ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES

It is important to note that administrative power in the Third Reich was exercised within a complicated parallel structure of Nazi Party organizations and official government ministries.  Rarely were the responsibilities of a given ministry clearly delineated vis-à-vis the corresponding Party organization.  Rather, the bureaucratic structure of the Nazi regime was marked by competition and overlapping responsibilities.  In the case of education, for example, the Education Ministry and the Hitler Youth competed for influence.  Similarly, the German Labor Front and the Ministry for Labor  vied against one another in the industrial workforce.  The constellation of Party and governmental agencies also changed with frequency during the twelve years of Hitler’s reign.  For example, organizations such as the Gestapo and the Police, which were originally under the authority of the Ministry for the Interior, or under various regional and state authorities, were gradually absorbed into the SS.  Jurisdictional complications often caused conflicts between ministers that were only resolved when Hitler himself was called upon to make a decision.  Retaining a close and favorable relationship with Hitler thus was the best way to accumulate power in the Third Reich.  Conversely, competition between powerful ministers and party leaders kept ultimate power concentrated in the hands of Adolf Hitler.

In essence, in trying to present a ‘collectors framework’ within which to work, (categorization) during the NAZI era, is somewhat challenging, but it also throws up interesting areas of collectors specification which may well be little researched – and therefor both rewarding both in terms of study and in collectors items.

We believe, (and reflect this in the following pages, that the NASDAP essentially reflects the Civilian Party and certain Armed Organizations and the Wehrmark – the combined Military reflects the true Military structure – – although as we slip deeper in the War, these areas became as stated above very blurred, to the point where one man stood for everything..

Nazi Police

The S.S. became such a major factor in both Civilian control and as a major player in the Military field, that we have broken out the S.S. as an area for collecting in its own right, as by far the greater focus and demand is for S.S. items. In reality, the items themselves are much harder to find, firstly because the S.S. Units were always thrown into battle at the front or used as the last resort and clearly once the War was in its final stages, apart from the really hard-liners, to be a member of the S.S. became personally very dangerous, as shoot on sight/capture became very much the Russian line and to be frank one suspects they were not very well treated by the British or American forces either.

I think the picture of young xxxxxx, who was a Hitler Youth conscript in the S.S. and captured, sums it all up in a most poignant picture…

HJ Captured

Good Hunting !