The SS Ideology (2)

The second key component of corporate ideology (i.e. of the ideology of an organization) is its raison d’être. Its’ Mission (more precisely, its Mission Statement as the corporate ideology is usually put in writing).

The Mission of the SS is pretty much defined by its official name – The Schutzstaffel. Protective Force (IMHO, the best translation of the name of this organization).

Protective in a broad sense – not only on the battlefield against foreign enemies (the key objective of Waffen-SS) but also against domestic enemies – political opposition (carried out by Gestapo); spies (ditto); common criminals (Kripo), disturbances of the public order (Orpo), resistance in the occupied territories (security police), etc. (other police and related agencies).

Obviously, to successfully perform its duties in these (and other) responsibility areas the SS needed sufficient, timely, accurate and relevant information (more precisely, knowledge – information that has practical value). Hence the need for intelligence services – domestic (Inland-SD) and foreign (Ausland-SD).

Any system intended to protect the state, the people and the society from domestic enemies (political and common criminals) had to have the incarceration (detention) system. Hence the creation of two kinds of confinement facilities – regular prisons and concentration camps (KL).

However, the SS went much further in its definition of Schutzstaffel (i.e. of “serve and protect”). First, Heinrich Himmler – like just about all other Nazis and members of the SS – sincerely believed that Germany (i.e. the German state and the German people), the Aryan Race and the whole Western Civilization were fighting the existential war (i.e. the war for the very existence of “all of the above”). Whether they wanted it or not; whether they liked it or not.

The war for the Lebensraum – the “living space”. After the horrors of the Blockage of Germany which killed (directly and indirectly) an estimated ONE MILLION of Germans in 1917-19, the Nazis were firmly committed to secure enough Lebensraum in Eastern Europe to make the German Reich self-sufficient in foodstuffs and key raw materials for the German industry.

The Nazis (and thus the SS) sincerely believed that that war was (1) racial – i.e. fought between the Aryan race (of which German Volk was a key part); and (2) genuinely existential. The latter meant that the losers will be at best enslaved by the winners and at worst either deported from their Lebensraum or simply physically exterminated.

The key adversary of the Aryan race (and thus of Germany) in this racial existential war was the “Jewish race” (in reality, the Jewish nation, of course – at the time the terms “race” and “nationality” were often interchangeable). And (to a substantially lesser extent), the “Slavic race”.

The Nazis believed that to win this existential war, they had to have superior “human capital”. And – contrary to a very popular misconception, they sincerely loved their fellow Germans and wanted to make them genuinely happy.

Consequently, it was no surprise at all that they sincerely wanted to transform the German Volk into a nation of genuine Übermenschen (of both sexes). At that time it was (incorrectly) believed that it could be done only via eugenics (careful “breeding of a superior race”).

While it is possible to transform a “regular” human being into the Übermensch (and the whole people into a nation of Übermenschen), it could be done only with “soft” (i.e. mostly spiritual) tools and technologies.

In other words, the Übermensch is all about nurture, not nature; “software”, not “hardware”; mentality and culture, not biology and genetics; mind, spirit and soul – not the body.

Heinrich Himmler did not know that; consequently, he defined “protection” also as the protection of “purity of the German blood”. Hence the establishment of RuSHA – SS Race and Settlement Main Office.

Himmler also believed that protection of Germany and German Volk requires pacification and ethnic cleansing of the conquered Lebensraum (hence the Einsatzgruppen and other similar tools). As well as resettlement of ethnic Germans from the Greater Reich and Volksdeutsche from other territories in “cleansed” Lebensraum.

Ultimately (by the summer of 1941) Himmler came to a conclusion (most likely, this decision was made either by him or by his “brain” Reinhard Heydrich) that for Germany to win the existential war all Jews must be not evicted from German-controlled territories (as was planned initially), but physically exterminated. Hence the death camps, gas vans and other tools and technologies of mass murder.

It was evident that German Wehrmacht did not fit into the Nazi System (i.e. into the Führerstaat) neither ideologically (Wehrmacht generals and top officers were conservatives and nationalists in the “old Imperial” sense, not the Nazis), nor functionally – after the creation of Waffen-SS.

Hence the idea of SS-Staatsschutzkorps – “state protection corps” which in Himmler’s vision was to include not only police and intelligence services, but armed forces as well.

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