CS - Hermina Stelzner: LSSAH Soldier

Name: Hermina Stelzner
Gender: F
Year of Birth: 1916
Citizenship: Germany
Affiliation: Waffen-SS, NSDAP
Bio: Hermina was born to a middle class family, growing up in the city of Koblenz on the banks of the Rhine. Her father went off to the Great War, only to come home in 1915 looking 20 years older and his left arm blown off somewhere in the field of Flanders. Hermina’s childhood years were spent seeing her family and the nation suffer under the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, her father went unemployed for 8 years due to his disability while her mother struggles to make ends meet, in a time that costs 100 billion Papiermarks to buy a loaf of bread and 300 billion to buy a litre of milk, the only food the family could afford were small amount of potatoes and breads. Her mother would boil the potatoes and mash them, then mix them with salt and spread them on the bread, as if they were jam and butter.

In 1925, then 9 years old Hermina was sent to take refuge with her better-off relatives in France. Upon returning to Germany as a 16 year old adolescent, the National Socialist movement is picking up steam to become the fastest growing political party in Germany. Hermina was swept up by this nationalistic vision, seeing it as a rebirth of everything her father had fought for in the trenches. Hermina joined the NSDAP, and passed the test to join its paramilitary wing, the Schutzstaffel (SS), one year later she was accepted into the newly formed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH), having met Himmler’s stringent requirements for recruits: German national who could prove his/her Aryan ancestry back to 1800, unmarried, without criminal record, between the ages of 17 and 23, at least 1.78 metres (5 ft 10 in) in height, 20/20 eyesight, no dental fillings, and to provide a medical certificate.

Hermina lost some friends who strongly disagreed with her political alignment, to which she couldn’t understand. In 1933 the NSDAP came to power, Hermina witnessed the living standards increase, the massive unemployment disappeared, the autobahn was built, and national defence was restored. The new regime also implemented the first law on animal welfare, started the first nationwide anti-tobacco movement, both were great in her eyes as she loved animals and hated smoking. What’s even more, the Olympics were held in Berlin. In these illusions of grandeur it truly seems the Führer had made Germany a country to be proud of again. Her childhood friends from Poland and Belgium however, don't seem to share her enthusiasm in the letters they exchange throughout the years.

In 1938, Hermina was in the battalion of the Leibstandarte that was chosen to accompany the army troops in occupying Austria during the Anschluss, the operation met with no resistance. On 1st September 1939, as the German Blitzkrieg swept into Poland, Europe was once again plunged into war. Hermina went to the front line of war alongside her comrades in the LSSAH, for a cause she thought to be righteous.
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0 | Jun 10th 2024 20:07