You are on page 1of 3

ushmm.

org

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007393

SS: Timeline
1925 Adolf Hitler, the Fhrer of the Nazi party, establishes the SS ( Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons). January 20, 1929 Hitler appoints Heinrich Himmler Reichsfhrer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS). Summer 1931 Himmler creates the Security Service ( Sicherheitsdienst-SD) of the Nazi Party. December 1931 Himmler establishes the SS Race and Settlement Office ( SS Rasse- und Siedlungsamt), which determines eligibility for entry into the SS and establishes the SS as a so-called racial elite. January 1933 The Nazis obtain control of the German state with the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor, marking the beginning of the Third Reich. 1934 The SS establishes a department in the SD to research the Jewish question. Summer 1934 Hitler announces that the SS is an independent organization as a reward for its role in murdering Ernst Rhm and the top leadership of the SA. Summer 1934 Hitler authorizes Himmler to centralize the concentration camp system under SS leadership. August 1934 Nazi party Deputy Fhrer Rudolf Hess grants the SD sole authorization to gather political intelligence in the Third Reich. Late 1934 Himmler and Heydrich centralize the regional German political police departments within the Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei-Gestapo ). December 1935 The SS establishes the Lebensborn (Fount of Life) Society, which is to care for children born out of wedlock to women whom the SS deems racially suitable. Summer 1936 Adolf Hitler appoints Himmler as Reichsfhrer SS and Chief of German Police. Himmler is now commander of all German police. Himmler completes the centralization of the various criminal police departments in Germany into the Reich Criminal Police Office (Reichskriminalpolizeiamt). Himmler appoints Heydrich chief of the Security Police Main Office (Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei ); this office includes both Gestapo and Criminal Police. Himmler also centralizes the uniformed police forces, known as the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei-Orpo) into the Order Police Main Office (Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei) under SS General Kurt Daluege. 1937

The SS takes control of the Ethnic German Liaison Office ( Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle-VoMi ). 1938 The SD creates a station in Vienna ( Zentralstelle fr jdische Auswanderung) to facilitate the forced emigration of Jews from Austria. November 9-10, 1938 The SS and police steer the violence of Kristallnacht(Night of Crystal, more commonly known as Night of Broken Glass) toward the Jews of Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. During the pogrom, the German police round up around 30,000 Jews and incarcerate them in concentration camps. January 24, 1939 Hermann Gring authorizes Security Police and SD chief Heydrich to develop plans for a solution to the Jewish Question in the Third Reich. September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland, starting World War II. September 27, 1939 Himmler fuses the Security Police and the SD into the Reich Security Main Office ( ReichssicherheitshauptamtRSHA), which will later be tasked with implementing the Holocaust. October 7, 1939 Hitler appoints Himmler Reich Commissar for the Strengthening of German Ethnic Stock ( Reichskommissar fr die Festigung deutschen Volkstums-RKFDV). This appointment gives Himmler leading authority to plan and implement population policy in German-occupied Poland. Late 1939 Himmler establishes the Waffen-SS , an armed SS force. June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union. SS and police authorities supported by the military and by local auxiliaries begin to systematically shoot Soviet Jews. July 17, 1941 Hitler extends Himmler's authority for security and settlement operations to the occupied Soviet Union. The SS has exclusive responsibility for security behind the front lines in the Soviet Union. July 31, 1941 Gring authorizes Heydrich, chief of the RSHA, to coordinate the resources of the Reich for a solution to the Jewish Question. December 1941-Summer 1942 As the elimination of Jewish communities in the Soviet Union continues by means of shooting, the SS constructs and puts into operation five killing centers in German-occupied Poland to annihilate the European Jews. January 20, 1942 RSHA chief Heydrich convenes the Wannsee Conference, presenting his plans to coordinate a European-wide Final Solution of the Jewish Question to key officials from Reich ministries. He informs them that Hitler had authorized the operation and had designated the SS to coordinate Final Solution policy. March 1942 Himmler incorporates the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps with the SS Economic-Administration Main Office

(SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt-WVHA) under SS General Oswald Pohl. 1945 The SS begin to disintegrate as German defeat becomes imminent. April 28-29, 1945 Himmler attempts to transmit an offer of surrender to the commander-in-chief of the Allied forces. When Hitler hears of the attempt, he strips Himmler of all his offices and orders his arrest. May 20, 1945 Soviet troops capture Himmler. May 23, 1945 Himmler commits suicide. November 1945-October 1946 The Trial of the Major War Criminals is held in Nuremberg under the auspices of the International Military Tribunal (IMT). To represent the SS and its crimes on the defendant's dock, tribunal prosecutors select former SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich's successor as chief of the RSHA. The Tribunal judges convict Kaltenbrunner and sentence him to death. They also find the SS and the Gestapo-SD to be criminal organizations.