Reich: The Schutzstaffel-1
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Unsere Ehre heisst Treue (Our Honour is named Loyalty)
The SS is split into two main divisions: the Reichs-SS, which is the elite group of the Party, made up of the most strict adherents to the Reich cause, and is dedicated to serving the security of the Reich in various ways; and the Waffen-SS, the organisation’s military arm.
Rupert Delatz, the Reichsführer-SS has direct command of the Reichs-SS, which has its administrative headquarters at Hradcany Castle, in southern Berlin; and is official Commander-in-Chief of the Waffen-SS.
The two halves of the organisation are closely related, following the same rank and officer structure, and both include a large number of men and women who grew up within the Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein. Cadets to both branches swear the same oath of allegiance on graduation:
I swear to Wilhelm König, as Kaiser of the Greater Reich, and Herzog Rupert Delatz, as its Protector,
Loyalty and Bravery. I vow to Thee and to the superiors whom Thou shalt appoint, Obedience unto Death.
May the gods help me.
An older version of the oath, which is still sometimes used, has the final line “So help me God”.
For the most part, the SS are devoted to the Kaiser, the Reichsführer-SS, their Kameraden and the State (not necessarily in that order), and will carry out their orders without any question and at any cost, including the deportation or incarceration of inhabitants of conquered territories, the enslavement of foreigners for labour, the illegal use of prisoners and waging an aggressive war. The Schutzstaffel has its own officer training centre (the SS-Junkerschule) at Bad Tölz, near Bremen, which is completely autonomous from the Wehrmacht military academy. In addition, there is an SS-specific, invitation-only mage school within the SS-Schule Haus in the grounds of the Wewelsburg, the Order Castle of the Knights of the SS and spiritual home of the Schutzstaffel in general, and the Knights in particular. The SS, as a whole, is completely autonomous from the regular Reich Armed Forces, although it does have the right to investigate members of the military if it deems it necessary.
The Reichs-SS is split into three main areas: the SS-Hauptamt comprises the administration, operations and legal aspects of the SS; the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Main Office or RSHA), deals with the police and security functions; and the Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft is concerned with the racial, genealogical and mystical elements of the organisation. Below the general banner of the Reichs-SS, the organisation is split into a number of departments and subdivisions.
|Department 1: Economic & Administration Main Office||Obergruppenführer Bruno Kaltenbrunner|
|Department 2: Equipment & Finance (SS Operations Main Office) – includes the Reich Pilots’ Guild||Obergruppenführer Maximilian Gluecks|
|Department 3: SS Legal Deparment||Gruppenführer Lisel Beyersdorf|
|Department 4: Security Services (SD/Sipo)||Oberstgruppenführer-SD Tristan Heydrich|
|Department 5: Secret Police (Gestapo)||Obergruppenführer-SD Diederick Schneider|
|Department 6: Regular Police Forces (Orpo/Kripo)||Orpo – Reichspolizeidirektor Mahael von Klaus
Kripo – Reichskriminaldirektor Beata Dietrich
|Department 7: The Außlands-SD (Außerhalb)||Oberstgruppenführer-SD Jorge von Raeder|
|Department 8: The Außlands-SD (Innerhalb)||Obergruppenführer-SD Eugen Kurtz|
|Department 9: Formannehmen Staatspolizei (Forstapo)||Oberstgruppenführer Dominik Gerlinde|
|Department 10: The Arcane Defence Group||Gruppenführer Hans Luitpold|
|Department 11: Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft||Brigadeführer Maria von Braun|
The administration departments within the SS-Hauptamt deal with the day-to-day running of the whole organisation, including everything from personnel matters and records, to medical and healthcare provision, to administration of the Disziplinarstraf- und Beschwerdeordnung der SS (the SS disciplinary code). The equipment and personnel requirements for both SS divisions are handled by the SS Operations Main Office at Hradcany Castle, rather than the Wehrmacht quartermasters.
Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) – the Reich Security Main Office
The duties of the RSHA involve the performance of some police functions (which are mainly handled by the semi-military Kripo and the Orpo), administration of the new Identity Magic system, which is being brought in around the Reich, and some specific security garrison and protection work at key installations and facilities (including all Reich Embassies outside the Fatherland), as well as participation in the suppression and extermination of all internal opponents of the regime, extending the regime beyond the borders of the Fatherland and Magica Superior, and participation in a number of activities designed to secure a hold over those territories and populations which, through military conquest, come under Reich domination.
There is a close collaboration between the SS, the SD, the Gestapo, the Einsatzgruppen and the Forstapo, but there is little doubt who is in charge of the operation as a whole.The Reichsführer-SS also appoints the Reichs-SS representative to the Cabinet (a position currently occupied by Brigadeführer Artur Dedrick), who acts as his eyes and ears within the government.
Amt 4: The Security Police – Sicherheitsdienst (the SD, or Sipo)
Commanded by the Oberstgruppenführer-SD, but overseen by the Reichsführer-SS, this body is the main intelligence gathering network within the Reich lands, and also has responsibility for counter-intelligence and certain covert operations. Its task is to obtain secret information concerning the actual and potential enemies of the Reich, so that appropriate action can be taken to destroy or neutralise opposition. It achieves this through an organisation of agents and informants operating out of various SD regional offices established throughout the Reich and the Aussenhandel Shadows, as well as staging operations through which the security of the Reich can be enhanced. It also monitors the loyalty of State officials. It is also the department responsible for administering and policing the Identity Magic system.
The SD is very much an agency of the Imperial Council, and the RSHA itself whereas the Gestapo is an organisation whose loyalty is at least in part to the Reichstag and the wider State, although the majority of its funding is courtesy of SS Amt 2.
Tristan Heydrich, Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (CSSD), KSS (W)
Tristan Heydrich has been a loyal servant of the Reich for many years, initially serving with distinction in the Auslands-Heer, attaining the rank of Generalmajor, but was invited to move across to the SS in RY085. Herzog Rupert introduced him to Berlin over a century and a half ago, and yet he does not appear to have aged significantly over that time. He served as second in command of the SD for fifteen years, and was strongly involved in the day-to-day running of that organisation. As at the Spring Equinox, RY153, he was appointed CSSD, replacing Andreas Delatz.
Heydrich is a tall man, standing around 6’2″ and has the build of an athlete. He is a skilled fencer and successful long-distance runner, and like Herzog Delatz, enjoys flying and hunting, as well as music (he is a noted violinist). He is married to Veronika, who holds a position within the Reich Chancellery, and they have two adult children: a son, Markus, a Standartenführer in the Waffen-SS, who is married with children of his own; and an unmarried daughter, Elise, who is Governor of the Reichsbank. He holds the Uradel title of Landgraf von Halle, and has been an Knight of the SS since RY093.
Gruppenführer Philip Metz
Metz has recently transferred into the SD from the Ahnenerbe, where he was previously in charge of the Ahnenerbe department dealing with new and recently located technology. He was promoted to his current rank, and has been placed in charge of the implementation of the Identity Magic system.
Amt 5: The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo)
The Geheime Staatspolizei is the official State secret police force within the Reich. Its role is to investigate and combat “all tendencies dangerous to the State”, with authority to investigate treason, espionage (in conjunction with the SD) and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Reich. It also has the power to invoke “protective custody” – habeas corpus does not exist within the Reich – allowing it to imprison people without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. Gestapo officers are often found on the front-line worlds in the wars with Sable and other enemies of the Reich.
Obergruppenführer-SD Diederick Schneider, KSS (W)
Schneider is the son of Herzog Hans Schneider, brother of Wilhelm von Frankfurt (the former Grossherzog before his death in a zeppelin accident some years ago), and his wife Aster. Both his parents are serving SS officers, his father in the Waffen-SS and his mother in the Reichs-SS, although she did spend a time in Sable custody after a failed mission. He is Talented and studied magic at Berlin Mage College, before going to Bad Tölz. Then, after graduating from officer training at the top of his class, he interned with several departments, as well as furthered his magical studies, before discovering a flair for intelligence work. He then spent some years as a field agent, before returning to Berlin when he was appointed as department head with responsibility for the Holstein Group.
Once back in Berlin, he proved his skill as an analyst, as well as an agent, and Andreas Delatz was willing to acknowledge his abilities by recommending him for promotion. He was appointed head of Amt 7 in RY137 on the death of his predecessor, Fritz Sonnenfeld, and was admitted as a Member of the Order of the Knights of the SS around the same time. He was made a Companion in RY144, as well as being promoted to Gruppenführer, and became a full Knight of the SS in RY151. He and Tristan Heydrich have a decent working relationship, and it was Heydrich who recommended that he be promoted to Obergruppenführer, which was put through at the beginning of RY154. His promotion to become head of Amt 5 was put through in late-June RY154.
Schneider is married to Marizia, a mid-level civil servant, and they have a young daughter and a new-born son.
Amt 6: The Non-Military Police Forces
Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) – Reichspolizeidirektor Mahael von Klaus
This is the remnant of the original Reich regular police force, and maintains its original police uniforms, rather than SS ones. It has its own commanding officer and recruits its own people, but is technically under the command of the RSHA. Orpo officers deal with day-to-day policing: picking up drunks, traffic violations, fighting fires, patrolling the transport system, answering emergency calls, etc, although more serious crimes are then referred upwards to the Kripo. Reichspolizeidirektor von Klaus also holds the SS rank of Brigadeführer.
The Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) – Reichskriminaldirektor Beata Dietrich
The Kripo is the higher ranking of the two more traditional police forces which still exist within the Reich, and many of its operative are plain clothes, rather than uniformed. It deals with crimes such as burglary, bank robberies, violent assaults, fraud, rape and murder. Its investigators hold rank in the SS – Obersturmführer, Hauptsturmführer or Sturmbannführer – in conjunction with their more usual ranks of Kriminalassistent, Kriminalinspektor, Kriminalkommissar, etc. Its commander, Beata Dietrich, is one of the currently highest-ranked woman in the RSHA, holding the rank of Gruppenführer as well as her police title.
Department 7: The Außlands-SD (Außerhalb)
Until recently, the Außlands-SD’s operations on the Inside and the Outside were both organised under the same banner of “Außlands-SD”, with the Outside operations given significantly less weight, warranting little more than a branch office in Sanguine. The previous incumbent as Head of Amt 7, Diederick Schneider, became Head of the Gestapo in late-June RY154, after his predecessor in that position was killed in a terrorist incident. He was replaced by Jorge von Raeder. As the RFSS has become more interested in external events, however, it has gained greater significance and, on von Raeder’s recommendation, the department was split with effect from 1 July RY 156. Von Raeder decided to stay as Head of Amt 7, rather than Amt 8.
While the Auslands-SD (Außerhalb) is technically a branch of the Main SD, given that the organisation is based in Sanguine, rather than the Inside, it has even greater autonomy from the main SD and the RHSA as a whole than the Innerhalb branch. Its commander is the next-highest ranked officer on the gateway world behind the Reichsprotektor. The Außerhalb department has responsibilities for external intelligence gathering and operations on the Outside.
Department 8: The Außlands-SD (Innerhalb)
The Außlands-SD (Innerhalb) is responsible for external intelligence gathering and operations on the Inside. Given its geographical scope, it has a certain degree of autonomy from the internal security police. Prior to the split, the Head of Außlands-SD was effectively second-in-command of the Sicherheitsdienst as a whole. However, that responsibility has moved with von Raeder, so the head of the new Innerhalb department is below him in seniority.
Obergruppenführer-SD Eugen Kurtz
Kurtz was appointed to his current position when the Außlands-SD was first split, in July RY 156.
Amt 9: The Formannehmen Staatspolizei (Forstapo)
This branch of the RSHA is under the direct control of Rupert Delatz, through his deputy Dominik Gerlinde. Its purpose is to identify shape shifters within the Reich, the Aussenhandel and in the disputed territories both on Magica Superior and out in Shadow, such that they can be watched and imprisoned, if necessary, as threats to the State. Its members are specially trained in techniques for capturing, imprisoning and dealing with shape shifters. Rumour has it that it is the only RSHA organisation which knowingly employs any shape shifters, on the theory of what better way to beat your enemy than to know the way it thinks.
Wthin the last few years, the Forstapo’s brief has been extended to include regulation and registration of admitted shape shifters within the Reich proper, including shape shifting children who are now identified young and brought up within the Lebensborn system.
Oberstgruppenführer Dominik Gerlinde, KSS (W)
Like many of the senior SS commanders, Dominik Gerlinde was primarily brought up within the Lebensborn system. There was a brief period in his youth when he lived elsewhere, but he returned to the Bremen Lebensborn Centre before his tenth birthday and remained there for the rest of his childhood. He did his State Service with the SS before going to university to study medicine, where he graduated near the top of his year. He continued his training at the SS medical facility attached to the Waffen-SS officer training centre at Bad Tölz. However, after he fully qualified as a doctor, he returned to the front lines, working with the Forstapo, and quickly came to the attention of its then-commander of the Forstapo, Johan Hartwin (now deceased).
He was appointed general commanding in RY118, and was made a Knight of the SS in RY125. In December RY153 he was given the Lower Nobility title of Fürst von Wardenburg, with lands in the province of Bremen, in recognition of services to the Fatherland. Towards the end of the same month he was seriously injured in an assassination attempt, but survived and initially returned to duty at reduced rank. However, he was restored to his previous rank at the end of June RY154. He is known to hate Jorge von Raeder with a passion.
Obergruppenführer Josef Linz, KSS (S)
Operational command of the Forstapo devolved to Gerlinde’s effective second-in-command, Josef Linz, during his superior’s convalescence, and given the competence he displayed during that period, he has now been permanently reassigned to Berlin from his previous position as as head of the Forstapo in the Bayern Group of the Aussenhandel der Reichsverband. He is a few years younger than his commander, and the younger of twins, his elder brother being Cornelius. He is strongly Talented, and while he completed his State Service with the Auslands-Heer, after studying for his Bachelors in Magic at the Armed Forces Mage College, he was invited to join the SS. He served with the Waffen-SS for some time, before doing his Masters at the SS-Schule Haus, and then transferred across to the Forstapo. He later achieved his Doctorate, with a speciality in healing magic and genetics, and worked in the Forstapo medical facility for a while before returning to active duty in the field. He was honoured as one of the Summer Circle Knights of the SS with the establishment of that group.
Amt 10: The Arcane Defence Group
The Arcane Defence Group (ADG) was the brainchild of a young Sturmbannführer in the Gestapo by the name of Hans Luitpold, and was established about fifteen years ago under the auspices of the Gestapo. After a series of security problems in a number of locations, Luitpold proposed a central group of key defensive mages to co-ordinate arcane defences at important Gestapo facilities across Reich territory, to maintain a consistent high standard of arcane defences. As a reward for commenting on the subject, he was ordered to form such a group and put his money where his mouth is.
The early group was solely involved with facilities in Berlin, mainly police offices and the odd prison, but once the merits of the approach were demonstrated, its purview was extended first across the Fatherland, and into the Sudetenland, and the began to be incorporated into other containment facilities, as well as police stations and prisons. The group specialises in co-ordinating large-scale and defensive security magic, often incorporating ritual elements, and maintaining a high and consistent standard of arcane protection across the Reich. It includes a number of ex-Forstapo personnel, who have brought in for their expertise in containment . The methods developed by the group weren’t particularly quick to implement, but by RY148, it had been employed in all Reich territory on Magica Superior, and began to be rolled out across the Aussenhandel der Reichsverband key worlds.
Hans Luitpold, Head of the Arcane Defence GroupOffices have now been established on all AvR key worlds, each with a local district chief reporting directly to Berlin, and all police, penal and containment facilities on those five key worlds are now protected by the ADG methods and personnel. The process of rolling the system out across the other AvR worlds is in process. Each facility has a local co-ordinator who has been taught how to maintain the ADG protections on a day to day basis, but can expect to be visited by a full ADG member at least once every three months for more intensive refreshment and maintenance of the defences. The ADG was only given status as a full department of the RSHA at the beginning of RY154, when Luitpold was also promoted to his current rank.
Gruppenführer Hans Luitpold
Hans Luitpold is a comparatively young officer with a flair for defensive magic and systems. Born in RY102, he is the Lebensborn son of former Gestapo chief Maximillien Hauer. Like his father, he was discovered to be Talented relatively young, and went to Berlin Mage College, where he demonstrated a flair for defensive magic. He joined the SS after graduating with his Bachelors, interning with several departments before settling on the Gestapo. He later took his magical studies further on release from active duty and now holds a Doctorate in Defensive Magic, with a speciality in Security Magic. He is based out of Berlin where he lives in the SS Village. He is currently unmarried.
The SS-Ehrenwächten (the SS Honour Guard)
The Honour Guard is a group of the most highly trained troops in the SS, and the Reich as a whole – reputedly better even than the Kaiser’s Imperial Knights – whose primary purpose is as the personal bodyguard to the Reichsführer-SS. They undertake both close protection and act as the advance party to ensure security when their principal is out on both official and unofficial business. However, they also work closely with both Delatz and his personal staff in various other specialist areas.
The Guard comprises sixteen completely loyal men and women – loyal enough to take a bullet for the most feared man in the Reich – under the command of newly-appointed Heinrike Karsten, who took over from Rikart Schultz in October RY154 on the occasion of his retirement from active duty due to changed circumstances. Her new deputy is Sturmbannführer Marius Waldemar, younger twin son of the Landgraf von Danzig, who has served with the Honour Guard since RY144. The other Honour Guard members hold the rank of Hauptsturmführer.
Obersturmbannführer Heinrike Karsten, KSS (Summer Circle)
Karsten is the daughter of Gunther Karsten, hoher Adel Graf von Krakau. Identified as Talented young, she surprised her family – whose service to the Fatherland has always been on the diplomatic, rather than the military side – by declaring that she wished to do her State Service with the military. She spent five years with the Heimat-Heer, before returning to Berlin to study at the Mage College. While there, she proved herself to be a strong and efficient mage, and was approached by representatives of the SS-Schule Haus and invited to continue her studies at that institution.
After graduation, she joined the Waffen-SS as a combat mage specialising in defence. However, while on active duty she also proved herself a competent fighter and a decent military commander. She was invited to join the Honour Guard in RY136, and was made Schultz’s deputy in RY147. She is the first woman to command the Honour Guard.
The Schutzstaffel is the only branch of the Reich armed forces which awards honorary ranks, and all are awarded as officers, rather than NCOs. These are in the sole gift of the Reichsführer-SS, and are never awarded on the recommendation of others. They are used as gifts for political or financial support, or because Herzog Delatz wishes to reward a non-member of the Schutzstaffel for some other service rendered to SS, the State, or himself. Honorary rank insignia takes the form of a silver or platinum lapel pin with a stylised version of the equivalent standard insignia for that rank, and a form of uniform based on the usual SS ones minus the standard insignia has recently been introduced. No service dagger or regular uniform will be issued unless the honorary officer takes the field with the regular Kameraden. In everyday life, should an honorary officer be wearing his (or her) insignia, he has the right to demand the respect accorded to his rank from any SS personnel he encounters, and their assistance if required, although he cannot order such personnel into or out of battle. In addition, he can insist on priority treatment and attention from those organisations which accord such things to members of the Schutzstaffel. In return for these privileges, the RFSS reserves the right to ‘activate’ anyone to whom he has given honorary rank, bringing them into military service. This is very rarely done, but is not completely unheard of, one recent high-profile example being Oberstgruppenführer the Graf von Klieburg, who was (re)activated to full military service in May RY154.
When honorary officers are asked to undertake active service with SS troops, or should they enlist in the SS proper (Reichs-SS or Waffen-SS), they are accorded the responsibilities and privileges of a serving officer of the same rank, although in that situation they would be expected to put on regulation SS uniform. Honorary awards can technically be made at any commissioned rank, but the most common are Obersturmführer, Hauptsturmführer and occasionally Sturmbannführer.
Only four individuals have ever been given honorary general officer rank and still retain it. Silke von Halle, KSS (Summer Circle), who was allowed to maintain her rank of Gruppenführer with honorary status after she left the Ahnenerbe; and Rikart Schultz, KSS (Winter Circle), was rewarded with the honorary rank of Brigadeführer on his retirement from active duty. The third, Conrad Berthelmes, KSS (Winter Circle), has recently been “promoted” to honorary Obergruppenführer, and the fourth, Robrecht von Worcester, was made an honorary Oberstgruppenführer at the Reichsführer-SS’s wedding.