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Pure Soldiers or Sinister Legion
Sol Littman

Black Rose Books

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Pure Soldiers or Sinister Legion : The Ukranian 14th Waffen-SS Division

Sol Littman


Between 1950 and 1955, thousands of veterans from the notorious German-led, Ukranian 14th Waffen-SS Division emigrated to North America with the full consent of the respective governments despite immigration regulations in force at the time that forbade entry to all who served in any branch of the SS. The Jewish community fought a brief, but futile, battle to persuade those governments to deny them entry, denouncing them as war criminals, but Division supporters insisted the young men who had volunteered to serve were exceptional soldiers who had obeyed the international rules of war. An acrimonious dispute, that rages to the present day, ensued. At issue was the nature of the Division and its war record. Were they "pure soldiers" as many of their supporters contended, or, were they, to use Daniel Goldhagen's phrase, among Hitler's willing executioners?

Pure Soldiers or Sinister Legion traces the 14th Waffen-SS Division's fortunes from its formation in April 1943 until its surrender to the British in May 1946, their subsequent stay as prisoners-of-war in Italy, and their eventual transfer as agricultural workers in Britain.  In 1950 they began their immigration to Canada and the United States. Along the way they were recruited by the British as anti-Soviet spies and by the CIA as political assassins. In spelling out the Division's history, the author attempts to shed light on its true nature.

Sol Littman was the Canadian Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, author of War Criminal on Trial, founding editor of the Canadian Jewish News, the first Director of B'nai Brith's "League for Human Rights", and was Assistant Education Director of the Anti-Defamation League in the United States. He has, as well, served as a reporter/producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and an editorial writer with the Toronto Star.

"A well-researched, carefully documented forcefully-presented expose." - Dov Bert Levy, former consultant to the U.S. Justice Department

"A very graceful literary style which is welcome in light of the somewhat dark and obscure machinations he [Littman] wants to illuminate." - John Crow, University of Arizona

"[Littman] has been able to piece together this sorry, but powerful tale, on the basis of meticulous reference to all key archives." - Gerald Fleming, Emeritus Reader in German, University of Surrey

"There have been few detailed studies of Nazi war criminals who came to Canada after WWII. Littman's book ... makes a welcome, if chilling, addition." - Francis Harry, Emeritus, York University, Toronto

"A definitive, compelling and deeply researched account." - Richard Robbins, Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Boston

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