Nazi Werewolves Terrorized Allied Soldiers During the End Of WWII

The guerrilla fighters didn't slow the Allied occupation of Germany, but they did scare the soldiers.

Drawing inspiration from the myth of werewolves, the Nazis inspired real soldiers and civilians to fight at the end of the war. (Wikimedia Commons)

In the final months of World War II, Allied troops were pushing deeper into Nazi Germany and the Soviet Red Army pinned the German military back on the Eastern front.

Hitler, who since the beginning used Germanic folklore and occult legends to supplement Nazi pageantry, and his senior officials were looking for any last resort to keep their ideology alive — and turned to the supernatural for inspiration.

Specifically, werewolves.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, they came up with two separate lupin movements: An official group of paramilitary soldiers and then an ad hoc ensemble of partisan fighters under the guise of the legends. Neither achieved an monumental gains, but both sowed terror and demoralized Allied soldiers.

The one group, the Werewolves, were prepared “to strike down the isolated soldier in his jeep, the MP on patrol, the fool who goes a-courting after dark, the Yankee braggart who takes a back road,” writes Smithsonian. 

“According to some 19th and early 20th century German folklorists, werewolves represented flawed, but well-meaning characters who may be bestial but are tied to the woods, the blood, the soil,” Historian Eric Kurlander told Smithsonian. “They represented German strength and purity against interlopers.”

The American media and military took the threat of these Werewolves very seriously. In his book, historian Stephen Fritz writes that some American authorities saw the bands of guerrilla fighters as “one of the greatest threats to security in both the American and Allied Zones of Occupation.”

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