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"The Schutzstaffeln (SS)"

Charges against the SS by the Allied Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946



Charges against the SS: Part I

In the early weeks of the trial, there appeared in a newspaper circulated in Nürnberg an account of a correspondent's visit to a camp in which SS prisoners of war were confined. The thing which particularly struck the correspondent was the one question asked by the SS prisoners: Why are we charged as war criminals? What have we done except our normal duty?

The evidence which follows will answer that question. It will show that just as the Nazi Party was the core of the conspiracy, so the SS was the very essence of Nazism. For the SS was the elite group of the Party, composed of the most thorough-going adherents of the Nazi cause, pledged to blind devotion to Nazi principles, and prepared to carry them out without any question and at any cost. It was a group in which every ordinary value was so subverted that today its members can ask, what is there unlawful about the things we have done?

In the evidence of the conspirators' program for aggressive war, for concentration camps, for the extermination of the Jews, for enslavement of foreign labor and illegal use of prisoners of war and for the deportation and Germanization of inhabitants of conquered territories, in all this evidence the name of the SS runs like a thread. Again and again that organization and its components are referred to. It performed a responsible role in each of these criminal activities, because it was and indeed had to be a criminal organization.

The creation and development of such an organization was essential for the execution of the conspirators' plans. Their sweeping program and the measures they were prepared use and did use, could be fully accomplished neither through the machinery of the government nor of the Party. Things had to be done for which no agency of government and no political party even the Nazi Party, would openly take full responsibility. A specialized type of apparatus was needed-an apparatus which was to some extent connected with the government and given official support, but which, at the same time, could maintain a quasi-independent status so that all its acts could be attributed neither to the government nor to the Party as a whole. The SS was that apparatus.

Like the SA, it was one of the seven components or formations of the Nazi Party referred to in the Decree on Enforcement of the Law for Securing the Unity of Party and State of 29 March 1935 (1725-PS). But its status was above that of the other formations. As the plans of the conspirators progressed, it acquired new functions, new responsibilities, and an increasingly more important place in the regime. It developed during the course of the conspiracy into a highly complex machine, the most powerful in the Nazi State, spreading its tentacles into every field of Nazi activity.

The evidence which follows will be directed toward showing first, the origin and early development of the SS ; second, how it was organized-that is, its structure and its component parts; third, the basic principles governing the selection of its members and the obligations they undertook; and finally, its aims and the means used to accomplish them.

The history, organization, and publicly announced functions of the SS are not controversial matters. They are not matters to be learned only from secret files and captured documents. They were recounted in many publications, circulated widely through-out Germany and the world-in official books of the Nazi Party itself, and in books, pamphlets, and speeches by SS and State officials published with SS and Party approval. Throughout this section there will be frequent reference to and quotation from a few such publications.

A. The Origin and General Functions of the SS

(1) Origin

The first aim of the conspirators was to gain a foothold in politically hostile territory, to acquire mastery of the street, and to combat any and all opponents with force. For that purpose they needed their own private, personal police organization. The SA was created to fill such a role. But the SA was outlawed in 1923. When Nazi Party activity was again resumed in 1925, the SA remained outlawed. To fil1 its place and to play the part of Hitler's own personal police, small mobile groups known as protective squadrons-Schutzstaffel-were created. This was the origin of the SS in 1925. With the reinstatement of the SA in 1926, the SS for the next few years ceased to play a major role. But it continued to exist as an organization within the SA-under its own leader, however, the Reichsführer SS.

This early history of the SS is related in two authoritative publications. The first is a book by SS Standartenführer Gunter d'Alquen entitled "The SS" (2284-PS). This pamphlet of some 30 pages, published in 1939, is an authoritative account of the history, mission, and organization of the SS. As indicated on its fly leaf, it was written at the direction of the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler. Its author was the editor of the official SS publication "Das Schwarze Korps". The second publication is an article by Himmler, entitled "Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police." It was published in 1937 in a booklet containing a series of speeches or essays by important officials of the Party and the State, and known as "National Political Course for the Armed Forces from 15 to 23 January 1937". (1992-A-PS)

As early as 1929, the conspirators recognized that their plans required an organization in which the main principles of the Nazi system, specifically the racial principles, would not only be jealously guarded but would be carried to such extremes as to inspire or intimidate the rest of the population. Such an organization would also have to be assured complete freedom on the part of the leaders and blind obedience on the part of the members. The SS was built up to meet this need. The following statement appears on page 7 of d'Alquen's book, "Die SS" (2284-PS):

"On the 16th of January, 1929, Adolf Hitler appointed his tested comrade of long standing, Heinrich Himmler, as Reichsführer SS. Heinrich Himmler assumed charge there-with of the entire Schutzstaffel totaling at the time 280 men, with the express and particular commission of the Fuehrer to form of this organization an elite troop' of the Party, a troop dependable in every circumstance. With this day the real history of the SS begins as it stands before us today in all its deeper essential features, firmly anchored into the national Socialist movement. For the SS and its Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler, its first SS man, have become inseparable in the course of these battle-filled years." (2284-PS)

Carrying out Hitler's directive, Himmler proceeded to build up out of this small force of men an elite organization which, to use d'Alquen's words, was" composed of the best physically, the most dependable, and the most faithful men in the Nazi movement." As d'Alquen further states, at page 12 of his book:

"When the day of seizure of power had finally come, there . were 52,000 SS men, who in this spirit bore the revolution in the van, marched into the new State which they began to help form everywhere, in their stations and positions, in profession and in science, and in all their essential tasks." (2284-PS)

(2) General Functions of the SS

The conspirators now had the machinery of government in their hands. The initial function of the SS that of acting as their private army and personal police force-was thus completed. But its mission had in fact really just begun. That mission is described in the Organizations book of the NSDAP for 1943 as follows:


"The most original and most eminent duty of the SS is to serve as the protector of the Fuehrer. By order of the Fuehrer its sphere of duties has been amplified to include the internal security of the Reich." (2640- PS)

This new mission-protecting the internal security of the regime - was somewhat more colorfully described by Himmler in his pamphlet, "The SS as an Anti-bolshevist Fighting Organization," published in 1936 (1851--PS):

"We shall unremittingly fulfill our task, the guaranty of the security of Germany from the interior, just as the Wehrmacht guarantees the safety, the honor, the greatness, and the peace of the Reich from the exterior. We shall take care that never again in Germany, the heart of Europe, will the Jewish-Bolshevistic revolution of sub-humans be able to be kindled either from within or through emissaries from without. Without pity we shall be a merciless sword of justice for all those forces whose existence and activity we know, on the day of the slightest attempt, may it be today, may it be in decades or may it be in centuries." (1851-PS)

This conception necessarily required an extension of the duties of the SS into many fields. It involved, of course, the performance of police functions. But it involved more. It required participation in the suppression and extermination of all internal opponents of the regime. It meant participation in extending the regime beyond the borders of Germany, and eventually, participation in every type of activity designed to secure a hold over those territories and populations which, through military con-quest, had come under German domination.

B. Organization and Branches of the SS

The expansion of SS duties and activities resulted in the creation of several branches and numerous departments and the development of a highly complex machinery. Although those various branches and departments cannot be adequately described out of the context of their history, a few words about the structure of the SS may be useful.

For this purpose reference is made to the chart depicting the organization of the SS as it appeared in 1945. This chart was examined by Gottlob Berger, formerly Chief of the SS Main Office, who stated in an attached affidavit that it correctly represents the organization of the SS

(1) Supreme Command of the SS.

At the very top of the chart is Himmler, the Reichsführer SS, who commanded the entire organization. Immediately below, running across the chart and down the right hand side, embraced within the heavy line, are the twelve main departments constituting the Supreme Command of the SS. Some of these departments have been broken down into the several offices of which they were composed, as in-dictated by the boxes beneath them. Other departments have not been so broken down. It is not intended to indicate that there were not subdivisions of these latter departments as well. The breakdown is shown only in those cases where the constituent offices of some department may have a particular significance in this case.

These departments and their functions are described in two official Nazi publications: The first is the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943, at pages 419-422 (2640- PS). The second is an SS manual, which bears the title : "The Soldier Friend-Pocket Diary for the German Armed Forces-Edition D: Waffen SS" (2825-PS). It was prepared at the direction of the Reichs-fuehrer ,SS and issued 'by the SS Main Office for the year ending 1942. In addition, the departments are listed in a directory of the SS published by one of the Main Departments of the SS (2769-PS). This document was found in the files of the Personal Staff of the Reichsführer SS. It is entitled "Directory for the Schutzstaffel of the NSDAP, 1 November 1944", marked "Restricted", and bears the notation "Published by SS Fürhungshauptamt, Commandant of the General SS. Berlin-Wilmersdorf ."

Returning to the chart, following down the central spine from the Reichsführer SS to the regional level, the Higher SS and Police Leaders, the supreme SS commanders in each region are reached. Immediately below these officials is the breakdown of the organization of the Allgemeine or General SS. To the left are indicated two other branches of the SS-the Death Head Units (Totenkopfsverbände) and the Waffen SS. To the right under the HSSPF is the SD. All of which, together with the SS Police Regiments, are specifically named in the Indictment (Appendix B) as being included in the SS.

(2) Principal Branches of the SS.

Up to 1933 there were no such specially designated branches. The SS was a single group, made up of" volunteer political soldiers." It was out of this original nucleus that new units developed.

(a) The Allgemeine SS.

The Allgemeine (General) SS was the main stem from which the various branches grew. It was composed of all members of the SS who did not belong to any of the special branches. It was the backbone of the entire organization. The personnel and officers of the Main Departments of the SS Supreme Command were members of this branch. Except for high ranking officers and those remaining in staff capacities, as in the Main Offices of the SS Supreme Command, its members were part-time volunteers. Its members were utilized in about every phase of SS activity. They were called upon in anti-Jewish pogroms of 1938; they took over the task of guarding concentration camps during the war; they participated in the colonization and resettlement program. In short, the term "SS" normally meant the General SS.

It was organized on military lines as will be seen from the chart (Chart Number 3), ranging from district and sub-district down through the regiment, battalion, and company, to the platoon. Until after the beginning of the war it constituted numerically the largest branch of the SS. In 1939 d'Alquen, the official SS spokesmen, said, in his book, "The SS" (2284-PS):

"The strength of the General SS, 240,000 men, is subdivided today into 14 corps, 38 divisions, 140 infantry regiments, 19 mounted regiments, 14 communication battalions and 19 engineer battalions as well as motorized and medical units. This General SS stands fully and wholly on call as in the fighting years, except for one small part of the chief leaders and men. The corps, which are presently led by a Lt. General or Major General, are subdivided into divisions, regiments, battalions and companies." (2284-PS)

Similar reference to the military organization of the General SS will be found in Himmler's speech, "Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police" (1992-A-PS), and in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943 (2640-PS). Members of this branch, however,-with the exception of certain staff personnel-were subject to compulsory military service. As a result of the draft of members of the General SS of military age into the Army, the numerical strength of presently active members considerably declined during the war. Older SS men and those working in or holding high positions in the Main Departments of the Supreme Command of the SS remained. Its entire strength during the war was probably not in excess of 40,000 men.

(b) The SD.

The second component to be mentioned is the Security Service of the Reichsführer SS, almost always referred to as the SD. Himmler described the SD in these words (1992-A-PS):

"I now come to the Security Service (SD) ; it is the great ideological intelligence service of the Party and, in the long run, also that of the State. During the time of struggle for power it was only the intelligence service of the SS. At that time we had, for quite natural reasons, an intelligence service with the regiments, battalions and companies. We had to know what was going on on the opponents side, whether the Communists intended to hold a meeting today or not, whether our people were to be suddenly. attacked or not, and similar things. I separated this service already in 1931 from the troops, from the units of the General SS, because I considered it to be wrong. For one thing, the secrecy is endangered, then the individual men, or even the companies, are too likely to discuss everyday problems." (1992-A-PS)

Although, as Himmler put it, the SD was only the intelligence service of the SS during the years preceding the accession of the Nazis to power, it became a much more important organization promptly thereafter. It had been developed into such a powerful and scientific espionage system under its chief, Reinhard Heydrich, that on 9 June 1934, just a few weeks before the bloody purge of the SA, it was made, by decree of Hess, the sole intelligence and counterintelligence agency of the entire Nazi Party (2284- PS). Its organization and numbers, as they stood in 1937, were thus described by Himmler (1992-A-PS):

"The Security Service was already separated from the troop in 1931 and separately organized. Its higher headquarters, coincide today with the Oberabschnitte and Abschnitte-[that is, the districts and sub-districts of the General SS]- and it has also field offices, its own organization of officials with a great many Command Posts, approximately three to four thousand men strong, at least when it is built up." (1992-A-B)

Up to 1939 its headquarters was the SS Main Security Office (Sicherheitshauptamt), which became amalgamated in 1939 into the Reich Main Security Office (or RSHA), one of the SS main departments shown on the chart (Chart Number 3).

The closer and closer collaboration of the SD with the Gestapo and Criminal Police (Kripo), which eventually resulted in the creation of the RSHA, as well as the activities in which the SD engaged in partnership with the Gestapo are discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo. The SD was, of course, at all times an integral and important component of the SS. But it is more practicable to deal with it in connection with the activities of the whole repressive police system with which it functioned.

(c) The Waffen SS.

The third component is the Waffen SS, the combat arm of the SS, which was created, trained, and finally utilized for the purposes of aggressive war. The reason underlying the creation of this combat branch was described in the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

"The Waffen SS originated out of the thought: to create for the Fuehrer a selected long service troop for the fulfillment of special missions. It was to render it possible for members of the General SS, as well as for volunteers who fulfill the special requirements of the SS, to fight in the battle for the evolution of, the National Socialist idea, with weapon in hand, in unified groups, partly within the framework of the Army." (2640-PS)

The term "Waffen SS" did not come into use until after the beginning of the war. Up to that time there were two branches of the SS composed of fulltime, professional, well-trained soldiers: the so-called SS Verfuegungstruppe, translatable perhaps as "SS Emergency Troops"; and the SS Totenkopfsverbände, the "Death Head Units." After the beginning of the war, the units of the SS Verfuegungstruppe were brought up to division strength, and new divisions were added to them. Moreover, parts of the SS Death Head Units were formed into a division, the SS Totenkopf Division. All these divisions then came to be known collectively as the "Waffen SS".

This development is traced in the Organization Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

"The origin of the Waffen SS goes back to the decree of 17 March 1933, establishing the "Stabswache" with an original strength of 120 men. Out of this small group developed the later-called SS Verfuegungstruppe (SS Emergency Force) " (2640-PS)

The function and status of the S'S Verfuegungstruppe are described in a Top Secret Hitler order, 17 August 1938 (647-PS). That order provides, in part:

"II. The Armed Units of the SS. "
A. (The SS Verfuegungstruppe)
"1. The SS Verfuegungstruppe is neither a part of the Wehrmacht nor a part of the police. It is a standing armed unit exclusively at my disposal. As such and as a unit of the NSDAP its members are to be selected by the Reichsführer SS according to the philosophical and political standards which I have ordered for the NSDAP and for the Schutzstaffel. Its members are to be trained and its ranks filled with volunteers from those who are subject to serve in the army who have finished their duties in the obligatory labor service. The service period for volunteers is for 4 years. It may be prolonged for SS Unterführer. Such regulations are in force for SS leaders. The regular compulsory military service (par. 8 of the law relating to military service) is fulfilled by service of the same amount of time in the SS Verfuegungstruppe."

"III. Orders for the Case of Mobilization.
"A. The employment of the SS Verfuegungstruppe in case of mobilization is a double one.

"1. By the Supreme Commander of the Army within the wartime army. In that case it comes completely under military laws and regulations, but remains a unit of the NSDAP politically.
"2. In case of necessity in the interior according to my orders, in that case it is under the Reichsführer SS and chief of the German Police.

"In case of mobilization I myself will make the decision about the time, strength and manner o f the incorporation of the SS Verfuegungstruppe into the wartime army, these things will depend on the inner-political situation at that time." (647-PS)

Immediately after the issuance of this decree, this militarized force was employed with the Army for aggressive purposes-the taking over of the Sudetenland. Following this action, feverish preparations to motorize the force and to organize new units, such as antitank, machine gun, and reconnaissance battalions, were undertaken pursuant to further directives of the Fuehrer. By September 1939, the force was fully motorized, its units had been increased to division strength, and it was prepared for combat. These steps are described in the National Socialist Yearbook for the years 1940 (2164-M) and 1941 (2163-PS) . The Yearbook was an official publication of the Nazi Party, edited by Reichsleiter Robert Ley and published by the Nazi Party publishing company.

After the launching of the Polish invasion, and as the war progressed, still further divisions were added. The Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943 (2640-PS) lists some eight divisions and two infantry brigades as existing at the end of 1942. This was no' longer a mere emergency force. It was an SS army and hence came to be designated as the "Waffen SS" that is, "Armed" or "Combat" SS. Himmler referred to the spectacular development of this SS combat branch in his speech at Posen on 4 October 1943 to SS Gruppenführers, in these terms:

"Now I come to our own development, to that of the SS in the past months. Looking back on the whole war, this development was fantastic. It took place at an absolutely terrific speed. Let us look back a little to 1939. At that time we were a few regiments, guard units (Wachverbände) 8 to 9,000 strong, that is, not even a division, all in all 25 to 28,000 men at the outside. True, we were armed, but really only got our artillery regiment as our heavy arm two months before the war began."

"In the hard battles of this year, the Waffen-SS has been welded together in the bitterest hours from the most varied divisions and sections, and from these it formed: bodyguard units (Leibstandarte), military SS, (Verfuegungstruppe), Death's Head Units, and then the Germanic SS. Now when our 'Reich', Death's Head Cavalry Divisions and 'Viking' Divisions were there, everyone knew in these last weeks: 'Viking' is at my side, 'Reich' is at my side, 'Death's Head' is at my side,-' Thank God' now nothing can happen to us." (1919-PS)

The transformation of a small emergency force into a vast combat Army did not result in any separation of this branch from the SS. Although tactically under the command of the Wehrmacht while in the field, it remained as much a part of the SS as any other branch of that organization. Throughout the war it was recruited, trained, administered and supplied by the main offices of the SS Supreme Command. Ideologically and racially its members were selected in conformity with SS standards, as shown by the recruiting standards of the Waffen SS published in the SS manual, "The Soldier Friend" (2825-PS). A section of that manual entitled "The Way to the Waffen SS," reads:

"Today at last is the longed-for day of the entrance examination where the examiners and physicians decide whether or not the candidate is ideologically and physically qualified to do service in the Armed Forces SS.

"Everyone has acquainted himself with the comprehensive Manual for the Waffen SS; the principal points are as follows:

"1. Service in the Armed Forces SS counts as military service. Only volunteers are accepted."
"3. Every pure-blooded German in good health between the ages of 17 and 45 can become a member of the armed forces SS. He must meet all the requirements of the SS, must be of excellent character, have no criminal record, and be an ardent adherent to all Nazi socialist doctrines. Members of the Streifendienst and of the Landdienst of the Hitler Youth will be given preference because their aptitudes, qualities and schooling are indicative that they have become acquainted very early with the ideology of the SS."

"In all cases of doubt or difficulty the recruiting offices of the Waffen SS will advise and aid volunteers. They have branches over the entire Reich, always at the seat of the Service Command Headquarters, and work closely with the recruiting of the Waffen SS in the Main Office (SS Hauptamt) of the Reichsführer SS." (2825-PS)

The recruiting activities of the SS Main Office are illustrated by its recruiting pamphlet, "The SS Calls You," an elaborate illustrated booklet containing full information covering the Waffen SS:

"If you answer the call of the Waffen SS and volunteer to join the ranks of the great Front of SS Divisions, you will belong to a corps which has from the very beginning been directed toward outstanding achievements, and, because of this fact, has developed an especially deep feeling of comradeship. You will be bearing arms with a corps that embraces the most valuable elements of the young German generation. Over and above that you will be especially bound to the National Socialist ideology." (3429-PS)

The SS Main Office, through which these recruiting activities were conducted, was one of the principal departments of the SS Supreme Command. It is shown on the chart (the second. box from the left) (Chart Number 3). In the breakdown of that department, shown by the boxes underneath, will be found the central recruiting office.

Other departments of the Supreme Command performed other functions in connection with the Waffen SS. The SS Operational Headquarters (SS Fürhungshauptamt)-the fifth box from the left contains the Command Headquarters of the Waffen SS (Chart Number 3). The functions of this department are thus defined in the SS Manual, "The Soldier Friend":

"In the Fürhungshauptamt the command office of the Waffen SS handles tasks of military leadership: Training and organization of the units of the Waffen SS, supply of the troops with arms, equipment and ammunition, procurement of motor vehicles for the Waffen SS and General SS, personnel and disciplinary affairs." (2825-PS)

The SS Legal Main Office (Hauptamt SS Gericht) (indicated on the chart by the second box from the top on the right hand side within the heavy embracing line-( Chart Number 3) ) controlled the administration of courts martial and discipline within the Waffen SS. The secret Hitler order of 1'7 August 1938 (647-PS) had, it is true, provided that in the event of mobilization the SS militarized forces should come completely under military laws and regulations. That provision was modified by subsequent enactments : The decree of 17 October 1939 relating to special jurisdiction in penal matters for members of the SS and for members of police groups on special tasks (2946-PS) ; and the decree of 1'7 April 1940, entitled "Second Decree for the Implementation of the Decree Relating to a Special Jurisdiction in Penal Matters for Members of the SS" (2947-PS). These two decrees established a special jurisdiction in penal matters for various classes of SS members, including members of the SS militarized units, in cases which would ordinarily fall under the jurisdiction of the Wehrmacht; and created special SS courts to handle such cases under the direction of the SS Legal Main Office. Thus, in the vital question of discipline, as well as in recruiting, administration, and supply, the Waffen SS was subject to the SS Supreme Command.

The place of the Waffen SS as an integral part of the entire SS organization was strongly emphasized by Himmler in his address to officers of the SS Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" on the "Day of Metz :

"You must also consider the following: I cannot concentrate my mind solely on-now, please don't' become conceited-the most splendid part of the SS because it is the most positive part and because the trade you are following is the most positive and most manly. I cannot do that. I must always have the entire SS in my mind.

"If I did not see this part, I would deny life to this most positive and most manly part of our activity; i. e., the Armed SS. I would deny your life. Because this armed SS will live only if the entire SS is alive. If the entire corps is actually an order which lives according to these laws and realizes that one part cannot exist without the other-you are unimaginable without the General SS, and the latter is not imaginable without you. The police is not imaginable without the SS, nor are we imaginable without this executive branch of the state which is in our hands." (1918-PS)

(d) The Totenkopfsverbände.

 The fourth component to be mentioned is the SS Death Head Units (SS Totenkopfsverbände.) Their origin and purpose are succinctly described by d'Alquen on page 20 of his book, "Die SS":

"The SS Death Head Units form one part of the garrisoned SS. They arose from volunteers of the General SS who were recruited for the guarding of concentration camps in 1933. "Their mission, aside from the indoctrination of the armed political soldier, is guarding enemies of the State who are held in concentration camps.

"The SS Death Head Units obligate their members to 12 years service. It is composed mainly of men who have already fulfilled their duty to serve in the Wehrmacht. This time of service is counted completely." (2284-PS)

Since the Death Head Units, like the SS Verfuegungstruppe, were composed of well trained professional soldiers, they were also a valuable nucleus for the Waffen SS. The secret Hitler order of 17 August 1938 (647-PS) provided for this task in the event of mobilization. The Totenkopfsverbände were to be relieved from the duty of guarding concentration camps and transferred as a skeleton corps to the SS Verfuegungstruppe. Section II C, subparagraph 5, of that order provides: "5. Regulations for the case of the Mobilization.

"The SS-Totenkopfsverbände form the skeleton corps for the reinforcement of the SS-Totenkopfsverbände (police reinforcement), and will be replaced in the guarding of the concentration camps by members of the General SS who are over 45 years of age and had military training.
"The skeleton corps-which up to now were units of the two replacement units for the short time training of the reinforcement of the SS-Totenkopfsverbände-will be transferred to the SS-Verfuegungstruppe as skeleton crews of the replacement units for that unit." (647-PS)

(e) The SS Police Regiments.

The final component specifically referred to in the Indictment is the SS Police Regiments. The SS eventually succeeded in assuming controls over the entire Reich Police. Out of the police, special militarized forces were formed, originally SS Police Battalions, and later expanded to SS Police Regiments. Himmler, in his Posen speech, declared :

"Now to deal briefly with the tasks of the regular uniformed police and the Sipo [the Security Police] they still cover the same field. I can see that great things have been achieved. We have formed roughly 30 police regiments from police reservists and former members of the police-police officials, as they used to be called. The average age in our police battalions is not lower than that of the security battalions of the Armed Forces. Their achievements are beyond all praise. In addition, we have formed Police Rifle Regiments by merging the police battalions of the 'savage peoples. ' Thus we did not leave these police battalions untouched but blended them in the ratio of about 1 to 3." (1919-PS)

The results of this blend of militarized SS police and "savage peoples" will be seen in the evidence, subsequently referred to, of the extermination actions conducted by them in the Eastern territories. These exterminations which were so successful and so ruthless that even Himmler could find no words adequate for their eulogy.

(3) Unity of the Organization.

Each of the various components described above played its part in carrying out one or more functions of the SS. The personnel composing each differed. Some were part-time volunteers ; others were professionals enlisted for different periods of time. But every branch, every department, every member was an integral part of the whole organization. Each performed his assigned role in the manifold tasks for which the organization had been created. No better witness to this fact could be called upon than the Reichsführer SS, whose every endeavor was to insure the complete unity of the organization. The following words are taken from his Posen speech :

"It would be an evil day if the SS and police fell out. It would be an evil day if the Main Offices, performing their tasks well meaningly but mistakenly made themselves independent by each having a downward chain of command., I really think that the day of my overthrow would be the end of the SS. It must be, and so come about, that this SS organization with all its branches-the General SS which is the common basis of all of them, the Waffen-SS, the regular uniformed police (Ordnungspolizei), the SIPO (with the whole economic administration, schooling, ideological training, the whole question of kindred), is, even under the tenth Reichsführer-SS one bloc, one body, one organization."

"The' regular uniformed police and SIPO, General-SS and Waffen-SS must now gradually amalgamate too, just as this is and must be the case within the Waffen-SS. This applies to matters concerning filling of posts, recruiting, schooling, economic organization, and medical services. I am always doing something towards this end, a bond is constantly being cast around these sections of the whole to cause them to grow together. Alas, if these bonds should ever be loosened-then everything-you may be sure of this-would sink back into its old insignificance in one generation, and in a short space of time." (1919-PS)

C. Selection, Training, and Obligations of SS Members.

To understand this organization, the theories' upon which it was based must be kept clearly in mind. The underlying philosophy of the SS, the principles by which its members were selected, and the obligations imposed upon them furnish the key to all its activities. It is necessary, therefore, to consider them in some detail.

(1) The Racial Basis of the SS

(a) The SS as a Biological Elite

The fundamental principle of selection was what Himmler called that of Blood and Elite. The SS was to be the living embodiment of the Nazi doctrine of the superiority of Nordic blood, and of the Nazi conception of a master race. In Himmler's own words, the SS was to be a "National Socialist Soldierly Order of Nordic Men" (1992-A-PS). In describing to the Wehrmacht the reasons behind his emphasis on racial standards of selection and the manner in which they were carried out, he said :

"Accordingly, only good blood, blood which history has proved to be leading and creative and the foundation of every state and of all military activities, only Nordic blood, can be considered. I said to myself that should I succeed in selecting from the German people for this organization as many people as possible a majority of whom possess this desired blood, in teaching them military discipline and, in time, the understanding of the value of blood and the entire ideology which results from it, then it will be possible actually to create such an elite organization which would successfully hold its own in all cases of emergency." (1992-A-PS)

Further on in the same speech, Himmler described the selection of candidates for his organization:

"They are extremely thoroughly examined and checked. Of 100 men we can use on the average of 10 or 15, no more. We ask for the political reputation record of his parents, brothers and sisters, the record of his ancestry as far back as 1750 and naturally the physical examination and his records from the Hitler Youth. Further, we ask for a record of hereditary health showing that no hereditary disease exists in his parents and in his family. Last, but perhaps most important, is a certification of the race commission. This examining commission is composed of SS leaders, anthropologists and physicians." (1992-A-PS)

This same strict selection process for the SS was somewhat similarly described in the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party for 1943:

Selection of Members

"For the fulfillment of these missions a homogenous firmly welded fighting force has been created bound by ideological oaths, whose fighters are selected out of the best Aryan humanity. "The conception of the value of the blood and soil serves as directive for the selection into the SS. Every SS man must be deeply imbued with the sense and essence of the National Socialist Movement. He will. be ideologically and physically trained so that he can be employed individually or in groups in the decisive battle for the National Socialist ideology. "Only the best and thoroughbred Germans are suited for commitment in this battle. Therefore it is necessary that an uninterrupted selection is retained within the ranks of the SS, first superficially, then constantly more thoroughly." (2640-PS)

The creation of a racial and biological elite had some very practical reasons behind it. The conspirators' plans for conquest and exploitation of the conquered territories required the development of a Nazi aristocracy which would dominate Germany and Europe for centuries to come. That purpose was explicitly stated by Himmler in his Posen speech:

"One thing must be clear, one thing I would like to say to you today: the moment the war is over, we will really begin to weld together our organization, this organization which we have built up for 10 years, which we imbued and indoctrinated with the first most important principles during the 10 years before the war.. We must continue to do this-we,-if I may say so, we older men-for twenty years full of toil and work, so that a tradition 30,35,40 years, a generation, may be created. Then this organization will march forward into the future young and strong, revolutionary and efficient to fulfill the task of giving the German people, the Germanic people, the superstratum of society which will combine and hold together this Germanic people and this Europe, and from which the brains which the people need for industry, farming, politics, and as soldiers, statesmen and technicians, will emerge. In addition this superstratum must be so strong and vital that every generation can unreservedly sacrifice two or three sons from every family on the battlefield, and that nevertheless the continued flowing of the bloodstream is assured." (1919-PS)

He forcibly made the same point in his address to officers of the SS Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" on the "Day of Metz":

"The ultimate aim for these 11 years during which I have been the Reichsführer SS has been invariably the same: To create an order of good blood which is able to serve Germany. Which unfailingly and without sparing itself can be made use of because the greatest losses can do no harm to the vitality of this order, the vitality of these men, because they will always be replaced. To create an order which will spread the idea of nordic blood so far that we will attract all nordic blood in the world, take away the blood from our adversaries, absorb it so that never again, looking at it from the viewpoint of grand policy, nordic blood in great quantities and to an extent worth mentioning will fight against us. We must get it and the others cannot have it. We never gave up the ideas and the aim conceived so many years ago. Everything we did has taken us some distance further on the way. Everything we are going to do will lead us further on the way." (1918-PS)

Since the SS was to be made a Nazi aristocracy which would dominate not only Germany but the world for centuries to come, it was essential that the SS stock be perpetuated. To insure the continuance of this good blood, the first step was to limit marriages of SS men to women meeting the same requirements as to health, descent, and ideological background as the SS man himself. This was accomplished by an order of the Reichsführer SS issued on 31 December 1931. This SS marriage law is set out in full in d'Alquen's Book, "The SS," (2284-PS). But proper marriages were not enough without children. A series of orders took care of that. On 13 September 1936, Himmler issued an order entitled "Foundation of the Organization 'Lebensborn e. V. ' ", published in the SS manual, "The Soldier's Friend":

"As early as December 13, 1934, I wrote to all SS leaders and declared that we have fought in vain if political victory was not to be followed by victory of birth of good blood. The question of multiplicity of children is not a private affair of the individual but his duty towards his ancestors and our people.

"The SS has taken the first step in this direction long ago with the engagement and marriage decree of December 1931. However, the existence of sound marriage is futile if it does not result in the creation of numerous descendants."

"The minimum amount of children for a good sound marriage is four. Should unfortunate circumstances deny a married couple their own children, then every SS leader should adopt racially and hereditarily valuable children, educate them in the spirit of National Socialism, let them have an education corresponding to their ability." (2825-PS)

The drive for perpetuation of SS stock was continued. A further order of Himmler, issued on 28 October 1939, directed to the entire SS and the Police, is also published in the SS manual, "' The Soldier's Friend":

"The old saying that only those who have children can die in peace must again become acknowledged truth in this war, especially for the SS.

"Though in other times it may perhaps be considered an infraction of necessary social standards and conventions, German women and girls of good blood can fulfill a high obligation by bearing children out of wedlock to soldiers going to the front, whose eventual return or death for Germany lies entirely in the hands of fate-not out of promiscuity but out of a deep sense of ethics."

"Let us never forget that the victory of the sword and of the spilled blood of our soldiers remains fruitless, if it is not succeeded by the victory of the child and the colonizing of conquered soil." (2825-PS)

A final order designed to assure continuance of good SS blood was issued on 15 August 1942, entitled "SS Orders to the Last Sons", also published in "The Soldier Friend":

"You SS men have been withdrawn from the front lines by order of the Fuehrer because you are the last sons. This measure has been taken because the people and the State have an interest in seeing that your families do not die out.
"It has never been the nature of SS men to submit to a fate without attempting to effect a change. It is your duty to see to it that you are no longer the last sons by producing as many children of good blood as possible." (2825-PS)

These orders were not the product of some benevolent theorist in eugenics who was interested in large and happy SS families for their own sake. They stemmed from a basic idea of the conspiracy, the plan to insure Germany's continued capacity to wage war for generations. Himmler put this theory very bluntly in his speech to officers of the SS Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" on the "Day of Metz":

"If we once had not enough sons, those who will come after us will have to become cowards. A nation 'which has an average of four sons per family can venture a war; if two of them die, two transmit the name. The leadership of a nation having one son or two sons per family will have to be fainthearted at any decision on account of their own experience, because they will have to tell themselves : We cannot afford it. Look at France, which is the best example. France had to accept from us a dictate." (1918-PS)

(b) The SS as an Exterminator of "inferior" Races.

Domination of Europe through a Nazi Elite required more, however, than the positive side of racism-that is, the building up of a numerous "biologically superior" group. It necessarily meant also the destruction of other races. The SS had to be, and was, taught not merely to breed, but to exterminate. In a speech delivered at Kharkov in April 1943, Himmler declared:

"We have-I would say, as very consistent National Socialists-taken the question of blood as our starting point. We were the first really to solve the problem of blood by action, and in this connection by problem of blood, we of course do not mean antisemitism. Antisemitism is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology. It is a matter of cleanliness. In just the same way, antisemitism for us, will soon have been dealt with. We shall soon be deloused. We have only 20,000 lice left, and then the matter is finished within the whole of Germany." (1919-PS)

But it was not merely against Jews that SS efforts were directed. All non-Nordic races were similarly condemned. In his Posen speech, Himmler stated this basic principle of the SS:

"One basic principle must be the absolute rule for the SS men : We must be honest, decent, loyal and comradely to members of our own blood and to nobody else. What happens to a Russian, to a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. What other nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary, by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; otherwise, it is of no interest to me. Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only insofar as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished."

"That is what I want to instill into this SS and what I believe I have instilled in them as one of the most sacred laws of the future." (1919-PS)

(c) The Indoctrination of Members in SS Racial Theories.

These were the principles which were publicly reiterated, over and over again, so that the newest recruit was thoroughly steeped in them. In his Kharkov speech to the commanding officers of three Waffen SS divisions, Himmler strongly insisted on indoctrinating all SS members in his theories of the racial struggle.

"This is what is important for us as SS men, for, our province of duty and our mission (it is a task additional to those of the whole German armed forces and the whole German people): That is what I would like to impress upon you. This is what I beg you as commanding officers, as chiefs and as leaders, to teach the young men again and again in their ideological instruction. That is what I demand and exact of you-that you really concern yourself with the man, the young fellow of 17 or 18 who comes to us, and with many who are in our ranks not as volunteers but as conscripts. I ask you to look after them, and guide them, and not let them go before they are really saturated with our spirit and are fighting as the old guard fought before us-that is what I request and demand of you.
"We have only one task-to stand firm and carry on the racial struggle without mercy." 1919-PS)

This function of the SS men in the racial struggle was publicly proclaimed in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

"He openly and relentlessly fights against the most dangerous enemies of the State: Jews, Freemasons, Jesuits and political clergymen." (2640-PS)

(2) The Obligation of Obedience.

Indoctrination of the organization in principles of racial hatred was not enough. 'The members had to be ready and willing tools, prepared to carry out tasks of any nature, however distasteful, illegal or inhuman. Absolute obedience was the necessary second foundation stone of the SS. The Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943 thus describes this fundamental requirement:

"Obedience must be unconditional. It corresponds to the conviction that the National Socialist ideology must reign supreme. He who is possessed by it and fights for it passionately subjects himself voluntarily to the obligation to obey. Every SS man is prepared, therefore, to carry out blindly every order which is issued by the Fuehrer or which is given by his superior, irrespective of the heaviest sacrifices involved." (2640-PS)

The same point was emphasized by Himmler in the Posen speech:

"I would like here to state something clearly and unequivocally. It is a matter of course that the little man must obey. It is even more a matter of course that all the senior leaders of the SS, that is the whole corps of Gruppenfuehrers, are a model of blind obedience." (1919-PS)

(3) The SS as a Terroristic Agency.

A necessary corollary of these two fundamental principles of race and of blind obedience was ruthlessness. Subsequent evidence of SS activities will prove how successfully the SS learned the lesson it was taught. The SS had to and did develop a reputation for terror which was carefully cultivated. Himmler himself attested to it as early as 1936 in a speech publicly delivered at the Peasant's Day Rally and subsequently published and circulated in pamphlet form under the title "The SS as an Anti-bolshevist Fighting Organization":

"I know that there are some people in Germany who become sick when they see their black coats. .We understand the reason for this and do not expect that we shall be loved by too many." (1851-PS)

(4) Continuance of the Elite and Voluntary Character of the SS.

The role which the SS was to play required that it remain constantly the essence of Nazism, and that its elite Nazi quality never be diluted. 'For this reason the SS was for a time temporarily closed. to new members, and those who had proved unfit were weeded out. Himmler described this process in his article "Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police" (1992-A-PS). Referring to the influx of new adherents to the Party and its organizations in 1933, he said:

"A very difficult question confronted us at that time. It was a question of deciding whether to close the Party and its organizations to further membership and thus remain pure in quality but small in volume, or of opening them to further membership to increase their volume."

"The SS too was endangered by this menace. Therefore I closed it while some of the other organizations accepted as great a number of people as possible. This way I had the SS again under my control in April and said: We shall accept no more people. From the end of 1933 to the end of 1936 we expelled all those of the newly accepted members who proved unsuitable." (1992-A-PS)

These standards were not abandoned later. Indeed, in 1943 the Organizations Book of the Nazi Party stated that:

"The demands with respect to racial purity of the SS are being increased every year." And in the same year, 1943, Himmler emphasized this point in a letter written to Kaltenbrunner (2768-PS).

This letter from the Reichsführer SS, which bears the date 24 April 1943, states in part as follows:

"Referring again to the matter which I discussed some time ago, i. e., the admission of SIPO officials into the SS. I wish to clarify again: I want an admission only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

"1. If the man applies freely and voluntarily ;
"2. If, by applying strict and peacetime standards, the applicant fits racially and ideologically into the SS, guarantees according to the number of his children a really healthy SS stock, and is neither ill, degenerate nor worthless."

I beg you not only to act accordingly in the future, but especially also that numerous admissions into ranks of the SS in the past be reexamined and revised according to these instructions." (2768-PS)

(5) Method of Acquiring Membership in the SS.

The normal method by which membership in the SS was attained was discussed by Himmler in his article, "Organization and Obligations of the SS and Police":

"The age groups in the SS are as follows: With 18 years the young man enters the SS. He is first an applicant, after three months he takes the oath on the Fuehrer and thus becomes a candidate (Anwärter). As a candidate during the first year he takes examinations for his SA sport insignia and his bronze sport insignia. At the age of 19 or 19 1/2, according to the time of his acceptance, he is conscripted for the labor service and subsequently for the Wehrmacht. After two more years he comes back from the Wehrmacht unless he remains there as a prospective noncommissioned officer or reenlists. If he returns to us, he is still candidate. In these weeks he is especially thoroughly instructed in ideology. The first year is for him a period of elementary ideological indoctrination. In these weeks following his return from the Wehrmacht he receives special instruction about the marriage law and all other laws pertaining to the family, and the honor laws. On the 9th of November, following his return from the Wehrmacht, he becomes an, SS man in the true sense. The Reichsführer of the SS is just as much an SS man in, the sense of the SS organization as the common man at the front. On this 9th of November he is awarded the dagger, and at this occasion he promises to abide by the marriage law and the disciplinary laws of the SS, since the family is also subject to these laws. From this day on he has the right and the duty to defend his honor with a weapon as laid down by the honor laws of the SS. The applicants and candidates do not yet have this right. The SS man remains in the so-called active General SS until his 35th year. From his 35th to his 45th year he is in the SS reserve, and after his 45th year in the Stammabteilung of the SS, identified by the grey color patch." (1992-A-PS)

The oath to the Fuehrer, referred to by Himmler in the passage just quoted, appears in the SS recruiting pamphlet, "The SS Calls You":

"The Oath of the SS Man:
"I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you, and to those you have named to command me, obedience unto death, so help me God." (3429-PS)

D. Criminal Aims and Activities of the SS.

(1) The Purge of 20 June 1934.

Proof of the elite Nazi quality and thorough reliability of the SS, the test by which it won its spurs, occurred on 30 June 1934, when it participated in the purge of the SA and other opponents or potential opponents of the Nazi regime. That was the first real occasion for use of this specialized organization which could operate with the blessing of the Nazi State but outside the law. In an affidavit signed and sworn to in Nürnberg on 19 November 1945, Wilhelm Frick says, referring to the victims of that purge:

"They were just killed on the spot. Many people were killed-I don't know how many-who actually did not have anything to do with the putsch. People who just weren't liked very well, as for instance, Schleicher, the former Reich Chancellor, were killed. The SS was used by Himmler for the execution of these orders to suppress the putsch." (2950-PS)

Himmler referred to this same event in his Posen speech:

"Just as we did not hesitate on June 20, 1934, to do the duty we were bidden, and stand comrades who had lapsed, up against the wall and shoot them, so we have never spoken about it and will never speak about it." (1919-PS)

It was in recognition of its services in this respect that the SS was elevated to the status of a component of the Party equal in rank to the SA and other similar branches. The following announcement appeared on page 1 of the Völkischer Beobachter of 26 July 1934:

"The Reich press office announces the following order of the Fuehrer. "In consideration of the greatly meritorious service of the .SS, especially in connection with the events of 30 June 1934, I elevate it to the standing of an independent organization within the NSDAP. "Munch 20 July 1934." (1857-PS)

(2) SS Functions as a Repressive Police Organization.

One of the first steps essential to the security of any regime is control of the police. The SS was the type of organization which the conspirators needed for this purpose. Their aim was to fuse the SS and police, and to merge them into a single, unified repressive force.

Shortly after the seizure of power the conspirators began to develop as part of the state machinery, secret political police forces. These originated in Prussia with the Gestapo, established by decree of Goering in April 1933, and were duplicated in the other German States. (This development is discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) By 1934 Himmler, the Reichsführer SS, had become the chief of these secret political police forces in each of the German states except Prussia, and deputy chief of the Prussian Gestapo. In that capacity he infiltrated these forces with members of the SS until a virtual identity of membership was assured.

On 17 June 1936, by Decree on the Establishment of a Chief of the German Police (2073-PS), the new post of Chief of the Ger-man Police was created in the Ministry of the Interior. Under the terms of the decree, Himmler was appointed to this post with the title of "Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior." The combination of these two positions, that of leadership of the SS and head of all the police forces in the Reich, was no accident but was intended to establish a permanent relation between the two bodies and not a mere "transitory fusion of personnel." The significance of the combination of these two positions was referred to by Hitler in the preamble to his secret order of 17 August 1938:

"By means of the nomination of the Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior on June 17th, 1936 (Reichsgesetzblatt I, page 487), I have created the basis for the unification and reorganization of the German Police.
"With this step, the Schutzstaffeln of the NSDAP, which were under. the Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police even up to now, have entered into close connection with the duties of the German Police." (647-PS)

Upon his appointment, Himmler immediately proceeded to reorganize the entire Reich Police Force, designating two separate branches: (1) the regular uniformed police force (Ordnungspolizei, or Orpo), and (2) the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei, or Sipo). 'The Sipo was composed of all criminal police organizations in the Reich and all the secret political police forces, or Gestapo. This reorganization was achieved by the Decree Assigning Functions in the Office of the Chief of the German Police (1551- PS). To be head of the Sipo, that is the criminal police and Gestapo, Himmler appointed Reinhard Heydrich, who was at that time the Chief of the SD. Thus, through Himmler's dual capacity as leader of the SS and as Chief of the Police, and through Heydrich's dual capacity as head of the Sipo and as chief of the SD, a unified personal command of the SS and Security Police Forces was achieved. But further steps toward unification were later taken. In 1939, the Security Police and the SD were combined in a single department, the Reich Security Main Office, commonly referred to as the RSHA. (The details of the organization of the RSHA are discussed in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) The important point to be observed is this: The newly created Reich Security Main Office was not a mere department of the Government. It was a dual body: an agency of the government, organizationally placed in the Department of the Interior, and at the same time one of the principal departments of the SS, organizationally placed in the Supreme Command of the' SS. (Cf. the chart of the SS organization (Chart Number 3)). The following description of the RSHA appears in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

"The RSHA handles all the organizational, personnel, management and technical affairs of the Security Police and the SD. In addition, it is the central office of the State Police and criminal police executive, as well as the central directorate of the intelligence net of the SD." (2640-PS)

The position of the RSHA in the Supreme Command of the SS is also similarly described in the SS manual, "The Soldier Friend". (2825-PS)

But it was not merely the Gestapo and the Criminal Police which came under the sway of the SS. The regular uniformed police as well were affected. For, like the RSHA, the Department of the Regular Police (Ordnungspolizei, or Orpo), was not merely a department in the Ministry of the Interior, but also simultaneously in the Supreme Command of the SS. Its position in the SS is indicated by the seventh box on the chart of the SS organization (Chart Number 3). The following description of the Department of the Regular Police appears in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943:

"The sphere of duties of the Main Office of the Ordnungspolizei includes police administration as well as the management and direction of the protective police (Schutzpolizei) of the Reich, the Gendarmes, the protective police of the community, the water protection police, the air protection police, the fire protection police, the protective groups in the occupied territories, the colonial police, the volunteer fire department, the constabulatory and youth fire departments, the technical aid and the technical SS and police academy." (2640-PS)

The position of this Department in the SS Supreme Command is also similarly described in the SS Manual, "The Soldier Friend". (2825-PS)

This unity of the Command was not a mere matter of the highest headquarters. It extended down to the operating level. As the chart shows, the Higher SS and Police Leader in each region, who was directly subordinate to Himmler, had under his command both the Security Police and the regular, uniformed police (Chart Number 8). These forces were subject to his orders as well as to those of the RSHA and the Department of the Regular Police respectively. This position of the Higher SS and Police Leader is described in the Organizations Book of the NSDAP for 1943. (2640-PS)

SS control of the police was, however, not only a matter of organization and of unified command. Unity of personnel was also in large measure achieved. Vacancies occurring in the police forces were filled by SS members; police officials retained in the force were urged to join the SS ; and schools operated by the SS were the required training centers for police as well as SS officials. These measures are described in Himmler's article, "Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police." (1992-PS)They are also described in an authoritative book on the police and on the SS, entitled "The German Police," written by Dr. Werner Best, a Ministerial Director in the Ministry of the Interior and a department head in the Security Police and published in 1940. It bears on its flyleaf the imprimatur of the Nazi Party and is listed in the official list of National Socialist Party bibliography. Chapter 7 from that book is reproduced in document (1852-PS). Reference is also made to the order of the Reichsführer SS and Chief o f the German Police of 23 June 1938, entitled "Acceptance of Members of the Security Police into the SS" (1637-PS). In that order 'pro-vision was made for admitting members of the Security Police into the SS upon certain conditions. The preamble of the order states that it was issued "with the aim of fusing members of the German Police with the 'Schutzstaffel' of the National Socialist German Workers Party into one uniformly turned out State Protective Corps of the National Socialist Reich" (1637-PS). Parenthetically, it should be observed that even this aim was not sufficient to cause a relaxation of SS admission standards since the order provided that, to be admitted as an SS member, personnel of the Security Police were obliged to fulfill the general requirements of the SS (its racial and ideological standards).

Through this unity of organization and personnel, the SS and the police became identified in structure and in activity. The resulting situation was described by Best as follows:

"Thus the SS and the Police form a unit, both in their structure and in their activity, although their individual organizations have not lost their true individuality and their position in the larger units of the Party and State administration"

"In the relationship between the Police and the SS, the principle of the 'orderly' penetration of an organization of the National order has been realized for the first time to the final outcome through the supporters of the National Socialist movement". (1852-PS)

As Himmler stated in his address to the officers 'of SS-Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" on the "Day of Metz":

"I want to tell you: In the entire Waffen-SS we must begin to view the other great activity of the entire SS (Gesamt-SS) and entire Police. We must see to it that you consider the activity of the man in the green uniform as just as valuable as the activity you yourself are engaged in. You have to consider the work of the SD man or the man of the Security Police as a vital part of our whole work just like the fact that you can carry arms". (1918-PS)

Through the police the SS was in a position to carry out a large part of the functions assigned to it. The working partnership between Gestapo, the criminal police, and the SD, under the direction of the Reichsführer SS, resulted. in the ultimate in repressive and unrestrained police activity. (Cf. the discussion in Section 6 on the Gestapo.) It must be remembered that the Gestapo activities were but one aspect of SS functions, one part of the whole criminal SS scheme.

(3) Functions and Activities with Respect to Concentration Camps.

Control over the police, however, was not enough. Potential sources of opposition could be tracked down by the SD. Suspects could be seized by the criminal police and Gestapo. But those means alone would not assure the complete suppression of all opponents and potential opponents of the regime. For this purpose concentration camps were invented, and the SS was given large responsibility in that system.

Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Red Series), Vol. II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946) ,pp.173-237