.

    As you said it's far from going on the right direction but at least I'll take my chances, plus I don't want to give up on my current position. I wish to work towards a greater understanding of our different nations :)
     
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  20. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi Ritter,

    I find your blunt honesty in these matters to be as refreshing, shocking, and finally as uncomfortable as an arctic breeze. I can't agree with everything you have said, but I'm glad someone in the world is still willing to speak his mind without parsing every concept, word and phrase for political correctness. In the modern age this is a bit of a shock, but perhaps one that we cannot do without.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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