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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                   [Page 75]

                           The SS
Structure and Component Parts: The Prosecution has named Die
Schutzstaffeln der Nationalsocialistischen Deutschen
Arbeiterpartei (commonly known as the SS) as an organisation
which should be declared criminal. The portion of the
Indictment dealing with the SS also includes Der
Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrer-SS (commonly known as
the SD). This latter organisation, which was originally an
intelligence branch of the SS, later became an important
part of the organisation of Security Police and SD and is
dealt with in the Tribunal's Judgment on the Gestapo.

                                                   [Page 76]
The SS was originally established by Hitler in 1925 as an
elite section of the SA for political purposes under the
pretext of protecting speakers at public meetings of the
Nazi Party. After the Nazis had obtained power the SS was
used to maintain order and control audiences at mass
demonstrations and was given the additional duty of
"internal security" by a decree of the Fuehrer. The SS
played an important role at the time of the Roehm purge of
30th June, 1934, and, as a reward for its services, was made
an independent unit of the Nazi Party shortly thereafter.

In 1929, when Himmler was first appointed as Reichs Fuehrer
the SS consisted of 280 men who were regarded as especially
trustworthy. In 1933, it was composed of 52,000 men drawn
from all walks of life. The original formation of the SS was
the Allgemeine SS, which by 1939 had grown to a corps of
240,000 men, organized on military lines into divisions and
regiments. During the war its strength declined to well
under 40,000.

The SS originally contained two other formations, the SS
Verfuegungstruppe, a force consisting of SS members who
volunteered for four years' armed service in lieu of
compulsory service with the Army, and the SS Totenkopf
Verbaende, special troops employed to guard concentration
camps, which came under the control of the SS in 1934. The
SS Verfuegungstruppe was organized as an armed unit to be
employed with the Army in the event of mobilization. In the
summer of 1939, the Verfuegungstruppe was equipped as a
motorized division to form the nucleus of the forces which
came to be known in 1940 as the Waffen SS. In that year the
Waffen SS comprised 100,000 men, 56,000 coming from the
Verfuegungstruppe and the rest from the Allgemeine SS and
the Totenkopf Verbaende. At the end of the war it is
estimated to have consisted of about 580,000 men and 40
divisions. The Waffen SS was under the tactical command of
the Army, but was equipped and supplied through the
administrative branches of the SS and under SS disciplinary

The SS Central Organisation had 12 main offices. The most
important of these were the RSHA, which has already been
discussed, the WVHA or Economic Administration Main Office
which administered concentration camps along with its other
duties, a Race and Settlement Office together with auxiliary
offices for repatriation of racial Germans
(Volksdeutschemittelstelle). The SS Central Organisation
also had a legal office and the SS possessed its own legal
system; and its personnel were under the jurisdiction of
special courts. Also attached to the SS main offices was a
research foundation known as the Experiments Ahnenerbe. The
scientists attached to this organisation are stated to have
been mainly honorary members of the SS. During the war an
institute for military scientific research became attached
to the Ahnenerbe which conducted extensive experiments
involving the use of living human beings. An employee of
this institute was a certain Dr. Rascher, who conducted
these experiments with the full knowledge of the Ahnenerbe,
which were subsidized and under the patronage of the
Reichsfuehrer SS who was a trustee of the foundation.

Beginning in 1933 there was a gradual but thorough
amalgamation of the police and SS. In 1936 Himmler, the
Reichsfuehrer SS, became Chief of the German Police with
authority over the regular uniformed police as well as the
Security Police. Himmler established a system under which
Higher SS and Police Leaders, appointed for each Wehrkreis,
served as his personal representatives in coordinating the
activities of the Order Police, Security Police and SD and
Allgemeine SS within their jurisdictions. In 1939 the SS and
police systems were coordinated by taking into the SS all
officials of the Security and Order Police, at SS ranks
equivalent to their rank in the police.

                                                   [Page 77]
Until 1940 the SS was an entirely voluntary organisation.
After the formation of the Waffen SS in 1940 there was a
gradually increasing number of conscripts into the Waffen
SS. It appears that about a third of the total number of
people joining the Waffen SS were conscripts, that the
proportion of conscripts was higher at the end of the war
than at the beginning, but that there continued to be a high
proportion of volunteers until the end of the war.

Criminal Activities: SS units were active participants in
the steps leading up to aggressive war. The
Verfuegungstruppe was used in the occupation of the
Sudetenland, of Bohemia and Moravia, and of Memel. The
Henlein Free Corps was under the jurisdiction of the
Reichsfuehrer SS for operations in the Sudetenland in 1938,
and the Volksdeutschemittelstelle financed fifth-column
activities there.

The SS was even a more general participant in the commission
of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Through its
control over the organisation of the Police, particularly
the Security Police and SD, the SS was involved in all the
crimes which have been outlined in the section of this
Judgment dealing with the Gestapo and SD. Other branches of
the SS were equally involved in these criminal programs.
There is evidence that the shooting of unarmed prisoners of
war was the general practice in some Waffen SS divisions. On
1st October, 1944, the custody of prisoners of war and
interned persons was transferred to Himmler, who in turn
transferred prisoner-of-war affairs to SS Obergruppenfuehrer
Berger and to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. The Race and
Settlement Office of the SS together with the
Volksdeutschemittelstelle were active in carrying out
schemes for Germanization of occupied territories according
to the racial principles of the Nazi Party and were involved
in the deportation of Jews and other foreign nationals.
Units of the Waffen SS and Einsatzgruppen operating directly
under the SS main office were used to carry out these plans.
These units were also involved in the widespread murder and
ill-treatment of the civilian population of occupied
territories. Under the guise of combatting partisan units,
units of the SS exterminated Jews and people deemed
politically undesirable by the SS, and their reports record
the execution of enormous numbers of persons. Waffen SS
divisions were responsible for many massacres and atrocities
in occupied territories such as the massacres at Oradour and

From 1934 onwards the SS was responsible for the guarding
and administration of concentration camps. The evidence
leaves no doubt that the consistently brutal treatment of
the inmates of concentration camps was carried out as a
result of the general policy of the SS, which was that the
inmates were racial inferiors to be treated only with
contempt. There is evidence that where manpower
considerations permitted, Himmler wanted to rotate guard
battalions so that all members of the SS would be instructed
as to the proper attitude to take to inferior races. After
1942 when the concentration camps were placed under the
control of the WVHA they were used as a source of slave
labor. An agreement made with the Ministry of Justice on
18th September, 1942, provided that antisocial elements who
had finished prison sentences were to be delivered to the SS
to be worked to death. Steps were continually taken,
involving the use of the Security Police and SD and even the
Waffen SS, to insure that the SS had an adequate supply of
concentration camp labor for its projects. In connection
with the administration of the concentration camps, the SS
embarked on a series of experiments on human beings which
were performed on prisoners of war or concentration camp
inmates. These experiments included freezing to death, and
killing by poison bullets. The SS was able to obtain an
allocation of Government funds for this kind of research on
the grounds that they had access to human material not
available to other agencies.

                                                   [Page 78]
The SS played a particularly significant role in the
persecution of the Jews. The SS was directly involved in the
demonstrations of 10th November, 1938. The evacuation of the
Jews from occupied territories was carried out under the
directions of the SS with the assistance of SS Police units.
The extermination of the Jews was carried out under the
direction of the SS Central Organisations. It was actually
put into effect by SS formations. The Einsatzgruppen engaged
in wholesale massacres of the Jews. SS Police units were
also involved. For example, the massacre of Jews in the
Warsaw ghetto was carried out under the directions of SS
Brigadefuehrer and Major General of the Police Stroop. A
special group from the SS Central Organisation arranged for
the deportation of Jews from various Axis satellites and
their extermination was carried out in the concentration
camps run by the WVHA.

It is impossible to single out any one portion of the SS
which was not involved in these criminal activities. The
Allgemeine SS was an active participant in the persecution
of the Jews and was used as a source of concentration camp
guards. Units of the Waffen SS were directly involved in the
killing of prisoners of war and the atrocities in occupied
countries. It supplied personnel for the Einsatzgruppen, and
had command over the concentration camp guards after its
absorption of the Totenkopf SS, which originally controlled
the system. Various SS Police units were also widely used in
the atrocities in occupied countries and the extermination
of the Jews there. The SS Central Organisation supervised
the activities of these various formations and was
responsible for such special projects as the human
experiments and "final solution" of the Jewish question.

The Tribunal finds that knowledge of these criminal
activities was sufficiently general to justify declaring
that the SS was a criminal organisation to the extent
hereinafter described. It does appear that an attempt was
made to keep secret some phases of its activities, but its
criminal programs were so widespread, and involved slaughter
on such a gigantic scale, that its criminal activities must
have been widely known. It must be recognized, moreover that
the criminal activities of the SS followed quite logically
from the principles on which it was organized. Every effort
had been made to make the SS a highly disciplined
organisation composed of the elite of National Socialism.
Himmler had stated that there were people in Germany "who
become sick when they see these black coats" and that he did
not expect that "they should be loved by too many." Himmler
also indicated his view that the SS was concerned with
perpetuating the elite racial stock with the object of
making Europe a Germanic continent and the SS was instructed
that it was designed to assist the Nazi Government in the
ultimate domination of Europe and the elimination of all
inferior races. This mystic and fanatical belief in the
superiority of the Nordic German developed into the studied
contempt and even hatred of other races which led to
criminal activities of the type outlined above being
considered as a matter of course if not a matter of pride.
The actions of a soldier in the Waffen SS who in September,
1939, acting entirely on his own initiative, killed 50
Jewish laborers whom he had been guarding, were described by
the statement that as an SS man, he was "particularly
sensitive to the sight of Jews," and had acted "quite
thoughtlessly in a youthful spirit of adventure" and a
sentence of three-years imprisonment imposed on him was
dropped under an amnesty. Hess wrote with truth that the
Waffen SS were more suitable for the specific tasks to be
solved in occupied territory owing to their extensive
training in questions of race and nationality. Himmler, in a
series of speeches made in 1943, indicated his pride in the
ability of the SS to carry out these criminal acts. He
encouraged his men to be "tough and ruthless", he spoke of
shooting "thousands of leading Poles", and thanked them for

                                                   [Page 79]
cooperation and lack of squeamishness at the sight of
hundreds and thousands of corpses of their victims. He
extolled ruthlessness in exterminating the Jewish race and
later described this process as "delousing." These speeches
show that the general attitude prevailing in the SS was
consistent with these criminal acts.

Conclusions: The SS was utilized for purposes which were
criminal under the Charter involving the persecution and
extermination of the Jews, brutalities and killings in
concentration camps, excesses in the administration of
occupied territories, the administration of the slave labor
program and the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war.
The Defendant Kaltenbrunner was a member of the SS
implicated in these activities. In dealing with the SS the
Tribunal includes all persons who had been officially
accepted as members of the SS including the members of the
Allgemeine SS, members of the Waffen SS, members of the SS
Totenkopf Verbaende, and the members of any of the different
police forces who were members of the SS. The Tribunal does
not include the so-called SS riding units. Der
Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrer SS (commonly known as
the SD) is dealt with in the Tribunal's Judgment on the
Gestapo and SD.

The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of
the Charter the group composed of those persons who had been
officially accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in
the preceding paragraph who became or remained members of
the organisation with knowledge that it was being used for
the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the
Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the
organisation in the commission of such crimes, excluding,
however, those who were drafted into membership by the State
in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, and
who had committed no such crimes. The basis of this finding
is the participation of the organisation in War crimes and
Crimes against humanity connected with the war; this group
declared criminal cannot include, therefore, persons who had
ceased to belong to the organisations enumerated in the
preceding paragraph prior to 1st September, 1939.

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