View Full Version : Góralski Legion Waffen SS

12-09-2009, 06:55 AM
quite accidentally i found an interesting page on polish , supposedly about polish Waffen SS.
I never heard of it before.
The primary wiki-investigation has cleared some infor.

Wacław Krzeptowski (24 June 1897, Kościelisko - 20 January 1945, Zakopane) was one of the leaders of the Goralenvolk during World War II. Before the German occupation he had been chairman of the Peasant Party in Nowy Targ. In the early years of the war, he lobbied Hans Frank in favor of his plan to establish an independent state for his ethnic group in southern Poland. This project proved to be a failure due to lack of support among the local population.

During the German-Soviet war, Krzeptowski tried to recruit soldiers for his "Goralen legion" (also referred to as Goralische Division SS) to fight alongside the Axis Powers. The attempt ended in a complete fiasco as out of the initial 300 able bodied recruits (from the entire Podhale region) all but twelve deserted within a short time or were sent to concentration camps by the Germans for insubordination. At the end of the war, he refused to flee to Germany and instead hid out in the Tatry mountains of his native region. In December 1944 he was tracked down and captured by the Home Army. He was tried for high treason, sentenced to death by hanging by his own brother, Julian Krzeptowski, a Home Army member, and executed

The polish version of Andrey Vlasov, who was executed by poles.
Does somebody know the details?

12-11-2009, 11:34 AM
Just todays post on an other forum:

We took prisoners. Some of those from the Wehrmacht were of Polish birth. They were asked if they would join us: anyone who accepted was given the rifle and paybook of one of the dead! They were unexpected, precious reinforcements. The S.S. and those whose paybooks showed that they had taken part in the invasion of Poland in ’39 received no mercy!

Carl Schwamberger
12-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Just todays post on an other forum:

: anyone who accepted was given the rifle and paybook of one of the dead!

Would that be the German dead, or a RKKA dead? Either way it seems odd.

05-28-2011, 04:02 AM
The case of so-called "Goralenvolk" still needs to be deeply researched.
The background ws created by the Germans who seen Gorals (highlanders) as a part of Nordic race, not polish ethnic group. That idea came from the obvious observation that Gorals got their own sophisticated culture, music, art, local version of polish languge.
Anyway, since fall of 1939 Germans were trying to establish close relations with people who were willing to represent "Goralenvolk" and collaborate with the Nazis. One man seemed to be a perfect candidate - Waclaw Krzeptowski. Member of a respected goral family become their main partner. They made him a president of the Goralisches Komitee (some kind of government) in 1942. They started issuing blue "kenkarte" with a letter G on it. There were certain benefits like right to buy goods in special shops, etc. The number of people who got these card remains unknown. The motives were various - fear of being sent to Auschwitz or taken to slavework camp, acceptance of German occupation, servility towards the Nazis, etc.
In January 1943 they started forming Goralische Division SS. Instead of expected 10000, only 300 volunteered. After basic medical examination a 100 was sent home. Remaining 200 were invited for a feast with tables fully set with vodka and food. When the party was over, they were put on a train which was to take them to SS training camp for foreigners in Trawniki. On the next day, when volunteers finally sobered up, they realized what was going on and decided to go back home, simply by jumping off the train. Less then 20 made it to Trawniki. In addition some 60 polish POWs were brought there from the Reich. Since the very first day they got involved in conflicts with the Ukrainians who were also stationed there. More of the gorals decided to go home, so Germans had no choice and sent the remaining group as slaveworkers to the Reich.
After Goralische Division SS fiasco, Germans were not interested in Goralenvolk anymore. What is more Krzeptowski become an outlaw and was chased by the gestapo. He was hiding with soviet partisan unit in Slovakia for some time, but when the Germans were getting close to him, he came back to polish side of the border. In 1944 gestapo, soviet partisans and Home Army were after him.
Finally he was caught by a a death squad lead by Lt. Tadeusz Studziński.
Caught on 20th of January 1945, he was refused to be shot (as traitors do not deserve that) and was hanged on a tree. 9 days later Highlands were free of the Germans.

There are some rumours about Krzeptowski, that need to be investigated.
First, that he was using his position to help poor people and those who were threatened by the Germans.
And what is more misterious - that before WW2 he was an polish intelligence officer responsible for preparation of paramilitary organisations for the time of occupation.

Finally, to maintain an objectivity when writing about the Goralenvolk, I need to mention the Tatra Confederation (pol. Konfederacja Tatrzanska). Since the very beginng, the Goralenvolk movement and Goralisches Komitee were actively engaged by the Tatra Confederation and later by Roch and Armia Krajowa. The structures of anti-Nazi ressistance were very well developed and active in fight against German occupation. So, it would be injurious to say that Gorals were collaborators. No, they were not. Some of them were looking for a way to survive the occupation (accepting the blue kenkarte), few of them were traitors. Many more were against any collaboration and many were fighting Nazis.

06-24-2011, 12:05 AM
Good tell, thanks Kovalski