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HIMMLER WAS THEIR DEFENDER
above headline appeared in Sarajevo Muslim's weekly magazine, "Svijet".
The original, "Bosnian" language headline was "Himmler ih je stitio."
The series of articles about this dark period of Bosnian
Muslim's WWII history
was printed on: Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 and Nov. 23. of 1997. I got
my hands on Nov 2, Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 issues. The articles will eventually
be scanned, translated into English and posted to this site. For now, I'll
just present you with the photos printed in the three issues above.
Fez which was a part of "Handzar" division's uniform
is completely same as the one Bosnian soldiers wore in
Austro-Hungarian military. Only the amblems were changed. The
photo shows the "Feldgaru" jacket with amblems on the
collar, and camouflage uniform "Tarnhemd"
the "Handzar" division. SS-brigadier general
Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig also was required to wear the same fez.
Defile of "Handzar" division
Officers of the division introduce themselves to the Grand
Mufti of Jerusalem
On 10th of February of 1943 Hitler gave a "green
light" for creation of the division made up of Bosnian Muslims, whose main purpose would be fighting Tito's partisans in
Bosnia. On 13th of Feb. Himmler gave an order to SS Gruppenfuhrer
(division-level general) Arthur Phelps, commanding officer of the
"Prinz Eugen" SS division, which consisted of
Yugoslavian folksdojcers, to immediately start recruiting.
SS-Panzer division "Viking"
Made up of Germans and Nordic volunteers
Logo: Sun in an image of swastika.
SS-Volunteer mountain division "Prinz Eugen".
Made up of folksdojcers from Serbia and Croatia.
SS-volunteer panzer division "Nordland", formed
out of remainder of Danish, Norwegian and Holland legions. Logo:
Swastika in a circle.
SS-mountain division "Handschar", consisted of
Balkan folksdojcers and Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Logo: "handzar" (sword).
SS Infantry division "Galicia". Formed in 1943
from Ukranians from Galicia and Rutenia (under-karpatian Ukraine)
SS Infantry division "Letland". Formed in the
beginning of 1944. Consisted of Letonians and Baltic Germans.
SS Infantry diviosion "Latvia". Formed in 1944.
Made up of Letonian and folksdojcers.
SS Infantry division "Estland". Formed in 1944.
Made up of Estonians and folksdojcers. Logo" Letter
"E" and a sword.
SS Mountain division "Skenderbeg". Formed in 1944.
Made up of Albanians. Logo: two-headed Albanian eagle.
||Branko Slavini (in uniform) and Kasim Silajdzic, two
Bosnian soldier who deserted 16th September. Before them, Kazimir
Silajatovic also deserted.
High-school grounds, a home of 240
Bosnian soldiers of 13. SS engineering batallion 14. August
volunteer hanging a picture of Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
group of Muslim volunteers of "Handzar" division. All
wear fez caps. Logos are skull with crossed bones and SS eagle.
Fez was worn by the Muslim soldiers and their German officers
alike. There were different models of fez in different colors
(green, red, with or without the tail). The uniform collars had a
curved sword and swastika engraved on them.
in Waffen SS (Balkan and Centr. Europe)
Special armed formations of
fascist Germany (Waffen-SS) until the end of war created all
together 38 divisions, 18 of which were staffed by pure German and
20 by foreigners. Among them was a "Handzar" division
staffed by Bosnians, claims the French magazine "Istoria"
(Number 32, year 1973.).
[Note by the Srpska Mreza
webmaster: The Serbs in the table above were not the Serbs at all,
it was the Germans living in Serbia's province of Vojvodina, which
used to belong the pre-WWI Austro-Hungary.]
Bosnian mountains. The "Handzar" division was trained
and armed as a mountain formation.
Himmler: "Muslims responded to the
call of Muslim heads and joined our side because of their hatred
of our joint Jewish-English-Bolshevik enemies, and because of
their belief and respect for the one we place above all -- towards
SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and SS Brigadefuhrer Karl G.
Sauberzweig examining "Handzar" division.
On the fez, on the left side,
mountaineer division wore a flower.
GETTING READY TO FIGHT THE PARTISANS:
Soldiers of the "Handzar" division
During the 1944 fight.
Last updated: 02/05/2004