SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger

The vast majority of these atrocities were carried out by troops led by Oskar Dirlewanger and SS-Brigadeführer Bronislav Kaminski. The Dirlewanger Brigade, also known as the SS-Sturmbrigade Dirlewanger or the 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS or The Black Hunters, was a unit of the Waffen-SS during World War II.

The unit, named after its commander Oskar Dirlewanger, consisted of convicted criminals who were not expected by Nazi Germany to survive their service with the unit.

Oskar Dirlewanger

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S73495 / Anton Ahrens / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Originally formed in 1940 and first deployed for counter-insurgency duties against the Polish resistance movement, the brigade saw service in anti-partisan actions in German-occupied Eastern Europe.

During its operations in German-occupied Eastern Europe, the unit was involved in the mass murder of civilians as well as other war crimes. Its brutality earned it a reputation among Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS officers. Several commanders attempted to remove Dirlewanger and disband the unit, but powerful patrons within the Nazi apparatus defended and intervened on his behalf.

Kaminski Brigade

The Waffen-Sturm-Brigade der SS RONA was a collaborationist formation composed of Russian nationals from the Lokot Autonomy in Axis-occupied areas of the RSFSR, Soviet Union on the Eastern Front.

It began as an auxiliary police force with 200 members in late 1941. It had grown to 10,000-12,000 men by mid-1943, equipped with captured Soviet tanks and artillery. The unit was named the Russian National Liberation Army by its commander, Bronislav Kaminski.

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