Memories of Hans Wende

Hermann Frank Meyer,
"Die Erinnerungen des Hans Wende.
Von 1942 bis 1944 'Sachbearbeiter für Bandenangelegenheiten'
in der 'Führungsabteilung Ic' des Oberkommandos der Heeresgruppe E" Griechenland.
(“The Memories of Hans Wende. ‘Expert in matters affecting the bands from 1942 to 1944’
in the executive department 1C of the Supreme Command of Army Group E”).
Thetis, Mannheim articles on classical archaeology and history of Greece and Cyprus,5/6

Using interviews with Hans Wende, who was the expert on matters affecting the guerrilla bands in the supreme command of the Army Group E, the author describes the command structures and the operational methods of the German general staff in Greece under the title "Die Erinnerungen des Hans Wende" (The Memories of Hans Wende/ German text). On the basis of daily intelligence messages, Wende worked out the enemy situation reports, which were initialled by his boss, Kurt Waldheim, and transmitted to the highest echelons of the general staff of Army Group E. Kurt Waldheim later became the Secretary General of the United Nations and President of the Federal Republic of Austria.

Wende handed over to the author some highly interesting secret material, which he took back home with him after the war and tried to sell in the Fifties. Some of these documents were published by H. F. Meyer for the first time. As Wende spent over a year in the same office as Waldheim, many hitherto unknown facts about Waldheim’s activities in Greece are disclosed. For instance, reprisals ordered by both the Wehrmacht High Command (OKW) and by the Army Group E to shoot hostages, are shown to have been known to Waldheim who denied this. He also knew of a detailed Bericht (report/ German text) written by Wende about his stay in Athens. His superiors had sent him there in June 1944 to gain an immediate picture of the prevailing atmosphere in the capital.

When the Germans retreated from Greece, Wende took back home over 3.000 documents and drew up a description of his work as the “expert on guerrilla bands” in the Fifties. His expose on "Die griechische Widerstandsbewegung im Urteil der deutschen Heeresführung" (The Greek resistance as seen by the German army command/ German text) gives precise information on what was known by the German authorities about the Greek resistance. Although the language used by Wende is in part hard to bear today, H.F. Meyer refrained from editing it, because it would have impaired its authenticity.

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© H.F. Meyer 2007 |