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Sven Hassel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sven Hassel (19 April 1917 – 21 September 2012 in Barcelona[1][2]) was the pen name of the
Danish-born Børge Willy Redsted Pedersen[3][4][5] who wrote novels set duringWorld War II.
In Denmark he used the pen name Sven Hazel.
Contents
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1 Biography
2 Works
3 Controversy
4 Bibliography
5 References
6 External links

Biography[edit]

Excerpt from the parish register documenting the marriage and subsequent name changes of Børge Willy Redsted
Pedersen and Laura Dorthea Guldbæk Jensen.

Pedersen aka Hassel (or Hazel) was born on 19 April 1917 as the first of seven children
to miller Peder Oluf Pedersen and his 20 year old wife Maren Hansine Andersen in Nyhuse,
Frederiksborg Slotssogn in Frederiksborg County, Denmark and baptized Børge Willy Redsted
Pedersen.[3][6][7][8][9]
When he was 4 years old the family moved to Copenhagen where in 1930 they lived in
Tverstedgade 3, Vanløse with his father supporting the family as a miller at Dansk Sojakagefabrik.[6]
On Palm Sunday 1931 he was confirmed in Vanløse church.[7]
Pedersen aka Hassel claimed that at the age of 14 he joined the merchant navy as a cabin boy and
worked on ships until his military service in 1936.[10] However, while his two-years-younger brother
Tommy Redsted Pedersen[6] was entered in the army levy roll for Copenhagen in 1937 when he
turned 18[11] and his four-years-younger brother Uffe Redsted Pedersen[6] was entered in the same
roll in 1939 when he turned 18,[12] Pedersen aka Hassel was not entered in the roll from 1934 through
1940.[13]
In 1937, to escape the Great Depression, the unemployed Hassel moved to Germany to join the
army. In an interview in 1990, he said, "Germany happened to be closer than England, I went to
a Wehrmacht recruiting office to enlist, but it wasn't as easy as I had thought. Only German citizens
could serve. After six months of trying to join up, the Seventh Cavalry Regiment finally accepted me
on the condition that I became a naturalized German."[citation needed]
Hassel served with the 2nd Panzer Division stationed at Eisenach and in 1939 was a tank driver
during the invasion of Poland.[citation needed] A year later he attempted to escape. He served with the 2nd
Cavalry Regiment and later the 11th and 27th Panzer Regiments (6th Panzer Division) on all fronts

but his wife encouraged him to continue to write about his experiences.[16] The same year he and his wife registered a phone as Lieutenant Colonel and Writer B. After recovery. Pedersen aka Hassel therefore formed his own publishing company "Bellum" (Latin for 'War'). Copenhagen Pedersen aka Hassel married the four-yearsolder Laura Dorthea Guldbæk Jensen. Hundige. to a son. 10 and 12 were owned by his wife and her relatives. a divorced film translator from Nørre Tranders. Eventually he reached the rank of lieutenant and received the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class.except North Africa and was wounded several times. Nørrebro.[14] He began to write his first book.[4][5][8][9] He registered his intent to marry as a journalist residing at Baggesensgade 1.[citation needed] He was released in 1949 and was planning to join the French Foreign Legion when he met his future wife.[19] In 1960 their second phone is registered at the seaside house Grankogle Allé 12. Spain. Frederiksberg under the name Børge Arbing[22] and the following year he and his wife registered a new primary phone at that address under Dorthe & Willy Arbing. in Hundige.[citation needed] He claimed to have spent the following years in Prisoner-of-war camps in various countries[10] but in reality he was arrested in Denmark in 1945 after the liberation and was held in prison there.[18] In 1957 Hassel suffered from an attack of a sickness caught during the war and was paralyzed for almost two years. Copenhagen.[1][16] Hassel's publisher Grafisk Forlag subsequently offered all book dealers a refund for his most recent book and ceased collaboration with him. which published the remainder of his books.[4][5] He went to work in a car factory. Greve. first as a suspect and then as a convicted criminal. who was baptized Michael Franz Erwin Guldbæk Angouléme Arbing in Jesus Church.[20] The properties Grankogle Allé 8. W. He surrendered to Soviet troops in Berlin in 1945.[citation needed] In 1953 his debut novel Legion of the Damned was published under the pen name Sven Hazel by Grafisk Forlag[15] after their consultant Georgjedde (Georg Gjedde-Simonsen) had abbreviated and rewritten the manuscript.[16] In 1964 Pedersen aka Hassel moved to Barcelona. where he lived until his death.[citation needed] In 1959 he and his wife reregistered their primary phone to the address Strindbergsvej 25.[23] In 1963 he reregistered the two telephones as Writer Sven Hazel with the second phone from then on at Grankogle Allé 10.[citation needed] On 6 January 1951 in Garrison Church.[6][8][9] In 1952 his wife gave birth in St Josef's Hospital.[17] In 1957 he and his wife registered a second summer phone.[4][5] For the baptism he registered as a journalist and Lieutenant Colonel residing at Colbjørnsensgade 11 while his wife registered as Cand. Arbing and Translator Laura Arbing at the address Hammelstrupvej 24. Legion of the Damned while he was interned. Copenhagen. he began to write more books. Valby and their second phone to Grankogle Allé.[21] On 7 July 1961 he bought the property Stægers Alle 9.[8][9] His best man was his younger brother Uffe Redsted Pedersen. Valby.[25][26] .[1] In 1965 he still had the two telephones as Writer Sven Hazel with the primary phone reregistered to Stægers Alle 11.[24] On 10 October 1963 journalist George Kringelbach revealed in his radio programme Natredaktionen on P3 that Sven Hazel was a pen name for the convicted traitor Børge Willy Redsted Pedersen.mag.

a non-commissioned officer. Hassel's books have been said to contain an anti-war message. Chief Mechanic Wolf.[34] Haaest writes that Sven Hassel is actually Børge Villy Redsted Pedersen (which was true until Hassel changed his name to Arbing in 1965[3]). Pedersen/Hassel was in fact a member of the HIPO Corps or Hilfspolizei. Julius Heide. Occasional pleasant events and peaceful meetings are brutally cut short.[citation needed] Hassel's view of war is brutal. By graphically portraying war as violent and hopeless in such manner. and Staff Sergeant Hoffman.[29] Works[edit] Hassel's books are written in the first person. Barcelona Blom. "Legionnaire" (ex-member of the French Foreign Legion). where he sold 15 million of the 53m sold worldwide. though not necessarily the lead character. court-martialed soldiers and political undesirables. including northern Finland. Haaest claims that during the war period.net from an address in Barcelona.[31][32] Hassel's books are particularly popular in the United Kingdom.[30] In his books. older sergeant Willie Beier. Greece (The Bloody Road to Death). Hassel states that the characters are based on real people and events are related to historical events. Wolfgang Creutzfeldt. People are killed by chance or with very little reason. an auxiliary Danish police force created by the Gestapo. who was a removals man before the war. with Hassel himself as a character. The majority of the action occurs in the USSR. the regiment fights in several places. Gregor Martin. consisting of collaborators.[1] Hassel was survived by his son[1] who as of 2014 holds the exclusive rights to his father's works[28] and administrates the domain svenhassel. USSR. the Balkans. at the same time. Disgruntled soldiers occasionally kill their own officers to get rid of them.[1] In 1987 his book Wheels of Terror was made into a film titled the same.[4][5][8][27] On 15 August 1984 his wife sold her property Grankogle Allé 8. with the Geneva Convention rarely being observed on the Eastern front. and France (Liquidate Paris. In total he published 14 novels which have been translated into 18 languages. They serve on many fronts. soldiers fight only to survive. "Old Un" or "Old Man". set during and after the Normandy Invasion).[22] On 21 September 2012 he died. an ex-Waffen SS NCO and Nazi fanatic. a giant of a man ironically named Tiny (variously Little John in some of the books). The books describe the exploits of a 27th (Penal) Panzer Regiment composed of expendable soldiers – sentenced criminals. According to Haaest. In addition to Sven. Greve to their son.[33] Controversy[edit] The controversial Danish writer Erik Haaest has been disputing Hassel's claims for many years. they include Alfred Kalb.On 29 September 1965 he changed his name to Sven Willy Hasse Arbing [3][4][5][8] and on 28 December 1965 he had his son's name changed to Michael Hasse Arbing[4][5] while on 26 April 1966 his wife changed hers to Dorthe Laura Hazel Guldbæk Arbing née Jensen. In some of the books the 27th Regiment does guard duty for the Gestapo in Hamburg (Assignment Gestapo) and also at the military prison at Torgau (March Battalion). in Barcelona. a veteran of both sides of the Spanish Civil War. Due to errors in chronology. but also known as The Misfit Brigade. Unsympathetic Prussian officers constantly threaten their men with courts-martial and execute them with little provocation. aged 95. Italy (Monte Cassino). barracks fixer and shrewd thief Joseph Porta. . hundreds of kilometres apart. the author never served on the Eastern front but spent the majority of World War II in occupied Denmark and his knowledge of warfare comes second-hand from Danish Waffen-SS veterans whom he met after the end of the war.[21] On 14 October 1986 he sold the property at Stægers Alle 9.

he employed his wife to write the rest of his books. Bibliography[edit] English titles:[35]               The Legion of the Damned Wheels of Terror Comrades of War March Battalion Assignment Gestapo Monte Cassino (The Beast Regiment) Liquidate Paris SS-General Reign of Hell ISBN 0-304-36690-0 Blitzfreeze The Bloody Road to Death Court Martial O. after the liberation. Pedersen aka Hassel was arrested in Denmark and in 1947 tried and sentenced for collaboration with the Germans (Retsopgøret)[14] and that therefore Pedersen/Hassel's claims that he spent the post-war years in various POW camps are not true. Haaest also alleges that Pedersen/Hassel's first novel was ghostwritten and that. when it became a success. Prison The Commissar .P.Haaest discovered that in 1945.G.U.