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     Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II, Chapter 15

                                                  [Page 173]

                 5. THE SCHUTZSTAFFELN (SS)

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 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, or 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

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
to use and did use, could be fully accomplished neither
through the machinery of the government nor of the Party.
Things had to be

                                                  [Page 174]
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 throughout 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

A. Origin and General Functions of the SS.

(l) 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 fill its place and to play the part of Hitler's
own personal police, small mobile groups

                                                  [Page 175]
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 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 publications. 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 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 January 1937 to 23 January 1937".

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 11 January 1929, Adolf Hitler appointed his tested
     comrade of long standing, Heinrich Himmler, as
     Reichsfuehrer SS. Heinrich Himmler assumed charge
     therewith 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'Aquens words, was "composed of the best
physically, the most

                                                  [Page 176]
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 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 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 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

                                                  [Page 177]
those territories and populations which, through military
conquest, 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 represented 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 indicated 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.

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