Monday, May 14, 2012

Nurses and Nazis

Well, there is a certain amount of guess work on this one, so if anyone wants to make a correction, feel free to leave a comment.

This photo was printed on Agfa Lupex paper, manufactured with an identifying logo, in Germany, from 1935 through the end of the war.  With it's German origins, I decided to start a search of web sites, looking for images of German uniforms, from the period.  And did those Germans love their uniforms!  It seems that everyone from school children to politicians were in some sort of outfit with brass buttons, epaulets and braid.  My best guess is that the two men in this image are wearing SS uniforms.  The man with the soup spoon, the general field uniform of the Waffen-SS, and the other man in the Waffen -SS uniform of the protection squad.  Since the SS had it's own hospitals, it would make sense that these two men, even though they would be from different units, would be at the same place, hanging out with the pretty nurses.

The SS was formed in 1920 as the saal-schutz, as hall protection.  Basically, they protected speakers from attack at party meetings, and beat the crap out of any hecklers that might show up.   Under the command of Heinrich Himmler from 1929-1945, the organization became the Schutzstaffel, the protection squad or defence corps,  providing security for party meetings and personnel.. During the war, the SS fielded military divisions, fighting along side the regular army, but not under it's command.  And of course, the SS had responsibility for carrying out the final solution.  For those who don't know what that means, the final solution was the  elimination of Jews and other threats to race purity.  It's quite possible that the two men in this photograph are war criminals, a nice phrase for genocidal mass murderer.

The famous black uniform with the death's head logo, often seen in movies, was the uniform of the Allgemeine-SS, the political arm of the group.  The SS, unlike the SA, and the regular military, took an oath of allegiance to Hitler, rather than to the German state.  A sorry example of humanity.

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