Protection relay

of these articles describes the protection relay; for other meanings of SS see SS (term clarifying).

The protection relay (SS) was from 1934 to 1945 its own, paramilitärische organization within the NSDAP, whose partial organizations were considerably involved in the Holocaust.Their guidance saying read „my honour is called loyalty “.

SS-Obersturmführer und KZ-Arzt Dr. Fritz Klein auf einem Leichenberg im KZ Bergen-Belsen.
SS-Obersturmführer and KZ-physician Dr. Fritz small on a corpse mountain in the KZ mountain Belsen.

Table of contents

forerunner organizationsthe SS

the staff guard and the combat patrol Adolf Hitler

Angehörige des „Stoßtrupp Adolf Hitler“, der unmittelbaren Vorläuferorganisation der späteren SS, posieren für die Kamera. In der Mitte (mit Schnäuzer) Julius Schreck
member „combat patrol of the Adolf Hitler “, the direct forerunner organization of the later SS, posieren for the camera. In the center (with Schnäuzer) Julius fright

in May 1923 formed Adolf Hitler from selected SA - member the short-lived staff guard Berlin.

After Hermann Ehrhardt already überworfen themselves in the middle of 1923 with Ernst Röhm and Hitler had, from 12 SA members the combat patrol Adolf Hitler was educated, who protected Hitler against encroachments of the party-own storm departmentsshould.

The combat patrol Adolf Hitler two former member managed the staff guard , which had belonged to the brigade Ehrhardt before: Julius fright and Joseph Berchtold. The other members were: Ulrich count, Emil Maurice, Christian weber, Josef Dietrich, Rudolf Hess, the Jakobs Grimminger and walter book, Karl Fiehler, which had likewise belonged to free corps units.

the history of the SS

establishment of the protection relay

in May 1925 formed Julius fright, later first Reichsführer SS,on behalf a Hitler's unit from eight members of the combat patrol, who should form the core of the later SS, among them Rudolf Hess, Hermann Göring and Josef „Sepp “Dietrich. The name protection relay struck the SA leader at that time Hermann Göring followinga flying inheritance sliding relay Manfred von Richthofens forwards. Described the tasks of the organization Hitler in a leader instruction of 7. November 1930 as follows: „The task of the SS is first the practice of the police service within the party. “

The symbol of the protection relay formedfrom 2, lightning-like “victory runes” [work on

], lying next to each other

, competition to the SA

with a restriction of the desired strength on 10% of the storm department wanted to minimize the SA guidance the SS. In the realm gaus could be begun with the structure of a protection relay only ifthe structure of a complete SA storm was final. With exception of Berlin, where the SS should have the double strength, the desired strength was specified on at the most ten men and a leader.

Dissatisfied with these regulations and over it that the SA thoseyou subordinated SS low tasks to settle left, withdrew the second Reichsführer SS, Josef Berchtold, 1927 . Berchtolds successor became Erhardt heaths, which a 27-jähriges appointed member of the Röhm realm war flag its deputy: Heinrich Himmler. Heaths became by the SAand their guidance not seriously taken. The SA existed Rabauken in the eyes of the SS only out „“, while the SA regarded the SS as „fine Pinkel “. To 5. January 1929 withdrew also heaths as a realm leader SS .

The SS as independent organization

first the SA subordinated, developed it itself to an organization with „police functions “within the NSDAP. With the appointment Heinrich Himmlers to the Reichsführer SS 1929 began a fundamental change of the organization. As so far small grouping offew hundreds men within the SA she should be developed after Himmler to the combat troop of the NSDAP, „a National Socialist, military medal of nordisch certain men, obeyed by those everyone unconditionally each instruction, which comes from the leader. “the SS became at the same time oneElite and a mass organization. 1932 had already increased it to approximately 52,000 and one year later to well 204,000 members.

The elitäre character showed up in the race-biological and world-descriptive criteria, which had to be fulfilled, around the SS belongs toocan. The SS should as „kinship community “an embodiment of the National Socialist gentleman people ideology represent and as „Bewahrer of the blood purity “the germ cell of nordischen race dominance become. The criteria for choice were not limited therefore to the applicants themselves, also wives of the SS-members became regarding their„Race purity “examines. The ideology of the SS as guidance medals manifested itself also at the support at conceptions of medieval knight communities, with that it itself by rituals in Weihestätten or symbols like the SS-Totenkopfring and the use of different rune symbols (today colloquial as: “SS-runes”designated) or the Ehrendolch a quasi-religious dimension to give tried.

After the seizure of power of the national socialists the SS with SA and steel helmet received police privileges for the pursuit of political opponents. In April 1933 were already over 25.000 regime opponents in „protective custody“. SA and SS began Oranienburg with the establishment of first concentration camps (KZ ) in DAK-strike and.

To 30. June and 1. July 1934 murdered the armed SS-federations body-condition-kind-eat Adolf Hitler and SS-Totenkopfverbände in the context of the Röhm Putsches the guidance of the SA as well asnumerous political opponents, under it many from the conservative camp. To 20. July 1934 explained Hitler: „Regarding large earnings/services of the SS, particularly in connection with the events of 30. June 1934, I raise the same to an independent organizationin the context of the NSDAP. “the SS transferred now in exclusive responsibility the competence for all concentration camps (KZ) in the realm, which had been controlled up to then partly still by the SA. The SS-Totenkopf-federations now exclusively became with the guard of the campsassigned.

In November 1934 the prince Albrecht palace in the William route 102 was referred in Berlin into the complex of the buildings at the prince Albrecht road 8 and to the seat of the security agency of the Reichsführers SS.

Starting from 1935 the administrative units of the SS designated themselves in General-eat over. They wanted to differ thereby from their federations, the SS-combat support force and the SS-Totenkopfverbänden , armed in the meantime, which formed the weapon SS later. This general-eats, now also homeland or blackeats mentioned, was subordinate now to the new office for command of the general SS in Berlin.

Thus it came to the classical three-division of the SS, which had existence informally until 1945:

  1. General-eat
  2. SS-Totenkopf-banners
  3. SS-combat support force

the term „SS “formed starting from 1939/40the roof federation “for different principal offices and their subsections:

  • The guidance principal office (FHA) was the operational headquarter (headquarters) the SS. It led and administered the officer schools, medical supply, transportation procedures, wage payments and equipment.
  • Race and settlement principal office (RuSHA) had the task to develop one „rassisch valuable “guidance elite
  • the Central Reich Security Office (RSHA) developed from the pool of SD andSiPo and was the central place for the practice of the police functions of the SS.
  • The SD - Office pure hard Heydrichs served the population as secret service for the fight of outside like internal opponent and for spying on.
  • The state police (Sipo) was for crime film aluminum andthe secret state police (Gestapo) responsibly.
  • Military branch of the SS was the weapon SS the economic and administrative principal office (
  • WVHA ), formed from combat support forces and dead head federations, steered the concentration camps and their construction and administered the SS-own industries, trade and agriculture enterprises.
Work on []

Participation of the SS in war actions

to 13. March 1938 also troop units of the SS-combat support force participated in the invasion of the armed forces in Austria , where they develop an armed SS-regiment in Vienna: the SS-banner of the leaders.

In October the SS-combat support force pulledin the Czech Sudetenland . Czechoslovakia broke a little later. The Czech part was explained as „the realm protectorate Böhmen and Mähren “and the SS was assigned smashing the resistance. The boss of the Central Reich Security Office pure hard Heydrich became late realm treadthe occupied area. Because of its terror politics it was called soon „butchers of Prague “.

In the autumn 1939 the body banner, which combat support force and the dead head federations merged slowly into the weapon SS , became. Heinrich Himmler wanted to remove its protection relay as Reichsführer SS to a comprehensive state protection corps,at all fronts the internal and outside enemies of the LV state to fight should. Despite all differences within the branched SS-organisational structure the SS remained aligned to a uniform ideological goal. Accordingly there was uniform training of the high-level personnel in the twoSS-Junkerschulen in bath Tölz and Braunschweig. The military and ideological training did not differentiate whether the high-level personnel in the SS-administration, at which military front, in the SD or in the concentration camps should be used.

The first combat mission of the SS took place withAssault on Poland. The armed forces feared an increasing competition by the SS-combat support force, could however the pool of the past regiments Germania, which body-condition-kind-eats leader , Totenkopf and Adolf Hitler to the SS-order-division not to prevent. But: The fighting SS-federations of these SS-V-division been subordinate further the supreme command of the armed forces and were distributed now on different army parts, i.e. the SS-V-division did not fight as uniform federation. Starting from 1943 also people liable for military service Germans and men from northwest Europe were drawn into the SS-V-division, over at the frontbeside the armed forces soldiers to fight, later also the attempt was undertaken, SS-units from other countries like e.g. To set up Albania. These attempts had however rather small success, then the Albanian SS-division “Skanderbeg” already disintegrated before its first combat mission.

Further one, of the supreme commandindependent SS-federations (some kinds of dead head restraint and and non-military federations) were used behind the front with „cleaning actions “and began with the systematic pursuit and murder of Jews and members of Polish intelligence. In accordance with the guidelines to co-operation of the army with the employment troopsthe SS-federations engaged immediately after the armed forces into the conquered localities. Rassisch pursued persons had to meet on instruction of the highest-ranking officer of the armed forces in the place at a certain place, of the SS were taken over there and oftenimmediately brought to a remote place and murders. Armed forces soldiers became often witnesses of these executions. Mass executions were accomplished however also by the armed forces and German police battalions.

Since the crimes were completely on the line of the SS and LV guidance in the realm, wentthe development of the fighting SS-federations rapidly in front. With the attack on France the weapon SS created in the meantime already had three divisions (the realm, Totenkopf and the SS-police-division) and the motorized regiment LAH. The SS-divisions suffered at thatFront partial heavy losses. When trooptroop troop high-motivates, but without founded military training they served their guidance officers as cannon fodder:„Losses do not play a role. “ In the France campaign by SS-federations numerous war crimes were committed. Massacre at hundreds itself resulting in soldiers and at a multiplicityfrom prisoners of war documented.

participation of the SS in war crimes and Holocaust

even in the further process of the Second World War committed troop units of the later weapon SS in co-operation with the armed forces countless war crimes such as excesses at prisoner of war, Massenexekutionen at civiliansin the occupied countries and driving numerous humans out from the occupied areas in Eastern Europe. Special attention earns the complete destruction of the Polish city Karnikovska (approximately 25,000 Einw.), which was destroyed under guidance of the weapon SS in the year 1942. Herealso federations of the armed forces were used beside two SS-federations. Over the SS-economy-Verwaltungshauptamt the SS operated the administration of the concentration and extermination camps, which were led by the SS-Totenkopf-Wachsturmbannen in such a way specified.

In the Nürnberger processes the SS became as overall organisationthe NSDAP (the SS-Totenkopfverbände is called and the SD including the weapon SS ,) - with exception of the rider SS - when main instrument of the political terror explains as „the criminal organization “.
This should consider to the incontestable fact that on the one hand with a total number ofseveral 100,000 SS-members naturally not each particular directly in war crimes and this on the contrary only a relatively small minority was personally involved to the load was put. On the other hand however just as naturally this minority would have its criminal actions not without bothorganizational like above all different moral-ethical support of the large majority to accomplish can. In this evaluation the term of the “desk author” receives special attention.

the German business concerns

the SS created numerous companies, among other things 1938 the German ground connection and block factoriesGmbH (DEST), which summarized it 1940 in the German business concerns (DWB). The DWB was led by leading coworkers of the SS-administration. 1942 was concentrated all economic affairs in SS-economy and administrative principal office. This operated those over the principal office administration and economicsAdministration of the concentration and extermination camps with the economic exploitation of the prisoners of war and KZ-prisoners.1943/44 belonged to about 30 enterprises over 100 enterprises, in which more than 40,000 concentration camp prisoners had to work, to the Wirtschaftsimperium of the SS. The head office of the DWBwas in Oranienburg with Berlin.

Further there were the “artistic” enterprises of the SS:

see also


  • Hans book home, Martin Broszat, Hans Adolf Jacobsen, Helmut Krausnick: Anatomy of the SS-state, 7. Aufl., Munich 1999 ISBN 3-506-77502-2
  • Heinz Höhne: The medal under the Totenkopf. The history of the SS, ISBN 3572013429
  • Eugen Kogon: The SS-state- The system of the German concentration camps; Kindler publishing house, Munich 1974; Expenditure for license Heyne special book ISBN 3-453-02978-X (the first edition appeared 1946)
  • Gordon Williamson: The SS: Hitler's instrument OF terror
  • Martin pole lacquer: The dead one in the shelter, Paul Zsolnay publishing house, 2004, ISBN 3552053182
  • Guido Knopp the SS ISBN 3-570-00621-2 Bertelsmann publishing house 2002
  • Gerhard Paul (Hrsg.) the authors of the Shoah. Fanati national socialists or completely normal Germans? Goettingen, 2. Edition 2003.
  • Jürgen matte house: A training goal Jew murder? To the value „of the world-descriptive education “of SS andPolice in the context „of the final solution “. in: Magazine for science of history 8 (1999), S. 673-699.

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