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Waffen SS recruitment poster with multiple blocks of small text and photographs

Object | Accession Number: 1990.333.23

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    Waffen SS recruitment poster with multiple blocks of small text and photographs

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    Brief Narrative
    German recruitment poster for the Waffen SS featuring photographs of high ranking SS officers and soldiers participating in their wartime activities. 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. The SS 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 to strengthen the position of the SS relative to the army and German elites, eventually fielding more than twenty divisions and half a million men at its peak. Members of the Waffen SS were selected based on “racial” ancestry. Selected individuals were expected to have an Aryan Nordic lineage and volunteers were accepted from Germany, and later Norway, Denmark and Holland.
    That’s how the Waffen SS is fighting
    publication/distribution:  1941
    publication: Berlin (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, top center, printed, black ink : Die Waffen-SS [The Waffen-SS]
    front, center, printed, black ink : So kämpft die Waffen-SS [So fighting the Waffen-SS]
    front, bottom, printed, black ink : In diesem Kampf nun hat das deutsche Fußvolk sich wieder als / das erwiesen, was es immer war: als die beste lnfanterie der / Welt! Mit ihr wetteiferten alle anderen Waffen des Heeres; die / Männer der Waffen-SS nehmen an diesem Ruhm teil! Adolf Hitler. [In this fight, now the German infantry has again proven to be what it has always been: the best infantry in the World! All other weapons of the army competed with it; the men of the Waffen SS participate in this glory! Adolf Hitler.]
    front, bottom, printed, black ink : Meldungen von Freiwilligen im Alter von 17 bis 39 Jahren nimmt entgegen: / SS- Ergänzungsstelle Elbe (IV) / Dresden-A 20, Tiergartenstrasse 46 [Enrollment of volunteers aged 17 to 39 is taken at: SS-Recruiting Station Elbe (IV) Dresden-A 20, Tiergarten Street 46]
    front, bottom, printed, black ink : Außerdem nehmen Meldungen entgegen: Sämtliche Polizei-, Gendarmerie- und die örtlichen SS-Dienststellen [Additional enrollment is taken at: all Police, military police, and local SS offices]
    front, bottom right corner, printed, black ink : Herausgegeben vom SS-Hauptamt, Berlin W 35. / Wort: Ergänzungsamt der Waffen-SS. - Bild: SS-PK. / 5/41/200 000 Druck: H.A. Braun & Co., Berlin-Tempelhof [Published by SS-Main Office, Berlin W 35. Word: Recruiting Office of the Waffen-SS. - Picture: SS-PK. Printer: H.A. Braun & Co., Berlin­ Tempelhof
    Printer: H.A. Braun & Co.
    Publisher: Waffen-SS
    Subject: Josef Dietrich
    Subject: Heinrich Himmler
    Subject: Paul Hausser
    Subject: Theodor Eicke
    Subject: Felix Steiner
    Subject: Arthur Mülverstedt
    Josef (Sepp) Dietrich was born in Hawangen, Germany on May 28, 1892. As a teenager he worked as a butcher’s apprentice before joining the German army in 1911, rising to the rank of sergeant during World War I. In 1923 he joined the Sturmabteilung (SA). In 1928 he joined the Schutzstaffel (SS), and became commander of Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard. In 1930 Dietrich was elected to the Reichstag and in 1931 he achieved the rank of Gruppenführer (lieutenant general) in the SS. In 1932 Dietrich founded a special SS unit, the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler, which served as Hitler’s personal army and later became a division in the Waffen SS. On July 1, 1934, for his actions during the Night of the Long Knives, he was awarded the rank of SS Obergruppenfuehrer (general). Dietrich led his division in the battles of Kursk and Kharkov on the Eastern front and the invasion of Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge on the Western Front. After the German surrender, Dietrich was found guilty of complicity in the massacre of American soldiers near Malmedy during the Ardennes offensive and was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. He served 10 years and was released. In 1957 he was convicted in a German court for his role in Hitler’s purge of the SA in 1934 and served another 20 months in prison on this charge. Josef Dietrich, aged 73, died on April 21 1966.
    Heinrich Himmler was born on October 7, 1900 in Munich, Germany to a conservative Catholic family. He served as an officer cadet in the Eleventh Bavarian Regiment at the end of World War I, though the war ended before he graduated. He studied agriculture at the Technical University in Munich, graduating in August 1922. In August 1923, he joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party), and shortly after, marched with other Nazi leaders in the Beer Hall Putsch as an attempt to overthrow the German government. On January 6, 1929, Himmler was appointed Reichsführer of the SS. He immediately began expanding the SS, which reached a membership of more than 50,000 by 1933. In April 1934, Himmler was appointed assistant chief of the Gestapo. He masterminded the Night of the Long Knives, the purge of Adolf Hitler’s rival Nazi leaders on June 30, 1934. Under Himmler, the SS acquired vast police powers in Germany and the territories it occupied, and gained primary responsibilities in the areas of security, intelligence gathering, and espionage. Himmler oversaw the deployment of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) in the massacre of Jews and other victims during the early war years. He also organized the extermination camps in German-occupied Poland where millions of Jews were murdered. In April 1945, Himmler transmitted an offer of German surrender to the Allies. When Hitler learned of the offer, he stripped Himmler of his authority and ordered his arrest. After the German surrender on May 7, Himmler was captured by Soviet soldiers on May 20. On May 23, 1945, Heinrich Himmler committed suicide at age 44.
    Paul Hausser was born on October 7, 1880, in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany. After serving in World War I he became a member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) and joined the Sturmabteilung (SA) and then moved to the Schutzstaffel (SS) in 1933. Hausser commanded Wafffen SS units in France and on the Eastern Front and was promoted to the rank of Oberstgruppenführer (colonel general) in 1944. In August, he was wounded and relieved of duty. Paul Hausser died on December 21, 1972 aged 92 in Ludwigsburg, West Germany (now Germany).
    Theodor Eicke, was born on October 17, 1892 in Alsace Lorraine, Germany. He served in the German army from 1909 until the end of World War I and was awarded with the Iron Cross. After the war he became a police officer. In 1928, he joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) and the Sturmabteilung (SA). In 1930, he transferred to the SS where he developed a friendship with SS chief Heinrich Himmler. In March 1932, he was sentenced to a two year prison term for a political bomb attack. Rather than serve time Eicke fled to Italy. He returned to Germany in February 1933 and in June, Eicke was made commandant of the first concentration camp, Dachau, and was awarded the rank of Oberfuehrer (senior leader). During the Night of the Long Knives on June 30, 1934, Eich personally murdered SA chief Ernest Röhm. On July 4, Eicke was appointed as Inspector of concentration camps and SS guard units and a week later he was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer. On November 14, 1939, he was appointed Commander of the first SS-Totenkopf Division which fought in the French Campaign and the Soviets in the Baltic States. On February 26 1943, Eicke was on an inspection flight when his plane was shot down by the Soviets near Orelka, Russia. Theodor Eicke, aged 50, died in the crash.
    Felix Steiner was born on May 23, 1896 in Stallupönen, Germany. He served as an officer in the German army during World War I, was awarded the Iron Cross and reached the rank of Oberleutnant (First lieutenant). After the war he left the military only to rejoin in 1921. He was appointed to the General Staff where he served until 1927 when he was promoted to Hauptmann (Captain). In 1935, Steiner joined the SS-Verfüngungstruppe (precursor to the Waffen SS) and was given command of a regiment in 1936. His regiment took part in the Anschluss, and the invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union. Steiner was then promoted to Brigadeführer und Generalmajor (Brigadier General) and given command of the Wiking Division, composed of volunteers from Norway, Denmark and Holland, countries with the same racial composition as the Germans. In June 1941 the division moved to the Soviet front. In 1945, he was given command of the 11th Army and was tasked with defending Pomerania and northern Berlin from the advancing Soviet Army. On April 21, Hitler ordered him to counterattack a superior Soviet force but Steiner refused, and retreated his army west and surrendered to the British Army. After the war, he was incarcerated until 1948 and faced charges during the Nuremburg Trials. However the charges were dropped and he was released from custody. Felix Steiner, aged 69, died on May 12, 1966, in Munich, Germany.
    Arther Mülverstedt was born on June 30, 1894 in Gebesee, Germany. In 1914, he entered the German army and fought in World War I, reaching the rank of lieutenant. After the war, he became a police officer in Berlin and later transferred to Hanover. Mülverstedt joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) in 1932 and in 1938 he joined the Schutzstaffel (SS). In the SS he was a commander of the Polizei Division and reached the rank of Gruppenführer (Major General). Mülverstedt was killed in action on August 10, 1941 near the Soviet city of Luga.

    Physical Details

    Nazi propaganda
    Propaganda posters.
    Physical Description
    Offset lithographic poster printed in black and white on faded light brown paper with a white linen backing featuring pictures and captions of Waffen SS soldiers and officers. At the top is a line of large, bold, black text. Below are 6 captioned photographs of high ranking SS officers, top row: Sepp Dietrich, Heinrich Himmler, Paul Hausser; bottom row: Theodor Eicke, Felix Steiner, and Arthur Mülverstedt. On either side are columns of German text recounting the formation, armament, and duties of the Waffen SS. The bottom half has a centered title in bold text. Below are 13 captioned photographs arranged in 3 rows depicting the different branches in the field and the armament they utilize. At the bottom is a block of text encouraging people to sign up with the Waffen-SS.
    overall: Height: 34.750 inches (88.265 cm) | Width: 25.250 inches (64.135 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, adhesive, linen, pencil
    front, bottom left on linen, handwritten, pencil : 16/H
    front, bottom right on linen, handwritten, pencil : pII 485

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Berlin (Germany).

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-28 08:11:50
    This page:

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