Indeed, Dirlewanger was accused of various gruesome crimes. For instance, he was said to have injected young Jewish girls with strychnine simply for the pleasure of watching them die. So appalled was the SS judge, he said that, “Dirlewanger was a nuisance and a terror to the entire population.” But in a telling example of the Nazis moral values, it was the judge who was demoted and sent to the Eastern Front. Dirlewanger, meanwhile, got off scot-free.
Yes, Dirlewanger and his band of sadists and rapists were allowed to continue as they were. And the unit were then assigned to a so-called “anti-bandits” mission in Belarus – a country sandwiched between Poland and Russia. It was a brutal operation, and one that saw the extermination of several “bandits,” many of whom are believed to have been regular civilians. There is some uncertainty as to the number of people that Dirlewanger and his unit murdered in Belarus; a low estimate is 30,000, while a high one is 120,000.