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Horror of Hitler Youth

Heroes Remember

Horror of Hitler Youth

The fate of our, the fellas in the North Novies was very sad, and that was the start of a period of time for maybe two weeks when the Canadians who became prisoners also became the martyrs of Normandy because they were taken prisoner and murdered by the SS. Interviewer: This was at the Abbaye d'Ardenne? At the Abbaye d'Ardenne, and Andrea and in our case, they, our case was Île Patrie, the 1st Hussars was Île Patrie, Regina Rifles was Bretteville and Norrey, you know, and there’s a whole chain of things that taken place there and the Stormont and Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, they had their incidents. Interviewer: So in all, how many men would you estimate had been murdered by the Germans after they had surrendered? A hundred, a hundred and fifty six. Interviewer: At the time, Mr. Ross, were you men aware that this was going on or did you shortly find out? We found out after November, June the 11th, when our guys went out to investigate where all our guys were, and they were found, six of them were found with bullets in their head. As you know, there’s other incidents, you know, that the North Novies and Sherbrooke Fusiliers, they were all victims to this. They, we were up against and indoctrinated division of Hitler Youth, which was 12th SS, which is Kurt Meyer’s outfit and they, all their officers, all their officers were experienced officers, served in Russia, and they’d also served during the invasion of France, and so on, and they were ruthless. And the unfortunate part was that some of them are alive today and were never prosecuted, you know, for the, the murdering of the prisoners. It’s, it was sad to see it all happen, you know, in history, now, when we read about it. You know, but, in our case here we are, and geographically on the position of the front. We consider ourselves lucky we survived, you know, the attack could have come our way. When I look at our position on D-Day, You know, we were up in Angeurny and Anisy and our whole left flank is wide open to the coast and down in between is the 21st Panzer division. And they swung right and attacked the British. Had they swung left, I wouldn’t be talking to you now. It’s just a coincidence, and here again we’re up in Anguerny and Anisy and on our right flank the North Novies, they’re making an extra push to try and go to the airport, D plus 1 on June 7th. And they run into, slap bang into the 12th SS, who were preparing to make a counter-attack. And they fell victims to the reprisals from these here Hitler Youth, you know, and you read the history of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and you know the, the fight that those fellas put up until they ran out of ammunition. It’s unbelievable.

Mr. Ross speaks about the murder of members of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and other regiments by a division of Hitler Youth under the command of Kurt Meyer.

Joseph William Ross

Mr. Ross was born in Montreal on February 15, 1925. His father served during the First World War and was seriously wounded at the second battle at Ypres. When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, Mr. Ross was only 14 years old, working as an office boy for six dollars a week. Later, he worked as an apprentice fitter in the aircraft division of Vickers, near Montreal. Mr. Ross enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday in 1943. After training in Quebec and Nova Scotia, he was sent as part of the reinforcement troops to England where he was assigned to ‘C’ Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. His overseas action included landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, and serving throughout both Normandy and Northwest Europe (Belgium and Holland). During an encounter with German forces, Mr. Ross sustained injuries from flying shrapnel.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Joseph William Ross
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Normandy
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

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