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  #1  
Old 02 Oct 09, 17:05
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Waffen SS tattoos

If someone could clarify this for me...

I have contradicting sources, some say that the waffen SS troops had their blood type tattooed in very small prints on the armpit. (some say that it goes for SS troops too, sometimes it says it was a small skull), this helped identify some SS men that tried to blend in the civilian population after the war was over.

Some sources claim it's just a myth...

Anyone has specific details?
Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02 Oct 09, 17:58
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Yes, Golani, it's true--I remember reading in "Le reveur casque" ("The Captive Dreamer") by Christian de la Maziere that he was privately horrified to have to have the SS tatoo (in the educated/cultured Catholic French Catholic upper classes to which de la Maziere belonged to, tatoos were and still are very much frowned upon as uncivilized).

So as an officer he sent his soldiers (who being French, grumbled openly about another incomprehensible "Boche" prerequisite) to have it done while he urbanely "went on an important errand", never having it done. Consequently, in 1945, when he taken into captivity, he was to escape quite a bit of trouble when his Soviet capturers sent him back to his native France. He still was in a French prison for a few years. His alibi was that he was a Vichy journalist and not a member of the French Division "Charlemagne" of the Waffen SS (which he was in fact).

If you've ever seen Woody Allen's "Annie Hall", Marcel Ophuls' (son of award-winning German Jewish filmmaker Max Ophuls) groundbreaking 1969 documentary on Vichy France "The Sorrow and the Pity" is mentionned a number of times--and Christian de la Maziere is one of the main interviewees.

If you are interested in this troubled time-period I highly recommend that you watch "The Sorrow and the Pity" ("Le Chagrin et la pitie").


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golani View Post
If someone could clarify this for me...

I have contradicting sources, some say that the waffen SS troops had their blood type tattooed in very small prints on the armpit. (some say that it goes for SS troops too, sometimes it says it was a small skull), this helped identify some SS men that tried to blend in the civilian population after the war was over.

Some sources claim it's just a myth...

Anyone has specific details?
Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 03 Oct 09, 04:10
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Here's ane example of one:



For blood type:







Source: http://www.degrelle.de.vu/
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Old 03 Oct 09, 10:32
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I can't remember where I read this, but German children also had these same small tatoo's for their blood-types under there arms.
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Old 03 Oct 09, 11:02
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Thanks for the info.

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While my mom can read Polish, I can't

Can you explain who are this people?
What's going on in the photos?

Any more info will be gladly accepted
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Old 03 Oct 09, 13:40
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Well, the last one is subtitled as:

Quote:
Diese Aufnahme zeigt einen jungen SS-Mann bei seiner Festnahme und "Filzung". Das er mit der Tätowierung nichts gutes zu erwarten hat, scheint ihm seinem Gesichtsausdruck nach klar zu sein.
And the second from the bottom:

Quote:
Hier noch mal ein anderes Foto einer Blutgruppentätowierung. Man kann deutlich die Unterschiede der Tätowierung zum Foto oben erkennen. Auch hier handelt es sich um die Blutgruppe A.
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Old 03 Oct 09, 19:32
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Diese Aufnahme zeigt einen jungen SS-Mann bei seiner Festnahme und "Filzung". Das er mit der Tätowierung nichts gutes zu erwarten hat, scheint ihm seinem Gesichtsausdruck nach klar zu sein.

This photo show a young SS-Soldier during is arrest and body search. Looking at the look on his face he seems to know that nothing pleasent will happen to him with that tattoo on him.

Hier noch mal ein anderes Foto einer Blutgruppentätowierung. Man kann deutlich die Unterschiede der Tätowierung zum Foto oben erkennen. Auch hier handelt es sich um die Blutgruppe A.

Here again another Photo of the blood type tattoo. One can clearly see the differences to the tattoos in the upper photo. Again, it is type A.
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Old 04 Oct 09, 02:17
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Thanks for the translation

Is there any knowledge as to if his "regular" SS or Waffen?

Anyone knows anything else?

Thanks.
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Old 04 Oct 09, 04:39
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Well,I know that "regular" SS (allgemein SS) in prison camps,did have a small tattoo ID number on arm.....same number prisoners had...

Considering that 3rd SS Division Totenkopf,was largely comprised from SS-Totenkopfverbände,it won't be strange to find those tattoo sings on Waffen SS soldiers...

I have to check if all SS personnel had them...
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Old 04 Oct 09, 09:23
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_blood_group_tattoo

French volunteer Charles La Maziere writes in his book, that he simply refused it, and then absence of this sign saved his life after the war. But La Maziere is not very believable source.
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  #11  
Old 04 Oct 09, 09:31
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Again, there's a mix up, the whole page mentioners that the tattoo was primarily applied to Waffen-SS troops, but then mentions that Josef Mengele managed to escape easily because he didn't have such a tattoo...
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Old 04 Oct 09, 10:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golani View Post
Again, there's a mix up, the whole page mentioners that the tattoo was primarily applied to Waffen-SS troops, but then mentions that Josef Mengele managed to escape easily because he didn't have such a tattoo...
Josef Mengele served early in the war in 5th SS-Division Wiking. So he should have had a tattoo but still there is nothing special about him not having it. He could have been sick when rest of his unit got the tattoo. Johann Voss in his book says that he had one day pass to meet with his father when rest of his unit got tattoo and that later matter had been forgotten.
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Old 04 Oct 09, 14:32
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http://www.degrelle.de.vu/
Quote:
Die Blutgruppentätowierung, bestehend aus den Buchstaben A, B, 0, und AB (ohne Rh-Faktor) wurde im Jahre 1935 durch den Reichsarzt SS Dr. Grawitz und den Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler für alle Angehörigen der SS-Verfügungstruppe und der SS-Totenkopfverbände geplant und befohlen. Tätowiert wurde das so genannte "Kainsmal" durch den Truppenarzt auf der Innenseite des linken Oberarms, auf dem so genannten Beugemuskel. Die Größe der Tätowierung betrug ca. 1cm x 1 cm. Diese Stelle wurde nach Auswertungen der Verlust- und Verletztenlisten aus dem 1. Weltkrieg ausgewählt, da hier statistisch gesehen am wenigsten Verstümmelungen vorkamen. Die Funktion dieser Tätowierung erklärt sich in der schnellen Identifizierbarkeit der Blutgruppe zwecks Blutzuführung nach Verletzung und Verwundung. Auch die Wehrmacht sollte mit dieser Tätowierung ausgestattet werden, dieses Vorhaben ist jedoch fallen gelassen worden, nachdem es an diversen Beschwerden und Eingaben der Wehrmachtsführung scheiterte. Die Kritikpunkte des Inspekteurs der SS-VT gegen die Tätowierung konnte sich beim Reichsführer SS nicht durchsetzen und die Blutgruppentätowierung wurde eingeführt.
The blood type tattoo, consisting of the letters A, B, 0, and AB (without Rh-Factor) has been in 1935 by the Reichsarzt(imperial doctor) of the SS Dr. Grawitz and the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler for all members of the SS-Verfügungstruppe(SS Special Purpose Troops) and the SS-Totenkopfverbände planed and ordered. The so called "Cains sign" was tattooed on the inner side of the left arm, the so called , musculus flexor by the amry doctor in charge. The tattoo was normaly 1*1 cm in size. The body part had been chosen after examination of lists of dead and wounded after WWI, it was the statistically fewest crippled region. The functionality was to get to know fast the blood type after wounding or crippling of the soldier. The Wehrmacht too was planned to get the tattoo, but that plan was discontinued after some complaints and motions against it. These points of critique were not heeded by the Reichsführer SS H. Himmler and the tattoo was introduced.

So, the allgemeine SS did not recieve a tattoo (same thing on the german wiki). Its also mentioned that some people who recieved treatment in SS facilities were tattooed but i cant imagine that these people were of any significant number.
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Old 04 Oct 09, 15:10
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If you're interested, read the novel 'The Odessa File' by Frederick Forsythe. Forsythe goes into detail about blood type-tattoos on SS members. The details seem credible as this is Forsythe's style, to write something credible as to lend authenticity to his work.

I'm sure Wikipedia has some info on this if you're truly interested. I've seen info about the subject in other places. As Kimi said it was done on a specific body part after statistics of battle wounds were analyzed and also that this occured before the Rhesus factor (+/-) was discovered. In 'The Odessa File' I seem to remember that Forsythe indicated that all SS members were supposed to have this tattoo.

In the SS, The Waffen, which in literal German means "Armed" or Weapons", was the "battlefield" branch of the SS. All of the other SS were camp guards, administrators, police-types, etc. so, it could be possible that only the Waffen-SS were tattooed.
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Old 05 Oct 09, 01:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostSoldier View Post
In the SS, The Waffen, which in literal German means "Armed" or Weapons", was the "battlefield" branch of the SS. All of the other SS were camp guards, administrators, police-types, etc. so, it could be possible that only the Waffen-SS were tattooed.
That I know and I was trying to direct my question it this manner-though it's most likely (and it appers so by this thread as well) that most of the tattooed men were Waffen and not allgemeine, it doesn't settle very well with what lead me to ask my question, wiki and other many sources claim that the tattoo was helpful for Allied soldiers to identify war criminals that were trying to escape undercover.
But back at that time all Waffen troops were considered "just soldiers" and were not suspected of the things that would later emerge.
(other then very specific events, Malmedy for example)

Which also leads me to a follow-up question, how much guilt is laid on the Waffen-SS shoulders?
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