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Hitler's EnforcersThe Gestapo and the SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution$
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George C. Browder

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195104790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104790.001.0001

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Early SD Membership, 1932–1934

Early SD Membership, 1932–1934

(p.130) 6 Early SD Membership, 1932–1934
Hitler's Enforcers

George C. Browder

Oxford University Press

The most elusive aspect of any organization is its human component. To capture that component, this chapter offers several perspectives on the early members of Germany's Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Specifically, one must consider in what ways they and their experiences were typical of other Germans, Nazis, or Security Service (SS) men, and in what ways they were special. Of course, the question that drives such an enquiry is: how could they have contributed to the creation of a totalitarian police state and then become executioners of genocide? Regardless, a thorough analysis of the personnel is essential to any serious study of an organization. First, the relationship between the SS and the SD requires explanation. From the beginning the SD was semiautonomous in its personnel. Although SS men could be transferred into and out of the SD, SS membership did not automatically qualify one for SD membership or vice versa.

Keywords:   members, Sicherheitsdienst, Germany, Nazis, Security Service, membership, police

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