The History of the SS Organisation 1923 to 1945.

Preamble:A History of the Nazi SS Organisation 1923 to 1945.

It would take volumes to write about the dark sinister world of the German Nazi SS organisation. I've listed many books which refer to the SS and those who are interested can read further from these publications, but suffice to say here that it grew out of the Nazi Party's (NSDAP) Para Military wing, the SA (Sturmabteilung), when a few hand-picked and trusted men were selected to act as bodyguards (Schutzstaffel), to protect the leadership and other prominent officials from physical danger, especially at rallies and political gatherings.

From 1924 until 1933 when the Nazis came to power in Germany, these selected members of the NSDAP were unpaid and voluntary, save for incurred expenses. These expenses were paid for out of membership subsrcriptions and donations from various sources.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, membership of the SS increased rapidy as paid positions became available financed by the State. At that time the SS was known as the Allgemeine-SS or General SS. This was then sub-divided into two groups-one the Special Disposal Troops known as SS-Verfügungstruppen (SS-VT), which held military exercises alongside the army, and were held in a constant state of readiness for military action, and another group, the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV), whose members controlled the newly set-up Concentration Camps. Members of both the SS-TV and SS-VT were later formed into combat divisions at the outbreak of WW2. The concentration camps were then staffed by many wounded non Totenkopf SS men of all ranks, deemed medically unfit to serve at the Front.

Many wealthy Nazis were able to buy themselves a commission in the General (Allgemeine) SS, but ranks held did not automatically equate to 'command in the field'. Very often the member would have to earn rank if called up for military service. In the final days of WW2 this rule was dropped as Germany struggled to maintain law and order. SS of all ranks lorded it over the military and civilian populations.

The SS came into prominence as the result of what was known as "The Night of the Long Knives", when at the end of June 1934, Hitler feared that the SA leaders were plotting to replace the army as Germany's fighting force. In order to show the Generals that he was in control of his Para-military forces, Hitler led a small force of SS men to arrest and kill the bulk of the SA leadership in one swoop.

With the SA virtually out of the way Himmler's SS began to rule Germany first with the terror of the concentration camps, and then by total control of all of Germany's police forces.

From this point on the SS gradually grew to become a force which ran parallel to the armed forces and which the military both feared and respected. By the end of WW2 the SS had raised some 38 Divisions.

What I've attempted to research over the years is 'people involvement' in the SS. I.e., names of individuals in the various branches of the SS Organisation. They were a mass of men and women who paid close attention to what went on around them. Taken as a group they were unimpressive, the kind of people one could pass on the street and never notice, but who came extremely close to ruling the world.

The SS organisation and some branches are listed as follows:-

SS ORGANISATION MAIN LEADERSHIP OFFICE-The SS Main Office, headed by Himmler and a few selected 'close circle' top SS members who discussed and implemented policy.

THE REGIONAL LEADERSHIP OFFICE-This office covered the HSSPF's, the Higher SS Police Leaders, their roles and activities.They were directly responsible to Himmler.

THE RSHA-The Reichs Security Service and which controlled the KZ's until March 1942, the SD Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service) and Special Action Groups known as 'Einsatzgruppen' formed up of SIPO;KRIPO;ORPO and other units,to kill Partisans and Jews en-masse in Poland & Russia during WW2.The SD incorporated the SIPO & KRIPO and GESTAPO, but not the ORPO, which were not under the control of the RSHA.

THE WVHA-which was responsible for the business & economic well being of the Reich, and which controlled the Conentration (KZ) and associated labor camps from March 1942 on.


The Office of the Reichführer's Personal Staff.

The Office of SS Administration & Personnel.

The SS Courts.(Refer Main Leadership Office).

The Notorious SS People's Courts.

The Nazi Population Resettlement Office-VoMi-RKfDV.

The Office of Ethnic German Affairs-Volkstumfragen. (Refer Main Leadership Office).

The Race & Resettlement Office-RuSHA.(Refer Main Leadership Office).

The SS Medical Services Main Office-SS Artzehauptamt.

Office of the Reserve Army-Ersatz Heer.(Refer Main Leadership Office).

Office of the "V" Weapons Program-(Vergelstungs-Waffe VI;VII und VIII).

Office of Prisoners of War Camps-(SS Ämter für Kriegsgefangener).(Refer Main Leadership Office).

Allied POW Camps.

ORPO-Office of the Order Police (Ornungspolizei).

KRIPO-Office of the Criminal Police (Kriminalpolizei).

WAFFEN-SS-The military wing of the SS.

SS Rank Insignia Read Me.

SS Rank Insignia.

Nazi Party Control of Germany

SS MEMBERSHIP. A list of SOME of the known members, mainly officer ranks, but includes NCO's & OR's of some notoriety for their actions in WWII. They are listed in althabetical order. Each has a profile and brief history. Some have a picture of themselves attached to their profile. At the beginning of 1941 the membership list stood at 160,405, of which 36,517 were Waffen-SS.The remainder were engaged in security, policing, administration, training staff, schools, KZ's & other establishments! It includes some male & female KZ staff members (Aufseherinnen), although females were NOT officially allowed to be members of the SS Organisation! Note:Male SS names/numbers taken from January 1945 official SS listings (DAL) and from microfilm of 'Führer Stammkarte' (Service Cards) at the BDC.

SS CONCENTRATION/LABOR CAMPS. A background history to the establishment of the many Konzentrationslagern, (Concentration Camps), in Germany and later in occupied Europe during WW2.

KZ TERMS-Jargon used in Concentration Camps by inmates.

KZ WINKELS-Concentration Camp inmate ID worn on their striped 'pyjama' suits.

SS Atrocities committed by SS and Waffen-SS against both civilians and military personnel during WW2.

SS Rates of Pay.

SS Officer Cadet Schools.

Trivia 1.

Trivia 2.

Trivia 3.

Trivia 4.

Titles of books which contain references to the SS.