DAS SCHWARZE KORPS (German for The Black Corps) was the official
newspaper of the
Schutzstaffel (SS). This newspaper was published on
Wednesdays and distributed free of charge. Each SS member was
encouraged to read it. The chief editor was SS leader Gunter d\'Alquen
; the publisher was
Max Amann of the
company. The paper was hostile to many groups, with frequent articles
Catholic Church (any act of intervention with the state
being denounced as "political Catholicism"),
Jews , Communism,
Freemasonry and others.
The newspaper was published in close co-operation with the
Sicherheitsdienst (SD; Security Service), which had substantial
editorial control. The first edition appeared on 6 March 1935. In
November of the same year, publication reached 200,000 and by 1944 had
increased to 750,000. The newspaper saw some distribution outside
* 1 History and its articles
* 2 References
* 2.1 Informational notes
* 2.2 Citations
* 2.3 Bibliography
* 2.4 Further reading
* 3 External links
HISTORY AND ITS ARTICLES
Formed in 1935, Das Schwarze Korps, was the official newspaper of the
Schutzstaffel (SS). The newspaper was created to be a defender of
Nazism, to disseminate and promote the ideological messages of their
organization and its leader,
Heinrich Himmler . The
paper was used to reinforced Himmler's beliefs, to identify and attack
elements within German society that he found unacceptable, to boost
morale among members of the SS, to combat anything considered to be
pernicious enemies within the Nazi state, and to encourage the racial
doctrine that "pure-blooded Nordics must be bred"—which included
promoting the idea that it was partially the responsibility of members
of the "elite" SS corps to correspondingly produce "beautiful"
illegitimate children. Illegitimate births aside, marriage was
depicted as an obligation to the state, part of the mechanism to
establish a racially productive community in which individual
happiness was of no importance.
On other occasions the paper served to inform its readers on the
pseudo-scientific research Himmler commissioned to support his beliefs
in the mystical powers of the ancient Germanic predecessors. In one
Das Schwarze Korps
Das Schwarze Korps reported on the archaeological whereabouts
(previously unknown) of Henry I\'s remains, claiming that, "scientific
evidence has established that the remains discovered during
excavations in the crypt of Quedlinburg cathedral are in fact those of
Besides the esoteric pursuits of Himmler, the SS newspaper strongly
criticized party leaders whose worldview differed from SS doctrine.
Carefully crafted articles gave SS men and the other readers an
elitist image of the organization. This by means of information about
the SS, its activities and successes, which were constantly scattered
throughout the paper.
Das Schwarze Korps
Das Schwarze Korps routinely contained foreign
news reports, analyses of threats, and theoretical essays on Nazi
policies. Praise for motherly women and families was contrasted with
discrediting the women\'s movement of "Amazons" and women that the
Nazis considered too manly. It had a strong pro-natalist slant,
though at one point, it declared some tactics were excessive: an
employee being publicly admonished by a superior to have children, to
divorce or adopt. Anti-clerical articles appeared in the paper, many
of which attacked senior members of the clergy, each article part of
an effort to "demolish the moral authority of the Catholic Church."
Christian concepts like original sin were described as "intolerable"
ideas that were "incompatible" with Nordic man and the otherwise
"heroic ideology" about Germanic blood.
The paper also covered foreign press attacks with instructions on how
to refute them. In accordance with doctrines of
Blood and Soil
Blood and Soil , it
spoke of the need to break up the aristocratic estates, although this
was not implemented. Historian Amy Carney described Das Schwarze
Korps as "a conduit through which the SS was able to reveal its
ambitions to the German people."
Das Schwarze Korps
Das Schwarze Korps provided members
of the SS with articles reminding them of their need to "be mindful of
their family's biological heritage when marrying" and for general
readers, the paper demonstrated "how dedicated its men were to their
Führer and to the Reich and what an example they were setting for the
entire Volk by adhering to the principles of eugenics."
Prior to the passing of the 1935
Nuremberg Laws , it called for a law
Rassenschande or intercourse between
Jews and Germans, as
preferable to the extra-legal violence that the SA Stormtroopers
indulged in; after that edition, articles on the "Jewish Question"
did not increase in number, but did grow more harsh in tone. .
Judicial leniency was either criticized or ridiculed and a 1937 issue
explained the obligation of lawyers to protect the "national
In the late 1930s, the magazine featured an article written by
Nobel Prize winner
Johannes Stark , who argued that the
racial, physical triumph of the
Aryan over 'the Jew' would only be a
"partial victory" unless Jewish ideas and sentiments were not also
fully destroyed. Stark added that, "we also have to eradicate the
Jewish spirit, whose blood can flow just as undisturbed today as
before if its carriers hold beautiful
Aryan passes." In October 1938,
an editorial argued that German
Jews as "are also responsible for
whatever world Jewry undertakes against Germany" and that they were
also "liable for the damages which world Jewry inflicts and will
inflict upon us."
A subsequent edition of
Das Schwarze Korps
Das Schwarze Korps communicated the harsh and
foreboding message that if any single Jew harmed a German, they would
all be held responsible, while another explicitly stated: "The day a
murder weapon that is Jewish or bought by
Jews rises against one of
the leading men of Germany, there will be no more
Jews in Germany!"
Immediately in the wake of the carnage of
Kristallnacht , Nazi threats
were becoming reality and the SS-sponsored paper cited among the
reasons for their violence: anti-Semitism was prevalent in all
racially healthy peoples for thousands of years, the Nazis were the
only ones willing and "tough enough" to take effective and practical
actions, and the international community was full of hypocrites who
failed to help the
Jews out—namely when they refused to offer them
"safe refuge." Additional propagandistic usage of the SS journal
included the promotion of the cult of personality surrounding Adolf
Hitler , as his portraits abounded within the text. A telling example
of the adulation dedicated to the Nazi leader shows in the following
extract from Das Schwarze Korps: The
Führer is the highest gift to
the nation. He is the German fulfilment. An artist who wants to render
Führer must be more than an artist. The entire German people and
German eternity will stand silently in front of this work, filled with
emotions to gain strength from it today and for all time. Holy is the
art and the call to serve the people. Only the best may dare to render
Such deification of Hitler accompanied by anti-Semitic propaganda
made the editorial staff of the SS newspaper a responsible entity in
the institutional framework of the Holocaust . The newspaper itself is
an indictment against the National Socialists collectively since it
revealed even before the war that the SS was prepared to take radical
action against the Jews. Besides praising Hitler, the paper made
specious claims against any perceived enemy; for example,
portrayed as having an inclination towards
Bolshevism (a widely-known
enemy of the Nazi state) in Das Schwarze Korps, indicated in the
following excerpt from the 24 November 1938 edition: Least of all
we do not want to see hundreds of thousands of impoverished
Jews as a
Bolshevism and a recruiting base for the political
and sub-humanity that, as a result of the selection process, is
disintegrating on the margins of our own nationhood...In the event of
such a development, we would face the harsh necessity of wiping out
the Jewish underworld just as we are used to wiping out criminals in
our orderly state: with fire and sword. The result would be the actual
and definitive end of Jewry in Germany, its total extermination.
Hate-speech from the editors of the SS newspaper portended the Jews'
later fate. In lieu of the sweeping statements made in the official
SS-journal, SD chief
Reinhard Heydrich rarely appears within its
pages, as he thought it was "ill-organized and poorly written." This
did not stop Heydrich from using the paper to reinforce his message
that any and all dissenters to the
Anschluss with Austria were to be
arrested, whether or not they wore a Nazi uniform.
During the war, whenever the
Waffen-SS would join the army in
maneuvers, particularly at Hitler's behest, the instances were proudly
reported in Das Schwarze Korps. Deliberate propaganda efforts to
bolster morale formed a notable portion of the content of the
newspaper, especially in encouraging members of the SS and the public
at large to remain prepared to report anyone who might oppose the war
effort. For example, a 1943 article told the story of a soldier on
leave from Stalingrad who overheard an old woman thought to be
mentally impaired complaining about the war; the paper encouraged
extreme action against people like this, calling them "cowardly
traitors" and claiming in no uncertain terms that such persons deserve
the same "harshness that we show toward the enemy, regardless of how
stupid and innocuous we find them. This a war for our very survival.
He who does not want our victory wants our defeat. He who wants our
defeat wants our death."
* ^ During the 1930s, it was available in the United States at
least one bookshop associated with the
German American Bund
German American Bund .
* ^ Two months after the paper started publication, head of the SS
Main Office, SS-Gruppenführer August Heißmeyer, asserted, "in no
other press product is the spirit of the SS presented in so clear a
manner as in Das Schwarze Korps." From: SS-Zeitung Das schwarze Korps,
27 May 1935, BA NS31/354, 47.
* ^ The particular Schwarze Korps article from which this statement
is derived, was entitled "Jew, what now?"
* ^ Manvell & Fraenkel 1987 , p. 50.
* ^ Zeck 2002 , pp. 161–180, 201–207.
* ^ A B Zentner -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;">
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* Carney, Amy (2014). "
Das Schwarze Korps
Das Schwarze Korps and the Validation of the
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