SS-Totenkopfverbände

TotenkopfverbändeSSDeath's Head UnitsSS-TVSS guardSS-WachverbändeDeath's Head SSSS commandoSS guardsSS-Sonderkommando
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Nazi concentration camps

Nazi concentration campconcentration campconcentration camps
SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; literally "Death's Head Units") was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties.
Beginning in 1934 the concentration camps were administered by the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI), which in 1942 was merged into SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, and they were guarded by SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV).

Totenkopf

death's headDeath's Head Hussarsskull
SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; literally "Death's Head Units") was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties.
The name of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, the division of the SS that ran concentration camps and death camps, directly translates to "Dead's Head Units".

Waffen-SS

Waffen SSSSSS division
At the outbreak of World War II, one of the first combat units of the Waffen-SS, the SS Division Totenkopf, was formed from SS-TV personnel.
He decreed that service in the SS-VT qualified to fulfill military service obligations, although service in the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) would not.

SS Main Economic and Administrative Office

SS-Wirtschafts-VerwaltungshauptamtWVHASS-WVHA
They were responsible for facilitating what the Nazis called the Final Solution, known since the war as the Holocaust; perpetrated by the SS within the command structure of the Reich Main Security Office, subordinate to Heinrich Himmler, and the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office or WVHA.
It also ran the concentration camps and was instrumental in the implementation of the Final Solution through such subsidiary offices as the Concentration Camps Inspectorate and SS camp guards.

Uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel

SS rankSS uniformrank
The SS-TV originally created in 1933 was an independent unit within the SS, with its own ranks and command structure.
In March 1936, the camp "service" was formally established as the third branch of the SS, the Totenkopfverbände or Death’s Head units

Heinrich Himmler

HimmlerAlfred HimmlerH Himmler
They were responsible for facilitating what the Nazis called the Final Solution, known since the war as the Holocaust; perpetrated by the SS within the command structure of the Reich Main Security Office, subordinate to Heinrich Himmler, and the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office or WVHA. On 26 June 1933, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointed SS-Oberführer Theodor Eicke the Kommandant of the Dachau concentration camp.
By the end of 1934, Himmler took control of the camps under the aegis of the SS, creating a separate division, the SS-Totenkopfverbände.

Chełmno extermination camp

ChełmnoChelmno extermination campChelmno
The extermination camps' function was genocide; they included Treblinka, Bełżec, and Sobibór built specifically for Aktion Reinhard, as well as the original Chełmno extermination camp, and Majdanek which was fitted with mass killing facilities, along with Auschwitz.
Damzog formed the SS-Sonderkommando Lange (special detachment), and appointed Herbert Lange the first camp commandant because of his experience in the mass killing of Poles from Wartheland (Wielkopolska).

Postenpflicht

had to shootnew guarding provisionsregulations for guards
Eicke began his infamous tenure by issuing new orders about the killing of inmates trying to escape (Postenpflicht).
The Postenpflicht (German: "Duty of guards") was a general order issued to SS-Totenkopfverbände guards in Nazi concentration camps to use summary execution against insubordinate prisoners.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; literally "Death's Head Units") was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties.
The SS-Totenkopfverbände (death's head units) ran the concentration camps and extermination camps, where millions more were killed.

Concentration Camps Inspectorate

Inspector of Concentration CampsConcentration Camps Inspectorcamp administration
Following the Night of the Long Knives, Eicke – who played a role in the affair by shooting SA chief Ernst Röhm – was again promoted to the rank of SS-Gruppenführer and officially appointed Inspector of Concentration Camps and Commander of SS-guard formations. After Eicke was reassigned to combat duty, his Chief of Staff SS-Gruppenführer Richard Glücks was appointed the new Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) or IKL (Inspektion der Konzentrationslager) chief by Himmler.
Created by Theodor Eicke, it was originally known as the "General Inspection of the Enhanced SS-Totenkopfstandarten", after Eicke's position in the SS.

Allgemeine SS

Allgemeine-SSSSGeneral SS
Many of the early recruits came from the ranks of the SA and Allgemeine SS.
The Allgemeine SS was officially established in the autumn of 1934 to distinguish its members from the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS Dispositional Troops or SS-VT), which later became the Waffen-SS, and the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS Death's Head Units or SS-TV), which were in charge of the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps.

Dachau concentration camp

DachauKZ Dachauliberated Dachau
Camps in Germany included Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald; camps elsewhere in Europe included Auschwitz-Birkenau in German occupied Poland and Mauthausen in Austria among the numerous other concentration camps, and death camps handled with the utmost of secrecy. On 26 June 1933, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointed SS-Oberführer Theodor Eicke the Kommandant of the Dachau concentration camp.
It was used as a training center for the SS-Totenkopfverbände guards and was a model for other concentration camps.

Reichsführer-SS

ReichsführerReichsführer SSReichsfuhrer-SS
On 26 June 1933, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointed SS-Oberführer Theodor Eicke the Kommandant of the Dachau concentration camp.
In this capacity, the SS Reich Leader was the direct commander of the SS Senior District Leaders (SS-Oberabschnitt Führer); by 1936, the Reichsführer-SS was head of the three main SS branches: the Allgemeine-SS, SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT; Political Action Troops), and the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; Concentration Camp Service).

SS-Verfügungstruppe

SS-VTVerfügungstruppeSS-''Verfügungstruppe
In the early days of the military camp service formation, the group's exact chain of command was contested since Eicke as Führer der Totenkopfverbände exercised personal control of the group but also, as it was considered an armed SS formation, authority over the armed units was claimed by the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT), which had been first formed in 1934 as combat troops for the Nazi Party.
By 1937 the SS was divided into three branches: the Allgemeine-SS (General SS), the SS-Verfügungstruppe, and the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) which administered the concentration camps.

Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp complex

MauthausenMauthausen-Gusen concentration campMauthausen concentration camp
Camps in Germany included Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald; camps elsewhere in Europe included Auschwitz-Birkenau in German occupied Poland and Mauthausen in Austria among the numerous other concentration camps, and death camps handled with the utmost of secrecy.
The infamous Death's- Head Unit or SS-Totenkopfverbände was charged with guarding the camp perimeter in addition to work detachments, this was headed by Georg Bachmayer a captain in the SS.

1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler

Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler1st SS Panzer DivisionSS Division Leibstandarte
It received command of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (the Leibstandarte and the SS-Verfügungs-Division, renamed Reich) and the armed SS-TV regiments (the Totenkopf-Division together with the independent Totenkopf-Standarten).
The LSSAH participated in combat during the invasion of Poland, and was amalgamated into the Waffen-SS together with the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and the combat units of the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) prior to Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

Theodor Eicke

On 26 June 1933, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler appointed SS-Oberführer Theodor Eicke the Kommandant of the Dachau concentration camp.
Eicke requested a permanent unit and Himmler granted the request, forming the SS-Wachverbände (Guard Unit).

Schutzstaffel

SSßNazi SS
SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; literally "Death's Head Units") was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties.
A third component of the SS, the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV), ran the concentration camps and extermination camps.

Majdanek concentration camp

MajdanekMaidanekMajdanek extermination camp
The extermination camps' function was genocide; they included Treblinka, Bełżec, and Sobibór built specifically for Aktion Reinhard, as well as the original Chełmno extermination camp, and Majdanek which was fitted with mass killing facilities, along with Auschwitz.

SS and police leader

Higher SS and Police LeaderHSSPFHöherer SS- und Polizeiführer
In 1942 Glücks was increasingly involved in the administration of the Endlösung, supplying personnel to assist in Aktion Reinhardt (although the death camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor were administered by SS-und Polizei-führer Odilo Globocnik of the General Government).
This typically included the Ordnungspolizei (Orpo; regular police), Gestapo (secret police), Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; Nazi concentration camps), SD (intelligence service), and certain units of the Waffen-SS (combat units).

Treblinka extermination camp

TreblinkaTreblinka concentration campTreblinka II
The extermination camps' function was genocide; they included Treblinka, Bełżec, and Sobibór built specifically for Aktion Reinhard, as well as the original Chełmno extermination camp, and Majdanek which was fitted with mass killing facilities, along with Auschwitz. In 1942 Glücks was increasingly involved in the administration of the Endlösung, supplying personnel to assist in Aktion Reinhardt (although the death camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor were administered by SS-und Polizei-führer Odilo Globocnik of the General Government).
In the same year the first German trials were held regarding war crimes committed at Treblinka by former SS members.

Extermination camp

death campsdeath campextermination camps
SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; literally "Death's Head Units") was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties. Camps in Germany included Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, and Buchenwald; camps elsewhere in Europe included Auschwitz-Birkenau in German occupied Poland and Mauthausen in Austria among the numerous other concentration camps, and death camps handled with the utmost of secrecy. In 1942 Glücks was increasingly involved in the administration of the Endlösung, supplying personnel to assist in Aktion Reinhardt (although the death camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor were administered by SS-und Polizei-führer Odilo Globocnik of the General Government).
The Reinhard extermination camps were under Globocnik's direct command; each of them was run by 20 to 35 men from the SS-Totenkopfverbände branch of the Schutzstaffel, augmented by about one hundred Trawnikis – auxiliaries mostly from Soviet Ukraine, and up to one thousand Sonderkommando slave labourers each.

3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf

SS Division Totenkopf3rd SS Division Totenkopf3rd SS Panzer Division
At the outbreak of World War II, one of the first combat units of the Waffen-SS, the SS Division Totenkopf, was formed from SS-TV personnel.
Most of the division's initial personnel belonged to the SS-Totenkopfverbände (concentration camp guards), and others were members of German militias that had committed war crimes in Poland.

Richard Glücks

General Glücks
After Eicke was reassigned to combat duty, his Chief of Staff SS-Gruppenführer Richard Glücks was appointed the new Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) or IKL (Inspektion der Konzentrationslager) chief by Himmler.
On 1 April 1936 he became the chief of staff to Theodor Eicke, who was then Concentration Camps Inspector and head of the SS-Wachverbände.

Standarte (Nazi Germany)

StandarteStandartenSS-Standarte
The Totenkopf was initially formed from concentration camp guards of the Standarten (regiments) of the SS-TV and soldiers from the SS-Heimwehr "Danzig. Members of other SS militias were also transferred into the division in early 1940; these units had been involved in multiple massacres of Polish civilians, political leaders and prisoners of war.
All SS organizations - such as the Allegemeine-SS and the Reiter-SS, but also the SS-Totenkopfverbände and the SS-Verfügungstruppe - were divided into Standarten.