Years and years may go by, but history will never cease to amaze me, In mid-February 1943, in a place as remote as Krasny Bor – at the back to the right of Leningrad, like a traditional bar toilet – a lieutenant shouted his curse end to the thousand winds before falling, inert, on the snow. On his arm, he wore the patch of the Blue Division or Blue Division, the Spanish volunteers in World War II. His last words, however, resonated in a Teuton as fine as Frederick I. That fellow, with a white face and blond hair, was a certain Erich Rose. Perhaps another name in the wide range of German officers who served in the unit.
Don’t be nervous. At least still. Wait before going down to the comment box, because this is not an article that seeks to boast or poke with the hazelnut stick, but to narrate a fact as unknown as it is striking. Beyond political opinions, inquiring glances left and right, I will not deny that it is surprising that this lieutenant, this Rose (or Rosse, depending on the document that is consulted), was a German whose parents had been sent to a concentration camp for being Jews. And that he himself, according to the laws of Nazism, was 75% Semitic, having only one Aryan grandfather. Rose’s story is one of the most unknown in the Blue Division. An island within a sea of data, dates, and names that was disclosed less than a year ago by historian Carlos Caballero Jurado in his highly documented work Erich Rose.
The tragic end of a Jewish officer in the Blue Division”. Book in which this expert, also the author of the most recent “The Blue Division”, carried out a real detective work to bring to light the misadventures of a man who, before marching to the Russian front during World War II, also fought in the Condor Legion and the Tercio de Extranjeros. In both cases, during the Civil War that shook our country for three years. But if there’s one thing Rose’s story teaches us, it’s that we must escape the simplification of Manichaeism, the great evil of our age. Reductionist theories such as that the Blue Division went to the Russian front with the aim of killing the Jews, like a punishment squad, may have spread in recent days. However, the reality is that their ranks were made up of a wide panoply of people with no less political differences. The majority were Falangists, there is no doubt about that, but there were also “Carlists and as many minor conservative tendencies” as the historian Xavier Moreno Juliá explains in his works on this unit.
In his words, moreover, “the volunteers represented the entire social spectrum.” Military, Prussian, and 75% Jewish Summarizing an entire life in a few lines is a difficult task. Erik Jakob Rose, whom his colleagues in the Blue Division defined years later as a young man with a “very German” appearance, although somewhat shorter than was usual in the Germanic people, came to the world on September 7, 1912, in Alsace, then under the tutelage of the II Reich. It seems that he did not lack anything since he came from a wealthy family and that, in addition, since childhood, he was attracted to the military world because his father had achieved the rank of medical commander in the Army. At least, until the Treaty of Versailles – the demon with horns and tail for Adolf Hitler – ruined the Teutonic armed forces.
In a personal letter sent to Caballero Jurado, one of Rose’s old friends confirmed that the boy soon proved that he held the same ideals as his father. He was, namely “right-wing conservative and nationalist.” Although, above all this, there was one characteristic, his view that “communism and Bolshevism were the number one enemy of the world.” The usual during a time of unrest in which the country’s greatest obsession was to point the accusing finger at a single and common enemy against whom to unleash all the hatred accumulated after the disaster of the Great War. In the heat of these doctrines, he saw in the NSDAP a good friend with whom to go hand in hand.
Jakob – the truth is that this Hebrew name was a premonition in itself – emphatically overcame the military academy with the desire to become an officer. And it would have risen high in the ranks had it not been for the application of racial policies(Arierparagraph). By virtue of those absurd provisions, it turned out that he was 75 percent Jewish, because his father had two Jewish parents, while his mother had one. It did not matter that both his father and he were baptized and that they felt nothing other than Germans “, reveals Caballero Jurado in his work. Like many others, he was expelled from the Army in 1935. Although he was lucky and managed to be referred to the German embassy in Spain.
In Spain,Rose must have seen something in our Spain before returning home. Hard to know. What we do know is that when the Reich sent a contingent of officers to train the Falange militias and train the commanders of the rebel army, he volunteered. Thus, he set foot on the Peninsula in 1937 under the umbrella of the Condor Legion with orders to teach classes at the Toledo Academy first, and later at the Granada Academy. The most striking thing is that motivated by some cause that Caballero Jurado, his great biographer, does not understand, Rose repeatedly requested to join the ranks of the Tercio de Extranjeros, then one of the mainshock units of the self-proclaimed Nationals.
The Legion became the desire of the German. Perhaps because he was a force in which he could prove himself. Who knows. Rose, Lieutenant then, was almost obsessed. He wanted to belong to her, but not only as mere support (Franco confirmed that he could maintain his rank in the unit, but only if he enlisted until the end of the conflict) but as one more combatant. He wanted to make a career, not leave for a few months. So, ignoring the orders of Ferrol himself, he enlisted as a private in the Tercio de Extranjeros under a false name. “On September 17th, a 2nd Legionary named Henri Rosse Rosse was listed on the Legion Engagement Pennant in Zaragoza”, reveals Caballero Jurado in the book.
Beyond the fact that this is the fact that explains why the German appears in the documents in two different ways, it has little influence on its history. And, although Franco’s officials caught his lie on the fly (it must have been the only time that the cumbersome Spanish bureaucratic system worked like clockwork, they let him continue his journey in the unit. Within the IV Flag, Rose, Rosse, or whatever the hell you want to call him, participated in the death throes of the battle of the Ebro and advanced to Barcelona. It went well. During his time through the war, his commanders interceded for him in a series of letters confirming that “he has shown great courage and performance in his performance at the front” or that “he has instructed hundreds of officers with the greatest success.
He survived, his rank was recognized again and, in 1939, he sent a letter to Franco after the victory in which he requested Spanish nationality. The missive that Caballero Jurado collects in detail in his documented work, Erich Rose Rose, Lieutenant of the Legion, 26 years old, single, a native of Strasbourg, in Alsace, of German nationality, to Your Excellency, with all due respect, he has the honor to state: that he has been serving for two years in the Spanish Army and has been in the Legion since August 1938, thus meeting said period, which is determined by the OC of September 4, 1920 (DO 199) to grant foreign subjects Spanish nationality, is, therefore, he appeals to Your Excellency in supplication that he deigns to grant him said nationality, for which purpose he accompanies the necessary documents so that once this benefit has been granted.
He can be appointed Provisional Officer for whose employment he has demonstrated aptitude. Blue Division, Once again, becoming was elusive with him. He received no response and returned to Germany, where he was not well received either and was denied the so-called “Aryanization” for having three Jewish grandparents. He seemed destined not to fight for the Nazi army until, in the summer of 1941, Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, a fancy name for the invasion of the Soviet Union. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to understand how, through his contacts in Spain, he tied the knots when Ramón Serrano Suñer gave the famous speech in which he blamed the USSR for the Civil War and called on Spanish soldiers to fight Iósif Stalin with the German troops in the newly formed Blue Division:
Russia is guilty! Guilty of the death of José Antonio, our founder. And of the death of so many comrades and so many soldiers who fell in that war due to the aggression of Russian communism. The extermination of Russia is a requirement of history and the future of Europe. Once again, the Franco regime received him with open arms due to the pressing need for translators at the front, and, at the speed of lightning, he became part of the 2nd Section of the Spanish General Staff as an interpreter. His misadventures in this unit are perfectly collected by the Sworn Knight. Suffice it to say that he fulfilled his duty to the millimeter and that he was even decorated by the same German army that had despised him. At the military level, it seemed to have found a hole in the unit. On a personal level, however, he received a new blow when he learned that his parents had been sent to concentration camps. Surreal. It’s impossible to get into his head and guess his intentions, but that moral blow changed something inside him. Not on an ideological level, but vital. During a relief at the end of 1942, almost convinced that his life would end soon after, he drew up his will and included a phrase that, rather, seemed like a kind of omen:
If I fall in combat, and I hope this does not happen, I do not want you to cry for me, because the destiny that I have wanted for me has never been other than to die wearing my gray warrior, despite everything. And I have already achieved that, after a great struggle. In 1943, Rose was in the vicinity of the Krasny Bor region (south of St. Petersburg) when the Soviet Army launched Operation Polar Star; the massive advance to break the siege that the Wehrmacht subjected Leningrad. «On February 10, 1943, 38 Soviet battalions left Kolpino, the industrial district of Leningrad before which the Blue Division was stationed, supported by some eighty tanks, some 150 batteries and an unknown number of” Stalin’s organs “, this es, projectile launchers ”, historian Xavier Moreno Julia (author of The Blue Division. Spanish blood in Russia, 1941-1945 ”) explained to ABC. In front of them, there were barely 5,900 Spaniards. The contest was served. What was suspected happened? The Soviet Army threw itself headlong into the sector defended by the 262nd Regiment of the Blue Division.
The situation was desperate and all the reinforcements that could be found in the vicinity were dispatched. Among them, Rose’s unit, which received orders to march to the front to establish an advanced information center. But the enemy destroyed the Spanish positions without much effort. In the heat of the fight, the commanders decided that the only way to group the soldiers, scattered all over the battlefield, was to launch a counterattack and the lieutenant was part of it. There he left his life, as Caballero Jurado reveals in his work. At that moment a ‘German Flak Cannon Section’ was entering the line of fire. Understandably, caught up in the battle, the first thing they needed was someone to inform them what the hell was going on, and since Flak’s Section had no Spanish interpreters, Rose offered (or was ordered) to join her. But as powerful as that Section was, it was exactly that a Section. And it was as overwhelmed by the terrible Soviet attack as the Spanish forces deployed in the front line or in charge of counterattacking had been before.
Six inquiries to Carlos Caballero Jurado.Do you think there are a larger number of questions than assurances concerning Rose’s life? I imagine that basically everything is assurances, and the lone huge perspective that stays to be explained on an individual level is who that Spanish sweetheart he had, of whom we know just her name, could be. We will in general imagine that the Jews were isolated from the German military all along, yet you clarify in your work that the Nazis depended on them in the principal months of the war. How could that be? In the overall way to deal with the subject, and this inquiry alludes to that worldwide methodology, I imagine that all the appropriate responses have been given and all-around given by Professor Bryan Rigg, in his amazing work “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers.” most importantly, we should recall that the supposed “Jews” by the Nazis (four rehearsing predecessors of the Jewish religion) were absent whenever in the Wehrmacht. What there were a great a large number of the supposed “mestizos.
From the researcher’s perspective that portrayed Nazi enemy of Semitism, one could envision, as indicated by some of them, that half of 75% of “Aryan blood” may beat half or 25% of “Jewish blood.” However, they turned out to be an ever-increasing number of extremists and rejected more mestizos. It appears to be that Rose delighted in the courtesy of the great German and Spanish authorities. Rose, notwithstanding being a truly enthusiastic and ardently hostile to socialist German, something that has nothing in inconsistency with having progenitors who rehearsed the Jewish confidence (albeit neither he nor his folks rehearsed it) was an exceptionally skillful official and who had been his companions in the Army couldn’t clarify why an official like that was lost. Perhaps the closest companion was Captain Schnez, who joined the select staff of the General Staff and was positioned in the High Command of the German Army. It was he who, from that foundation, attempted to get Rose to serve again in the German positions, without progress. On the value of Captain Schnez as a military man, I think the best model is that all around in the after war time frame he became Inspector General of the German Federal Army.
Among his Spanish sidekicks in the Blue Division, everybody realized that he had predecessors who had rehearsed Judaism, something to which nobody gave more prominent significance. All things considered, notwithstanding his incentive as an expert, the best significance was given to Rose’s having served in the Civil War in the positions of the Spanish Army in the battle against the Popular Front Army. Everybody recognized the truth about him, one more comrade. What was your undertaking, at any rate on paper, in the Blue Division? In those years the quantity of Spaniards who had a piece of decent information on German was not extremely high. So having the option to have somebody like Rose as an interpreter was incredible assistance. It is exceptionally critical that he was not only one more translator, doled out to any of the brigades or regiments, however, that he was relegated to the General Staff. Also, inside the General Staff, the Section that ought to have more prominent contact with the Germans, the second Section or Military Intelligence Section, which should attempt consistently to assess the adversary’s assault designs, the creation of its powers, and so forth.
Rose’s remarkable benefits were perceived as ahead of schedule as 1942 when he was granted a War Cross and a Red Cross for Military Merit on the Spanish side. Then again, the Blue Division reserved the privilege to demand German enrichments from the Army Corps on which it depended, to likewise compensate its individuals, and in this way, it was the situation that Lieutenant Rose additionally got the Iron Cross, which for somebody like him unquestionably had an uncommon worth. How was your last fight in Krasny Bor, The top of the second Section of the Spanish General Staff at that point, Commander Alemany, who particularly esteemed Lieutenant Rose, defended him with a fragile mission: to move to the base of the area that was thought to be the one assaulted, the Regiment 262º, to set up there a CIA, an Advanced Information Center, which would supply solid data to the Division’s Headquarters during the fight.
What happens is that the improvement of the fight was what we know, and the second came when Lieutenant Rose comprehended that he was unable to avoid the battling, and along with the remainder of the 262nd Regiment central command, he dispatched a counterattack,to go up against straightforwardly with the Soviet vanguards. Around then one of the alleged “Segments of Anti-airplane Guns for land battle sent by the Germans to build up the Spanish was entering the quarrel. They were horrendously powerful with their 88 and 38mm weapons. However, the recently shown up German unit came up short on a German-Spanish mediator and amidst the strife of the fight, it didn’t realize very well where the Soviets were, or where the Spanish were. Rose joined this German unit and battled coordinated into their positions, until the very end. He kicked the bucket as he needed, as a German warrior battling communism. Was it a definitive objective of the Blue Division, as it has spread as of late in the media after the dubious recognition, to murder Jews?
The demonstration you are getting some information about didn’t give proper respect to the Blue Division, and it was a demonstration of certain political powers, with no friendly importance. The demonstrations of reverence to the Blue Division are gathered by the Blue Division Foundation and articulations as implausible as those articulated in that political demonstration won’t ever be heard in them. There are various students of history exceptionally reproachful of the Blue Division, and not in their most drastically censorious passages against it has any of them set out to propose that the Division planned to kill the Jews. A huge number of youngsters and grandkids of visionaries realize that this was never the reason for the Division since they never heard enemy of Jewish articulations from the 40,000 visionaries who returned alive to Spain.
The solitary student of history had some expertise in the Holocaust who has expounded on the Blue Division, Alain Berkovitz, writer of “The Blue Division before the Holocaust” Editorial Fajardo el Bravo, Lorca, 2019, composed this book where he made it crystal clear that Spanish solidarity it had nothing to do with abuses of Jews. Truth be told, what drove him to compose that book was having found in the journal of his granddad, a Lithuanian Jew, a passage that grabbed his eye, wherein he expressed that the lone week they were glad during the whole II World War was the one that occurred while the contingents of the Blue Division crossed its city method of the front. What’s more, the Yad Vashem Institute for Holocaust Studies at the University of Jerusalem has never referred to a solitary instance of the agreement by individuals from the Blue Division with hostility to Jewish practices.
Unfortunately, we live in a time when a “tweet” has more echo than an essay book, and where some words were spoken by an “influencer”, who does not know anything about the Blue Division, are “virtualized” Social Networks live from that, from scandal, from provocation. At other times in history, no one would have fueled such utterly reprehensible statements as these, but today “tweets” and “viral” news seem to be at the center of the debate. And the result is that everyone is giving their opinion on something that no divisive ever considered, they did go to “fight the Jew.” Every one of the visionaries always had the same objective, to fight against communism. So nothing can surprise us less than the fact that all the media related to the left are repeating the news of this event ad nauseam.