Ordnung über alles!
– The actual slogan of Volkswagen )
Looking at WW2 photos quite often you can see some strange figures in a strange uniforms. Without even thinking a lot of people will call them Germans. I find it wrong, because there is a clear difference between German and non German for the simple matter of fact they speak different languages and as a rule they originate from a different countries. So hopefully this post will help you to identify different people on WWII photos.
Here are some examples of Latvian SS volunteers. Pretty much it’s all started as Schutzmannschaft under SS command.
At that time it could be any fancy dress or even Soviet uniform. Pretty much for Germans it wasn’t important what uniform Schutzmannschaft wore because at that time it was nothing else but glorified Hilfswilliger. The more important they were issued arm bands.
Unfortunately some of Latvians did not have idea about meaning of German Ordnung and decided to use any armband the liked.
LJO – Latvju Jaunatnes organizācija – Latvian Youth Organization. Officially created in 1943, but Latvians had similar armbands long before 1943. Having such an armband was a risky business. You really have to be very quick to show your Ausweis, if unlucky )
Shorty after, some of Schutzmannschaft battalions were created. At that time it was very cool to use Latvian pre 1940 uniform with their own collar patches.
Certainly Latvians could wear anything they wanted, but if not recognised as a helper no one will guarantee your safety. Not every Heer officer had enough humor to appreciate the latest trends of Latvian fashion and ordered to shoot such a strange people “just for any case”.
Because of such heroic actions many Führers fell due to friendly fire. More and more of Führers started to include some elements of German uniforms.
Needless to say such a scenes were very painful for the German eyes – Nicht in Ordnung… Nicht in Ordnung at all. So it was decided to dress them at least a little bit. Otherwise after seeing such a helpers German officers could not have any sleep, but just a nightmares.
In order to make at least some kind of Ordnung more and more German type uniforms were issued. Here is Latvian Schutzmannschaft with the armband and Allgemeine SS uniform modified for Schutzmannschaft.
If you still have an interest continue to the second part