Early SD Membership, 1932–1934

George C. Browder

in Hitler's Enforcers

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780195104790
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854462 | DOI:
Early SD Membership, 1932–1934

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The most elusive aspect of any organization is its human component. To capture that component, this chapter offers several perspectives on the early members of Germany's Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Specifically, one must consider in what ways they and their experiences were typical of other Germans, Nazis, or Security Service (SS) men, and in what ways they were special. Of course, the question that drives such an enquiry is: how could they have contributed to the creation of a totalitarian police state and then become executioners of genocide? Regardless, a thorough analysis of the personnel is essential to any serious study of an organization. First, the relationship between the SS and the SD requires explanation. From the beginning the SD was semiautonomous in its personnel. Although SS men could be transferred into and out of the SD, SS membership did not automatically qualify one for SD membership or vice versa.

Keywords: members; Sicherheitsdienst; Germany; Nazis; Security Service; membership; police

Chapter.  10654 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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