“We March as an Order of National Socialist, Soldierly, Nordic Men”: Ideology, Soldiers and Civil-Military Relations in the Schutzstaffeln der NSDAP
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Vermin and serpents creep across the face of the globe, heralding the proli-feration of their subhuman counterparts in Europe’s most cultured cities. A swarthy, hirsute man with a waddling gait that bespeaks collapsed arches and unclean living contrasts to a tall, athletic Nordic figure with a lantern jaw, azure eyes and a soldierly bearing. Captured as slides, these images flicker in the half-light before a room of men in black uniforms on a weekend of para-military training in mid-1936. The lecture formed part of a curriculum in the perils of world Jewry and the principles of Nazi eugenics, to which Hei-nrich Himmler, eager to inculcate Nazi racist ideas in the elite guard of the party, treated the part-time volunteers in the so-called Allgemeine SS in the first years of the III. Reich.