The SS and the Vietnam War

Main Story: Another story. It’s not British. It’s a story about the end of the Second World War. It’s about the NAZIs. At the end of the Second World War, the German SS who did not fight on the mainland or were not involved in the Holocaust or concentration camps, in fact, had only fought against the partisans in Yugoslavia. But there were still SS units. The war was lost. They refused to surrender to the Russians knowing that the Russians would be certain death because of what had happened in Stalingrad. And so the German SS would not surrender and fought their way back to Germany only to discover that upon putting your weapons down to the Russians you would be killed for sure. The same reason they didn’t surrender to the Russians in the first place. That was not an option. The Germans…sorry…the Americans and the British were very similar. To surrender to them as an SS even if you were not involved in concentration camps you would be tried for war crimes. There was no way out of this. That was an uncomfortable proposition. The only other controlling power were the French and to surrender to the French there was at least a chance that the French would make deals. That many SS who surrendered to the French following the end of the Second World War were given a deal to go serve five years in the French Foreign Legion and these were the troops who were sent to Indochina which as we know were the Vietnamese and turned the war in favor of the French…completely freaked out the Vietnamese and the war was being won by the German battalions of the Foreign Legion who were really the SS in different uniforms but they were so brutal that the political tide turned and France withdrew these troops from Indochina and quickly lost the war.

Background Information: Mark Burnett is my dad. His family is originally from Scotland and he served in the military.

Context of the Performance: The story was performed on the balcony of our house.

My Thoughts on the Piece: I thought this was a fascinating story. I’ve always been interested in Operation Paperclip, the program where the Allies got NAZI scientists to come and work for them. This story reminded me of that. It’s fascinating how you think that World War II ends in 1945 but then these NAZIs are actually slipped back into society in other roles and have major roles.