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Old 15th November 2009, 14:13
dsetzer dsetzer is offline
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Glogau Military School Tragedy

In January of 1945 the Russian army made a push for the Oder river, the border between Germany and Poland. The attack centered on the city of Steinau.


When the first Russian tanks arrived on the bank of the river the Germans were caught completely off-guard. They considered Steinau to be a quiet sector and there were few if any combat-ready companies stationed there.


In the panic that ensued, orders were given to mobilize the students of the German military school located nearby in Glogau. Children aged 12 – 15, still in their school uniforms, were issued single-shot bolt-action rifles and sent to stop the Russian tanks. The results of that action were predictable.


I have been unable to find references to this incident on the Internet.


Is anyone able to point me to sources for more information about this tragic chapter of the war on the Russian front?
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Old 16th November 2009, 12:44
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Re: Glogau Military School Tragedy

orders were given to mobilize the students of the German military school located nearby in Glogau. Children aged 12 – 15, still in their school uniforms

Criminals!
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Old 16th November 2009, 12:58
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Re: Glogau Military School Tragedy

Dan,

There's a story about the defense of Steinau here: http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewto...st=0&sk=t&sd=a

At first sight it doesn't mention the Glogau (nowadays Glogow) military school, but it may give an impression about the conditions.

Glogau itself was surrounded by the Russians on 9 Feb 1945, but only capitulated on 1 April 1945.

Regards,

Leendert
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Old 18th November 2009, 01:46
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Re: Glogau Military School Tragedy

Thank you for pointing me to that link. It is very moving to see that episode from the point of view of the Volksturm.

I am constantly astonished at how the German soldiers and civilians were able to carry on in the face of certain defeat.

The Glogau Military School Tragedy remains undocumented as far as I can tell.

Gefreiter Werner Mork was an eyewitness to the event. Here is what he has to say about it:

The Russians arrived at Steinau an der Oder and immediately crossed it with a spearhead of tanks. However, since the first group was only an advance unit, they quickly fell back to the other side of the river to await the arrival of a full tank regiment.


The German service units were totally surprised by the sudden arrival of the Russians and the garrison and the commanders at Glogau were greatly alarmed. There were no combat-ready troops there, because no one had reckoned on the Russians making a push in this area. This was considered a quiet sector. That would completely change in a very few days.


In the ensuing panic the commander in Glogau mobilized the students in the military school there. He charged them with marching to Steinau to engage the Russians and to wipe them out. They were considered to already be soldiers. These ‘soldiers’ were kids aged from 12 to 15 years old! They were outfitted with captured Norwegian single-shot carbines and sent to the Oder to face the Russians on the other bank.


What happened next was murder; clear and premeditated murder of children that the German leaders must be held responsible for. They sent these children to the new front on the Oder and drove them under the guns of the enemy. They knowingly sent these youths to their deaths. The servants of the Party and the Wehrmacht are guilty of the infanticide that occurred in Steinau.


The totally untrained non-soldiers were taken from their school desks still in their school uniforms, the so-called Hindenburg Memorial Uniform, with those laughable captured carbines and they were flung at the Russian tanks which quickly shot them to pieces and totally wiped them out. Now they lay there as corpses, pointlessly cut down in the midst of their childhood along with their belief in Führer, Folk and Fatherland. They were driven to their deaths by coldhearted criminals. There is no other word for the blaggards who were responsible for this crime. They were never made to answer for this criminal act.


It was war, after all, and in war desperate situations can arise that require sacrifice, even when children are involved. Children who were in school to be modeled by the Wehrmacht to be dutiful soldiers who would follow a military career. The faculty of the school did nothing to protect the children from this insane order. As good subordinates of the Wehrmacht they helped carry out the death sentence. These were educators whom the parents entrusted with the care of their children. Indeed, to train them for a military career, but certainly not for full combat while they were still in their childhood. What kind of men were they who were responsible for these gruesome deaths? I can not understand it...not comprehend it.

[...]


The children of Steinau an der Oder with their flintlocks were not able to hold back the Russians. They now lay as corpses on the battlefield. They were not the slightest impediment to the advancing tanks, not when they were alive and not now as corpses. The war in all its fury rolled over them without mercy, without regard and without humanity. Once again young men were pointlessly marched to their death, blinded by the Nazi ideology, just as the bloom of our youth during the First World War at Langemarck were pointlessly marched to their deaths as a sacrifice for the nationalism of the “Glorious Kaiser Era.”

[...]


It is odd that in all the documentation I have read regarding these days in January 1945 and the reports of the Russian attack on Steinau I have never found any mention of the murder of these children. The Gauleiter of the Nazi party, the general of the local Wehrmacht divisions and the principals of the school all have this on their conscience. No doubt they think of it as a necessary measure that went 'unfortunately' awry.
More excerpts from Werner Mork's memoirs can be found here:

http://home.comcast.net/~dhsetzer/Mork/


.
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Old 18th November 2009, 15:29
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Re: Glogau Military School Tragedy

Tragic story. So Germans did not sent to death only children in Serbia (just to mention order to shoot schoolchildren in Kragujevac) but also their own childes. This is one of the proof that history of WW2 have to be written by- psychiatrist!! Long time ago I get some Analise of the suicidal of the German officers in WW1 and WW2. This is notorious number of the suicide in the WW2 and much larger percentage of high officer from WW1 survived then from WW2.

So when to go to war, be a soldier but don't forget you are human too.
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