Military Sciences

BERLIN/POTSDAM |

BERLIN/POTSDAM (Own report) - This week the German Bundeswehr will again confer a scientific award named after a member of the SS, the Nazi historian Werner Hahlweg, who took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union and had led a "commando in the occupied territories" in 1944. The award is being presented by the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB), the "main shopping" institution for weaponry and equipment of every kind for the German armed forces. The institution asserts that Hahlweg had carried out "significant, internationally recognized work in education and research" and had rendered outstanding services to the "promotion of military history and military sciences." Previous laureates of this award include well-known revisionist historians such as the extreme-rightwing NPD party's presidential candidate, Olaf Rose.

Air Policing and Bomb Warfare

The Bundeswehr has announced that it will again award the 10,000 Euro endowed "Werner Hahlweg Prize for Military History and Military Technical History" on June 20. The honor ceremonies for junior historians will be held on the premises of the Military History Research Institute of the German Armed Forces (MGFA) in Potsdam and will include a colloquium of several days around the theme of "Organized Violence."[1] The Potsdam University will also be participating in the festivities. Together with the MGFA and the Bundeswehr Institute for Social Sciences (SoWi), it created the "Military Studies" masters course. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[2]) This program consists of two lectures that should be of interest to proponents of German historical revisionism. Scheduled is a comparison of the "Air Policing over Iraq" to Great Britain's "strategic bomb warfare" against Nazi Germany, as well as a talk on the alleged "ethnic cleansing" carried out by the Czechoslovak army following the liberation from Nazi fascism ("ethnic cleansing and hidden retribution in the Czechoslovak Army 1944 - 1952").[3]

From Nazi Commando to Post-War Professorship

The award presented to junior scholars during the colloquium in Potsdam, has been named after the Nazi military historian Werner Hahlweg (1912 - 1989). Hahlweg joined the SS already back in 1933 and was a member of the Nazi's Student Association (NSDStB) as well as the NSDAP. In 1937, he set up the ethnic chauvinist "The Political Danzig" exhibition, for the Gdansk directorate of district propaganda. This was one year after he had made his doctoral thesis at the University of Berlin on "The City of Danzig's way of Warfare." In 1941, Hahlweg had taken part in the invasion of the Soviet Union, which won him the Wehrmacht rank of lieutenant. In 1943, he rose to the post of supervisor of the "Development and Testing Group" in the Army Weapons Agency. In 1944, he led a "commando in the Nazi-occupied territories."[4] In the 1950s, Hahlweg worked as a lecturer in history at the University in Munster, which, in 1969, promoted him to a full professorship in "Military History and Military Sciences." To "promote" this "area of scholarship," Hahlweg bequeathed in his will that the foundation, to be created with finances from his heritage, should present a junior award every two years.[5]

Teacher and Researcher

Officially, the awarding institution for the "Werner-Hahlweg-Prize" is the German Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) located in Koblenz, which boasts being the "largest technical administration in Germany." It is responsible "for equipping the armed forces with modern technology and modern material." It is comprised of seven "military technical" and two "military scientific" departments.[6] These are primarily responsible for development and testing of "military material," whereas, according to its description of itself, the "array of products" range from "highly complicated weapons systems, armored vehicles, planes and ships all the way to the personal equipment of individual soldiers." As "the Bundeswehr's main 'shopping agent'," the BWB describes itself as responsible for the "realization of all armament programs, with the exception of those falling within the domain of information management and information technology."[7] Within the framework of the competition for the prize, this institution asserts that the Nazi military historian, Werner Hahlweg, had accomplished "significant, internationally recognized work in education and research."[8]

Terror due to Helplessness

There are several revisionist historians among those, who have already received the "Werner Hahlweg Prize," including Klaus Jochen Arnold, research assistant at the Educational Institution of the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Hanover. According to Arnold's award-winning study, "The Wehrmacht and the Occupation Policy in the Occupied Territories of the Soviet Union," the massacres committed in the Soviet Union by marauding bands of German soldiers had not resulted from the criminal commands handed down by the Nazi state and its military commanders, but was caused rather by the resistance put up by the Soviet soldiers and partisans: "The atmosphere was conditioned by imminent threat from (an) elusive enemy, a situation inherently conducive to a tendency toward disproportion. In confrontation with ruthless guerrilla warfare, it was in the tactical inferiority that the seeds of brutalization were germinating." Arnold traces the "deaths of innocent victims" back to "the genesis of asymmetrical warfare." Arnold alleges that "frustration," "fear," and "helplessness" in the face of a stealthily operating enemy, drove German troops to "indiscriminate terror." (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9])

NPD Candidate

In 1994, the historian Olaf Rose, who, last March, had been nominated as the rightwing extremist NPD's candidate for the German presidency, was a recipient of the Werner Hahlweg Prize. Since early 2007, Rose has been an assistant in the "parliamentary advisory service" for the NPD group in the regional parliament of Saxony and had been a member of the NPD national presidium in 2008 - 2009. According to Rose, the Nazi history has been systematically "deformed" by "fearful, officially certified professors, teachers, and the media mob." According to his statement in an interview, the denial of the Holocaust is a legitimate "expression of opinion."[10]

[1] Neue Perspektiven organisierter Gewalt; www.mgfa.de
[2] see also Military Studies
[3] Neue Perspektiven organisierter Gewalt. Nachwuchskolloquium zur Militärgeschichte. Potsdam, 19. bis 21. Juni 2012 (Programm)
[4] René Betker: Das Historische Seminar der Berliner Universität im "Dritten Reich" unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der ordentlichen Professoren. Magisterarbeit, HU Berlin 1997
[5] Aufruf: Werner-Hahlweg-Preis 2012; www.rwm-depesche.de
[6] Das Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung; www.bwb.org
[7] Die Aufgaben des Bundesamtes für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung; www.bwb.org
[8] Aufruf: Werner-Hahlweg-Preis 2012; www.rwm-depesche.de
[9] see also An Ordinary Military Operation
[10] Exklusiv: Interview mit dem Bundespräsidenten-Kandidaten Dr. Olaf Rose (NPD); deutschlandecho.org