Julius Schreck – the first Supreme Commander of the SS

Julius Schreck – the first Supreme Commander of the SS

Schreck was the first Supreme Commander of the SS, well before the arrival of Heinrich Himmler.

On July 13, 1898, a man was born who was the first commander of the infamous Nazi SS, well before the arrival of Heinrich Himmler. His name was Julius Schreck and he joined Hitler at about the same time as the party that would later become known as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). Schreck shared Hitler’s fate when he ended up in prison in Bavaria in 1923 for the failed Beer Coup in Munich (during that joint stay in prison Hitler wrote the book Mein Kampf).

In 1925, Julius Schreck became a member of the Special Security Unit of Nazi officials, especially the party Führer Adolf Hitler. The unit was named SS, which stands for Schutzstaffel (Croatian Protection Squad). Schreck was the first leader of the SS, which is why some give him the rank of Reichsführer-SS (later Himmler’s rank). However, Schreck never held the rank of Reichsführer, but was known as the Oberleiter. The title of Reichsführer was introduced for the leader of the SS only after Schreck’s departure from that position.

In Schreck’s time, the SS did not yet have the kind of power it later gained under Heinrich Himmler (when it became almost like a state within a state). The SS was initially a relatively small unit in charge of insurance. After he ceased to be the leader of the SS, Schreck worked, among other things, as Hitler’s driver. He died as early as 1936 of meningitis, and the Nazis gave him a solemn funeral at which Adolf Hitler, then German Chancellor and supreme leader of the Third Reich, gave a speech in honor of the deceased.

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