Cultural Dictionary

SS definition

An elite corps of combat troops (SS is short for Schutzstaffel, which is German for “protective shield”) formed originally within the German Nazi party as a bodyguard for Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders and led by Heinrich Himmler. During the 1930s, Hitler steadily expanded the responsibilities of the SS to include the suppression of his political opponents within Germany and the persecution of the Jews. The SS supervised the concentration camps.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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