Military history

Army of Evil: A History of the SS

Army of Evil: A History of the SS

In Nazi Germany, they were called the Schutzstaffeln. The world would know them as the dreaded SS—the most loyal and ruthless enforcers of the Third Reich.

It began as a small squad of political thugs. Yet by the end of 1935, the SS had taken control of all police and internal security duties in Germany—ranging from local village “gendarmes” all the way up to the secret political police and the Gestapo. Eventually, its ranks would grow to rival even Germany’s regular armed forces, the Wehrmacht.

Going beyond the myths and characterizations, Army of Evil reveals the reality of the SS as a cadre of unwavering political fanatics and power-seeking opportunists who slavishly followed an ideology that disdained traditional morality—an ideology that they were prepared to implement to the utmost murderous extreme, which ultimately resulted in the Holocaust.

This is a definitive historical narrative of the birth, legacy, and demise of one of the most feared political and military organizations ever known—and of those twisted, cruel men who were responsible for one of the most appalling crimes against humanity in history.

INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1. THE DEFEAT OF WILHELMINE GERMANY AND THE ORIGINS OF THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY

Chapter 2. THE REBIRTH OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND THE CREATION OF THE SS

Chapter 3. HEINRICH HIMMLER

Chapter 4. A NEW BROOM

Chapter 5. TAKING CONTROL

Chapter 6. CONSOLIDATION

Chapter 7. DACHAU AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS

Chapter 8. THE CENTRAL ORGANISATION OF THE SS

Chapter 9. THE RACE AND SETTLEMENT OFFICE

Chapter 10. THE SD—THE INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY WING OF THE SS

Chapter 11. THE PATH TO GENOCIDE

Chapter 12. EUTHANASIA AND THE BEGINNING OF MASS MURDER

Chapter 13. ORIGINS OF THE WAFFEN-SS

Chapter 14. MILITARISING THE “POLITICAL SOLDIERS”

Chapter 15. EXPANSION OF THE MILITARISED SS

Chapter 16. THE INVASION OF POLAND AND THE SPECIAL TASK GROUPS

Chapter 17. THE SS AND THE POLISH JEWS

Chapter 18. GOTTLOB BERGER AND THE CREATION OF THE WAFFEN-SS

Chapter 19. MAKING UP THE NUMBERS: FOREIGN VOLUNTEERS AND CRIMINALS IN THE WAFFEN-SS

Chapter 20. THE WAFFEN-SS HEADS EAST

Chapter 21. OPERATION BARBAROSSA AND THE FIRST AND SECOND SWEEPS

Chapter 22. THE WANNSEE CONFERENCE

Chapter 23. THE EXTERMINATION CAMPS

Chapter 24. AUSCHWITZ

Chapter 25. THE FINAL ACT

EPILOGUE + Appendix: Table of Comparative Military Ranks

Notes

Bibliography

Photographs