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SS redirects here, for the starship registry prefix, please see SS (registry).
"The trouble with you SS is that you don't realize that punishment becomes ineffective after a certain point. Men become... insensitive."
"You are superior to NO ONE!"

The Schutzstaffel, or SS, was a paramilitary organization which existed as the armed branch of the Nazi political party in Germany from the late 1920s until the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945. It was formed at first to be a special guard for Adolf Hitler and was known in the 1930s for its distinct black uniforms, and on both Earth and Ekos for the brutality and cruelty of their tactics, including torture. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

The German SS Edit

SS 1930s

The SS at a 1930s rally

Nazi officers

An SS officer and SS soldier during World War II

The SS was based on a racial ideology which stated that the German people were destined to be masters of Europe. Germany was superior to all other nations, so believed the SS, and it was the duty of the SS to purge the German lands of inferior peoples and "cleanse the German blood". To this end, the SS became the primary organization in persecuting the Jewish people which were seen as inferior and mortal enemies of Germany. (VOY: "The Killing Game")

During the Second World War, the SS became an elite unit, with field SS units wearing gray uniforms instead of black. Like their '30s counterparts however, the World War II SS was easily identified by "SS bolts" on the collars of their uniforms. The SS was not beyond committing war crimes, such as indiscriminately rounding up civilians or torturing prisoners. (ENT: "Storm Front", "Storm Front, Part II")

The military branch of the SS, known as the "Waffen-SS" participated in several campaigns in Poland, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Russia, and in the defense of Germany in the last days of World War II, attaining, despite a less than auspicious start in the first two war years, a fierce fighting reputation in the process. That reputation however, was seriously marred by the countless war atrocities they committed over the course of the war.
It should be noted that, even though they often fought in conjuncture with, and under the operational command of, the regular German army, the Wehrmacht, formally the politically fanatical Waffen-SS remained an autonomous organization and answerable to the Nazi party only and not to the German High Command, as the SS was not a part of the Wehrmacht. This partially explained why the war atrocities they committed had no ramifications before German military tribunals during the war, though the Wehrmacht too had not been free from committing these themselves.

The Ekosian SS Edit

Ekosian trooper

A soldier of the Ekosian SS

A resurgence of the SS began on the planet Ekos in the 2260s under the guidance of Federation historian John Gill. In a bizarre social experiment, Gill created an equivalent of the Nazi party which soon became the governing body of Ekos. Gill also formed an SS whose officers employed similar procedures and policies as the original organization. Gill's original intention was to have both the Nazi Party and the SS function as passive organizations, for the good of Ekos, but a plot by Gill's subordinate Melakon derailed this plan and the SS soon turned into a brutal organization which persecuted the Zeon minority on Ekos.

The Ekosian SS used torture and execution and openly engaged in genocide after Nazi policies turned towards purging Ekos of all Zeons. The SS shot down Zeons in the streets of Ekosian cities, spitting on the wounded and dying, and typically executed prisoners suspected of crimes. (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

All of the Ekos-SS appear to wear cuff bands which read "Adolf Hitler", which is odd given that Gill was the Fuhrer of Ekos and not Hitler. The real reason for this is that the episode wardrobe was taken from stock German uniforms used in World War II films.

Alternate timelines Edit

Vosk and Kraul

Two Na'kuhl in SS uniforms

The SS has existed in at least two alternate timelines, the first being a world where Nazi Germany won the Second World War and conquered the entire planet Earth. This was the result of Leonard McCoy traveling back in time and stopping the death of Edith Keeler. With Keeler still living, the United States of America became a pacifist nation and did not enter World War II. The result was Germany developing atomic weapons and "capturing the world". (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

Although not directly stated in the episode, it can be assumed that the SS thrived and expanded in this world where Germany had triumphed during World War II.

In another timeline, Germany was assisted by the Na'kuhl and invaded the east coast of the United States. The Na'kuhl, led by Vosk, were granted membership in the SS complete with the right to wear SS uniforms and several Nazi military decorations. Vosk became the senior SS officer, granted the rank of Obersturmbannführer. In this version of history, the (non-Na'kuhl) SS was tasked with maintaining security in occupied America with SS security squads patrolling the streets of such major cities as Washington, DC and New York City. (ENT: "Storm Front", "Storm Front, Part II")

Other versions of the SS Edit

Hirogens Turanj and Karr on Voyager's holodeck

Two Hirogens in SS uniforms

When the Hirogen captured the USS Voyager, and programmed the holodeck with a World War II scenario, several holodeck characters were portrayed as members of the SS during the years of the French occupation. The Hirogen interacted with the SS and the Hirogen leaders posed as senior SS officers. (VOY: "The Killing Game", "The Killing Game, Part II")

The concept of German racial superiority was seen as a falsehood by the Hirogen with Karr questioning one of the holodeck SS characters on the subject and determining that, without their weapons to back them up, the SS were just the same as their victims. The German arguments of racial superiority upset Karr, and he exclaimed to an SS-Kapitän: "You are superior to NO ONE!"

For reasons that can only be guessed at, Star Trek producers had invariably chosen to only portray World War II-era German soldiers as belonging to the SS (see for more details: Wehrmacht background note). Yet, it can be argued that the Hirogen only selected the fiercest fighters for their hunting simulations, a prerequisite the Waffen-SS met in full.

SS uniforms and insignia Edit

See: SS uniforms and insignia

The SS used various uniforms, including a black uniform for parade functions and a field grey jacket for wartime service. SS members were also entitled to the same medals of Nazi Germany as the rest of the German military.

External link Edit

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