The classes we attended on National Socialism were a welcome break for me. Without them I'm not sure I would have survived the physical rigors of training. I needed the time they provided to sit and rest. The classes were brain numbing boring and it was a struggle to keep my eyes open at times. The material was the same thing I had been listening to since I was old enough to fit into a second hand pair of Hitler Youth shorts. Sleeping during them was frowned on but I did well on the tests, so well, that our instructor would pretend not to notice when my eyes closed, and I would snatch a minute or two of much needed rest.
It was difficult, but I survived it as did every member of my squad. Our company only had one man who did not make it to the end of the training. He was taken away by the Gestapo which created a great buzz of excitement and speculation. We were solemnly informed the next day at that he was unable to continue training with us because it had been discovered that he had a Jewish Grandmother. He had the right to appeal the decision of course, or so we were informed, and it was probable he may even rejoin us at a later date. Meanwhile if anyone else in our ranks had a mixed ancestry would we be so kind to step up and be identified. Nobody did, but we about our broke necks looking around to see if anyone was going to go forward. No one did, we were all good German men, or if we weren’t, nobody was going to be dumb enough to announce it.
When I say we were training to become members of the police it is not in the same sense that an American would associate the word with. All of the German police were part of a national police force that had been established four years earlier in 1936 and led by the Reichsfuhrer of the SS and Police, Heinrich Himmler. Before the Fuhrer had united us, Germany was a nation of independent states, united in name only. Each one of these states had a handful of barracked battalions like ours to provide the authorities with a military force to put down civil insurrection and maintain order in emergencies. The police battalions were needed because after losing the first war the victors had stripped Germany of our army. Without the army there was nothing to stop the Bolsheviks from their goal of creating a revolution inside Germany. Our battalions had been used extensively to breakup demonstrations and evict Bolshevik strikers and other such riff raff from buildings they seized.
There were also the problems on our borders. For years after the end of the war Germany fought uncounted numbers of skirmishes against the Poles who were attempting to take advantage of our temporary weakness and expand their borders at our expense. Police and the volunteer battalions of the Freikorp were all that were available to the defenseless States that made up Germany then.
The dying may have stopped in 1918 for the Allies, but for Germany it continued unnoticed by the west along our eastern marches. These were just some of the problems my country faced as a result of the shameful conditions imposed on us by the Treaty of Versailles as a result of the German Army’s betrayal at home by the Bolsheviks and Jews.