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.]



4. SS Control of Public Life

As impressive as the list of the functions of the RF-SS must appear, it is by no means more than an indication of the power of the SS, which has enlarged its position and range of influence steadily by an unobtrusive but thorough policy of infiltration. Dominating almost every branch of official and semi-official German life, the SS has become a super-government composed of a racially conscious "order" of men (and women) bound by a rigid set of rules, the foremost of these being unswerving loyalty to one's immediate chief and unquestioning obedience. This strict discipline ensures the complete subservience to the SS, even of those members who joined originally merely as an expedient to be entitled to wear the black uniform and to climb the ladder of political, economic, or even artistic success.

A few statistics may serve to show to what extent this most powerful body has permeated the Third Reich:

Hitler's personal entourage includes at least six SS men.

The Party Reich Directors (Reichsleiter) include ten SS men out of a total of 16. Most of the six non-SS members have suffered a loss of power and prestige in the past two years. Ten of the 26 posts in the Reich Cabinet are held by SS men. Thirty-nine SS men with the rank of colonel or above hold other important posts in the Reich Ministries.

Most of the Reichsstatthalter, provincial presidents, state ministers, and secretaries and vice-presidents of state governments are men whose high SS rank is not always the most publicized feature of their careers. In municipal affairs numerous mayors are identified with the SS.

The permeation of all branches and levels of government in Germany by officers of the SS is matched on a nearly equal scale in industry, finance, commerce, cultural activities, and charitable organizations.


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