Saturday, February 28, 2009

History Channel - The SS Death Heads

They were regarded as the elite of the SS and were the perpetrators of the most diabolic crimes. They were completely subservient to Hitler and became the most willing tool for his genocide.
Following orders loyally and relentlessly, the Death's Head battalions of the SS implemented the murderous deeds which the Fuhrer demanded of them. Their badge was the death's head on the right collar-patch of their uniform.
Originally created as guards for the regime's concentration camps, the special unit of the SS under SS Gruppenfuhrer Eicke was then deployed whenever particular cruelty and absolute devotion to duty were required.
The four standards of the Death's Head SS, each of 9,000 men respectively, were responsible for the implementation of mass genocide in the Nazi extermination camps as well as for military actions characterized by incredible brutality.
The selection and training of the "party soldiers", most of them very young men, were designed from the very beginning to purge them of human compassion and a capacity for independent thought.
Until the very end, the men with the death's head emblem were deployed in the focal points of the war. Not until the 9th May 1945, in Vienna, did they surrender - when the "Thousand Year Reich", for which they had fought tenaciously and without mercy, was in ruins.
The film shows how people, who were originally by no means of a particularly extreme disposition, were schooled to place themselves, body and soul, in the service of unimaginable barbarity - and how or if these atrocities weighed upon the consciences of these willing henchmen.

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