A homeless man who lived in a tent in the UK for 35 years was a former SS officer.
Josef Stawinoga, who lived in a tent in the middle of a busy roadway interchange in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of the UK, has been identified by a friend as a former SS officer.
Stawinoga served in the SS and was reportedly proud of the work he did. The friend, who went to the BBC after Stawinoga’s death with the truth about his past, said Stawinoga “was not one of the nicest chaps in the SS,” but couldn’t say whether or not he took part in any atrocities.
After the war, Stawinoga gave himself up to British troops in Italy.
The Wolverhampton City Council had allowed the man to live in a tent by the highway for three-and-a-half decades instead of relocating him to public housing because he had told them that he was afraid of enclosed spaces.
Stawinoga was a locally known and ostensibly well-liked figure, based on the fact that a page dedicated to him has sprung up on the social networking site Facebook since his death. Despite the new revelations about his past, the city council is planning to host a memorial service for Stawinoga if no relatives come forward.