"This book examines the phenomenon of Germanic volunteers to the SS through the stories of the neutral volunteers to the Waffen-SS leadership corps--those who became officers or assumed other positions of responsibility--as well as the SS institutions they worked for. Though many of the hundreds of thousands of non-Germans who fought for the Nazi regime were likely coerced into joining by the occupying Germans, this book focuses on volunteers from countries outside of Germany's control--Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark--thereby eliminating coercion or propaganda as explanations for their decisions to volunteer. Unlike non-Germanic volunteers who were given a lower status within the Waffen-SS or came under the command of the German army, volunteers from the Germanic countries were fully integrated into the Waffen-SS and were simultaneously members of the elite SS umbrella organization. Moreover, out of the Germanic volunteers, those from the neutral countries proved to be particularly interested not only in fighting for the regime, but also in working as administrators to establish a Greater Germanic Reich ... [It is] an attempt at integrating the personal stories of Germanic volunteers to the Waffen-SS into the larger narrative of efforts to reorganize large portions of Europe under the Nazi regime. It examines who these men were, what drove them, how they contributed to various aspects of the Nazi project, and how their views developed during the course of the war. At the same time, the book seeks to link these men to decision making on the part of the German SS leadership, including its chief, Himmler. That is, I wish to treat these men as the real historical actors they were. This is a study of perpetrators, of ideology, of the unique institution that was the SS, and, above all, of the interaction of the three. In particular, this book examines the hundred most influential and high-ranking neutral volunteers, all of whom either worked for or closely with the Germanische Leitstelle, the office most central to the Germanic project within the SS. Hence, a narrative following the development of this office parallels the biographies of these men"--Introduction.
Introduction -- 1. Germanic dreams : The Waffen-SS and foreign recruitment -- 2. Restless youth : prewar biographical sketches -- 3. Joining the burgeoning Waffen-SS -- 4. Building a Germanic Europe -- 5. Molding the Germanic political soldier -- 6. The end of the Germanic project -- Conclusion
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