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The Nazi SS

History of Nazi Germany
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  • The Schutzstaffel (German for "Protective Corps," often abbreviated SS) was an elite para-military unit of the German Nazi party. They were formed from the ranks of the SA in 1925 to be Adolf Hitler's personal guard. By the time the Nazis came to power in 1933 the SS had over 50,000 members called "black shirts" (from the black uniform they wore).

    From 1929 the leader of the SS was Heinrich Himmler, who together with his right hand Reinhard Heydrich consolidated the power of the organisation. By the time World War II began the number of members rose to 250,000 and the Waffen-SS was formed which fought alongside the Wehrmacht, Germany's regular military.

    Evolving to little more than a band of murderous thugs during World War II, the name "SS" alone was enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone. Hitler gave the SS jurisdiction over all concentration camps and allowed them to oversee the day-to-day control of all countries conquered by Germany during the war.


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which means that you can copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license. See for details. It uses material from the Wikipedia article SS

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