The Schutzstaffel: Hitler's Reign Of Power In Nazi Germany

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The Schutzstaffel
Hitler 's reign of power in Germany began January 30, 1933. This was to be the beginning of one of the darkest chapters in modern history. The Schutzstaffel or what is commonly referred to as the SS, was primarily established as a protection squadron and known throughout Nazi Germany as the Black Shirts. The SS was a central organization within the Third Reich 's power structure. This black order was established in 1925 and by 1936 dominated Nazi Germany domestically. To gain a true understanding of this nationalistic group, the SS must be analyzed from many different perspectives. The success of the SS cannot be found in one single individual, event or aberration. Its beginnings and growth must be looked at pluralistically. The leadership, ideology and outcome of specific, transitional events surrounding the SS resulted in the establishment of its fundamental elements and dominant position within Nazi Germany by 1936.
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On November 14, 1945, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials began in Germany. They were to be the definitive judgement of the crimes against humanity by the Nazis. In the midst of the trial, it was determined that the SS, along with its associated organizations such as the Sicherheitsdienst (SD--the security and intelligence organization within the SS) and Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo—State Secret Police), was a criminal organization.1 The verdict placed on the SS was as follows:
The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS . . ., who became or remained members of the organization declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes . . . .2
This statement clearly shows a broad conclusion in terms of SS responsibility for the crimes committed by the Third
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