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An analysis of the age and education of the SS Führerkorps 1925-1939 (1)

Eine Untersuchung von Lebensalter und Ausbildung von Führerkorps der SS in der Zeit von 1925 - 1939 (1)
[journal article]

Boehnert, Gunnar C.

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Abstract Auf der Grundlage von 5250 Offiziersdaten des Document Center in Berlin untersucht der Verfasser Alter und Bildung des SS-Führungskorps in den Jahren 1925 bis 1934. Er unterteilt den Untersuchungszeitraum in die Anfangsphase von der Gründung der SS im April 1925 bis zum Durchbruch der NSDAP Ende 1930, in die 'Entwicklungsphase' vom Januar 1931 bis zur Ermordung Ernst Röhms im Juni 1934 und die 'Funktionsphase' vom Juni 1934 bis zum Ausbruch des 2. Weltkrieges. Unter Auswertung von persönlichen Daten und Daten, die Aufschluß über den Werdegang innerhalb der SS vermitteln, finden folgende Aspekte Berücksichtigung: (1) Vergleich der Altersstruktur von NSDAP, Nürnberger SA, SS-Führungskorps und deutscher Bevölkerung im Jahre 1933; (2) Altersstruktur der SS allgemein, sowie des Sicherheits-Dienstes, der Verfügungstruppen und der Totenkopfverbände als SS-Unterorganisationen; (3) Altersstruktur des SS-Führungskorps in den vom Autor untersuchten drei Hauptphasen; (4) Bildungsstand der SS-Offiziere nach Zugehörigkeit zur jeweiligen SS-Unterabteilung; (5) Bildung der SS-Führer nach dem Zeitpunkt ihres Eintretens in die SS. Der Verfasser kommt zu dem Ergebnis, daß unter den Gesichtspunkten Alter, Bildung, Zugehörigkeit zur jeweiligen SS-Unterorganisation und Zeitpunkt des Eintritts in die SS unterschiedliche Typen in unterschiedlichen SS-Unterabteilungen zu unterschiedlichen Zeiten zu unterscheiden sind und daß das untersuchte Datenmaterial die Einschätzung der SS als homogene Gruppe nicht zuläßt. (RS)

'An examination of the age and education of the 5250 sampled SS Führer revealed that, not only were there detectable differences in the officers who joined the various branches of the SS, but that age and education were also important factors in the evolution of the Führerkorps. Noticeable differences were found among the branches of the SS in terms of age and the achieved educational level of the officers. In the A/SS the older age groups and the more educated men were overrepresented, while the concentration camp guard units were officered largely by men whose education was at the lower end of the spectrum. The SD also attracted a high percentage of university educated men, however, the men who joined the SD differed from those who joined the A/SS in terms of age. The SD attracted younger men. This suggests that the SD was composed to a large extent of recent university graduates eager to make a career in the SS. Not surprisingly the military branch of the SS, the VT, attracted the youngest element in society. It is, however, interesting to note that inspite of the Verfügungstruppe's de-emphasis of education in favour of political reliability and physical stamina, a large percentage of the VT officer applicants had the traditional acceptable education for officer selection, the Abitur. In chronological terms it was seen that the less educated and younger element in society tended to join the SS during Phase I. It was the Machtergreifung which was the most influential event affecting the joining pattern of the sampled Führer. Shortly after Hitler's take-over, the university educated segment of society joined the SS. The Post-1933 joiners also tended to be older men, which suggests that it was in the second half of Phase II and during Phase III that the established element in German society joined the elite formation of National Socialism. On the basis of these quantitative findings, one can no longer view the SS as a homogeneous group, but must accept the fact that different types of men were attracted to different branches at different stages in the evolution of the Black Order.' (author's abstract)
Keywords old age; education; Third Reich; historical development; SS; structure; Weimar Republic (Germany, 1918-33)
Classification Organizational Sociology; Social History, Historical Social Research
Document language English
Publication Year 1979
Page/Pages p. 4-17
Journal Historical Social Research, 4 (1979) 4
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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