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Waffen SS

Officer Training
Waffen SS Combat Ethos

Copyright 2010 QuikManeuvers.com


Waffen SS Officer Training
Waffen SS Combat Ethos

Many readers have asked QuikManeuvers.com, "How were Waffen SS

officers trained?" Waffen SS Officer Training answers that question in the

unique QuikManeuvers.com manner. Every aspect of Waffen SS training is

discussed in Waffen SS Officer Training, from the detailed daily schedule

of training to the more esoteric, almost occult teachings of SS Honor

Castles. It is all there in an e-book that is totally unlike any other book in

the world. Waffen SS Officer Training reveals material that has been so

long ignored or unavailable that only military experts could have ferreted

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German Army and Waffen SS warfighting. Our investigative reporters are

on the cutting edge of historical research. Do you want to know the

secrets of Waffen SS Officer Training? Then this pioneering Waffen SS

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Waffen SS Officer Training
Waffen SS Combat Ethos
Copyright 2007, Breaker McCoy
This book is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in part or whole, or sold, without the express written
consent from the author of this book. All Rights Reserved.
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Table of Contents: 25 Chapters, 7 Appendixes


Introduction
Chapters
1. The Deaths Head
2. The Waffen SS
3. Steps To Becoming An SS Officer
4. SS Armored Car Training
5. SS Assault Gun Training
6. SS Tiger I Tank Training
7. Waffen SS Training Philosophy

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8. Training SS Officers at Bad Tolz
9. Bad Tolz Junker School
10. Bad Tolz Junker School Assessment
11. Bad Tolz Junker School Assessment II
12. Bad Tolzs Nibelungen Division
13. Secret Order Castles of the SS & Hitler Youth
14. The Teutonic Knights
15. SS Junker Training School Course Work
16. The Nature of the SS Officers Corps
17. Army Subversion of the Waffen SS
18. Analysis of SS Officer Training
19. The Concept of The SS Junker School
20. Typology of SS Officer Training
21. SS Attack Concepts
22. The Steiner Model
23. SS Junkers
24. The SS Leadership Ethos
25. SS Courage in Battle
Appendices
1. SS Lehr Units
2. SS Death's Head Ring
3. SS Police Generals
4. SS Organizational Umbrella
5. Finnish Officer Training, Bad Tolz
6. SS Tatoos

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7. Experience in Russia Modifies German Training
Methods
Bibliography

"Then, out spake brave Horatius, the Captain of the gate,


To every man upon this earth, death cometh, soon or late.
And how can man die better, than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?"

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Introduction

"Just as the discovery of the earths revolution around the sun led to a
revolutionary change of the general view of the world, so will the blood and race
teachings of the National Socialist movement produce a transformation of the
knowledge and hence of the view of the history of the human past and its future."
--- Adolf Hitler

Editors note: The Waffen SS was viewed in a romantic light by many of

its German and foreign members. The following quotations from several official

Waffen SS books captures some of that strange SS romanticism.

The SS Calls You! Published by the Reichsfhrer-SS


SS Hauptamt, Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1, Hohenzollerndamm 31
When I speak of this infantry, I wish today to first of all especially stress the
ever constant and exemplary courage and hardness of my good SS divisions and
SS police units. I have always viewed them as an unshakable troop as obedient,
loyal and brave in war as they swore to be in peace. Adolf Hitler, 26 April 1942

German Lad!

This SS publication is aimed at you, our young front fighters of tomorrow.

You should become more familiar with the spirit which the SS is endowed, with the

leadership, organization, equipment and weapons of the troop that stands especially

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close to the Fhrer and that has a proud role in the German victories in the west

and the east, in the north and the south.

You know that is it the duty of every German to be a soldier and to prove

himself as a soldier. But those young German who stand out from the rest in

bearing and character want to be more than soldiers; they do not want to wait until

they are drafted; they want to fight as volunteers.

The special tasks of the Schutzstaffel require the unchanging laws of

selection to be applied and the most valuable forces to be won for the SS. Full of

confidence, the young German should undergo the suitability examination to see

whether he is suited for the Waffen SS and healthy. Even if rejected, many

possibilities remain to be fully utilized for the nation.

One often says the men of the Waffen SS are real go-getters. That is true,

but not in the sense that action in the SS is not based on careful planning and

superior leadership. The Waffen SS officers are all a hundredfold proven,

experienced and schooled men. The losses of the Waffen SS correspond to the

hardness of the action, but they are procent-wise neither higher nor lower than

those of other army units.

If you follow the call of the SS and as a volunteer enter the ranks of the

great front of the SS divisions, you will belong to a troop that since the very start

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has aimed at special accomplishment and which has hence developed a comradeship

of special depth. You will be an arms-bearer in a troop that comprises the most

valuable forces of the young German generation. Beyond that you are especially

bound to the National Socialist worldview. Your comrades come from all German

provinces and ethnic German areas. In its ideological extension, the Waffen SS

also embraces volunteers of other Germanic countries. This military community

with SS comrades from Norway, Denmark, Holland and Flanders as well as the

volunteers from Finland is a great contribution to the realization of that new

community of fate in Europe for which this core troop has made itself the

champion and embodiment.

The youth of the National Socialist Reich know that they must themselves

make an effort in order to perform their military service in the Waffen SS. That

so many young Germans volunteer for the Waffen SS is strong testimony for the

trust the present young generation places especially in the Waffen SS, its spirit

and above all its leadership. But it is also a proud proof for the ideologically firm

bearing of this German youth, that they have understood the purpose of the

struggle of the SS and know precisely why the Waffen SS forms a community

especially obligated to the Fhrer. So on your belt buckle the motto stands that

the Fhrer himself awarded to his SS on April 1, 1931:

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MY HONOR IS MY LOYALTY!
FROM FREE WILL
To You!
You ask me why I went. Why I put on the grey uniform from my own free

will and without order started the march of which both of us, you and I, do not

know how it will end and whether the day will come when we will meet again.

What can it be, you ask further, that tears me from your arms and puts

me on a path that leads away from you? You had the belief that only you had

influence on my days and now you are disappointed. You see that something else

is greater and stronger, and causes me to trade my life in tender security for

one of constant danger and a totally unknown future.

You have overlooked one thing: that I am a man and a German!

Didnt you feel during the past few months how I suffered, how

everything in me fevered to participate in our folks great sacrifice? Didnt you

feel that I felt inferior as long as I was not allowed to bear a weapon? That I

feared to be an outcast who is not worthy to fight the Fhrers battle?

Five times I requested and for the first time even begged: Accept me!

And when the messenger handed me the order to report, the hand accepting it

trembled.

Forgive me, but that was and is and remains the hour of my greatest joy!

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I made it! I am a soldier!

Never before had an experience moved me so deeply!

The hard days of training came. It was a test. I passed it.

The day of the swearing in came. I was in bed in camp with my leg in a

cast.

"You stay there!"

"I will come along!"

I begged in a very unsoldierly manner that was the second time in my

life: Take me along! I want to go into the field, and without being sworn in I will

not be allowed to go.

They took me along. They drove him there and put me into the ranks. My

foot hurt, but I stood firm! We sang the song of loyalty. And with a voice

overcome by emotion so great was the excitement I spoke the holy oath.

Weeks passed. My great wish was fulfilled: I stand in the field!

I am a combat messenger. The baptism of fire is well behind me. Not too

long ago I received the Iron Cross from the hand of the commander in

recognition of my conduct.

You can never image what that hour means to me! My heart wants to

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explode it is so full of pride and joy.

I have become a soldier from my own free will and I only had the one

great wish to pass the test and prove myself worthy of the honor that allows me

to wear the same uniform that our Fhrer wears. Everything that happened as a

result I have accepted as the gift of a higher power. It made the enemy bullets

miss my heart; it showed the path on my message deliveries; it guided my steps

through dark nights when death and horror lurked and still lurk. I thank it for

the knowledge that this German folk is my folk, that this Germany is my

homeland and that the Fhrer is also my Fhrer! That I have been born in this

time, that I am healthy and can devote my whole energy to this work of which

the future will say: In these days Germany was finally resurrected to an

unprecedented greatness and immortal glory. Lord, how did I earn this good

fortune?

Do you still want to ask, why?

So let me tell you. I want to serve my folk, to accompany it on the path to

power and to help to pave this path that has no precedent. This splendidly

magnificent folk should finally stand where it belongs. Never again a servant,

rather eternally and for always master. It should win life where all others

perish. Now the yearning should and must and will become reality, that German

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greatness finds recognition in the world. This is neither power madness nor

revenge: Germany will unify after victory. Germanias tribes participate in the

creation of a new world and being a man receives a new purpose.

For this goal one may not speak or write; the starting point can never be

the desk. For this goal one must fight. For only on the battlefield where the

men stand grows something valid, enduring and great. Only from blood-drenched

earth rises the seed of rebirth that will plough down the old, decayed and dead

in order to bear new life.

That is the reason why I am here and not there with you. Why I shoot and

do not speak, why I lie and crawl in Russian dirt, although the soft pillow would

certainly be more comfortable. I do not want comfortable rest and find no

pleasure in a life of bourgeois satisfaction as long as the holy goal has not been

won.

I know I was not called by citizens duty. I have, or rather I had, a

passport of neutral nationality, and nobody could have stopped me from hiding

behind the "right to wait". But I do not want that; I cannot and I will not!

In my veins flows German blood; in my heart pounds passionately a German

heart; and my senses feel and think German! I did not have the duty to go. What

drove me was German yearning, was the faith in my folk that is German to the

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bone, German and only German, even if a whole world denies and contests it.

In me is faith and only faith. But it is so strong that every wave breaks

against it. For this faith I once sat in prison in the smaller homeland. For this

faith I now stand in the field: completely warrior and fanatically loving!

Let yourself, immortal beloved, be drawn into the ecstasy of feeling. Let

yourself be seized by the power of faith. Give to this Germany that I am - and

will one day die - what your great heart alone can give and take from it, like I,

as thanks the joy of highest fulfillment of duty, because it is from free will.

And if I do not return, do not mourn and do not walk in black through

Germanys free provinces. Bear with proud head what has been placed upon your

heart. And if one looks at your questioning, compose your voice and tell him: I

did indeed give everything, but it is nothing at all compared to what I owe my

Fhrer.

So do I see in life and in death the deep, German meaning and willingly

give up what I received in the blood of my German ancestors.

Lord, bless this proud, free will. Give me the strength to always and every

hour serve it. For the folks benefit and piety that I love with every fiber of my

being and of my hot heart.

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Finally, you began to speak again. "The voluntariness, with which the

soldier decides for the acceptance of the most dangerous duty, is the measuring

stick with which his honorable bearing should be measured. And on the path of

honor he remains, he who in the struggle with temptation makes the will triumph

and inescapably, without paying heed to the countless temptations which seek to

bribe him to preserve his own life at the cost of duty, fulfills the demands of

the soldierly law. In the terrible struggle of the last years, amid the downfall of

all bourgeois concepts, the sense of the old soldiers among us for the demands

which lie above the daily routine was sharpened. Who by the hour encounters

death with all its terrors, he seeks and finds soldiers honor, before whose

radiance the darkness of death pales. Why, when the timid eagerly grabbed the

welcomed opportunity to break off the fight, did the soldiers remain at lost

posts? Because they were honorable, you understand. Honorable even then, when

nobody was there to see dishonor in retreat. Honor is thus independent of

praise and blame, it needs to witness, no external formula, no charter. It cannot

be bestowed, it also does not need to be defended. The honor of the soldier is

the idea of voluntariness to make the sacrifices which the life of the nation

demands without any consideration. Hence he has honor, who serves this duty."

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Chapter 1
The Deaths Head

According to legend, the Skull and Cross Bones emblem has, for centuroes

past, shouted the battle cry to Christendoms enemies, Warning, Danger,

Destruction and Death! The Skull and Croos Bones warns that the military and

religious Orders of Christian Knighthood are the swift and terrible bearers of

danger, destruction and death to the enemies of Christ, and the enemies of

Western Christendom.

The Templar Knights chose the emblem wisely, as a banner to instill terror

into the hearts of the muslim enemy and as fair warning to all who dared to oppose

them in the Holy Crusade upon which they were embarked. It was no idle threat!

Skull Symbolism

A skull is representative of death and mortality. A symbol of the transitory

nature life and death, the skull is frequently a prime feature of symbolism.

Sometimes skulls are seen with wings (called death's heads or winged death--

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representing the fleeting nature of life and impending death) or with crossed

bones beneath it (representing death and the crucifixion).

Celtic Cult of the Head

The Celtic cult of the head is represented in carvings of the La Tne

culture, an Iron Age culture named for the archaeological site found in

Switzerland, north of Lake Neuchtel.

The Celts believed that the decapitated head represented capturing the

souls enemy and many Celtic legends remain regarding the pursuit of Celtic bands

of their enemies. The severed head was symbolic of spiritual power and was often

impaled on a stick, as it was believed that the head would sing and therefore warn

the Celts that their enemies were advancing.

The ancient Celts fondness for art and personal decoration was merged with

acts of barbarism, such as beheading their enemies and carrying the severed heads

around the necks of their horses. The head was the ultimate source of spiritual

power; to posses the enemies head, was to posses his spirit. Riding naked on fast

moving, light chariots, shrieking and swinging large hacking swords and throwing

spears was a most effective method of warfare for instilling terror into their

enemies.

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Ancient Skull and Bones Symbolism

The image of the Skull and Crossbones is recognized in the popular

imagination the world over first and foremost as the flag flown by pirates on the

high seas going about their business of looting, rape and murder it seemingly

being nothing more than a device meant to strike fear into the hearts of those who

saw a ship flying the dreaded flag bearing down on them. Although the effect

would have been existent in those on the receiving end of the banner bearing the

Skill and Crossbones, there is a whole lot more to the origin, use and meanings of

the symbol; such a simple explanation does not suffice.

Knights Templar: Skull and Bones

The accusation that the Templar Knights worshipped the head was first

made during the trials held against the group in the fourteenth century.

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Theory suggests that the Templars were practitioners of the cult of the

severed head, a cult which dates back to ancient times and which has also been

associated with the Celtic cult.

The Templars, formed in 1118 and disbanded in 1307, are surrounded by

myth and legend, from searching and reputedly finding the Holy Grail, the Ark of

the Covenant, sacred Gnostic texts even more dangerous than those found by the

Dead Sea or at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Then there is the disappearance of their

naval fleet from La Rochelle just before King Phillipe of France moved to have all

Templars arrested and their assets seized. Some say, while agreeing the Templars

most probably did make a couple of trans-Atlantic crossings prior to Columbus

famed journey of 1492, the La Rochelle fleet more likely found a safe haven in

Scotland as the nation and its King, Robert the Bruce, were excommunicated by

Rome at the time and therefore somewhat beyond the reach of Papal Bulls and

Edicts. The very Scottish victory over the English at Bannockburn in 1314, that

which ended English designs on Scotland, was due to a mounted charge of Templars

throwing themselves into the fray late in the day. The connection here with the

Skull and Crossbones is that it was the Templars marine battle flag. The Scottish

destination of the Templars in 1307 is further implied by the tale relating that

Robert the Bruces remains were placed in such a skull and crossbones manner,

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though the more concrete evidence is that of a large number of Templar

gravestones found in Scotland, not to mention the very existence of Rosslyn

Chapel. What is more, the concentration of these anonymous, Spartan gravestones,

as the centuries go by gradually develop more elaborate, florid and decidedly

Masonic, incorporating both the Masonic square and compass and on some

examples, the skull and crossbones itself in place of the single, undated flat stones

bearing the outline of the particular knights sword.

Freemasonry

The use of the Skull and Crossbones in Freemasonry, is nearly as prevalent

as the ubiquitous square and compass; being a feature of the hilt of ceremonial

swords, embroidered on the aprons or sashes worn by brethren or most

impressively, stirringly employed in the ritual of the 33rd degree, from whence on

completion a Mason is thereafter a Master Mason. The 33rd degree is a ritual

raising from the dead following the candidates re-enactment of the first Mason

Hiram Abiffs death at the hands of the traitors Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum, the

three Juwees. Already noted is the strange attire worn during the ceremony, which

is exactly as a condemned heretic was brought to the gallows in the Middle Ages.

The Skull and Crossbones themselves are placed on the death shroud from which

the brother is raised, the Worshipful Master (a masonic master of ceremonies)

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then explains the bones are emblems of mortality, from which this rite of

initiation could be speculated to be a revelation of the illusory nature of the

material realm, as well as being a figurative death within the brother of those

elements of his person rooted in the physical world and our five most basic senses

used to interact and interpret it eternity awaits

Medieval Roots of German Skull and Bones Symbolism

Medieval German literature and romantic poems were filled with references

to dark forces and the symbols of death and destruction, a typical example being

the following short excerpt from an epic work by the 15th-century writer Garnier

von Susteren:

'Behold the knight


In solemn black manner,
With a skull on his crest
And blood on his banner...'

In 1740, a jawless death's head with the bones lying behind the skull,

embroidered in silver bullion, adorned the black funeral trappings of the Prussian

king, Friedrich Wilhelm I. In his memory, the Leib-Husaren Regiments 1 and 2, elite

Prussian Royal Bodyguard units which were formed the following year, took black as

the color of their uniforms and wore a massive Totenkopf of similar design on their

Pelzmtzen or busbies.

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The State of Brunswick followed suit in 1809, when the death's head was

adopted by its Hussar Regiment 17 and the third battalion of Infantry Regiment

92.

The Brunswick Totenkopf differed slightly in design from the Prussian one,

with the skull facing forward and situated directly above the crossed bones.

In Britain the 17th Lancers adopted the skull and cross bones in Victorian

times.

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The Prussian nobility adopted the skull and cross bones as their emblem before and

during the Victorian era.

Prussian Price with Death Heads Emblem on his Hat

Even Prussian princesses wore death heads adorned uniforms. The emblem

was of great psychic significance to the Prussian nobility.

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The Prussian nobility even formed entire cavalry regiments decorated with the

Skull and Bones.

The Birth of Americas Skull and Bones, 1830s

Sometime in the early 1830s, a Yale student named William H. Russell,

future valedictorian of the class of 1833, traveled to Germany to study for a year.

Russell came from an inordinately wealthy family that ran one of Americas most

despicable business organizations of the nineteenth century: Russell and Company,

an opium empire. Russell would later become a member of the Connecticut state

legislature, a general in the Connecticut National Guard, and the founder of the

Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven. While in Germany, Russell

befriended the leader of an insidious German secret society that hailed the

deaths head as its logo. Russell soon became caught up in this group, itself a

sinister outgrowth of the notorious eighteenth-century society the Illuminati.

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When Russell returned to the United States, he found an atmosphere so

Anti-Masonic that even his beloved Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society, had been

unceremoniously stripped of its secrecy. Incensed, Russell rounded up a group of

the most promising students in his class including Alphonso Taft, the future

secretary of war, attorney general, minister to Austria, ambassador to Russia, and

father of future president William Howard Taft-and out of vengeance constructed

the most powerful secret society the United States has ever known.

American Skull and Bones Fraternity Emblem

A list of some methods used by "Skull and Bones" to aid the establishment of

Communism:

1) Amos Pinchot (Skull and Bones) a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union

... and William Kent (Skull and Bones) of the U.S. Tariff Commission lobbied

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congressmen for favorable trade with the communist killers who were struggling to

secure their power from the people.

2) Thomas D. Thacher (Skull and Bones) law partner at 120 Broadway of Simpson,

Thacher and Bartlett) wrote a memorandum that ... encouraged recognition of the

Reds, Thacher insisted that American military assistance be used to keep the

Japanese out of Siberia, ... give moral support and favorable trade for the newly

entrenched Communists. ... Thatcher's reward was the induction of his son Thomas

Day Thacher into the (Skull and Bones). His son worked for Secretary of War

Henry L. Stimson (Skull and Bones), who later headed up the "postwar committee"

BEFORE World War II.

3) The chairman of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce was Samuel R.

Bertron (Skull and Bones) Samuel was also Vice President of Guaranty Trust at 140

Broadway. Samuel had gone on the Elihu Root (1917) Mission to Russia to aid the

ruthless Red revolution.

A leading Skull and Bones member, General George C. Marshall, bragged that

he single handedly disarmed 39 anti-communist divisions in China "with the stroke

of a pen." George Marshall also countermanded General MacArthur's order to

Lieutenant General Stratemeyer to destroy the six Yalu bridges the Chinese were

using to cross over into Korea to massacre US soldiers in South Korea. . General

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Stratemeyer testified ... "We were required to lose the war. WE WEREN'T

ALLOWED TO WIN."

The German Death Head of World War I

During World War I, the death's head was chosen as a formation symbol by

a number of crack German army units, particularly the storm troops, flame-

thrower detachments and tank battalions. Several pilots, including the air ace

Leutnant Georg von Hantelmann, also used variants of it as personal emblems.

Foreign armies also used death heads insignia in World War I. The

Austrohungarians and Italians both issued death heads badges to their elite

troops.

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Almost immediately after the end of hostilities in 1918 the death's head

appeared again, this time painted on the helmets and vehicles of some of the most

famous Freikorps units. Because of its association with these formations it became

symbolic not only of wartime daring and self-sacrifice but also of postwar

traditionalism, anti-Liberalism and anti-Bolshevism. Nationalist ex-servicemen even

had death's head rings, cuff links, tie pins and other adornments privately made

for wear with their civilian clothes.

It is not surprising, therefore, that members of the Stosstruppe Adolf

Hitler eagerly took the Totenkopf as their distinctive emblem in 1923, initially

acquiring a small stock of appropriate army surplus cap badges. Their successors in

the SS thereafter contracted the firm of Deschler in Munich to restrike large

quantities of the Prussian-style jawless death's head, which they used on their

headgear for the next 11 years. As Hitler's personal guards they liked to model

themselves on the Imperial bodyguard Hussars, who had become known as the

'Schwarze Totenkopfhusaren' or 'Black Death's Head Hussars', and were fond of

singing their old regimental song with its emotive verse:

In black we are dressed,


In blood we are drenched,
Death's head on our helmets.
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We stand unshaken!

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The Waffen SS Version of the Death Heads

Of all SS uniform trappings and accoutrements, the one emblem which

endured throughout the history of the organization and became firmly associated

with it was the death's head or Totenkopf. It has often been assumed that the

death's head was adopted simply to strike terror into the hearts of those who saw

it. In fact, it was chosen as a direct and emotional link with the past, and in

particular with the elite military units of the Imperial Reich.

When, in 1934, the Prussian-style Totenkopf began to be used as an elite

badge by the new army Panzer units (which were, after all, the natural successors

to the Imperial cavalry regiments), the SS devised its own unique pattern of

grinning death's head, with lower jaw, which it wore thereafter.

The 1934-pattern SS Totenkopf ultimately took various forms right-facing,

left-facing and front-facing and appeared on the cloth headgear of all SS members

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and on the tunics and vehicles of the SS Totenkopfverbnde and Waffen SS

Totenkopf-Division.

Also Worn By Heer Grossdeutshland Division Panzers

It was the centerpiece of the SS Death's Head Ring, and could be seen on

dagger and gorget chains, mess jackets, flags, standards, drum covers, trumpet

banners and the SS and Police Guerrilla Warfare Badge. Moreover, because of its

direct associations with Danzig, where the Prussian Leib Husaren Regiments had

been garrisoned until 1918 it was selected as the special formation badge of the

SS Heimwehr Danzig and the Danzig Police and Fire Service.

Himmler wanted his men to be proud of their heritage, and there is no doubt

that the honorable military associations of the German Death's Head were well

used to that end. It became an instant status symbol in the Third Reich, and an

inspiration to those who were granted the privilege of wearing it.

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Unit Badge, German Army Cavalry Regiment South

Wehrmacht Death Heads (Totenkopf)

It is worth mentioning that the Totenkopf was also borne by several

Wehrmacht elements such as the 5th Cavalry Regiment, the I7th Infantry

Regiment, the naval Kstenschutz Danzig, and the Luftwaffe's Schleppgruppe 4

and Kampfgruppe 5 during World War 11.

Many elite units of other nations have likewise used the death's head

emblem at various times. These include the British Royal Navy submarine service

and 7th Lancers, Mussolini's bodyguard, certain US special forces, Imperial

Russian Cossacks, Polish tank crews, Finnish cavalry and the French security police,

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to name but a few. Bulgaria even had a Military Order for Bravery in World War I

which was graded 'With Skulls'.

Unit Badge of German Army 5th Cavalry Regiment

Death Heads Rings

A more completely modern usage of the Skull and Crossbones, in this

instance referred to as the Deaths Head, was among the SS of Nazi era Germany.

Apart from its most visible use on the officers caps, it is probably most famously,

or infamously, prominent use was the very highly regarded Totenkopf ring/Deaths

Head Ring awarded to SS officers in recognition of their personal achievement,

devotion to duty, and loyalty to the Fhrer and his ideals. Though to say what

reasons the SS had for adopting the Deaths Head/Skull and Crossbones beyond a

connection with the past German military units who also used the symbol in their

insignia, an ongoing tradition. The reverence with which the Totenkopf rings were

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held intimates something greater than mere military insignia. Upon death or on

leaving the SS, the officers rings were returned to officialdom whereon they were

sent to the SS castle of Wewelsburg in Wesphalia where they were placed in a

particular chest kept in the castles main tower.

Though rarely more than a footnote in history books, Wewelsburg was

ultimately of more import to the SS; it was to be reconstructed as the most

sacred temple of the SS, emulating Camelot of the Knights of the Round Table. At

the center of the Wewelsburg complex, the castle said to house the Holy Grail

and/or the Ark of the Covenant. Essentially, the castle, more so than the

surrounding planned township, was conceived to be the mystical axis of the world

in an esoteric sense, the center from which all universal creative movement is

imparted.

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