The strange case of Britisches Freikorps

(To Giuseppe Barcellona)

Berlin 20 April 1944, on the day of the fiftieth anniversary of the Fuhrer for the first time a small group of English pro-Nazi volunteers receive weapons and parades under the smug look of Adolf Hitler, wear the uniform feldgrau of the SS Waffen, band on the sleeve with the writing Britisches Freikorps and a shield on the left arm depicting Union Jack; the show with the three lions of St. George was handed to them at a later time.

A few months later, this few brigade brigade surrendered to the Americans in the wreckage of the Nazi war lost by Hitler and Mussolini, but the small number of Anglo-American activists should not deceive; the sequel to the nationalist Socialist ideologies was beyond repute.

The first March of 1888 is founded in London,Order of Golden Dawn in the outer (Golden sunrise) an association that directly depended on Nuremberg, and which involved hundreds of notable British and German citizens in a nationalistic and vaguely anti-Semitic project.

After the end of the war, nationalisms do not subsist, in Italy the Mussolini era begins in Great Britain where 1924 is born British Fascists headed by Miss Rotha Lintorn-Orman were already in 100.000, ready to defend the British crown as the Duce defended the beautiful country by exporting a picture, probably stereotypical, prosperous, and efficient.

In 1929,Imperial Fascist League founded by Arnold Spencer, they declared themselves to be sworn enemies of communists and Jews; in the 1932 the best known is born British Union of Fascists by Oswald Mosley (pictured below) wearing the black shirt identical to the Mussolini militia and adopting the Roman greeting.

In 1936 the British Union of fascists and National Socialists the founder, William Joyce, moved to Germany where the German authorities allowed him to conduct a propaganda radio program entitled Germany Calling.

Thus Great Britain was teeming with National Socialist ideologies, it is useful to know these historical facts in order to understand the following evolution, in the collective imagination of the British fascism and Nazism were running parallel tracks closer and closer together given the evolution of the situation that eventuallyRome-Berlin axis, in fact the two movements were very different but contributed in unison to the fertile ground on which John Amery thought to found a voluntary English formation on the model of the other legions that united to Waffen SS.

Amery in 1936, after embracing the anti-Bolshevik ideology, moved to Paris and then traveled to Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain to study the companies live but only in 1942 in full conflict was invited to move to Germany to participate actively in some broadcasts radio propaganda addressed to their fellow countrymen and in favor of Germany.

In January 1943, on the model of the Legion des Volontaires Française, began pre-enrollment propaganda, which was able to affiliate British and Commonwealth prisoners in the anti-communist project; in February 1943 the German authorities authorized the project provided that combat troops were created and not just propaganda units.

They were turned over Stalag and Oflag in search of adepts sensitive to the cause of Amery, sensitive official results obtained the 21 April 1943 with the first recruitments; the danger of communism aroused interest in the English prisoners, Amery decided to found the British Anti-bolschevik League and the special leaflets were distributed in all the detention camps, on one of them was written: "This war has ceased to be a war of nations and has become an ideological war. Europe and other countries, your wives and your children are threatened by the invasion of the Bolshevik barbarian hordes. For this reason I contacted the German government with the intention of forming an English legion against Bolshevism, known as Legion San Giorgio (original name of the Britons Freikorps). I appeal to all the British to respond to this call to arms for the defense of all the principles that we British first proclaimed in the world: the defense of our homes, our children and all civilization against the Asian dragon and the Jewish bestiality. The Legion San Giorgio will only fight against the Communists and on no other front. "

The idea pleased Hitler very much that he was personally interested in creating it Besonder Abteilungen 999 controlled by Stalag III of Berlin in charge of finding former British fascist militias in prisons.

In the summer of the 1943 the Legion passed under the responsibility of the Germanische Leitstelle ofSS Hautpamt the SS's command office, was in this franchise that the name Legion San Giorgio changed definitively and Amery was set aside while continuing to operate on German radios.

They were gathered near Gensaghen in the Brandenburg 270 prisoners deemed sensitive to the recruitment propaganda, among them John Henry Owen Brown, a former artillery sergeant member of the British Union of Fascist; before the start of the war he had been trained to collaborate with the enemy in the event of a capture and thus lobbied for double play.

Some prisoners ate the leaf and subdued the danger finally rejected the actual enlistment in the ranks of the brigade that remained so cleaved; the few remaining on January 1, 1944 signed a special document: "We, true British soldiers, want to join us with the Fuhrer and the German Reich. We volunteer to fight side by side with the Germans to defeat the enemies of Europe. For this purpose we subscribe to our membership of the British Free Corps. "

The training camp was Stalag IIID (Berlin) with a detachment to Pankow; it was ruled that no brigade member would take action against the British and Commonwealth forces and that no member would participate in espionage actions; because of the work of the aforementioned double - player Brown there were many disadvantages and the Britisches Freikorps became a means of English prisoners to get freedom.

Because of the bankruptcy of the project, SS Ostubaf Spaarman decided to transfer what remained of the brigade south of Hanover to test the real consistency of the men who were part of it, here they swore allegiance to the Fuhrer for a second time in the "... European war against communism ".

When 20 1944 of 44 paraded with a lot of uniform under the gaze of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi hierarchy ignored the truth to the Fuhrer for fear of arousing the wrath of the German leader; the epilogue is known, in September of 1944 the training was completed in Dresden with training in the use of heavy weapons and reclamation of minefields, lessons ended in December 1945 and in February of 1945 the unit was armed and transferred to Berlin, some asked to return prisoners, others were declared incapacitated for health reasons, four were sent to the front, one of them was killed, two first captured by the Soviets then returned to the British, the rest of the minitruppe surrendered to the Americans in May XNUMX, who immediately sent them back to London.

Only John Amery, captured in Italy, was hanged for 19 December 1945's high treason at Wandsworth Prison, while others after a modest detention period returned to liberty from free citizens of the united kingdom.


Hitler's Foreign Volunteers, Ritter Editions;

Fascism in Europe Editrice La Terza;

Britisches Freikorps 1943-45, Merriam Press 2012, The Swastika in Darkness Editions the Sheet.