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What was the role of the SS in Hitler's Germany?

The SS, or Schutzstaffel, was a major paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany.

The Schutzstaffel, commonly known as the SS, was initially formed in 1925 as a personal bodyguard unit for Adolf Hitler. However, it quickly evolved into a vast and complex organisation with wide-ranging responsibilities and powers. The SS played a crucial role in the implementation of Hitler's vision for a racially pure Third Reich, and its members were indoctrinated with the Nazi ideology of racial superiority and anti-Semitism.

The SS was divided into two main branches: the Allgemeine-SS (General SS) and the Waffen-SS (Armed SS). The Allgemeine-SS was responsible for enforcing the racial policies of the Nazi state, running the concentration and extermination camps, and carrying out mass murder of Jews and other groups deemed undesirable by the Nazi regime. The Waffen-SS, on the other hand, was the combat arm of the SS, which fought alongside the regular German army during World War II.

The SS also had control over the Gestapo, the secret state police, which was tasked with rooting out and eliminating opposition to the Nazi regime. The SS and Gestapo worked together to suppress resistance, control the population, and carry out Hitler's orders for the 'Final Solution', the genocide of six million Jews during the Holocaust.

The SS was not just a military and police force, but also an ideological institution. Its members were selected based on strict racial and physical criteria, and were indoctrinated with Nazi ideology. They were taught to be loyal to Hitler above all else, and were expected to carry out orders without question, even if those orders involved mass murder.

In summary, the SS was a key instrument of terror and control in Hitler's Germany. It played a central role in enforcing Nazi racial policies, suppressing opposition, and implementing the Holocaust. Its members were not just soldiers and police officers, but also ideological warriors, indoctrinated with the belief in Nazi racial superiority and the necessity of creating a racially pure Third Reich.

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