HC Deb 29 October 1956 vol 558 c98W
74. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the decision of the West German Defence Ministry to reinstate former officers of the Schutz-Staffel in their old ranks in the new German Army; and, in view of the war records of these officers, if he will take steps to prevent their obtaining secret information through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Lord John Hope

I am informed that the decision to which the first part of the Question refers, does not apply to the former S.S. as a whole, but only to that part of it which was known as the Waffen S.S. Since October, 1955, it has been possible for members of these formations to join the new German Army as private soldiers. Now they may do so in their former ranks up to and including lieutenant-colonel. Former generals and colonels of the Waffen S.S., whose appointment required the express authority of Himmler, are still excluded, and junior officers may only be admitted to commissions in the new German Army after a full examination of their past record and present attitude. I am assured that this examination is severe enough to eliminate candidates whose records are doubtful or who have not sincerely rejected National Socialist ideas. In these circumstances the second part of the Question does not arise.

Forward to