Contrary to a popular misconception, the birth of the “original SS” had nothing to do with Heinrich Himmler whatsoever. In fact, when he joined the SS in 1925, his number on his membership card was 168 – not a small number for a tiny bodyguard unit.
Another popular misconception is that the SS originated from an innovative tactics employed by the German Army in trench warfare during the First World War. The essence of this tactics was to assemble and utilize three-man assault teams.
The first of the trio was armed with a sharpened entrenching tool and a shield made from a machine gun mounting. He was followed by the second man carrying haversacks full of short-fused stick grenades, and the third soldier armed with a knife, bayonet or club.
These teams, aptly called Stosstruppe, or shock troops, turned out to be highly successful… but became the “ancestors” of the SA, not the SS. The former even adopted the designation – Sturmabteilung – of the detachment comprised of the Stosstruppe.
Contrary to a popular misconception, the origins of the SS are not on land… but in the air. The term “Schutzstaffeln” (at the time Schusta, not SS, for short) initially referred to the élite formations of the emerging German Air Arm – the squadrons of fast fighters which escorted and protected unwieldy bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.
These fighters were sometimes grouped together as “aerial shock troops” for the purpose of attacking ground targets”, but their primary objective was still the protection of bombers and recon aircraft – hence their title.
Prominent Schusta members included Hermann Göring (no surprise here) and Eduard Ritter von Schleich, the so-called “Black Knight”, who later commanded the SS-Fliegersturmbann (the Air Arm of the SS of sorts).
The latter was responsible for flying Hitler and other senior Nazi personalities around Germany, and they remained active until absorbed by the Deutscher Luftsport Verband (DLV), the forerunner of the Luftwaffe, in September 1933.
The “original SS” was nothing but a small team (unit) of bodyguards that had but one objective – providing personal protection for Hitler at NSDAP functions and events.
It was put together by one Julius Schreck – an early senior Nazi official and close confidant of Adolf Hitler (in March of 1925, he became the first SS chief). There was absolutely nothing mysterious or mystical (let alone supernatural) in the birth of the SS; on the contrary, its formation was a natural step in gradual growth and “organizational engineering” of the Nazi Party and the SA (administratively, the new unit was the component of the SA).
There was no plans whatsoever for making this unit anything but a very small personal protection detail for Der Führer (and subsequently for other leaders of NSDAP) at the Party functions and events.
Initially, the new unit was called the Schutzkommando (Protection Command) but when it was expanded (following the NSDAP) to a national organization, it was renamed successively the Sturmstaffel (Storm Squadron – the latter being initially the Air Force term), and finally the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron).
The latter was officially founded in November 9th, 1925 (the second anniversary of the pathetic Beer Hall Putsch) and was tasked with protecting NSDAP leaders throughout Germany. Nothing more, nothing less.
Characteristically, Schreck became SS member #5. Hitler became SS member No. 1 and Emil Maurice (his personal chauffeur) became SS member No. 2. Which gives you some idea about the place of the SS in Nazi hierarchy at that time.
Schreck (who became the first SS-Leader) never referred to himself as Reichsführer-SS (this title was established later), but it was retroactively applied to him in later years.
However, Schreck had little (if any) desire to lead Hitler’s bodyguard unit so a few months later (in April of 1924) he resigned and was replaced by one Joseph Berchtold (a co-founder of the SA which made some sense).
It was Berchtold who changed the title of the office of the SS-Leader to Reichsführer-SS… but accomplished little else (judging by his subsequent career, he found himself as a journalist, editor and Nazi propaganda worker).
So less than a month later, on March 1st, 1927, he resigned and handed his position over to his deputy Erhard Heiden. He lasted in this position for almost two years and turned out to be a total and complete disaster (which again gives you some idea about the importance of the original SS in the Nazi system).
For starters, the size of the SS declined almost four-fold (from about 1,000 to just 280) and Heiden had some serious difficulties in keeping the unit from complete dissolution – and thus ending up in the dustbin of history.
The reasons for this highly unfortunate situations were manifold but the most important ones (in addition to horrible incompetency of all three initial SS Leaders) were a total lack of vision (in other words, no one had a clue what exactly the SS should become) and a total inability of SS Leaders to fit their unit into overall system of the SA (the second problem undoubtedly was the result of the first one).
There is little (if any) doubt that the SS was saved (and ultimately transformed into a giant, fearsome and highly efficient monster) by The Black Sun Society (by that time, their front – the Thule Society – officially ceased to exist).
The BSS (1) recognized the potential of the “original SS” as the embryo for their neo-Teutonic order; (2) developed a detailed vision for the bright and exciting future of the SS; (3) identify the potential leader who could implement (incarnate) this vision and blueprint into reality – Heinrich Himmler; (4) carefully planted Himmler into the SS – he joined the unit even before it got its ultimate name; (5) helped Himmler develop and deliver to Adolf Hitler the presentation of his (i.e. BSS) vision and blueprint for the SS – which resulted in Himmler’s promotion to the position of SS Deputy Reichsfuhrer, and, finally, engineered the removal of Heiden from the position of SS Reichsfuhrer.
The latter was a “piece of cake job” due to the horrendous incompetence of Heiden – and the disastrous results of his reign in the SS. Heiden’s murky (i.e., smelling of corruption) business relations with the Jews (of all people) and suspicions that he was an informer for the German political police made the job for BSS even easier.
Undoubtedly, the whole “Heiden affair” was even fishier as after the Nazis came to power in January 1933, Heiden was immediately arrested. On orders from Himmler via his chief lieutenant Reinhard Heydrich, the hapless former SS Leader was murdered later that year by… members of the SS (more specifically, by Heydrich’s SD – SS Security Service).
Removal of Erhard Heiden from the position of the SS Leader cleared the way for Heinrich Himmler to take his place. Himmler had no competitors because (thanks to The Black Sun Society) he was the only one with the vision, the blueprint, the “4D” (desire, determination, discipline and dare) – and with leadership, management and other skills needed to make these vision and blueprint a reality.
No he was ready to “serve The Black Sun Society” – and build their neo-Teutonic Order and their “new Ordensstaat”.
Or so it seemed.