This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. This thesis analyzes the rise of paramilitary organizations in Germany from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, through World War I, into the Weimar Republic, and finally in the Third Reich. The crisis of domestic politics as well as the Treaty of Versailles played an important role in this expansion. These factors limited Germany's military force and opened the door for military desperados to control the security of the nation. Paramilitary organizations grew throughout the interwar period, eventually growing into major political forces, most notably the Sturmabteilung (SA) of the Nazi Party. As the Nazi Party gained power, the SA, and later the Schutzstaffel (SS), occupied an important role within the totalitarian state. As the violent arm of the party, the SA and SS carried out the will of Adolf Hitler, whether running concentration camps or entering combat in World War II.
By the end of World War II, paramilitary organizations proved to play an important role in Germany' s history, especially for the rise of Hitler and the atrocities of the war. The purpose of this thesis is to show the effects that mass politics, military professionalism gone wrong and war termination can have on a nation and how this can spiral out of control as it did in the case of Germany.
CHAPTER I * INTRODUCTION * A. QUESTIONS TO ANSWER * B. RELEVANCE TODAY * C. SCHOLARSHIP ON PARAMILITARIES IN GERMANY * D. GERMANY: A CHANGING NATION * CHAPTER II * ORIGINS OF THE PARAMILTARY SPIRIT * A. THE EMERGENCE OF THE FREIKORPS, 1890-1918 * B. WORLD WAR I * 1. Stormtroopers * 2. Treaty of Versailles * a. The Stab in the Back * C. WHO JOINED THE FREIKORPS? * CHAPTER III * PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATIONS IN WEIMAR GERMANY * A. FORMATION OF VOLUNTEER FORCES, 1918-1919 * 1. Rise of the Freikorps * 2. Spartacist Week * 3. Ludwig von Maercker's Landesjaegerkorps * 4. Other Paramilitary Units * B. THE KAPP PUTSCH 1920 * 1. Four Days until Failure * 2. Buildup to the Putsch * 3. Taking Berlin * 4. Fallout from the Failed Putsch * C. "THE WAR IN THE DARKNESS" * 1. The Rise of the Black Reichswehr: Labor Associations * 2. The Civil Guards * 3. Youth Movement * 4. Jungdeutscher Orden, Stahlhelm, and the Beginning of the SA * D. THE CRISIS OF 1923 * E. POLITICAL COMBAT LEAGUES AND PARAMILITARY ACTION AFTER 1923 * CHAPTER IV * NAZIS AND PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATIONS IN THE THIRD REICH * A. HITLER YOUTH * 1. Organization and Education * 2. Growth and Monopoly * B. STURMABTEILUNG * 1. The Night of the Long Knives 1934 * a. Colibri * 2. The SA after the Purge * C. SCHUTZSTAFFEL 1934 * 1. Heinrich Himmler * 2. The SS * 3. Reinhard Heydrich * 4. Waffen-SS * D. VOLKSSTURM * E. THE HOLOCAUST * CHAPTER V * CONCLUSION * APPENDIX A * EQUIVALENT RANKS IN SA, SS, AND ARMY * APPENDIX B * SS ORGANIZATION, 1943 LIST OF REFERENCES