Training of Ukrainian Waffen-ss Chaplains in Sennheim and Their Duty in 14th Ss-volunteer Division “galicia” (1943–1945)

: pp. 35 - 42
Received: September 26, 2018
Revised: October 15, 2018
Accepted: November 04, 2018
historical coordinator of the PO “The Spirit of the Nation”

In the article author researched the background and motives for the establishment of the Chaplaincy service in the 14th SS-Volunteer Division «Galicia» during the Second World War and analyzed the military training of the Chaplain Corps Division. This training took place in the SS-Training Camp Sennheim (Cernay) in 1943 and consisted of a politico- ideological and military training of Ukrainian priests of the Greek Catholic Church. The article also research the status of Ukrainian chaplains in the Waffen-SS and their number — both Greek Catholic and Orthodox. In addition, special attention is paid to the analysis of the results of the chaplains services and their role in the division. The military chaplains were a important element in the division, responding not only for the fulfillment of religious functions, but also for the moral state of soldiers. They performed worship and conducted propaganda activities. Ukrainian chaplains had an officer rank in the Waffen-SS and enjoyed all the privileges accorded to the status of SS-officer. At the same time, Vasil Laba became one of the three Ukrainians who received the high rank of Waffen-Sturmbannführer. Despite the thorough preparation, the chapel’s Corps was not monolithic, because often their duties depended primarily on their personal qualities. After the Battle of Brody, there were only two chaplains in the division, but soon new ones came to replace those who died or were captured. However, more another specialized training for Ukrainian chaplains in the SS did not organized. Nevertheless, the chaplains existed in the Ukrainian division of the Waffen-SS until the end of the war and the transfer of the division into the Ukrainian National Army.

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