The Wehrmacht had priority access to German conscripts, and SS units were replenished from the army quota, according to the “residual” principle, which, of course, did not suit the SS chief Heinrich Himmler and the SS generals, and did not cover the losses incurred during the fighting.
An exit was found in the recruitment section of the SS of foreign volunteers. Initially, these were Folksdeuich (ethnic Germans from other countries), as well as Scandinavians and other peoples of the Germanic root.
Under this even ideological base was brought. The Nazis saw the united Europe as a revived empire of Charlemagne, for which all the peoples inhabiting it must fight. Himmler even introduced in his department numerous knightly symbols and rituals, seeing himself almost as King Arthur.
However, as things were getting worse and worse on the fronts, romantic calculations and racial theories gave way to bare pragmatism, and the SS legionnaires began to recruit Slavs, Turks and even Hindus.
A little later, this experience was fully claimed by the Wehrmacht, which also began to use foreign volunteers in its ranks.
Some of Himmler's legionnaires became so imbued with Nazi myths that they fought for the “Millennial Reich” to the end. French SS defended Berlin and almost all were killed in street battles.
However, not everyone showed such fanaticism. So, the SS team "Druzhina", interrupting the German officers and non-commissioned officers, in full force went over to the side of the Pskov partisans. And the notorious army of Vlasov (ROA), which was subordinate to the army when the position of the Nazis became desperate, hit the German units in Prague.
Today, the idea of attracting foreign landsknechts to the German army is again actualized.
The German agency DPA, with reference to the representative of the command of the Bundeswehr, informs that in the near future in the Supreme Court of Germany will receive on a voluntary basis foreigners - citizens of other EU countries.
In this way, the defense ministry expects to solve the problem of “personnel hunger” in the conditions of an increase in the number of Bundeswehr.
According to the source, the possibility of invoking foreigners is spelled out in the new version of the defense concept adopted by the government in 2016. Now the corresponding item was included in the updated personnel strategy of the Bundeswehr.
This decision was made because the prestige of military service in present-day Germany is not too great; among young people, pacifist beliefs and hedonistic attitudes are quite strong, and they are not too self-restricting and self-sacrificing for military service.
In fact, in recent years, the Bundeswehr recruitment posts have complained about the lack of volunteers, and in a significant number of units there was a shortage of personnel. Now that the number of troops needs to be increased, this problem can become menacing.
The Ministry of Defense hopes that with the help of “military guest workers” they will be able to solve not only the problem of personnel shortage, but also save a few budget due to articles on social programs, as well as reduce the severity of the issue related to the death of German soldiers in foreign military operations.
It seems that officials of the Ministry of Defense of Germany see in attracting legionaries almost a panacea and are very inspired by this idea.
However, their optimism is not shared at all in the Bundestag, where a number of politicians criticized the idea of attracting foreigners to the Bundeswehr.
According to the representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany Karl-Heinz Brunner, foreigners should be recruited only with the prospect of later obtaining their citizenship of Germany, otherwise there is a threat of turning the Bundeswehr into an "army of mercenaries."
Alice Weidel, deputy chairman of the parliamentary faction of the Alternative for Germany party, believes that German politicians have "lost their common human mind" and that personnel problems should be solved by introducing general military service.
Oppositionists believe that regular recruitment to the armed forces in Germany should be resumed, which was discontinued from July 1 2011.
The Ministry of Defense believes that it will be possible to attract citizens of the Baltic states, Poland and Romania to the army. However, some experts believe that in reality replenishment will be from the composition of migrants from the Maghreb, the Middle East and Central Asia, which is a certain threat to the security of the country.
It must be said that the activities of the Wahhabi, jihadist cells were already suppressed in parts of the Bundeswehr.
It should be noted that law enforcement agencies of European countries have already noted numerous cases of "sale" of citizenship in the same Baltic countries, in Bulgaria and Romania.
In addition, there is every reason to expect that very soon after the start of recruitment of foreign players, the command of the Bundeswehr will not be confined to the EU, and will begin to attract any foreigners under its banner, as the Pentagon or the French Foreign Legion does.
In the light of this, the concern of German politicians, both socialist and national, is understandable: stories we know well what happened to countries whose armies consisted of alien tribal mercenaries.