Within nations occupied by the Axis Powers, some citizens, driven by nationalism, ethnic, hatred, anti Communism, anti Semitism or opportunism in collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II. These collaborationists committed some of the worst war crimes, crimes against humanity and atrocities of the Holocaust.
The Germans reformed pre-war Dutch police and established a new Communal Police, which helped Germans fight resistance and deport Jews. The Dutch Nazi Party had its own militia units, whose members were transferred to other Paramilitaries like the Netherlands Landstorm or the Control Commando.
Thousands of Dutch volunteers joined the 11th SS Volonteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland (created in February 1943) under Brigadeführer Franz Xaver Josef Maria Augsberger, here left with SS Standartenführer Klingenberg, Fritz “Fritzy” The division participated in fighting against the Soviet army and was crushed in the Battle of Berlin in April–May 1945. Franz Augsberger, on 19 March 1945, age 39 was killed in action during an attempt to break out of a subsequent encirclement at Oppeln.
This was also the case for the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division Wiking under command of Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner. It was involved in several major battles on the Eastern Front.
The notorious Dr. Josef Mengele “Angel of Death” , served with the SS Division Wiking during its early campaigns. He served as a combat medic and was awarded the Iron Cross for saving two wounded men from a tank. After being wounded himself, Mengele was deemed unfit for combat and was absorbed into the SS Nazi concentration camp. system. Mengele was proud of his Waffen-SS service and his front-line decorations. As the horrors of his crimes came to light, former personnel of the division attempted to have his name removed from its rolls.
SS-Freiwilligen Legion Niederlande under commandt of SS-Oberführer Otto Reich here on the left , manned by Dutch volunteers and German officers, battled the Soviet army from 1941. Otto Reich died, age 63 on 20-09-1955 in Düsseldorf. In December 1943, it gained brigade status after fighting on the front around Leningrad. It was at Leningrad that the first European volunteer, a Dutchman, earned the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, Gerardus “Gerard” Leonardus Mooyman . Mooyman died in a traffic accident 21 juni 1987, age 63 in Anloo, Netherlands. In December 1944, it was transformed into the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nederland under command of SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Wagner and fought in Courtland and Pomerania. Jürgen Wagner was found guilty for the mass executions of civilians in 1941, he was sentenced to death by a firing squad and executed on 27 June 1947, age 45. The division found its end scattered across Germany. 49. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment “de Ruyter” fought at the Oder and surrendered on 3 May 1945 to the Americans. 48. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Regiment “General Seyffardt” however was split up into two groups. After approval from the Dutch government in exile, on the evening of Friday 05-02-1943, after answering a knock at his front door in Scheveningen, The Haque collaborator Hendrik Seyffardt was shot twice by student Jan Verleun
The first of these fought with Kampfgruppe Vieweger and went under in the fighting near Halbe. The few remaining survivors were captured by the Soviets. The other half of “General Seyffart” fought with Korpsgruppe Tettau and surrendered to the western Allies. Generalleutnant Hans Tettau died age 67 on 30-01-1956 in Mönchengladbach. During the war famous actor and singer Johannes Heesters made his career in Nazi Germany, befriending high-ranking Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels and living in houses stolen from wealthy Jews