The Emergence of the SS State, 1939–1945
Much that transpired in Germany after the Nazi seizure of power might have been predicted from reading Mein Kampf or subsequent Nazi declarations. The emergence of the SS state, however, was a result of forces, circumstances, and personalities interacting to produce an unanticipated thrust that by early 1945 gave Germany an appalling tone of life similar to that of Stalinist Russia in the 1930s. This startling comparison refers to the scope of social change the SS contemplated, its coercion of millions of individuals into “planned” agricultural and industrial enterprises, and the outright extermination of other millions as alleged opponents or undesirables. This emerging SS state within the Nazi state was most clearly evident in occupied Slavic eastern Europe. By 1944 its outlines were becoming apparent in the German homeland as well, psychologically illuminated by the mounting destructiveness of the Allied bombing of German urban centers.
KeywordsConcentration Camp Roll Call Occupied Territory German People Police Leader
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