Abgeschickt von John Tschinkel am 08 Dezember, 2003 um 22:46:16:
Richard Lackner, POW
In several installments, starting in the August 2003 issue of the Gottscheer Zeitung, Richard Lackner, describes his experiences while incarcerated as a POW by the Americans in Germany between 3. May 1945 and 28. June 1946. Interesting reading but more for what is between the lines and what is not said.
Lackner describes that he was captured just before the end of the war during the retreat into the "Alpenfestung", the alpine fortress for the final stand of the Reich. But it is known that covering this retreat were only the most loyal members of the SS. He also states that he was an American POW from May 3. 1945 to June 28. 1946, or nearly 14 months. But again, it is well known that only certain members of the SS were held for such an extended period; members of the Wehrmacht were released by the Americans almost immediately after the war.
To discover that Lackner was a member of the SS should not be a surprise. Dr. Tone Ferenc, the distinguished Slovene historian in his book: "Nacistična raznarodovalna politika v Sloveniji v letih 1941-1945" (The Nazi Policy of Denationalization in Slovenia, 1941- 1945) states that Lampeter recommended to Himmler in 1941 that 18 members of his staff be taken into the SS. At that time, Lackner was a 22 year old fanatic, in every way fit for this Nazi elite, judged by the Nürnberg Tribunal as a "criminal organization". Seen fit also to be a "Honored Member" and "Cultural Adviser" in present day Gottscheer Organizations ??
For those unaware, Richard Lackner was part of the VoMi (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle in the Reich) appointed Gottscheer "leadership" (dictatorship) that in 1941 forced the Gottscheer to accept the resettlement option and move into another part of annexed Slovenia, ethnically cleansed of 37,000 Slovene residents.
Lackner was head of the Gottscheer Hitler Jugend and Chief of Staff to Mannschaftsführer Wilhelm Lampeter. The Gottscheer Mannschaft was a highly disciplined Militia along the lines of the SS and SA in the Reich where Lampeter and most of his staff, including Lackner, were trained in the late 1930's. All this is mentioned in great detail by Dr. Hans Hermann Frensing in his Book "Die Umsiedlung der Gottscheer Deutschen", reproduced in full on the website:
Frensing describes the role played by Lackner in this highly motivated group of fanatical Gottscheer National Socialist leaders. Much is also learned about Lackner by reading 1941 issues of the Gottscheer Zeitung, the then propaganda organ of this group. (See website Gottschee.de). Of particular interest is the perpetual confrontation sought with the Slovene authorities, designed to inflame and propagate the hostility between the Gottscheer and Slovene people; helpful in getting acceptance of the resettlement option by the Gottscheer population.
Dr. Frensing also describes the role of Lackner in the frantic attempt by Lampeter to save his Gottscheer "leadership" position after the resettlement. Lampeter, promoted at age 25 (Nov 1941) to Major in the SS (Sturmbannführer) by Himmler himself, was found by his immediate superiors to be arrogant and unwilling to submit to the hierarchy of the SS. He was reprimanded and threatened with disciplinary action. To save his position, Lampeter sent, on 29. December 1941, Richard Lackner with a present to Himmler at the SS Reichshauptamt (Top Headquarters of the SS) in Berlin to intercede on his behalf. (Himmler would not receive Lackner). This arrogance and a personal letter from Lampeter to Himmler (1/1/42) was seen as the final straw by the SS and both Lampeter and Lackner were relieved of their Gottscheer leadership positions and transferred out in February 1942.
These two, once fanatical, Nazis turned up again after the end of the war in 1945 in important Gottscheer positions. Lackner became a leader in the Gottscheer Diaspora in Germany and later "Honored Member " and "Cultural Advisor" in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft, (AG) the Umbrella organization of Gottscheer Associations, which includes, as a member also the GHGA, the GOTTSCHEER HERITAGE AND GENEALOGY ASSOCIATION.
Lampeter surfaced from East Germany after the fall of the Wall in October 1989 and was received with great enthusiasm by leaders in the AG, given a medal and made "Honored Member" and later even "Cultural Adviser" in the organization.
However, nothing was known publicly about either two in the period between 1942 and 1945 until recently.
Dr. Gerd Simon, Professor at the University of Tübingen (see Gerd Simon, Google) discovered Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Lampeter with an SS unit in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp extermination camp after February 1942. And on 1/1/1945, he was transferred directly to Himmler's headquarters in Berlin.
After the war, Lampeter became a distinguished Professor at a University in the DDR, a position normally awarded only to a loyal Communist.
How ironic !! While the Gottscheer fled Communism, their VoMi appointed "leader" sought refuge in a Communist state. Lampeter died in 2002. His eulogy, as written by Richard Lackner, was published in the March 2003 issue of the Gottscheer Zeitung.
While we now know more about Lampeter, the top Gottscheer Nazi, nothing was known about his deputy Richard Lackner during the years 1942-1945. But the details were provided (inadvertently for sure) by Lackner himself in the above mentioned issues of the Gottscheer Zeitung all which point out that he also had key positions in the SS.
It is still not known what specific duties Richard Lackner performed during the years 1942-1945. But as was the case with his boss, SS Major Wilhelm Lampeter, we will not be surprised when the truth appears, as it inevitably will.
Richard Lackner, POW - John Tschinkel
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