Thursday, March 26, 2015

Werewolf - Allied Interrogations of Walter Schellenberg

Schellenberg does not remember the exact date, but thinks it was in the late autumn of 1944 when Himmler, in the form of a long statement made in the presence of Schellenberg, Obergruppenfuehrer Pruetzmann, Skorzeny and he believes also of Kaltenbrunner, declared for the first time that he had selected Pruetzmann as the chief of a new organisation called "Werewolf" after the title of the book by Leons [Hermann Löns].149 He said that his organisation was completely independent and would be built up in the manner of the "Gauleitungen". Pruetzmann would form the organisation in close collaboration with the Gauleiters. The RSHA, especially Skorzeny, would have to provide the fullest support regarding technical needs and training. Pruetzmann would have to be aided above all in respect of W/T needs. (He had planned to set up a central transmitting station in caves in the Kyffhaeuser, a mountain in Thuringia, and was to be assisted by officers of the Ordnungspolizei. Schellenberg does not know if the station actually operated.) Kaltenbrunner and Skorzeny were not satisfied with this decision and sabotaged Pruetzmann's work from the very beginning by pleading ignorance or being evasive when he addressed queries to them or made requests.

Schellenberg says that the whole question left him completely cold, especially as Obergruppenfuehrer Berger began to interfere in it. Berger maintained close relations with Pruetzmann and tried to assume the command over the Werewolf when the possibility arose that Pruetzmann was being sent to Croatia as HSS u. PF or even as Wehrmacht commander (in the same manner as Wolff in Italy). As Pruetzmann started his job without personnel he picked from everywhere particularly reliable SS leaders "Prpo" [Orpo?] and members of the Wehrmacht. Kaltenbrunner provided for Pruetzmann, Obersturm-bannfuehrer Tschier [s] chky (he was for a while in charge of VI. C but had been handed over by Schellenberg owing to incapability). Pruetzmann who in the end did not get to Agram, Tschier [s] chky and the rest of the staff had a special train and began "wildly to organise".

Schellenberg gathered this from the continuous complaints of Lt. Colonel Boening and Major Poretschkin (VI. F and Mil. E) who in accordance with the instructions received from Himmler had to help with the provision of W/T installation and training.

Soon Schellenberg ceased co-operation in this field. The reasons given for this cessation of co-operation were first that Amt VI had no W/T installations which they could spare, and second that according to a report made by Lt. Col. Boening from Wiesbaden the boys who had arrived there for a W/T training course were "raw" to such an extent that they had to be sent home again by the officer in charge. Thereupon Pruetzmann attached himself technically entirely to the Orpo and to the Wehrmacht and as far as Schellenberg remembers his departments had nothing more to do with Pruetzmann. Schellenberg does not know how far Skorzeny and his "Jagdverbaende" were still meant to co-operate with the Werewolf. Skorzeny worked completely independently in direct control with Kaltenbrunner. Schellenberg is convinced that the collaboration between Skorzeny and Pruetzmann was not very good as Skorzeny planned establishing a sort of Werewolf organisation of his own with his SS "Jagdverbaende". Besides Tschier [s] chky and Skorzeny were personal enemies. Schellenberg does not think that Pruetzmann was able to build up a large and strong organisation. Pruetzmann himself was a desperado and always boasted having played as a young man a part in the Ruhr and Rhineland struggle. The little Schellenberg has seen of the organisation of Pruetzmann, Tschier [s] chky and their large staff corresponded, as he says, to their mental capacity; it was weak. Schellenberg maintains that in April 1945 he reproached Himmler severely regarding the Werewolf, calling this enterprise "criminal and stupid". He thinks that his reproaches lead to contradictory orders being issued. The whole Werewolf organisation was built up, how it was to function and how it did in fact function [sic.]. One name Schellenberg remembers, that of SS Standartenfuehrer Knolle, formerly in The Hague, who was responsible for the Hamburg area.

In the end Pruetzmann began to pick out his men from the Army Groups as well as the armies. He also started to establish depots for material. This was reported to Schellenberg by Colonel Buntrock, chief of reconnaissance at the front. Schellenberg says that he did not trouble to oppose these activities of Pruetzmann for the disorder whithin the so-called "retreat organisation" had become uncontrollable in the course of the last months. At the end everything was compressed as in an accordion: Party, Hitler Youth, D. A. F., N. S. V., Stapo, SD., Klein Kampf Verbaende of the Wehrmacht Werewolf, SS Jagdverbaende- everything upside down and everybody solely responsible for everything. On top of it was added the Volkssturm. Schellenberg is of the opinion that Pruetzmann was most active within and in connection with the Hitler Jugend. Schellenberg does not know with whom Pruetzmann collaborated there. His official title was General Inspector for special Abwehr.

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