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Waffen SS recruitment poster featuring a young uniformed soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.13

Recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring a profile image of a uniformed soldier. The Waffen SS was the armed military division of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi paramilitary organization that was responsible for security, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enforcing Nazi racial policies. They controlled the concentration camp system and planned and coordinated the Final Solution. The SS was originally formed in 1925 to protect Hitler along with other Nazi leaders and provide security at political meetings. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader of the SS) and turned the organization into an elite corps based on visions of racial purity and absolute loyalty to Hitler. The Waffen SS was established in 1939, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. The figure in the poster may have been based on Klemens Behler, who was an SS recruit at the time of the poster’s creation. He would go on to reach the rank of Obersturmbannführer (Senior assault unit leader) in the 23rd SS division, and was awarded the Knights Cross for his actions during the war.

Waffen SS Eintritt nach vollendetem 17. Lebensjahr
publication/distribution:  1941
manufacture: Munich (Germany)
issue: Berlin (Germany)
Nazi propaganda
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2023-08-28 08:11:45
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