Saturday, May 07, 2005

Remember: The last defenders of the Gestapo were the French-SS

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the fall of the Third Reich and the end of World War II in Europe, we mustn't forget the French warriors who outlasted the Germans as the Nazi capital fell.

They weren't among the American- and British-backed forces of Charles DeGaulle, and they were worse than the French Communists who were loyal to Stalin.

As Antony Beevor recounts in his book, The Fall of Berlin 1945 (Viking, 2002), these French fighters battled alongside the Scandinavian SS Nordland Division as the last defenders of Hitler's Chancellery and the Gestapo.

They were the remaining men of the Charlemagne Division, the forgotten fighters of the French Waffen-SS.


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