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SS, SA and Gestapo
The SS was one of the organisations which led the mass murder in the Third Reich. Its forerunner was the "Stosstrupp Hitler" which was founded in 1923. The task was to protect Adolf Hitler. From this unit the SS (Schutzstaffel) was formed in 1925. In the same time the SA existed. The SS wear black uniforms and the SA wear brown uniforms. The SA also should protect Adolf Hitler. The SA leader was Ernst Roehm and he had own plans. The SS was disciplined and did everything what Adolf Hitler wanted and the SA was undisciplined and there were disputes between SA leaders and Adolf Hitler. The SA had more members than the SS. Because of the discipline the SS was an elite unit. The SA was often called a beater troop. In the 20's other-thinking people (like communists) were brutally beat by the SA. The SS was also brutal, but more systematic. So the SS had got a better reputation. 1934 the SA leader Ernst Roehm was going to build up the SA (Sturmabteilung) and it should replace the military. Roehm was very powerful and he could be dangerous for Hitler. The consequence was that on the 30th of june 1934 Ernst Roehm and other important SA men were killed. Since this time the SA was an unimportant unit and the SS became more important. On the 1st of july 1934 Victor Lutze became SA leader. Reichsfuehrer SS and so the boss of the SS was Heinrich Himmler. SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Theodor Eicke was resposible for the concentration camps and for the Totenkopfverbaende of the SS (skull troops of the SS). The SS-Totenkopfverbaende were guards in the KZs. They were very cruel and they were responsible for gasing and shooting prisoners. Except the normal SS there also the Waffen-SS. The Waffen-SS fought in the Second World War like the Wehrmacht. The soldiers of the Waffen-SS were not preapred for war as good as the soldiers of the Wehrmacht and so many soldiers of the Waffen-SS died. When Jews were found in conquered countries or enemy soldiers were imprisoned then the SS was alwasy much more cruel than the Wehrmacht. At the end of the Second World War the SS was not an elite unit anymore and it had about 900,000 members. People in Germany also were afraid of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei). The Gestapo belonged to the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt). The leader of the Gestapo SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heinrich Mueller. The leader of the RSHA was SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich used the Gestapo to spy important people in Germany and also important guests from other countries. He wanted to be well informed and he even had documents about his bosses. In the Third Reich the German people denounced each other. When somebody said something against the NS regime he was immediately arrested by the Gestapo and he was interrogated very long. Then he got an imprisonment punish or a death punish.
Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki
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Last Update: 15.12.2004