Members of the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler preparing to parade in Bayreuth on “German Day,” 30 September 1923. (Public Record Office)

Heinrich Himmler carries the banner of the Imperial War Flag militia outside the Bavarian war ministry during the Munich Putsch on 8–9 November 1923. (Public Record Office)

Julius Schreck (center) with some of the earliest members of the SS, 1925.
(Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)

Heinrich Himmler (next to banner) with Rudolf Hess, Gregor Strasser, Adolf Hitler and Franz Pfeffer von Salomon at the 1927 Nuremberg Rally. (Bundesarchiv)

Kurt Daluege (left) with Reinhard Heydrich (second from right) at a skiing competition in Kitzbühel, February 1939. (Bundesarchiv)

Adolf Hitler being driven by SS founder Julius Schreck, circa 1935.
(AP/Press Association Images)

Ernst Röhm with Himmler and Daluege in August 1933, less than a year before Himmler was to orchestrate his murder. (Bundesarchiv)

Left: Ulrich Graf, one of Hitler’s earliest bodyguards. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Ernst Röhm, revolutionary, military radical and SA Chief of Staff. (AP/Press Association Images)

Left: Kurt Daluege, Berlin sanitation engineer turned police chief. (Getty Images)

Right: Prince Josias zu Waldeck-Pyrmont, one of Himmler’s earliest aristocratic recruits. (Bundesarchiv)

Left: Oswald Pohl, business and administrative chief of the SS. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Reinhard Heydrich, disgraced naval officer turned security chief. (Deutsche Press-Agentur/Press Association Images)

March 1933, the Nazi terror begins. A Jewish lawyer is humiliated by SS auxiliary policemen on the streets of Munich. The placard reads: Ich werde mich nie mehr bei der Polizei beschweren (I will no longer burden the police). (Bundesarchiv)

Spring 1933, a police officer swears in SS men as auxiliaries. (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)

May 1933, detainees at work at the newly established Dachau concentration camp. (Bundesarchiv)

May 1933, SS guards roll-call at Dachau. (Bundesarchiv)

Himmler standing next to his ideological mentor, Richard Walter Darré, and the police president of Berlin, Graf Helldorf, January 1939. (Bundesarchiv)

1939, the chiefs of the SS security apparatus: (left to right) Franz Josef Huber, Arthur Nebe, Himmler, Heydrich and Heinrich Müller. (Getty Images)

Left: Rudolf Diels, the Nazi fellow traveller who was first chief of the Gestapo. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Theodor Eicke, creator of the SS concentration camp system, killer of Ernst Röhm and commander of the SS-Death’s Head Division. (Bundesarchiv)

Left: Paul Hausser, former army general who founded the SS officer schools. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Felix Steiner, tactical guru of the early armed SS units and later commander of the Germanic Panzer Corps. (Bundesarchiv)

Left: Gottlob Berger, the Swabian PE teacher who masterminded the expansion of the Waffen-SS. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Walter Schellenberg, Himmler’s foreign intelligence chief and confidant in the later years of the war. (Bundesarchiv)

Odilo Globocnik (second from right), commander of Operation Reinhard, with unidentified Nazi officials in 1943. (Yad Vashem)

SS personnel at Belzec death camp, 1942. The camps employed relatively few SS men. Much of the dirty work fell to Ukrainian auxiliaries.
(Instytut Pamieci Narodowej Muzeum Regionalne w Tomaszow Lubelski, courtesy of Zygmunt Klukowski)

Above left: A Waffen-SS NCO of a Special Task Group prepares to murder a Ukrainian Jew as other Waffen-SS and Reich Labour Service members look on. (Library of Congress Dokumentationsarchiv des Oesterreichen Widerstandes, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [USHMM], YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, courtesy of Sharon Paquette)

Above right: Lithuanian militiamen—under SS direction—force Jewish women to undress before murdering them, Panevezys, 1941. (USHMM, Institut Pamieci Narodowej Lietuvos Nacionalinis Muziejus, courtesy of Saulius Berzinis Mrs. Bukowska)

Special Task Force members murder a Jewish family, Ivangorod, 1942.

SS soldiers conduct a selection of the rampe at Birkenau, circa 1944. It is likely that the column of prisoners on the far side of the tracks is being led to the gas chambers. (Yad Vashem)

The SS leadership at Auschwitz, 1944: (left to right) Richard Baer, Josef Mengele, Josef Kramer, Rudolf Höss and Anton Thumann. (USHMM, courtesy of anonymous donor)

Left: Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, SS anti-partisan chief in central Russia. (Bundesarchiv)

Right: Otto Ohlendorf, the economist who led the SD-Inland, but also commanded a Special Task Group during the invasion of the Soviet Union. (Bundesarchiv)

Left: Adolf Eichmann, the “Jewish Expert” who masterminded the persecution and later extermination of Jews throughout Europe. (AP/Press Association Images)

Right: Christian Wirth, pioneer of the use of gas for mass murders of Jews. (Holocaust Research Project)

Left: Franz Stangl, the Austrian police officer who commanded the Sobibor and Treblinka death camps. (Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images)

Right: SS-Lieutenant Heinz Macher, a highly decorated Waffen-SS officer who accompanied Himmler during his attempted escape in May 1945. (Bundesarchiv)

Otto Skorzeny (left), commander of Waffen-SS special forces on the Eastern Front, spring 1945. (Public Record Office)

Recruiting poster for the British Free Corps. (Bundesarchiv)

A Sikh member of the Free Indian Legion, stationed on the Atlantic coast of France, spring 1944. (Bundesarchiv)

Two members of the British Free Corps of the Waffen-SS—Kenneth Berry (left) and Alfred Minchin (right)—with German Army soldiers on a visit to a naval internment camp, April 1944. (Public Record Office)

Sepp Dietrich (left), who led the first armed SS unit in 1933, also commanded the largest, the 6th SS Panzer Army, during the Ardennes offensive in winter 1944–45. (Bundesarchiv)

Members of the Dirlewanger battalion of convicted criminals and political prisoners taking part in street fighting during the Warsaw Rising of August 1944. (Bundesarchiv)

Members of the Waffen-SS and German Army who had escaped across the River Elbe to surrender to the US Army rather than the Soviets, May 1945. The prisoner (center) with a bandaged head is also a member of the Dirlewanger battalion.
(Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

An SS-sergeant major, under British supervision, carrying the body of a dead prisoner to a mass grave at Belsen concentration camp, May 1945. (Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

SS personnel captured by the British Army at Belsen. (Public Record Office)

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