TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



2. External Functions of the RF-SS

As shown in the accompanying chart (Figure 1), the RF-SS holds eight separate offices besides those resulting directly from his position as commander of the SS proper. They are:

a. REICH AND PRUSSIAN MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Reichs- und Preussischer Minister des Innern). In this capacity, which he acquired in August 1943, Himmler controls a department for constitutional and legislative matters, the administration of the German civil service (Beamentum), veterinary matters, and public health, the federalized communal administration, census and survey, and the administration of sports and athletics. This ministry also controls the federalized German police, of which Himmler was the chief long before he became the Minister of the Interior.

b. CHIEF OF THE GERMAN POLICE (Chef der Deutschen Polizei—ChdDtP). In this office, which he has held since June 1936, the RF-SS has succeeded in creating a closely knit national police force fully in accord with the purposes of the SS. The principal measures by which this was accomplished were the federalizing of the former state and local police organizations, the institution of a personnel policy controlled by the SS, the extension of the scope and authority of the police as a whole to new fields, and the interweaving of the administration and functions of the Party Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS—SD des RF-SS) with those of the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei—Sipo). The two last-named organizations were combined under the Central Security Department (Reichssicherheitshauptamt—RSHA).

The German police organization, as such, is divided into two categories, the Security Police and the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei—Orpo).

(1) The Security Police has two branches: The Criminal Investigation Police (Kriminalpolizei—Kripo) and the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei—Gestapo). Under the control of the RF-SS the functions of the Criminal Investigation Police have undergone many changes, and it now constitutes a valuable ally of the Secret State Police. The latter, as the political branch of the police, has always led the fight against subversive elements in Germany and served as the executive arm in the process of ridding Germany of "undesirable" elements. An adjunct of the Gestapo is the Frontier Police (Grenzpolizei), which was greatly strengthened in 1944 by attaching to it the Reinforced Frontier Guard Service (Verstärkte Grenzaufsichtsdienst). The latter is properly a branch of the Reich Ministry of Finance and now serves the combined purposes of this ministry and of the political police. Together, these organizations have the new and important mission of preventing the desertion of military personnel, as well as the escape of foreign civilian workers across the borders of the Reich.

(2) The Order Police includes the regular uniformed police and has acquired control of a number of auxiliary organizations which are not always concerned with strictly police functions.

Components of the Order Police are:

Protective Police (Schutzpolizei—Schupo), a regular police force operating in towns and cities with more than about 5,000 inhabitants.

Communal Protective Police (Schutzpolizei der Gemeinden), a regular police force for towns too small to have the urban Protective Police mentioned above.

Gendarmery (Gendarmerie), a regular police force for rural communities.

Administrative Police (Verwaltungspolizei), for such routine functions as registration of residents, inspection of buildings, and the keeping of police records.

Fire Protection Police (Feuerschutzpolizei), a federalized communal fire-fighting organization with police status.

Fire-Fighting Services (Feuerwehren), a federalized organization of voluntary fire fighters, replacing former private societies and associations.

Air Raid Protection Police (Luftschutzpolizei), responsible for aid and clearance measures during air raids.

Urban and Rural Auxiliary Guards (Stadt- and Landwacht), auxiliary police organizations of part-time volunteers in urban and rural areas.

Technical Emergency Corps (Technische Nothilfe—TN), which provides technically trained personnel for emergency work of all kinds, especially in case of a breakdown of public services.

c. CHIEF OF ARMY EQUIPMENT AND COMMANDER OF THE REPLACEMENT ARMY (Chef der Heeresrüstung und Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres—Ch H Rüst u.BdE). In this function, which he acquired in July 1944, the RF-SS controls the conscription of the Armed Forces, the Army training and replacement system, and Army procurement and supply. He is responsible for the selection and training of future officers and noncommissioned officers and, in his capacity as commander of all forces in the Zone of the Interior, he controls the Volkssturm and orders its employment. d. REICH COMMISSIONER FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF GERMANISM (Reichskommissar für die Festigung des Deutschen Volkstums—RKV). Since October 1939, when he received this appointment, the RF-SS has been the highest authority on all matters concerning the settling of Germans in annexed areas. A vast organization was created to deal with the redistribution of property which fell to the Germans as spoils of war.

e. PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY "FOUNTAIN OF LIFE" (Verein "Lebensborn e.V."). Through this organization, which he founded in September 1936, the RF-SS takes active control of the numerous measures which the SS has devised in order to insure the "victory of births of good blood".

f. PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY "THE ANCESTRAL HERITAGE" (Verein "Das Ahnenerbe"). This group deals with racial and genealogical matters and fosters interest in family tradition and racial purity.

g. PARTY COMMISSIONER FOR ALL RACIAL MATTERS (Beauftragter der NSDAP für alle Volkstumsfragen). In this function, which is his only official one within the Party proper, the RF-SS acts as the chief adviser to the Führer on racial matters, and as the coordinator between the Party and his own function as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism.

h. PLENIPOTENTIARY GENERAL FOR ADMINISTRATION (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung). This appointment went with that of Minister of the Interior, the previous incumbent (Frick) having received it at the beginning of the war, to coordinate all wartime national administration problems.


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