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Service record of Heinrich Himmler

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Service record of Heinrich Himmler

The Service record of Heinrich Himmler was a collection of official SS documents maintained at the SS Personalhauptamt in Berlin from 1934 until the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. Prior to 1934, Himmler's SS records were maintained at the Brown House, the Nazi Party headquarters in Munich.

Today, Himmler's original paper service record is maintained at the German Federal Archives. A microfilm copy of the record is also available at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.

Summary of SS service

  • SS number: 168
  • Nazi Party number: 14303
  • Primary position: Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei
  • Previous SS positions: SS-Leader (1925), SS-District Leader (1926), Deputy-Reichsführer (1927)
  • Waffen-SS service: Supreme Commander by default as Reichsführer-SS. Exercised little operational authority.
  • Political positions: Reichsleiter der NSDAP

Dates of rank

Himmler as Deputy Reich Leader of the SS, circa 1928. In this photograph, he wears the insignia of an SS-Oberführer

Himmler joined the SS in the summer of 1925, during the group's earliest stage of existence. SS ranks at this point were very simple. Himmler was appointed as an "SS-Leader" and assigned to work in the Nazi headquarters in Munich. A year later, he was appointed as the "SS-District Leader" for Bavaria and, a year after that, appointed as a Deputy to the National Leader of the SS, Erhard Heiden.

Between 1925 and 1927, Himmler wore a variety of Nazi paramilitary uniforms. His first recognizable SS uniform may be seen in photographs from 1928, when Himmler wears the double oak leaf insignia of an SS-Oberführer. In 1929, Himmler was appointed to succeed Heiden and after this point referred to himself solely by his title of "Reichsführer" (this was not an actual rank until 1934). In a Nazi rally photograph from 1930, Himmler can be seen wearing an SS uniform with a striped swastika armband, with three stripes denoting his position as Reichsführer-SS. The armband stripe system was in fact utilized before the introduction of collar patches and it is uncertain why Himmler would have reverted to this insignia for one particular rally.

Between 1929 and 1933, Himmler wore insignia for the SS ranks of Oberführer, Gruppenführer, and in 1933 was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer (the highest SS rank at the time). In June 1934, Himmler's position of Reichsführer-SS became an actual rank and Himmler began wearing the wreathed three leaf insignia which he would display for the rest of his career in the SS.

Himmler's official SS record does not list his promotions prior to that of Reichsführer-SS, instead simply backdating to Himmler's original appointment date in January 1929.[1] Alternate and photographic evidence, however, offer the following dates of rank.

Himmler's SS-ranks
Date Rank
February 1925 SS-Führer
September 1926 SS-Gauführer
March 1927 SS-Oberführer
6 January 1929 SS-Gruppenführer
1 January 1933 SS-Obergruppenführer
1 July 1934 Reichsführer-SS

Nazi awards and decorations

As head of the SS, Himmler was in the unique position of having the ability to award himself many Nazi military, civil, and political decorations. However, Himmler's official awards and decorations qualified him for mainly service decorations and qualification badges, this being apparently by design.[2] Himmler was never awarded the Knight's Cross, German Cross, Iron Cross or the War Merit Cross, the last of which his duties as Chief of the SS and Police would have qualified.[3]

Heinrich Himmler's various awards, badges, and accouterments

Himmler's authorized decorations were as follows:[4]

Nazi political awards
Blood Order
Golden Nazi Party Badge
Golden Hitler Youth Badge
Nazi Party General Gau Badge
Nuremberg Party Day Badge
Nazi Party Long Service Award (10 and 15 years service)
Honour Chevron for the Old Guard
SS and police awards
SS Long Service Award (12 years service)
SS Honor Ring
SS Honor Sword
SS Zivilabzeichen (#2)
SS Julleuchter
German civil decorations
Olympic Games Decoration (First Class)
Social Welfare Decoration
Military badges
Combined Pilots-Observation Badge (in gold with diamonds)
Military service awards
Anschluss Medal (Commemorative Medal of 13 March 1938)
Sudetenland Medal (w/Prague Castle Bar) (Commemorative Medal of 1 October 1938)
Memel Medal (Commemorative Medal for the Return of the Memel Region)
West Wall Medal (1944)
Sports badges
German Sports Badge (in silver)
SA Sports Badge (in bronze)
Heinrich Himmler's ribbon bar as it appeared in 1944

Himmler was granted foreign awards from Germany's allies, Romania, Italy, and Croatia[5] which bestowed Himmler with high ranking orders. Himmler held claim to several German state decorations, most significantly from Bavaria, where he had previously served as Police President. Himmler rarely wore these additional medals, except at the most formal of state functions, when a full dress uniform was required.

Other offices

References

Notes

  1. ^ SS Master Personnel Card of Heinrich Himmler, SS records cabinet, U.S. National Archives, College Park, Maryland
  2. ^ SS service record of Heinrich Himmler; United States National Archives, College Park, Maryland
  3. ^ Månsson 2001.
  4. ^ Ailsby 1997, p. 73.
  5. ^ Popović 1986, p. 95.

Bibliography

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