Photo of Controversial Galician SS Soldiers

The one in the lower left shares my last name, apparently.

The Galician SS Division was formed when the Nazis were already in full retreat. They consisted of about 13,000 young men from Western Ukraine. I think (and also, I would like to think) that they were following the pattern of 25 years earlier, where Ukrainians served in the Autro-Hungarian Army, and then formed a core of a Ukrainian army for the short-lived Ukrainian state. In their only major engagement, the Battle of Brody, the Galician SS Division took 80% casualties.

One veteran of the battle, Hryhoriy Hevryk, was taken into the Red Army, killed in Poland, and made an official Hero of the Soviet Union.

Some veterans of the Division later carried out war crimes.