Hi there, it’s blog time. This week has been big folks. We started a brand new project and are already 1 milestone down. Just to fill you in a little bit, this new project is all about World War II and creating a podcast episode about it. So in the first couple days Ms. Maxwell showed us a interview with a World War II veteran, Helmut Lemke. In the couple minutes we heard it was incredibly interesting, his story is truly a fascinating one. But while he was talking he mentioned something called the “SS”, and at first I thought “oh, German secret service” but it turns out the story is way more interesting than that.


The German SS Leader Heinrich Himmler – BBC

Find out what the German SS was I just did a bit of research, read the Wikipedia page. But the Wikipedia page was so wordy, so long, and so hard to understand, that I felt I was just ending up with more questions than answers. So I found another website called “The holocaust museum” just to make sure I was getting a good source I searched up this museum. Turns out it’s the official Holocaust Memorial in the United States, is two streets down from the Washington monument, and is home to over 12,000 artifacts from WW2. Since I figured I was getting a good source, I decided to dive right in and try to figure out what the German SS was. 

In the most basic of explanations the German SS was a huge part of the Nazi party. It had several sort of task forces within it and it served a few primary roles in the party. Part of the SS was dedicated to protecting politicians and key Nazi military men, as well as serving a role as Hitler‘s bodyguards. But they were also used in assassinations of Hitler‘s enemies, and possibly their most important role was as the leaders in the ethnic cleansing of Germany. The SS had a strong policy to only except those that were “proper Germans”. They invited men who had gone through rigorous background checks to Prove their political standing, and pure blooded Germanness.


The SS – The Holocaust Encyclopedia

After establishing a task force of the so-called “racial elite” The SS leader Himmler was entrusted with carrying out Hitler’s plans for a “better” Germany. This lead to the SS commanders starting and running many concentration camps in Germany. They were also in charge of finding Jewish people to bring to the concentration camps, and overall just played a large role in the holocaust.

The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don’t ask for their love; only for their fear. – Heinrich Himmler

I was really not expecting to find out all of this. I’ve never heard of the SS before this project and it’s pretty crazy how even though they are responsible for such a huge part of the second world war I knew so little about them. Luckily many of the High ranking officers in the SS were charged with war crimes and spent the years after World War II in a prison. I think it’s important to know and learn about these things despite how grim it may seem, because it’s incredibly important things like this do not continue to happen in the future. There are many lessons to be learned from the tragedies of World War II and I hope I can find out some more about them throughout this project. Thank you for checking out my blog and I hope you learned something new today, because I certainly did.