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The SS was the most powerful and most sinister element of the part movement. Originally formed as Hitler's elite body guard in 1925, it was turned into a formidable private party by its leader Herinrich Himmler.

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Introduction

The SS was the most powerful and most sinister element of the part movement. Originally formed as Hitler's elite body guard in 1925, it was turned into a formidable private party by its leader Herinrich Himmler. The SS was modelled on the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church. Its members were subjected to strict discipline. They were expected to show complete obedience to the Fuhrer. The SS were the radical elite of the Nazi Party. This is shown from the late 1930s when the SS had become a vast organisation, involved in most aspects of the Third Reich. The SS alongside the Gestapo, was the most powerful and feared in Nazi Germany. There are older and newer interpretations of the SS created by historians. Older interpretations, by historians such as Brancher, see Hitler exercising his authority through a clearly defined set of Government institutions. They regard Germany as a totalitarian state where the SS performed the essential function of terror. ...read more.

Middle

The Gestapo undertook the role of the secret police force. In April 1933, Goring incorporated the Prussian political police force into the Gestapo and set up their new offices on the Prince Alberstrasse in Berlin. In April 1934, Goring appointed Himmler head of the unified political force. This was important as it gave Himmler and the SS some control over the state police. In 1936 any confusion was resolved when Hitler appointed Himmler head of the German police. In 1939 the Reich Security Head Office (RSHA) was formed, which brought together the Gestapo and the SD under the central leadership of the SS. By 1939, in its role as the political police force, the Gestapo became the most important element in the state's security system. It played a key role eliminating opposition through creating an elaborate terror machine. Those suspected of opposition to the regime or those denounced (informed on) by their neighbours often ended up imprisoned in one of many concentration camps by the SS. ...read more.

Conclusion

to take suspects into 'protective custody' and, after the SA, the SS emerged as the chief police arm of the Nazi Party. Between 1933 and 1939 about 225,000 Germans were convicted and imprisoned without trial. It directed it energies against all enemies of Nazism, whether political or racial, later taking over responsibility for concentrating and extermination camps. However, because this was such a large organisation Himmler used a variety of methods to keep it untied. This included the intelligence department to spy on everyone in the organisation, constantly transferring people to other departments, controlled propaganda within the organisation as well as career prospects. Himmler did this so that positions could overlap and the he can be above them all and none could plot against him. This is shown in the steady change in the organisation structure of the SS. To conclude I would agree with the newer interpretations. This is because there was no clear-cut structure. Also the fact that in areas of high population in Germany there were a handful of SS soldiers. Anjna Galliara Analyse the power of the SS in the Nazi State ...read more.

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