Membership: Blitzkrieger, Vormund/Hauptmann Deutschland, Zeitgeist

Purpose: Superhuman defense force of Germany

Affiliations: Captain America

Enemies: Red Skull, Skeleton Crew, Arnim Zola

Aliases: "Group of Protecting Saints", Helden-Liga, "League of Guardian Angels"

Base of Operations: Germany

First Appearance: Captain America I#389 (August, 1991)

History: (Captain America I#387/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Schutz Heiliggruppe were responsible for the destruction of Arnim Zola's clones of the Red Skull kept at Zola's castle in Switzerland.

(Captain America I#387-388/2) - Hauptmann Deutschland successfully captured the Red Skull by infiltrating the ranks of Taskmater students he sparred against, and having Zeitgeiest teleport them away.

(Captain America I#389/2) - As Hauptmann Deutschland informed the Red Skull that they intended to place him on trial for war crimes in Germany, Blitzkrieger sensed that he had a homing device which the Skeleton Crew would use to track him. They set out to prepare for their arrival.

(Captain America I#390/2) - At an airfield outside of Berlin, the Schutz Heiliggruppe confronted the Skeleton Crew when they came to save the Red Skull, and successfully defeated the entire team.

(Captain America I#391/2) - The Schutz Heiliggruppe guarded the Skeleton Crew as they prepared to hold the war crimes trials at the airfield.

(Captain America I#393) - When Machinesmith broke himself and the rest of the Skeleton Crew free, the Schutz Heiliggruppe prepared to battle them, but were tricked by bioplastoids sent by Zola disguised as Thor, Iron Man and Captain America into allowing them to take the Skeleton Crew into their custody. Hauptmann Deutschland subsequently set out to America to investigate the Red Skull's whereabouts.

(Captain America I#442) - Schutz Heiliggruppe set up a temporary base in Buenos Aires to investigate the serial killings of South American heroes and villains, including Captain Forza, Defensor, La Bandera, Machete, El Condor, Ojo Macabra, and Zona Rosa. However, the killer was Zeitgeist, who then slew Blitzkrieger. Hauptmann Deutschland, now called Vormund, eventually learned that Zeitgeist was responsible, and killed him to avenge Blitzkrieger's death.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Larry Alexander and Bud La Rosa.

In Germany the Schutz Heiliggruppe and its members had to be renamed because their names were too much connected to things from World War II which even could've become a legal problem. Germans are still extremely sensitive about stuff connected to World War II and many things connected to it are not even allowed to be published. In my opinion this is not really a bad thing, but sometimes they go too far and censor or ban things which weren't even intended to be pro Nazi.
At the Frankfurter Buchmesse 1991 in a long conversation between Condor Interpart's (at that time German publisher for Marvel Comics) editor Michael Nagula and Mark Gruenwald it was agreed that the Schutz Heiliggruppe and their problematic members would get different names in Germany.
Hauptmann Deutschland became Freiheitskämpfer (Freedom Fighter) and Blitzkrieger became Generator. Even the team's name was changed from Schutz Heiliggruppe to Helden-Liga (Heroes League) and the story was changed so far that they weren't especially hunting World War II criminals, but generally terrorists all over the world.
Gruenwald even asked Condor's editorial to inform him about the new names, so that he could probably change them in the US as well to their German versions.
Source of the above was the Captain America Pocketbook #19 (1994) (wherein the first storyline with the Schutz Heiliggruppe was published in German)
But in the end only Hauptmann Deutschland got a new name and although it wasn't the one he got in Germany it was a little bit better then the one before. Only problem with the name Vormund was that mostly the legal guardian for a child or somebody else who can't talk legally for himself is meant by it.
And Blitzkrieger whose name wasn't changed was killed off anyway. Problem solved!
--by Markus Raymond

Schutz Heiliggruppe has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1990s Handbook.

by Prime Eternal

Schutz Heiligruppe should not be confused with:

Images taken from:
Captain America I#390, page 31, panel 8

Captain America I#390-391 (August-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#393 (October, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander & Rik Levins (pencils), Bud LaRosa & Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#442 (August, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover & Sandu Florea (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Last updated: 02/25/11

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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