Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggresion. Vol. II. USGPO, Washington, 1946,pp.173-237

[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression.   A list of legal references and documents relating to the SS appears on pages 237-248.  For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999-published Nov.1998]

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The Schutzstaffeln (SS)

The Nuremberg Charges

Part I

Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

Origin and General Functions

General Functions

Organization and Branches of the SS

Supreme Command of the SS
Principle Branches of the SS

Allgemeine SS
Waffen SS
Totenkopf Verbaende
SS Polizei Regimente

Unity of Organization

In the early weeks of the trial, there appeared in a newspaper circulated in Nurnberg 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 ad-herents 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 com-ponents 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 es-sential 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 im-portant 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. 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 organi-zation. 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 Reichsfuehrer SS.

This early history of the SS is related in two authoritative pub-lications. The first is a book by SS Standartenfuehrer 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 Reichsfuehrer SS, Heinrich Himmler. Its author was the editor of the official . SS publication "Das Schwaze 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 Reichsfuehrer 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 Reichsfuehrer, 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" co. mposed 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.

The conspirators now had the machinery of government in their hands. The initial function of the SSthat 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 am-plified to include the internal security of the Reich." (2640- PS)

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

"We shall unremittingly fulfill our task, the guaranty of the security of Germany from the interior, just as the Wehr-macht 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 subhumans 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 par-ticipation 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 repre-sents the organization of the SS (Chart Number 3).

(1) Supreme Command of the SS.

At the very top of the chart is Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer 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 Reichsfuehrer SS. It is entitled "Directory for the Schutzstaffel of the NSDAP, 1 November 1944", marked "Restricted", and bears the notation "Published by SS Fuerhungshauptamt, Rommandant of the General SS. Berlin-Wilmersdorf ."

Returning to the chart, following down the central spine from the Reichsfuehrer 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 (Totenkopf Verbaende) and the Waffen SS. To the right under the HSS Pf 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 S S

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 S S

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 subdistrict down through the regiment, battalion, and company, to the platoon. Until after the beginning of the war it constituted nu-merically 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 Reichsfuehrer 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 subdistricts 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 Totenkopf Verbaende, 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 Reichsfuehrer 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 Unterfuehrer. 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 Reichsfuehrer 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 Gruppenfuehrers, 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 (Wachverbande) 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 Reichsfuehrer 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 Fuehrungshauptamt)-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 Fuehrunshauptamt 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 (Huuptamt 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 courtsmartial 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 Totenkopf Verbaende.

The fourth component to be mentioned is the SS Death Head Units (SS Totenkopf Verbaende.) 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 Totenkopf Verbaende 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-Totenkopf Verbaende form the skeleton corps for the reinforcement of the SS-Totenkopf Verbaende (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-Totenkopf Verbaende-will be transferred to the SS-Verfuegungstruppe as skeleton crews of the replacement units for that unit." (647-PS)

(e) The SS Polizei Regimente.

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 Reichsfuehrer 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 Reichsfuehrer-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)

Part II
Part III
Part IV

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 08/01/99
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