BACKGROUND: Belgium has always been internally divided into two diverse groups of peoples and regions, the Dutch speaking Flemish from Flanders and the French speaking Walloon’s from Wallonie. During Belgium’s occupation the Germans kept the two groups separate and allowed each of them to retain pro-Nazi fascist political organizations, the Flemish, Vlaamsch Nationaal Verbond (Flemish National Union), and the Wallonie, Christus Rex, (Rexist Party). The pro-Nazi fascist Christus Rex party was originally formed in 1935 by L on Degrelle. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22ND 1941 the German’s began to actively seek recruits from the occupied western countries and in August 1941 the Belgian Wallonien Legion was formed and incorporated into the German army as the 373RD Infantry Battalion. The Wallonien’s served with assorted German army units until June 1943 when they were transferred from control of the army to the control of the Waffen-SS under Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, being designated as SS-Sturmbrigade "Wallonien". In October 1943 the SS-Sturmbrigade "Wallonien" was re-designated 5. SS-Freiwillingen-Sturmbrigade "Wallonien and in 1944 it was enlarged to divisional status and received its final designation as the 28.SS-Freiwillingen-Grenadier-Division "Wallonien". Of Note: As early as 1938 Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and the Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), began recruiting volunteer "Germanische", (Germanic), personnel who were considered to be suitably "Nordic", to serve in the SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops). Originally these Germanic personnel were drawn from Dutch, Belgian, Danes and Norwegians but with only minor success. In March 1940 with the formation of the Waffen-SS recruitment of the Germanic personnel began to increase slightly and with the outbreak of WWII additional Germanic volunteers came forward to join the ranks of the Waffen-SS. The invasion of Russia on June 22ND 1941 and the war against Bolshevism resulted in the Waffen-SS experiencing another surge in recruits willing to serve with the Germans. As the war continued and man-power shortages became severe the standard criteria for acceptance into the Waffen-SS was decreased dramatically and numerous personnel who would have been unacceptable in 1939 were readily conscripted into service with the Waffen-SS. By the end of the war more then half of all the personnel serving in the Waffen-SS were non-Germans.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A large, fragile poster that measures approximately 61cm x 87cm. It reads "Wallonen im Freiheitskampf Europas" (Walloons in the struggle for freedom in Europe) and "Europa kennt den Bolschewismus und bekämpft ihn bis zum endsieg (Europe knows Bolshevism and fight him until final victory). There is tearing along most of heavy fold lines, which can lead to more tearing if unfolded improperly. The poster should have the tears properly restored and then be mounted.

GRADE **3/4                                                             PRICE $745.00

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