More than two and a half million men, practitioners from all European countries - enslaved, allies of Hitler's Germany or even neutral ones - wore some of the components of the German armed forces or other uniformed organizations connected with the war effort of the Third Reich during WWII. If we add more than 300,000 ethnic Germans who were citizens of other countries, we get three million. And that's just an average estimate.
It is almost impossible to determine the exact numbers of foreign soldiers of the Third Reich, especially Soviet citizens. Published data on "Eastern volunteers" differ for almost every author. For example, in the case of Hiwis, it is almost certain that the German commanders did not state the exact numbers of volunteer assistants, so that they did not have to admit that they exceeded the maximum numbers set by the high command. There are also no comparable data. If we know, for example, how many people from the Baltic nations served in the individual German armed forces at the end of the war, we already lack a comparable overall figure for volunteers of Russian nationality. It is also necessary to know that the data from 1945 do not tell us much about how many people actually went through these units in 1941-1945, ie how many south fell, how many were disabled by disability or illness, or how many simply left after their contract period has expired. Another problem is that, for example, we know from German statistics how many people passed through the Wehrmacht, SS, police, security and guard units during the war, but it is no longer possible to find out the actual number of individuals, how many were simply individuals, because statistics do not include transitions soldiers or police officers from one type of unit to another.
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hiwis-t305#1492 Version : 0
The abbreviation HiWi was used, I think, only for auxiliary units built on the Eastern Front from citizens of the former Soviet Union. It was officially allowed to build units up to battalion size armed with small arms and under the command of German officers. The units had German uniforms and Soviet weapons and other equipment. originally they were to serve as rear-guards for the troops. In real life this was commonly violated and these units were also used in fighting directly at the front, many volunteers also served directly in German formations as drivers, coachmen and support staff. Besides, local anti-partisan units (like RONA) are sometimes counted in the HiWi, which basically do not belong here, because they were not part of the army. HiWi stands for Hilfs Willige.
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hiwis-t305#62637 Version : 0
here is a photo of Russian HiWis helping to bury the German dead ->
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Hiwis-t305#161235 Version : 0
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