The SS originated as Hitler's personal bodyguard and following his rise to power in 1933 the organisation divided into two: the Waffen-SS, which comprised the military wing, and the Allgemeine-SS, whose role was to support the police in maintaining order. The Allgemeine-SS had a wide-ranging effect on all aspects of life in Nazi Germany, from enforcing Hitler's racial policies through to the running of over 500 factories in Germany and occupied Europe. While the more visible armed SS combat units naturally received all the publicity, especially during World War II, it was the rather faceless Allgemeine-SS which wielded the real power.
Read an extract of The Allgemeine-SS
Table of Contents
Introduction · Early History · Role of the SS · Organisation · SS Symbolism · Uniforms and Insignia · SS-Police · The Germanic-SS · The Plates