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The memoirs I am looking at, which discuss the Wehrmacht and the SS, came out in the 1990s and 2000s.Many writers distinguish between the different branches of the Wehrmacht, and certain branches are seen as more innocent than others.
The memory of the SS and its role in Hitler Youth memoirs varies based on how involved the narrator was in the war.
The SS might be in the periphery, but for many men, being drafted into the SS was a reality of war.
He was recruited to the Waffen-SS in 1945, when he was seventeen years old.
However, before this, his neighbour was drafted into the SS Totenkopfverbände.
He was one of Adolf Hitler's closest and most devoted associates, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views.
He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.
The theme of Wehrmacht innocence is reflected in West German culture, politics, and media from the 1950s onwards, which perpetuated the concept of Hitler’s elite, along with the SS, being the only ones at fault.
Not until the 1980s and 1990s was the role of the Wehrmacht in atrocities on the eastern front brought to light.
Many write about not knowing at all about the atrocities and murders, but it is questionable how far these are truthful and how much is actually being made up as part of the narrator’s self-representation.
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