Its formations included men from Nazi Germanyalong with volunteers and conscripts from both occupied and unoccupied lands. The Waffen-SS grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War IIand served alongside the Heer regular armyOrdnungspolizei uniformed police and other security units.

Initially, in keeping with the racial policy of Nazi Germanymembership was open only to people of Germanic origin so-called Aryan ancestry. These SS units were made up of men mainly from among the nationals of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Despite relaxation of the rules, the Waffen-SS was still based on the racist ideology of Nazismand ethnic Poles who were viewed as subhumans were specifically barred from the formations. Members of the Waffen-SS were involved in numerous atrocities. Former Waffen-SS members, with the exception of conscripts, who comprised about one third of the membership, were denied many of the rights afforded to military veterans.

The oaths pledged were "Pledging loyalty to him alone" and "Obedience unto death". The Leibstandarte demonstrated their loyalty to Hitler in during the " Night of the Long Knives ", when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political killings and the purge of the Sturmabteilung SA.

Hitler also wanted to conciliate leaders of the Reichswehr the Republic's army and conservatives of the country, people whose support Hitler needed to solidify his position. This included almost the entire SA leadership, effectively ending its power. This action was largely carried out by SS personnel including the Leibstandarteand the Gestapo. The SS was given the lowest priority for recruits. InHimmler set stringent requirements for recruits.

They were to be German nationals who could prove their Aryan ancestry back tounmarried, and without a criminal record. Recruits had to be between the ages of 17 and 23, at least 1. Concentration camp guards had to make a one-year commitment, be between the ages of 16 and 23, and at least 1. Once the war commenced, the physical requirements were no longer strictly enforced, and essentially any recruit who could pass a basic medical exam was considered for service.

Historian Bernd Wegner found in his study of officers that a large majority of the senior officers corps of the Waffen-SS were from an upper-middle-class background and would have been considered for commissioning by traditional standards.

Among later Waffen-SS generals, approximately six out of ten had a "university entrance qualification Abiturand no less than one-fifth a university degree". Hausser worked to transform the SS-VT into a credible military force that was a match for the regular army.

On 17 AugustHitler declared that the SS-VT would have a role in domestic as well as foreign affairs, which transformed this growing armed force into the rival that the army had feared. Ina battalion of the Leibstandarte was chosen to accompany the army troops in occupying Austria during the Anschlussand the three regiments of the SS-VT participated in the occupation of the Sudetenland that October. In both actions no resistance was met. Recruiting ethnic Germans from other countries began in Apriland units consisting of non-Germanic recruits were formed beginning in Himmler's military formations at the outbreak of the war comprised several subgroups that would become the basis of the Waffen-SS.

In spite of the swift military victory over Poland in Septemberthe regular army felt that the performance of the SS-VT left much to be desired; its units took unnecessary risks and had a higher casualty rate than the army. As an example, OKW noted that the Leibstandarte had to be rescued by an army regiment after becoming surrounded by the Poles at Pabianice.

He ordered that the SS-VT form its own divisions but that the divisions would be under army command. During the invasion, war crimes were committed against the Polish people. The Leibstandarte became notorious for torching villages without military justification. On 29 September the Standarte travelled to Bydgoszcz to conduct an " intelligentsia action ". The Leibstandarte remained independent and was increased in strength to a reinforced motorised regiment.

The OKW was supposed to supply these new battalions with artillery, but was reluctant to hand over guns from its own arsenal. The weapons arrived only slowly and, by the time of the Battle of Franceonly the Leibstandarte battalion was up to strength.The divisions of the Waffen-SS were made of specially trained soldiers.

Their original job was to protect higher-ranking people in the SS and the Nazi Party. The Waffen-SS was officially an extra police force on the streets. Insome soldiers were reorganized. Nazi leaders gave some SS members the job of guarding and running concentration camps and, later, death camps. In some of the concentration camps, like Auschwitz and Buchenwalddoctors of the Waffen-SS did experiments on humans. The Waffen-SS was grouped into divisionsas follows: [1].

The unit was made of about 27 prisoners of war from the British Empire. One British soldier who helped recruit other soldiers to join the unit was John Amery.

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After the war, he was sentenced to death for high treasonhe was then executed. This translates to Mutual support organisation of former members of the Waffen-SS'. The group also publishes a magazine. The magazine tries to send the message that the Waffen-SS were just normal soldiers. Sometimes, there are also revisionist articles in it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. San Jose, CA: R.

James Bender. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last changed on 19 Februaryat See Terms of Use for details.They wear a green oak leaf pattern smock and helmet with standard trousers. Waffen-SS appear as regular enemies, most notably in the last mission Chambois where they fiercely attempt to take the town. Despite this they are absent in the British campaign. They can be seen with their Panzergrendier green oak leaf camo uniforms and helmets, the iconic " " symbol is present on their collars.

They are prominently featured late in the Russian campaign when the Red Army pushes deep into Germany.

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Their first appearance is at the end of " Heart of the Reich " near the main entrance to the Reichstag building. They are also the main enemies in the mission " Downfall ", defending the Reichstag itself.

Interview of a Waffen SS Soldier - Some Major Truth About World War 2

One loyal Waffen-SS who survives an air strike on the roof of the Reichstag tries to kill the player with a Walther P38 at the end of "Downfall". Here they are dressed in black honor guard or brown shirt uniforms, usually with heavy bandaging also, some being seen without helmets or headgear at all.

The Waffen-SS first appear in the mission " Death Factory " as they storm the player's position on the bridge in the first half of the level. They are distinguished by the oak leaf uniform camouflage. Like with the Wehrmacht, the uniforms of the solders in the campaign depend on the kind of weapon they use, with SMG soldiers wearing field caps, Riflemen helmets and trenchcoats, but Shotgunner wear gasmasks, looking similar to the expeditionary division in multiplayer.

Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. Walther P Machine Pistol. Gewehr Double-Barreled Shotgun.

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nazi ss

Cancel Save. Cut Factions. Multiplayer only.From the beginning of the Nazi regime, Hitler entrusted the SS first and foremost with the removal and eventual murder of political and so-called racial enemies of the regime. In the Nazi state, the SS assumed leading responsibility for security, identification of ethnicity, settlement and population policyand intelligence collection and analysis. The SS controlled the German police forces and the concentration camp system.

The SS conceived and implemented plans designed to restructure the ethnic composition of eastern Europe and the occupied Soviet Union. Before the Nazis seized power in Germany, Himmler introduced two key functions to the SS: internal security and guardianship over racial purity.

The SD gathered intelligence on Hitler's opponents within the Nazi party, leaders and activities of other political parties, as well as on government officials, both federal and local. In AugustNazi party deputy leader Rudolf Hess announced that the SD would henceforth be the only agency authorized to gather and analyze political intelligence in the Third Reich.

Such a determination could, at a minimum, mean a job and better rations for a resident in German-occupied territory during World War II. When the Nazis seized power in Januarymembers of the SS numbered more than 52, As SS chief, Himmler received authority directly from Hitler to carry out ideological policies that the laws of the state might not permit.

Reinhard Heydrich

Nazi leaders justified this extra-legal chain of command and the policies initiated under its authorization by the national emergency decrees following the Reichstag Fire in and, afterby the intensified emergency created by the war. We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors. You are searching in English.

SS and Police

Tags Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics. Browse A-Z Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically. For Teachers Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust. About This Site. Glossary : Full Glossary.

Key Facts.

Nazi Germany – SchutzStaffel SS

More information about this image. Glossary Terms. Series: The SS. Critical Thinking Questions Research what pressures and motivations might have influenced members of the SS. In what ways did the SS coordinate the activities of German and foreign police agencies to persecute perceived "enemies of the state"?

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Thank you for supporting our work We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia.InHeinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction — it grew from a small paramilitary formation during the Weimar Republic to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany.

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From until the regime's collapse inthe SS was the foremost agency of security, surveillance, and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe. They were tasked with the detection of actual or potential enemies of the Nazi state, the neutralization of any opposition, policing the German people for their commitment to Nazi ideologyand providing domestic and foreign intelligence.

The SS was the organization most responsible for the genocidal killing of an estimated 5. The SS was also involved in commercial enterprises and exploited concentration camp inmates as slave labor. Ernst Kaltenbrunnerthe highest-ranking surviving SS main department chief, was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and hanged in He wished it to be separate from the "suspect mass" of the party, including the paramilitary Sturmabteilung "Storm Battalion"; SAwhich he did not trust.

That same year, the Schutzkommando was expanded to a national organization and renamed successively the Sturmstaffel Storm Squadronand finally the Schutzstaffel Protection Squad; SS.

Hitler's personal SS protection unit was later enlarged to include combat units.

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Himmler displayed good organizational abilities compared to Heiden. The party announced that it was for "family reasons. He considered the SS an elite, ideologically driven National Socialist organization, a "conflation of Teutonic knightsthe Jesuitsand Japanese Samurai ". Inthe SS-Hauptamt main SS office was expanded and reorganized into five main offices dealing with general administration, personnel, finance, security, and race matters.

Although officially still considered a sub-organization of the SA and answerable to the Stabschef SA Chief of Staffit was also during this time that Himmler began to establish the independence of the SS from the SA. In the latter half ofHimmler oversaw the creation of SS-Junkerschuleinstitutions where SS officer candidates received leadership training, political and ideological indoctrination, and military instruction.

The training stressed ruthlessness and toughness as part of the SS value system, which helped foster a sense of superiority among the men and taught them self-confidence. Commitment to SS ideology was emphasized throughout the recruitment, membership process, and training.

He initially intended it to be used as an SS training center, but its role came to include hosting SS dinners and neo-pagan rituals.

nazi ss

The SS ideology included the application of brutality and terror as a solution to military and political problems. The SS was entrusted with the commission of atrocities, illegal activities, and war crimes. Himmler once wrote that an SS man "hesitates not for a single instant, but executes unquestioningly As part of its race-centric functions during World War II, the SS oversaw the isolation and displacement of Jews from the populations of the conquered territories, seizing their assets and deporting them to concentration camps and ghettoswhere they were used as slave labor or immediately killed.

Members of trade unions and those perceived to be affiliated with groups that opposed the regime religious, political, social, and otherwiseor those whose views were contradictory to the goals of the NSDAP government, were rounded up in large numbers; these included clergy of all faiths, Jehovah's WitnessesFreemasonsCommunistsand Rotary Club members. In particular, it was the primary organization which carried out the Holocaust. The SS established a police state within Nazi Germany, using the secret state police and security forces under Himmler's control to suppress resistance to Hitler.

Heydrich also continued as head of the Sicherheitsdienst SD; security service. The Gestapo's transfer to Himmler was a prelude to the Night of the Long Knivesin which most of the SA leadership were arrested and subsequently executed. On 17 Juneall police forces throughout Germany were united under the purview of Himmler and the SS.

In practice, since the SS answered only to Hitler, the de facto merger of the SS and the police made the police independent of Frick's control. In Septemberthe authority of the SS expanded further when the senior SS officer in each military district also became its chief of police.

Their role was to police the population and oversee the activities of the SS men within their district. During Kristallnacht 9—10 NovemberSS security services clandestinely coordinated violence against Jews as the SS, Gestapo, SD, Kripo, SiPo, and regular police did what they could to ensure that while Jewish synagogues and community centers were destroyed, Jewish-owned businesses and housing remained intact so that they could later be seized.Thousands of Nazi officers, high-ranking party members and collaborators—including many notorious war criminals—escaped across the Atlantic, finding refuge in South Americaparticularly in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Argentina, for one, was already home to hundreds of thousands of German immigrants and had maintained close ties to Germany during the war. Also giving aid: the Vatican in Rome, which in seeking to help Catholic war refugees also facilitated fleeing Nazis—sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

nazi ss

As thousands of Nazis and their collaborators poured into the continent, a sympathetic and sophisticated network developed, easing the transition for those who came after. While no definitive evidence exists that Hitler himself escaped his doomsday bunker and crossed the ocean, such a network could have helped make it possible.

Below, a list of some of the most notorious Nazi war criminals who made their way to South America. The notorious SS lieutenant colonel masterminded the Nazi network of death camps that resulted in the murder of approximately 6 million people.

Eichmann orchestrated the identification, assembly and transportation of European Jews to AuschwitzTreblinka and other death camps in German-occupied Poland. With the aid of a Franciscan monk in Genoa, Italy, he obtained an Argentine visa and signed an application for a falsified Red Cross passport.

In he boarded a steamship to Buenos Aires under the alias Ricardo Klement. Eichmann lived with his wife and four children in a middle-class Buenos Aires suburb and worked in a Mercedes-Benz automotive plant. In Israel, Eichmann stood trial as a war criminal responsible for deporting Jews to death and concentration camps.

nazi ss

He was found guilty after a four-month trial in Jerusalem and received the only death sentence ever issued by an Israeli court. He was hanged on May 31, Josef Mengele In Paraguay, He eluded capture in South America for 30 years. After being wounded and declared unfit for active duty, he was assigned to the Auschwitz death camp.

There, he used the prisoners—particularly twins, pregnant women and the disabled—as human guinea pigs. Mengele even tortured and killed children with his medical experiments. Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal holding photographs depicting former Gestapo chief Walter Rauff and a mobile gas-chamber van he created to execute Jews. Rauff was protected from prosecution by Chilean president Augusto Pinochet. After serving as a military adviser to the president of Syria inhe fled back to Italy and escaped to Ecuador in before settling in Chile where he lived under his own name.

His whereabouts became known after he sent a letter requesting that his German naval pension be sent to his new address in Chile. The Nazi died in Chile in Franz Stangl, former SS commander of Treblinka extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, hearing his life-in-prison sentence in Dusseldorf. Stangl was found responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews.

He later served as the commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka death camps in German-occupied Poland. Extradited to West Germany, Stangl was tried and found guilty of the mass murder ofpeople. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he died of heart failure in Former Nazi concentration camp commander Josef Schwammberger during his trial in Stuttgart, Germany in He was convicted for killing hundreds of Jews during his time as commandant at several labor camps in Nazi-occupied Poland between and Credit: AP Photo.Ardennes, December 16, Captured American soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the th Infantry Regiment.

SS soldiers smoking cigarettes with an abandoned American armored M8 "Greyhound on the road near the Belgian village of Poteau, December One supposes they were later tortured and killed. In Destroyed Soviet vehicles seen in the background. Soldiers of the "Liebstandarte" Adolf Hitler Division look on helplessly as a Tiger tank and a truck get bogged down in mud in the Fatima area of Ukraine, November, German armored Sd.

Hungary, in January France, 9 June Rudolf von Ribbentrop - the son of the minister propogandy Germany Joachim von Ribbentrop. Towards the end. July Waffen SS soldiers in Kharkov February-April SS soldiers escort Polish employees of Danzig post office after they were flushed out with explosives and flame-throwers on September 1, March 16, January-February Thousands of Germans were massacred at the Korsun pocket by Koniev's men.

Waffen SS men take a breather during a lull in the fighting. Eastern Front August Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city. These words were feared by all German women in It was an indication that something unpleasant was coming their way. These words wer Britain Turned Xenophobic In The Channel Islands At least!

German Soldiers: Rare Pictures From French Posters During WW2. Winston Churchill: Some Rare Images. Dramatic moments WW2: Surrender of Poland France during the Second World War. Liberation of Holland. Some dramatic images from WW2.

Little known statistics about the Second World War. France Falls:

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