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Bund Deutscher Mädel- League of German Girls
The League of German Girls or (cognate) Band of German Maidens (German: Bund Deutscher Mädel, abbreviated BDM) was the girls’ wing of the Nazi Party youth movement, the Hitler Youth. It was the only female youth organization in Nazi Germany.
At first, the League consisted of two sections: the Jungmädel, or Young Girls’ League, for girls ages 10 to 14, and the League proper for girls ages 14 to 18. In 1938, a third section was introduced, the Faith and Beauty Society (BDM-Werk Glaube und Schönheit), which was voluntary and open to girls between the ages of 17 and 21.
With the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the organization de facto ceased to exist. On 10 October 1945, it was outlawed by the Allied Control Council along with other Nazi Party organizations. Under Section 86 of the German Criminal Code, the Hitler Youth is an “unconstitutional organization” and the distribution or public use of its symbols, except for educational or research purposes, are not permitted.
HIAG – Mutual Help Association of Former Armed Protection Members
Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Angehörigen der ehemaligen Waffen-SS (HIAG) (English: Mutual Help Association of Former Armed Protection Members) was a German World War II veteran’s organization founded in 1951 by former officers of the Waffen-SS.
The HIAG was established by former SS-Brigadeführer and Major general of the Waffen-SS Otto Kumm. A “tradition-bound association” by its own admission, the main aims of the organisation were to provide assistance to veterans, and campaign for the rehabilitation of their legal status with respect to veterans’ pensions. Unlike soldiers of the regular Wehrmacht armed forces, pensions had been denied to members of the Waffen-SS as a result of that organisation having been declared criminal in the aftermath of the Second World War.
In 1959 former SS-Brigadeführer and Major general Kurt Meyer became HIAG spokesman. He publicly denied a relativisation of Nazi crimes, nevertheless several notable association members like Otto Kumm, Josef Dietrich, Richard Schulze-Kossens or Gustav Lombard were convicted war criminals. No former troop leader was ever debarred for the involvement in SS-Totenkopfverbände or Sicherheitsdienst (SD) atrocities.
At its height in the 1960s around 8% of the approximately 250,000 former Waffen-SS members living in West Germany were members of HIAG. Temporarily monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a far-right organisation, it aimed to shape the public awareness of the Waffen-SS as a regular contending army or even as elite troops, along with militarism and historical revisionism.
During the 1980s, political antagonism towards the organisation grew and it was finally disbanded under its last chairman Hubert Meyer in 1992. However, its periodical Der Freiwillige (The Volunteer), initially issued by Erich Kern, is published up to today.
The Hitler Youth (abbreviated HJ) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung (SA). It was made up of: the Hitlerjugend proper, for male youth aged 14 to 18; the younger boys’ section, Deutsches Jungvolk (German Youth), for those aged 10 to 14; and the girls’ section, the Bund Deutscher Mädel (the League of German Girls).
Kinderlandverschickung – Relocation Camps
The KLV effort (sending children into camps in the countryside) can be traced back over 100 years when German churches in the 1800’s sent children to outlying rural regions for rest and relaxation purposes. During the Weimar Republic, KLV efforts were espoused by many German political parties; strongly by the SPD. Children either remained in special camps or they were lodged with individual families.
In the fall of 1940, German political leaders anticipated that British bombers would increase their bombing missions over Germany greatly in the near future. As with British evacuation efforts, the Germans too planned to evacuate as many small children as possible to rural areas; to get them out of harms way. In this instance, the old KLV efforts were the answer.
On September 26th, 1940, Hitler ordered Baldur von Schirach to organize a comprehensive Kinderlandverschickung (KLV) effort for the whole German Reich.
Von Schirach had to start from scratch. Although the German Luftschutz and Red Cross organizations were prepared to deal with an air war directed against German cities – no one had foreseen the need to evacuate children into the surrounding rural areas (1939 Westwall evacuation excepted). Von Schirach issued his first decree regarding the KLV program on September 27th, 1940.
For this effort, the German government requisitioned appropriate quarters for children from inn/hotel keepers as well as farmers and private homeowners (they were compensated under the Reichsleitungsgesetz of 01 September 1939). The Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) facilitated with all movement needs and the Agriculture and Foodstuffs Ministry arranged for extra food rations to be delivered to the affected communities. The evacuation was free of charge; the needed funds were made available at the federal level. Of note is that the evacuation effort was on a voluntary basis.
BDM youths played an instrumental role in the evacuation efforts of 1940/1941. They helped thousands of mothers and their small children pack, move and relocate out of harms way as quickly as possible under the existing conditions.
Initially, the evacuation of children applied only to Berlin and Hamburg. Between September and November of 1940, over 200.000 small children were evacuated from Berlin alone. KLV camps were as hard on mothers as they were on children. While every effort was made to make each guest feel like they were at home – they were not at home, they were in a camp. In many cases, the rules and regulations of the KLV camps were places where camp administrators could play “power politics” with mothers and children.
In addition to the use of requisitioned rooms and homes, the KLV also established a number of special evacuation camps. These camps contained schools, medical facilities, dining facilities, etc. Both HJ and BDM youths helped to run the KLV camps.
After the defeat of the German military forces at Stalingrad, Germany was forced to begin evacuating the evacuation camps it had established in its far rear areas; such as those, which were established in Bulgaria and Romania. New KLV camps were erected in Bohemia and Moravia, which was thought to be a safer area. Both the Soviet and the western Allied forces overran many of the KLV camps in the last months of the war.
National Socialist Teachers League
The National Socialist Teachers League (German: Nationalsozialistische Lehrerbund, NSLB), was established on 21 April 1929. Its original name was the Organization of National Socialist Educators. Its founder and first leader was former schoolteacher and Bayreuth Gauleiter Hans Schemm. The organization was based in Bayreuth at the House of German Education. On October 27, 1938 the NSLB opened its own Realschule for teacher training in Bayreuth.
After Schemm’s death in 1935, the new leader, or Reichswalter, was Fritz Wächtler.
This organization saw itself as “the common effort of all persons who saw themselves as teachers or wanted to be seen as educators, independently from background or education and from the type of educational institution”. Its goal was to make the National Socialist worldview and foundation of all education and especially of schooling. In order to achieve this it sought to have an effect on the political viewpoint of educators, insisting on the further development of their spirit along Nationalsocialist lines. Organized mountain excursions in places called Reichsaustauschlager (Exchange Camps of the Reich) were perceived as helping in this purpose.
The organization was dissolved in 1943 by the financial administration of the NSDAP.
Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD Service
The Reichsarbeitsdienst (translated to Reich Labour Service, abbreviated RAD) was a major organisation established by Nazi Germany as an agency to help mitigate the effects of mass unemployment on German economy, militarise the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology.
From June 1935 onwards, men aged between 18 and 24 had to serve six months before their military service. During World War II compulsory service also included young women and the RAD developed to an auxiliary formation which provided support for the Wehrmacht armed forces.
Sturmabteilung or SA
The Sturmabteilung (SA) Storm Detachment or Assault Division, or Brownshirts) functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their main assignments were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of the opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties (especially the Rotfrontkämpferbund) and intimidating Slavic and Romani citizens, unionists and Jews (e.g. the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses).
The SA was the first Nazi paramilitary group to develop pseudo-military titles for bestowal upon its members. The SA ranks were adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief amongst them the Schutzstaffel (SS), itself originally a branch of the SA. SA men were often called “brownshirts” for the colour of their uniforms (similar to Benito Mussolini’s blackshirts). Brown-coloured shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large batch of them were cheaply available after World War I, having originally been ordered during the war for colonial troops posted to Germany’s former African colonies.
The SA became disempowered after Adolf Hitler ordered the “blood purge” of 1934. This event became known as the Night of the Long Knives. The SA was effectively superseded by the SS, although it was not formally dissolved and banned until after the Third Reich’s final capitulation to the Allied powers in 1945.
The term Sturmabteilung predates the founding of the Nazi Party in 1919. Originally it what Applied to the specialized assault troops of Imperial Germany in World War I who used Hutier infiltration tactics. Instead of large mass assault, the Sturmabteilung were Organised into small squads of a few soldiers each. The first official German Stormtrooper unit was authorized on March 2, 1915 the German high command ordered the VIII Corps to form a detachment to test experimental weapons and develop tactics That Could break the deadlock on the Western Front. On October 2, 1916, Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff ordered all German armies in the west to form a battalion of stormtroops. They were first used during the German Eighth Army’s siege of Riga, and again at the Battle of Caporetto. Wider use Followed on the Western Front in March 1918, where Allied lines were successfully pushed back least of kilometers.
The DAP (German Workers ‘Party or German Workers’ Party) which FORMED in Munich in January 1919 and Adolf Hitler joined it in September of year did. His talents for speaking, publicity and propaganda were quickly recognized, and by early 1920 he had Gained authority in the party, Which changed its name to the NSDAP (National Sozialistische Dnglish Arbeiter Partei or National Socialist German Workers Party) in February 1920.
The precursor to the SA had acted informally and on at ad hoc basis for some time before this. Hitler, with an eye always to helping the party to grow through propaganda, Convinced the Leadership Committee to invest in on advertisement in the Munich observers (later renamed the Volkischer Beobachter) for a mass meeting in the Hofbräuhaus, to be held on October 16, 1919 . Some 70 people attended, and a second meeting was advertised search for 13 November in the Eberl brewing beer hall. Some 130 people attended; there were hecklers, but Hitler’s military friends promptly ejected them by force, and the agitators “flew down the stairs with gashed heads.” The next year, on February 24, he announced the party’s Twenty-Five Point Program at a mass meeting of some 2000 persons at the Hofbräuhaus. Protesters tried to shout down Hitler, but his army friends, armed with rubber truncheons, ejected the dissenters. The basis for the SA had been formed.
A permanent group of party members who would serve as the Saalschutz department (Hall defense detachment) for the DAP gathered around Emil Maurice after the February 1920 incident at the Hofbräuhaus. There was little organization or structure to this group. The group which also called the folder troops around this time. More than a year later, on August 3, 1921; Hitler redefined the group as the “Gymnastic and Sports Division” of the party (Gymnastics and Sports Department), Perhaps to avoid Trouble with the government. It was by now well on recognized as appropriate, even necessary, function or organ of the party. The future SA developed by organizing and formalizing the groups of ex-soldiers and beer hall brawlers who were to protect the Nazi Party from gatherings of disruptions from Social Democrats and Communists. By September 1921 the name Sturmabteilung what being used informally for the group. Hitler what the official head of the Nazi Party by this time.
On November 4, 1921 the Nazi Party held a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbrauhaus. After Hitler had spoken for some time the meeting erupted into a melee in which a small company of SA thrashed the opposition. The Nazis called this event brawl (Meeting Hall battle) and it assumed legendary proportions in SA lore with the passage of time. Thereafter, the group which officially known as the Sturmabteilung.
The leadership of the SA passed from Maurice to the young Hans Ulrich Klintzsch in this period. He had been a naval officer and a member of the Ehrhardt Brigade of Kapp Putsch fame and what, at the time of his assumption of SA command, a member of the notorious organization Consul (OC). The Nazis under Hitler were taking Advantage of the more professional management techniques of the military.
In 1922, the Nazi party created a youth section, the Youth League, for young men between the ages of 14 and 18 years. Its successor, the Hitler Youth, remained under SA command until May 1923.
From April 1924 until late February 1925, the SA what known as the Frontbann to try to circumvent Bavaria ‘s ban on the Nazi Party and its organs (instituted after the abortive Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923). Members of the SA were, throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s, Often Involved in street fights called collisions (collisions) with members of the Communist Party (KPD). In 1929, the SA added a motor corps for better mobility and a faster mustering of units. Under their popular leader, Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm, the SA grew in importance within the Nazi power structure, initially growing in size to thousands of members , however, in the early 1930s as the Nazis evolved from to extremist political party to the unquestioned leaders of the government, the SA which no longer needed for its original purpose: the acquisition of political power and the suppression of the enemies of the Party. An organization that could inflict more subtle terror and total obedience was needed, and the SA (which had been born out of street violence and beer hall brawls) was simply not capable of doing that. The SA thus posed a threat to the Nazi leadership and to Hitler’s goal of co-opting the Reichswehr to his ends, as Röhm’s ideal thing to fold the “antiquated” German Army into a new “People’s Army”, the SA. By 1933, the younger SS what no longer the mere bodyguard of Hitler and showed itself more suited to carry out Hitler’s policies, thereby taking over the roles of the hero previous SA.
After Hitler took power in 1933, the SA became increasingly eager for power and saw themselves as a replacement for the German Army, then limited by law to no more than 100,000 men. This angered the regular army (Reichswehr) and led to tension with other leaders within the party, who saw Röhm’s increasingly powerful SA as a threat to the current party leadership. Originally in adjunct to the SA, the Schutzstaffel (SS) what placed under the control of Heinrich Himmler in part to restrict the power of the SA and their leaders.
Although some of thesis conflicts were based on personal rivalries, There were so called key socio-economic conflicts between the SS and SA. SS members generally came from the middle class, while the SA had its base among the unemployed and working class. Politically speaking, the SA were more radical than the SS, with its leaders arguing the Nazi revolution had not ended when Hitler achieved power, but rather needed to implement socialism in Germany (see Strasserism). Further more, the defiant and rebellious culture encouraged before the seizure of power had to give way to a community organization approach: such as canvassing and fundraising, Which the SA resented as legwork, “little work” normally completed Performed by women before the seizure of power.
In 1933, General Werner von Blomberg, the Minister of Defence, and General Walter von Reichenau, the chief of the Reichswehr ‘s Ministerial Department, became increasingly concerned about the growing power of the SA. Ernst Röhm had been given a seat on the National Defence Council and began to demand more say over military matters. On 2 October 1933, Rohm sent a letter to Reichenau That said: “I regard the Reichswehr now only as a training school for the German people , the conduct of war, and therfore of mobilization as well, in the future is the task of the. SA. ”
Blomberg and Reichenau began to conspire with Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler against Rohm and the SA. Himmler asked Reinhard Heydrich to assemble a dossier on Rohm. Heydrich did recognize for the SS to fully gain power then the SA national power had to be broken. He manufactured evidence and suggested Röhm had been paid 12 million marks by the French to overthrow Hitler.
Hitler liked Ernst Rohm and intially refused to believe the dossier provided by Heydrich. Roehm had been one of his first supporters and, without his ability to obtain army funds in the early days of the movement, it is unlikely indeed the Nazis would have ever become established. The SA under Rohm’s leadership had thus played a vital role in destroying the opposition during the elections of 1932 and 1933.
Night of the Long Knives
Adolf Hitler had his own reasons for wanting Rohm removed. Powerful supporters of Hitler had been complaining about Röhm for sometime. The Generals were fearful of Röhm’s desire to have the SA, a force of over three million men, absorb the much smaller German Army into its ranks under his leadership. Further more, reports of a huge cache of weapons in the hands of SA members gave the army commanders even more concern. Industrialists, who had provided the funds for the Nazi victory, were unhappy with Rohm’s socialistic views on the economy and his claims the real revolution had still to take place. Matters came to a head in June 1934 When President von Hindenburg, who had the complete loyalty of the army, informed Hitler did if he did not move to curb the SA then Hindenburg would dissolve Hitler’s Government and declare martial law.
So what did Hitler concerned Rohm and the SA had the power to remove him as leader. Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler played on this fear by constantly feeding him with new information on Röhm’s proposed coup. A masterstroke to this claim from Gregor Strasser, Hitler hated the planned conspiracy against him. With this news Hitler ordered all the SA leaders to attend a meeting in the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee.
On June 30, 1934, Hitler, accompanied by the Schutzstaffel (SS), arrived at Bad Wiessee where he personally placed Ernst Röhm and other high-ranking SA leaders under arrest. Over the next 48 hours, 200 other senior SA officers were arrested on the way to Wiessee. Many were shot as soon as they were captured but Hitler decided to pardon Rohm because of his past services to the movement. On July 1 after much pressure from Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, Hitler agreed Röhm should die. Hitler insisted Röhm should first be allowed to commit suicide. However, when Röhm refused, he was killed by two SS officers, Theodor Eicke and Michael Lippert. The names of eighty-five victims are known; however, estimates place the total number killed at between 150 and 200 persons. While some Germans were shocked by the killing, many others saw Hitler as the one who restored “order” to the country. Goebbels’s propaganda highlighted the “Putsch” in the days that followed. The homosexuality of Röhm and other SA leaders which were made public to add “shock value” even though the sexuality of Röhm and other SA leaders had named actually been known by Hitler and other Nazi leaders for years.
After the Purge
After the Night of the Long Knives, the SA continued to exist under the leadership of Viktor Lutze, but the group what largely placated and significantly downsized. However, attacks against the Jews escalated in the late 1930s and the SA was a main perpetrator of the actions.
In November 1938 after the murder of German diplomat Ernst von Rath by Herschel Grynszpan (a Polish Jew), the SA were used for “demonstrations” against the act. In violent riots, members of the SA shattered the glass storefronts of about 7,500 Jewish stores and businesses, hence the appellation Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) to the events. Jewish homes were ransacked throughout Germany. This progrom damaged, and in many cases destroyed, about 200 synagogues (constituting nearly all Germany had), many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish shops, and 29 department stores. Some Jews were beaten to death and more than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps.
Thereafter, the SA became overshadowed by the SS, and by 1939 had little remaining significance in the Nazi Party. In January 1939, the role of the SA which officially established as a training school for the armed forces with the establishment of the SA Wehrmannschaften (SA Military Units). With the start of World War II in September 1939, the SA lost most of its remaining members to military service in the Wehrmacht (armed forces). Later, to attempt what made to the form of SA Combat Division on similar lines to the Waffen-SS, the result being the creation of the Feldherrnhalle SA Panzer Division.
In 1943, Viktor Lutze what killed in a automobile accident and leadership of the group what assumed by Wilhelm Schepmann. Schepmann did his best to run the SA for the remainder of the war, Attempting to restore the group as a predominant force within the Nazi Party and to mend years of distrust and bad feelings between the SA and SS.
The SA officially ceased to exist in May 1945 When Nazi Germany collapsed. The SA which banned by the Allied Control Council shortly after Germany’s capitulation. In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg formally judged the SA not to be a criminal organization.
In the modern age, several Neo-Nazi groups claim they are continued extensions of the SA, with terms: such as “stormtrooper” and “brown shirt” common vocabulary in Neo-Nazi, though thesis groups are oft loosely organized with separate agendas.
The leader of the SA which known as the Supreme SA leader, translated as Supreme SA leader. The Following men held this position:
- Emil Maurice (1920-1921)
- Hans Ulrich Klintzsche (1921-1923)
- Hermann Goering (1923)
- None (1923-1925)
- Franz Pfeffer von Salomon (1926-1930)
- Adolf Hitler (1930-1945)
In September 1930 to source the Stennes Revolt and to try to ensure the personal loyalty of the SA to himself, Hitler Assumed command of the Entire Organization and remained Supreme SA leader for the remainder of the group’s existence to 1945. The day-to -day running of the SA which Conducted by the Chief of Staff-SA (SA Chief of Staff). After Hitler’s assumption of the supreme command of the SA, it what the Chief of Staff-SA Who Was Generally Accepted as the Commander of the SA, acting in Hitler’s name. The Following personnel held the position of Chief of Staff-SA:
- Otto Wagener (1929-1931)
- Ernst Röhm (1931-1934)
- Viktor Lutze (1934-1943)
- Wilhelm Schepmann (1943-1945)
The SA which organized throughout Germany into several large formations known as groups. Within each group, there existed subordinate brigades and in turn existed regiment-sized standards. SA Standartenfiihrer operated out of every major German city and were split into even smaller units, known as Sturmbanne and storms.
The command nexus for the Entire SA operated out of Stuttgart and what known as the Supreme SA Leadership. The SA supreme command had many sub-offices to handle supply, finance, and recruiting. Unlike the SS, However, the SA did not have a medical corps nor did it establish itself outside of Germany, in occupied territories, once World War II had begun.
The SA therefore had several military training units, the largest of which was the SA Navy, which served as on auxiliary to the Kriegsmarine (German navy) and performed search and rescue operations as well as harbor defense. Similar to the Waffen-SS wing of the SS, the SA therefore had an armed military wing, known as Feldherrnhalle. These formations expanded from regimental size in 1940 to a fully-fledged armored corps Panzer Corps Feldherrnhalle in 1945th.
Organization Structure August 1934-1945
- Supreme SA Leadership (Supreme SA Command & Control)
- Group (Group): Consisting of several brigades
- Brigade: 3 to 9 standards (standards)
- Standard (Standard, regiment sized unit): 3 to 5 battalions (Storm banns)
- Sturmbann (Storm spell, battalion sized unit): 3 to 5 storms (Storms)
- Sturm (Storm, company sized sub-unit): 3 to 4 squads (Platoons)
- Squad (squad, platoon sized sub-unit): 3 to 4 flocks (sections)
- Schar (section): 1 to 2 Rotten (squads or teams)
- Rottenberg (squad or team): 4 to 8 SA-Men / SA-Troopers
- SA man (SA-Man / SA Trooper)
Sudetendeutsches Freikorps (Sudeten German Free Corps, also known as the Freikorps Sudetenland, Freikorps Henlein and Sudetendeutsche Legion) was a paramilitary Nazi organization founded on 17 September 1938 in Germany on direct order of Adolf Hitler. The organization was composed mainly of ethnic German citizens of Czechoslovakia with pro-Nazi sympathies who were sheltered, trained and equipped by German authorities and who were conducting cross border terrorist operations into Czechoslovak territory from 1938 to 1939. They played important part in Hitler’s successful effort to occupy Czechoslovakia and annex the region known as Sudetenland into the Third Reich under Nazi Germany.
Sudetendeutsches Freikorps was a factual successor to Freiwillinger Schutzdienst, also known as Ordnersgruppe, an organization that had been established by the Sudeten German Party in Czechoslovakia unofficially in 1933 and officially on 17 May 1938, following the example of Sturmabteilung, the original paramilitary wing of the German Nazi Party. Officially being registered as promoter organization, the Freiwillinger Schutzdienst was dissolved on 16 September 1938 by the Czechoslovak authorities due to its implication in large number of criminal and terrorist activities. Many of its members as well as leadership, wanted for arrest by Czechoslovak authorities, had moved to Germany where they became the basis of Sudetendeutsches Freikorps, conducting Freikorps’ first cross-border raids into Czechoslovakia only few hours after its official establishment. Due to the smooth transition between the two organizations, similar membership, Nazi Germany’s sponsorship and application of the same tactic of cross-border raids, some authors often don’t particularly distinguish between the actions of Ordners (i.e. up to 16 September 1938) and Freikorps (i.e. from 17 September 1938).
Relying on the Convention for the Definition of Aggression, Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš and the government-in-exile later regarded 17 September 1938, the day of establishment of the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps, as the beginning of the undeclared German-Czechoslovak war. This understanding has been assumed also by the contemporary Czech Constitutional court.
Sudeten German Party
The Sudeten German Party (German: Sudetendeutsche Partei, SdP, Czech: Sudetoněmecká strana) was created by Konrad Henlein under the name Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront (“Front of Sudeten German Homeland”) on October 1, 1933, some months after the state of Czechoslovakia had outlawed the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, DNSAP). In April 1935, the party was renamed Sudetendeutsche Partei following a mandatory demand of the Czechoslovak government. The name was officially changed to Sudeten German and Carpathian German Party (Sudetendeutsche und Karpatendeutsche Partei) in November 1935.
With the rising power of Nazi Party in Germany, the Sudeten German Party became a major pro-Nazi force in Czechoslovakia with explicit official aim of breaking the country up and joining it to the Third Reich. By June 1938, the party had over 1,3 million members, i.e. 40.6% of ethnic-German citizens of Czechoslovakia. During last free democratic elections before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the May 1938 communal elections, the party gained 88% of ethnic-German votes, taking over control of most municipal authorities in the Czech borderland. The country’s mass membership made it one of the largest fascist parties in Europe at the time.
Volkssturm – People’s Militia
The Volkssturm (German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlks.ʃtʊɐ̯m], roughly “people’s militia”) was a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was set up, not by the traditional German Army, but by the Nazi Party on the orders of Adolf Hitler on October 18, 1944. It conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard.
Life in Nazi Germany Photos