Sicherheitsdienst (German: [ˈzɪçɐhaɪtsˌdiːnst], Security
Service), full title
Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS (Security
Service of the Reichsführer-SS), or SD, was the intelligence agency
of the SS and the
Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. Originating in 1931, the
organization was the first Nazi intelligence organization to be
established and was considered a sister organization with the Gestapo
(formed in 1933) through integration of SS members and operational
procedures. Between 1933 and 1939, the SD was administered as an
independent SS office, after which it was transferred to the authority
Reich Main Security Office
Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt; RSHA),
as one of its seven departments/offices. Its first
director, Reinhard Heydrich, intended for the SD to bring every single
individual within the Third Reich's reach under "continuous
Following Germany's defeat in World War II, the tribunal at the
Nuremberg Trials declared the SD a criminal organisation, along with
the rest of Heydrich's RSHA (including the Gestapo) both individually
and as branches of the SS in the collective. Heydrich's
successor, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, was convicted of war crimes and crimes
against humanity at the Nuremberg trials, sentenced to death and
hanged in 1946.
1.2 Growth of SD and SS power
1.3 The SD and Austria
1.4 "Case Green" and the Sudetenland
1.5 Intrigue against Poland
2 Tasks and general structure
3 SD relationship to the Einsatzgruppen
4.4 Security forces
6.1 Rank insignia
7 See also
8.1 Informational notes
The SD, one of the oldest security organizations of the SS, first
formed in 1931 as the Ic-Dienst (Intelligence Service[a])
operating out of a single apartment and reporting directly to Heinrich
Himmler. Himmler appointed a former junior naval officer, Reinhard
Heydrich, to organise the small agency. The office was
Sicherheitsdienst (SD) in the summer of 1932. The
SD became more powerful after the
Nazi Party took control of Germany
in 1933 and the SS started infiltrating all leading positions of the
security apparatus of the Reich. Even before Hitler became Chancellor
in January 1933, the SD was a veritable "watchdog" over the SS and
over members of the
Nazi Party and played a critical role in
consolidating political-police powers into the hands of Himmler and
Growth of SD and SS power
Reinhard Heydrich in 1940
Once Hitler was appointed Chancellor by German President Paul von
Hindenburg, he quickly made efforts to manipulate the aging president.
On 28 February 1933, Hitler convinced Hindenburg to declare a state of
emergency which suspended all civil liberties throughout Germany, due
at least in part to the
Reichstag fire the night before. Hitler
assured Hindenburg throughout that he was attempting to stabilize the
tumultuous political scene in Germany by taking a "defensive measure
against Communist acts of violence endangering the state."
Wasting no time, Himmler set the SD in motion as they began creating
an extensive card-index of the Nazi regime's political opponents,
arresting labor organizers, socialists, Jewish leaders, journalists,
and communists in the process, sending them to the newly-established
prison facility near Munich, Dachau. Himmler's SS and SD
made their presence felt at once by helping rid the regime of its
known political enemies and its perceived ones, as well. As far as
Heydrich and Himmler were concerned, the SD left their mission
somewhat vaguely defined so as to "remain an instrument for all
eventualities". One such eventuality would soon arise.
For a while, the SS competed with the
Sturmabteilung (SA) for
influence within Germany. Himmler distrusted the SA and came to
deplore the "rabble-rousing" brownshirts (despite once having been a
member) and what he saw as indecent sexual deviants amid its
leadership. At least one pretext to secure additional
influence for Himmler's SS and Heydrich's SD in "protecting" Hitler
and securing his absolute trust in their intelligence collection
abilities, involved thwarting a plot from Ernst Roehm's SA using
On 20 April 1934
Hermann Göring handed over control of the Geheime
Staatspolizei (Gestapo) to Himmler. Heydrich, named chief of the
Gestapo by Himmler on 22 April 1934, also continued as head of the
SD. These events further extended Himmler's control of the
security mechanism of the Reich, which by proxy also strengthened the
surveillance power of Heydrich's SD, as both entities methodically
infiltrated every police agency in Germany. Subsequently,
the SD was made the sole "party information service" on 9 June
Under pressure from the
Reichswehr (German armed forces) leadership
(whose members viewed the enormous armed forces of the SA as an
existential threat) and with the collusion of Göring, Joseph
Gestapo and SD, Hitler was led to believe that Röhm's
SA posed a serious conspiratorial threat requiring a drastic and
immediate solution. For its part, the SD provided
fictitious information that there was an assassination plot on
Hitler's life and that an SA putsch to assume power was imminent since
the SA were allegedly amassing weapons. Additionally,
reports were coming into the SD and
Gestapo that the vulgarity of the
SA's behavior was damaging the party and was even making antisemitism
less palatable. On 30 June 1934 the SS and
in coordinated mass arrests that continued for two days. The SS took
one of its most decisive steps in eliminating its competition for
command of security within Germany and established itself firmly in
the Nazi hierarchy, making the SS and its intelligence organ, the SD,
responsible only to the Führer. The purge became known as the Night
of the Long Knives, with up to 200 people killed in the
action. Moreover, the brutal crushing of the SA and its
leadership sent a clear message to everyone that opposition to
Hitler's regime could be fatal. It struck fear across the
Nazi leadership as to the tangible concern of the reach and influence
of Himmler's intelligence collection and policing powers.
The SD and Austria
During the autumn of 1937, Hitler secured Mussolini's support to annex
Austria (Mussolini was originally apprehensive of the Nazi takeover of
Austria) and informed his generals of his intentions to invade both
Austria and Czechoslovakia. Getting Mussolini to approve
political intrigue against Austria was a major accomplishment, as the
Italian Duce had expressed great concern previously in the wake of an
Austrian SS unit's attempt to stage a coup not more than three weeks
after the Röhm affair, an episode that embarrassed the SS, enraged
Hitler, and ended in the assassination of Austrian Chancellor
Engelbert Dollfuss on 25 July 1934. Nonetheless, to
facilitate the incorporation of Austria into the greater Reich, the SD
Gestapo went to work arresting people immediately, using lists
compiled by Heydrich. Heydrich's SD and Austrian SS
members received financing from
Berlin to harass Austrian Chancellor
von Schuschnigg's government all throughout 1937. One section of the
SD that was nothing more than a front for subversive activities
against Austria ironically promoted "German-Austrian
Throughout the events leading to the
Anschluß and even after the
Nazis marched into Austria on 12 March 1938, Heydrich – convinced
that only his SD could pull off a peaceful union between the two
German-speaking nations – organized demonstrations, conducted
clandestine operations, ordered terror attacks, distributed propaganda
materials, encouraged the intimidation of opponents, and had his SS
and SD personnel round-up prominent anti-Nazis, most of whom ended up
in Mauthausen concentration camp The coordinated efforts
of the SiPo and Heydrich's SD during the first days of the Anschluß
effectively eliminated all forms of possible political, military and
economic resistance within Austria. Once the annexation
became official, the Austrian police was immediately subordinated to
Heydrich's SD, the SS and Gestapo. Machinations by the SD,
the Gestapo, and the SS helped to bring Austria fully into Hitler's
grasp and on 13 March 1938, he signed into law the union with Austria
as tears streamed down his face.
"Case Green" and the Sudetenland
Concomitant to its machinations against Austria, the SD also became
involved in subversive activities throughout Czechoslovakia. Focusing
Sudetenland with its 3 million ethnic Germans and the
disharmony there which the Czech government could not seem to remedy,
Hitler set Heydrich's SD in motion there in what came to be known as
"Case Green". Passed off as a mission to liberate Sudeten
Germans from alleged Czech persecution, Case Green was in fact a
contingency plan to outright invade and destroy the country, as Hitler
intended to "wipe Czechoslovakia off the map."
This operation was akin to earlier SD efforts in Austria; however,
unlike Austria, the Czechs fielded their own Secret Service, against
which Heydrich had to contend. Once "Case Green" began,
Heydrich's SD spies began covertly gathering intelligence, even going
so far as having SD agents use their spouses and children in the cover
scheme. The operation covered every conceivable type of intelligence
data, using a myriad of cameras and photographic equipment, focusing
efforts on important strategic locations like government buildings,
police stations, postal services, public utilities, logistical routes,
and above all, airfields.
Hitler worked out a sophisticated plan to acquire the Sudetenland,
including manipulating Slovak nationalists to vie for independence and
the suppression of this movement by the Czech government. Under
directions from Heydrich, SD operative
Alfred Naujocks was
re-activated to engage in sabotage activities designed to incite a
response from the Slovaks and the Czechs, a mission that ultimately
failed. In June 1938 a directive from the SD head office
indicated that Hitler issued an order at Jueterbog to his generals to
prepare for the invasion of Czechoslovakia. To hasten a
presumed heavy response from the French, British, and Czechs, Hitler
then upped the stakes and claimed that the Czechs were slaughtering
Sudeten Germans. He demanded the unconditional and prompt cession of
Sudetenland to Germany in order to secure the safety of endangered
ethnic Germans. Around this time, early plots by select
members of the German General Staff emerged, plans which included
ridding themselves of Hitler.
Eventually a diplomatic showdown pitting Hitler against the
governments of Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, and France, whose tepid
reaction to the Austrian Anschluss had precipitated this crisis to
some degree, ensued. The
Sudetenland Crisis came to an end when
Neville Chamberlain and Hitler signed the
Munich Agreement on 29
September 1938, effectively ceding the
Sudetenland to Nazi
Germany. Involvement in international affairs by the SD
certainly did not end there and the agency remained active in foreign
operations to such a degree that the head of the Reich Foreign
Ministry office, Joachim von Ribbentrop, complained of their meddling,
since Hitler would apparently make decisions based on SD reports
without consulting him. According to historian Richard
Breitman, there was animosity between the SS leadership and
Ribbentrop's Foreign Office atop their "jurisdictional
Intrigue against Poland
Aside from its participation in diminishing the power of the SA and
its scheme to kill Ernst Roehm, the SD took part in international
intrigue, first by activities in Austria, again in Czechoslovakia, and
then by helping provoke the "reactive" war against Poland. Code-named
"Operation Himmler" and part of Hitler's plan to justify an attack
upon Poland, the SD's clandestine activity for this mission included
faking a Polish attack against "innocent Germans" at a German radio
station in Gleiwitz. The SD took concentration-camp
inmates condemned to die, and fitted them with Polish Army uniforms
Heinz Jost had acquired from Admiral Wilhelm Canaris' Abwehr
(military intelligence). Leading this mission and
personally selected by Heydrich was SS veteran Alfred Naujocks, who
later reported during a War Criminal proceeding that he brought a
Polish-speaking German along so he could broadcast a message in Polish
from the German radio station "under siege" to the effect that it was
time for an all out confrontation between Germans and Poles. To add
documented proof of this attack, the SD operatives placed the
fictitious Polish troops (killed by lethal injection, then shot for
appearance) around the "attacked" radio station with the intention of
taking members of the press to the site of the incident.
Immediately in the wake of the staged incidents on 1 September 1939,
Hitler proclaimed from the Reichstag in a famous radio address that
German soldiers had been "returning" fire since 5:45 in the morning,
setting the Second World War in Europe into motion.
Tasks and general structure
German passport extended by the SD in Norway, March 1945.
The SD was tasked with the detection of actual or potential enemies of
the Nazi leadership and the neutralization of this opposition, whether
internal or external. To fulfill this task, the SD created an
organization of agents and informants throughout the Reich and later
throughout the occupied territories, all part of the development of an
extensive SS state and a totalitarian regime without
parallel. The organization consisted of a few hundred
full-time agents and several thousand informants. Historian George C.
Browder writes that SD regiments were comparable to SS regiments, in
SD districts (Bezirke) emerged covering several Party circuits (Kreis)
or an entire district (Gau). Below this level, SD sub-districts
(Unterbezirke) slowly developed. They were originally to cover a
single Kreis, and, in turn, to be composed of wards (Revier), but such
an ambitious network never emerged. Eventually, the SD-sub-districts
acquired the simple designation of 'outposts' (Aussenstellen) as the
lowest level-office in the field structure.
The SD was mainly an information-gathering agency, while the
Gestapo—and to a degree the Criminal Police (
Kripo)—was the executive agency of the political police system. The
Gestapo did have integration through SS members holding dual
positions in each branch. Nevertheless, there was some jurisdictional
overlap and operational conflict between the SD and
Gestapo. In addition, the Criminal Police kept a level of
independence since its structure had been
Part and parcel to intelligence operations, the SD carefully tracked
foreign opinion and criticism of Nazi policies, censoring when
necessary and likewise publishing hostile political cartoons in the SS
weekly magazine, Das Schwarze Korps. An additional task
assigned to the SD and the
Gestapo was keeping tabs on the morale of
the German population at large, which meant they were
charged to "carefully supervise the political health of the German
ethnic body" and once any symptoms of "disease and germs" appeared, it
was their job to "remove them by every appropriate means."
Regular reports—ranging from opinion polls, press dispatches, and
information bulletins were established. These were monitored and
reviewed by then head of the Inland-SD,
Otto Ohlendorf (responsible
for intelligence and security within Germany) and the former
Heidelberg professor and SD member Reinhard Höhn, all designed to
control and assess the "life domain" or Lebensgebiet of the German
population. Gathered information was then distributed by
the SD through secret internal political reports entitled Meldungen
aus dem Reich (reports from the Reich) to the upper echelons of the
Nazi Party, enabling Hitler's regime to evaluate the general morale
and attitude of the German people so it could be timely manipulated by
the Nazi propaganda machine. When the
Nuremberg Laws were
passed in 1935, the SD reported that the measures against the Jews
were well received by the German populace.
In 1936, the police were divided into the
Ordnungspolizei (Orpo or
Order Police) and the
Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo or Security
Police). The Orpo consisted mainly of the Schutzpolizei
(Urban police), the
Gendarmerie (Rural police) and the Gemeindepolizei
(Municipal police). The SiPo was composed of the Kripo and the
Gestapo. Heydrich became Chief of the SiPo and continued as Chief of
Continued escalation of antisemitic policies in the spring of 1937
from the SD organization concerned with Jewish affairs—staffed by
members like Adolf Eichmann, Herbert Hagen, and Theodor
Dannecker—led to the eventual removal (Entfernung) of Jews from
Germany devoid of concerns about where they were headed.
Adolf Eichmann's original task in his capacity as deputy for the
Jewish Affairs department within the SD, was at first to remove any
semblance of "Jewish influence from all sphere of public life" which
included the encouragement of wholesale Jewish emigration. Official
bureaucratization increased apace with numerous specialized offices
formed, aiding towards the overall persecution of the
Due to the fact that the
Gestapo and SD had parallel duties, Heydrich
tried to reduce any confusion or related territorial disputes through
a decree on 1 July 1937, clearly defining the SD's area of
responsibility as those dealing with "learning (Wissenschaft), art,
party and state, constitution and administration, foreign lands,
Freemasonry and associations" whereas the "Gestapo's jurisdiction was
Marxism, treason, and emigrants." Additionally, the SD was
responsible for matters related to "churches and sects, pacifism, the
Jews, right-wing movements", as well as "the economy, and the Press",
but the SD was instructed to "avoid all matters which touched the
'state police executive powers' (staatspolizeiliche
Vollzugsmaßnahmen) since these belonged to the Gestapo, as did all
In 1938, the SD was made the intelligence organization for the State
as well as for the Party, supporting the
working with the General and Interior Administration. As such, the SD
came into immediate, fierce competition with German military
intelligence, the Abwehr, which was headed by Admiral Canaris. The
competition stemmed from Heydrich and Himmler's intention to absorb
Abwehr and Admiral Canaris' view of the SD as an amateur upstart.
Canaris refused to give up the autonomy that his military intelligence
organ was granted. Additional problems also existed, like the racial
exemption for members of the
Abwehr from the Nazi Aryan screening
process, and then there was competition for resources which occurred
throughout the Third Reich's existence.
On 27 September 1939, the SiPo became a part of the RSHA under
Heydrich. The operational sections of the SD became
(department) Amt III and for foreign intelligence, Amt VI; the Gestapo
became Amt IV and the Kripo became Amt V.
Otto Ohlendorf was named the
Chief of Amt III, the SD-Inland (within Germany); Heinrich Müller was
named the Chief of Amt IV, the Gestapo;
Arthur Nebe was named the
Chief of Amt V, the Kripo; and
Walter Schellenberg became Chief of Amt
VI, the SD-Ausland (outside Germany). In 1944, the sections of the
Abwehr were incorporated into Amt VI.
SD relationship to the Einsatzgruppen
Main article: EinsatzgruppenSee also: Bandenbekämpfung
The SD was the overarching agency under which the
Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, also known as the Einsatzgruppen, was
subordinated; this was one of the principal reasons for the later
war-crimes indictment against the organization by the
Allies.[c] The Einsatzgruppen's part in the Holocaust has been
well documented. Its mobile killing units were active in the
implementation of the
Final Solution in the territories overrun by the
Nazi war machine. This SD subsidiary worked closely with
the Wehrmacht in persecuting Jews, communists, partisans, and other
groups, as well.[d] Starting with the invasion of Poland
throughout the campaign in the East, the
killed anyone suspected of being an opponent of the regime, either
real or imagined.[e] The men of the
recruited from the SD, Gestapo, Kripo, Orpo, and
On 31 July 1941, Göring gave written authorisation to SD Chief
Heydrich to ensure a government-wide cooperative effort in the
implementation of the
Endlösung der Judenfrage
Endlösung der Judenfrage (
Final Solution to the
Jewish question) in territories under German control. An
SD headquarter's memorandum indicated that the SD was tasked to
accompany military invasions and assist in pacification efforts. The
memo explicitly stated:
The SD will, where possible, follow up immediately behind the troops
as they move in and, as in the Reich, will assume responsibility for
the security of political life. Within the Reich, security measures
are the responsibility of the
Gestapo with SD cooperation. In occupied
territory, measures will be under the direction of a senior SD
Gestapo officials will be allotted to individual
Einsatzstäbe. It will be necessary to make available for special
deployment a unit of Verfügungstruppe or Totenkopf [Death Head]
Correspondingly, SD affiliated units, including the Einsatzgruppen
followed German troops into Austria, the Sudetenland, Bohemia,
Moravia, Poland, Lithuania, as well as Russia.[f]
Since their task included cooperating with military leadership and
vice versa, suppression of opposition in the occupied territories was
a joint venture. There were territorial
disputes and disagreement about how some of these policies were to be
implemented. Nonetheless, by June 1941, the SS and the SD
task forces were systematically shooting Jewish men of military age,
which soon turned to "gunning down" old people, women, and children in
the occupied areas.
On 20 January 1942, Heydrich chaired a meeting, now called the Wannsee
Conference, to discuss the implementation of the plan.
Facilities such as Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka, and
Auschwitz have their origins in the planning actions undertaken by
Heydrich. Heydrich remained chief of the Security Police
(SiPo) and the SD (through the RSHA) until his assassination in 1942,
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was named chief by Himmler on 30
January 1943, and remained there until the end of the war.
The SD was declared a criminal organization after the war and its
members were tried as war criminals at Nuremberg.[g] Whatever
their original purpose, the SD and SS were ultimately created to
identify and eradicate internal enemies of the State, as well as to
pacify, subjugate, and exploit conquered territories and
The SS Security Service, known as the SS SD-Amt, became the official
security organization of the
Nazi Party in 1934. Consisting at first
of paid agents and a few hundred unpaid informants scattered across
Germany, the SD was quickly professionalized under Heydrich, who
commissioned National Socialist academics and lawyers to ensure that
the SS and its Security Service in particular, operated "within the
framework of National Socialist ideology." Heydrich was
given the power to select men for the SS Security Service from among
any SS subdivisions since Himmler considered the organization of the
SD as important. On September 1939, the SD was divided
into two departments, the interior department (Inland-SD) and the
foreign department (Ausland-SD), and placed under the authority of the
Reich Main Security Office
Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).
The Interior Security Service (Inland-SD), responsible for
intelligence and security within Germany, was known earlier as
Department II and later, when placed under the Reich Main Security
Office, as its Department III. It was originally headed by Hermann
Behrends and from September 1939 by Otto
Ohlendorf.[h] It was within this organization that
Adolf Eichmann began working out the details for the
Final Solution to
the Jewish Question. Department III was divided into the
Section A (Law and Legal Structures)
Section B (Race and Ethnic Matters)
Section C (Cultural and Religious Matters)
Section D (Industry and Commerce)
Section E (High Society)
The Foreign Security Service (Ausland-SD), responsible for
intelligence activities beyond the boundaries of Germany, was known
earlier as Department III and later, after September 1939, as
Department VI of the Reich Main Security Office. It was
nominally commanded by Heydrich, but run by his chief of staff Heinz
Jost. On March 1942 Jost was fired and replaced by Walter
Schellenberg, a deputy of Heydrich. After the
July 20 Plot
July 20 Plot in 1944,
Department VI took over the functions of the Military Intelligence
Abwehr ). Department VI was divided into the following
Section A (Organization and Administration)
Section B (Espionage in the West)
Section C (Espionage in the Soviet Union and Japan)
Section D (Espionage in the American sphere)
Section E (Espionage in Eastern Europe)
Section F (Technical Matters)
Given the nature of the intelligence operations assigned to the SD,
there were clear delineations between what constituted a full member
(Mitglieder) of the SD and those who were considered "associates"
(Mitarbeiter) with a further subset for clerical support personnel
(typists, file clerks, etc.) who were connoted as V-persons
(Vertrauensleute). All SD personnel, whether simply
associates or full members were required to swear an oath of secrecy,
had to meet all the requirements for SS membership, were assigned SD
code numbers (Chiffre Nummer) and if they were "above the level of
V-person" they had to carry "an SD identification card."
The vast majority of early SD members were relatively young, but the
officers were typically older by comparison; nevertheless, the average
age of an SD member was approximately 2 years older than the average
Nazi Party member. Much like the Nazi revolution in
general, membership in the SS and the SD appealed more to the
impressionable youth. Most SD members were Protestant by
faith, had served in the military, and generally had a significant
amount of education, representing "an educated elite" in the general
sense - with about 14 percent of them earning doctorate
degrees. Heydrich viewed the SD as spiritual-elite leaders
within the SS and the "cream of the cream of the NSDAP."
According to historian George C. Browder, "SD men represented no
pathological or psychically susceptible group. Few were wild or
extreme Nazi fanatics. In those respects they were 'ordinary men'. Yet
in most other respects, they were an extraordinary mix of men, drawn
together by a unique mix of missions." Along with members
of the Gestapo, SD personnel were "regarded with a mixture of fear and
foreboding," and people wanted as little to do with them as
possible. Belonging to the security apparatus of the Third
Reich obviously had its advantages but it was also fraught with
occupationally related social disadvantages as well, and if post-war
descriptions of the SD by historians are any indication, membership
therein implied being a part of a "ubiquitous secret society" which
was "sinister" and a "messenger of terror" not just for the German
population, but within the "ranks of the Nazi Party
SD personnel during a łapanka (random arrest) in occupied Poland
The SD and the SiPo were the main sources of officers for the security
forces in occupied territories. SD-SiPo led battalions were typically
placed under the command of the SS and Police Leaders, reporting
directly to the RSHA in Berlin. The SD also maintained a presence at
all concentration camps and supplied personnel, on an as-needed basis,
to such special action troops as the Einsatzgruppen. In
fact, all members of the
Einsatzgruppen wore the SD sleeve diamond on
The SD-SiPo was the primary agency, in conjunction with the
Ordnungspolizei, assigned to maintain order and security in the Jewish
ghettos established by the Germans throughout occupied Eastern
Europe. On 7 December 1941, the same day that the
American naval station at Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, the
first extermination camp was opened at Chelmno near Lodz by the SD and
SiPo commander in occupied
Poznań (Posen), then SS-Standartenführer
Ernst Damzog. Damzog had personally selected the staff for the killing
centre and later supervised the daily operation of the camp, which was
under the command of SS-
Hauptsturmführer Herbert Lange.
Over a span of approximately 15 months, 150,000 people were killed
According to the book Piercing the Reich, the SD was infiltrated in
1944 by a former Russian national who was working for the Americans.
The agent's parents had fled the Russian Revolution, and he had been
raised in Berlin, and then moved to Paris. He was recruited by Albert
Jolis of the
Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Seventh Army
detachment. The mission was codenamed RUPPERT.
How extensive the SD's knowledge was about the early plots to kill
Hitler by key members of the military remains a contested subject and
a veritable unknown. According to British historian John
Wheeler-Bennett, "in view of the wholesale destruction of Gestapo
archives it is improbable that this knowledge will ever be
forthcoming. That the authorities were aware of serious 'defeatism' is
certain, but it is doubtful whether they suspected anyone of outright
Main article: Uniforms and insignia of the Schutzstaffel
The SD used SS-ranks. When in uniform they wore the grey Waffen-SS
uniform with army and
Ordnungspolizei rank insignia on the shoulder
straps, and SS rank insignia on the left collar patch. The right
collar patch was black without the runes. The branch color of the SD
was toxic green. The SD sleeve diamond (SD Raute) insignia was worn on
the lower left sleeve.
SD diamond. Here with white piping, as used by members of the Gestapo
when in uniform (if members of the SS).
SD men in Poland 1939. From left to right in the rear seats:
Untersturmführer and SS-Oberscharführer. The SD men are wearing
army shoulder straps, akin to the Waffen-SS.
M43 field tunic – SD Unterscharführer with SS rank insignia on the
collar patch, and police rank insignia (Wachtmeister) on the shoulder
straps and SD diamond on lower part of sleeve
Regierungs- und Kriminalrat
Oberregierungs- und Kriminalrat
Regierungs- und KriminaldirektorReichskriminaldirektor
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Glossary of Nazi Germany
List of SS personnel
^ The "Ic" abbreviation in German military staff structures designated
^ Following the
Sudetenland Crisis, the SD then took part in
operations against Poland.
^ For more on the creation of this organization, see: Browder, George
C. Foundations of the Nazi Police State: The Formation of Sipo and SD.
Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2004, .
^ At the end of March 1941, Hitler communicated his intention to 200
senior Wehrmacht officers about his decision to eradicate political
criminals in the occupied regions, a task many of them were only too
happy to hand-over to Himmler's
Einsatzgruppen and SiPo.
^ Victor Klemperer, one of the few Jews who survived the Nazi regime
through his marriage to a German, claims that the real enemy of the
Nazis was always the Jew, no matter who or what actually stood before
^ From September 1939, the
Einsatzgruppen came under the overall
command of the RSHA. See: Nuremberg Trial, Vol. 20, Day 194.
Einsatzgruppen commanders (men with the SD sleeve
diamond on their uniforms) were tried after the war, becoming infamous
for their brutality.
^ So severe were the interior policies of the Nazis under the watchful
eye of the Department III, that when slave labor was brought into
Germany to supplement the workforce during the war, German citizens
who showed any kindness to foreign workers by giving them food or
clothing were often punished.
^ The SD also maintained local offices in Germany's cities and larger
towns. The small offices were known as SD-Unterabschnitte, and the
larger offices were referred to as SD-Abschnitte. All SD offices
answered to a local commander known as the Inspektor des
Sicherheitspolizei und SD who, in turn, was under the dual command of
the RSHA and local SS and Police Leaders.
^ Many leading men in the SD had broad-ranging responsibilities across
the network of interlocking Nazi agencies charged with the Reich's
Werner Best proves a telling example in this regard, as he
was not only an SD functionary, he was also an
"Einsatzgruppen-organizer," the head of the military government in
France, and "the Reich Plenipotentiary in Denmark."
^ Gellately 1992, p. 44 fn.
^ a b Weale 2012, pp. 140–144.
^ Buchheim 1968, pp. 166–167.
^ "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression" (1946).
^ Weale 2012, pp. 410–411.
^ Gerwarth 2011, pp. 56, 57.
^ Longerich 2012, p. 125.
^ Gellately 1992, p. 65.
^ Shirer 1990, pp. 191–194.
^ Distel & Jakusch 1978, p. 46.
^ Browder 1996, p. 127.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 47–51.
^ Höhne 2001, pp. 93–131.
^ Williams 2001, p. 61.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 60–63.
^ Williams 2001, p. 129.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 67–78.
^ Delarue 2008, p. 113.
^ Kulva 1984, pp. 582–600.
^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 309–313.
^ Kershaw 2000, pp. 521–522.
^ Reitlinger 1989, pp. 65–66.
^ Beller 2007, p. 228.
^ Blandford 2001, p. 81.
^ Dederichs 2006, p. 82.
^ Blandford 2001, p. 135.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 134–140.
^ Langerbein 2003, p. 22.
^ Blandford 2001, p. 141.
^ Fest 2002, p. 548.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 141–142.
^ Childers 2017, p. 403.
^ Blandford 2001, p. 144.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 144–145.
^ Höhne 2001, pp. 281–282.
^ Reitlinger 1989, p. 116.
^ Fest 2002, pp. 554–557.
^ Shirer 1990, pp. 366–384.
^ Kershaw 2001, pp. 121–125.
^ Höhne 2001, p. 283.
^ Breitman 1991, p. 222.
^ Weinberg 2005, p. 748.
^ Williams 2003, p. 9.
^ Shirer 1990, pp. 518–520.
^ Benz 2007, p. 170.
^ Bracher 1970, pp. 350–362.
^ Browder 1996, p. 109.
^ Weale 2010, pp. 134, 135.
^ Buchheim 1968, pp. 166–187.
^ Koonz 2005, p. 238.
^ Wall 1997, pp. 183–187.
^ Frei 1993, p. 103.
^ Ingrao 2013, pp. 107–108.
^ Ingrao 2013, pp. 107–116.
^ Koonz 2005, p. 190.
^ Williams 2001, p. 77.
^ Weale 2012, pp. 134, 135.
^ Longerich 2010, pp. 68–69.
^ Johnson 1999, pp. 106–107.
^ Gellately 1992, pp. 66–67.
^ Gellately 1992, p. 67.
^ Wall 1997, p. 77.
^ Blandford 2001, pp. 11–25.
^ Gerwarth 2011, p. 163.
^ Buchheim 1968, p. 172–187.
^ McNab 2009, pp. 113, 123–124.
^ Höhne 2001, pp. 354–356.
^ Klemperer 2000, pp. 176–177.
^ Longerich 2010, p. 185.
^ Browning 2004, p. 315.
^ Buchheim 1968, pp. 176–177.
^ Fritz 2011, pp. 94–98.
^ Wette 2007, pp. 96–97.
^ Müller 2012, p. 153.
^ Buchheim 1968, pp. 178–187.
^ Frei 2008, p. 155.
^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 696–697.
^ Wright 1968, p. 127.
^ Weale 2012, p. 149.
^ Rhodes 2003, p. 274.
^ Mayer 2012, p. 162.
^ Weale 2012, p. 130.
^ Browder 1996, p. 116.
^ Weale 2012, pp. 134–135.
^ Weale 2012, pp. 135, 141.
^ Stephenson 2008, pp. 102–3.
^ Weale 2012, p. 135.
^ Delarue 2008, pp. 355–356.
^ Doerries 2007, pp. 21, 80.
^ Weale 2012, p. 136.
^ Delarue 2008, pp. 357–358.
^ Browder 1996, p. 131.
^ Browder 1996, pp. 133–134.
^ Kater 1983, pp. 141, 261.
^ Ziegler 1989, pp. 59–79.
^ Browder 1996, pp. 136–138.
^ Dederichs 2006, p. 53.
^ Browder 1996, p. 174.
^ Gellately 1992, p. 143.
^ Höhne 2001, p. 210.
^ Reitlinger 1989, pp. 116–117.
^ Dams & Stolle 2014, pp. 120–121.
^ Gregor 2008, p. 4.
^ Spielvogel 2004, p. 278.
^ Friedlander 1995, pp. 136–140, 286–289.
^ Dederichs 2006, p. 115.
^ Persico 1979, pp. 103–107.
^ Wheeler-Bennett 1954, p. 475.
^ Mollo 1992, pp. 33–36.
^ Mollo 1992, pp. 42–43.
^ Mollo 1992, pp. 37–39.
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SS and police leader
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ISNI: 0000 0001 1482 2820
WorldCat Identities (via VIAF): 446714