The SS (Schutzstaffel)
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR
Last updated 28 Dec 2017
SS stands for Schutzstaffel which means Protection Squad. Their original focus was the protection of Hitler and were formed in 1925. Hitler placed colleague Heinrich Himmler in charge of the group and its recruitment. From 1929 they were given the infamous black uniforms which helped to separate them from the Nazi stormtroopers of the SA.
During the Night of the Long Knives, it was the SS which was trusted to eliminate opponents within the Nazi Party including the leaders of the SA. Whilst Hitler increased his power and became leader of Germany, the SS was expanded to include 240,000 men and were made responsible for all the other security forces in Germany.
Heinrich Himmler wanted the SS to be a model for German greatness and recruited many who matched the German ideal man. All recruits were to be racially pure, and they were expected to live the life of Nazi ideals. Therefore, they were expected to be physically fit, and marry racially pure wives and have many children who would also be racially pure.
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