19 Dec. 45

The Allgemeine, that is, General SS, was the common basis, the main stern, out of which the various branches grew. It was composed of all members of the SS who did not belong to any of the special branches.

It was the backbone of the entire organization. The personnel and officers of the main departments of the SS Supreme Command were members of this branch. Except for high ranking officers and those in staff capacities in the main offices of the SS Supreme Command, its members were part-time volunteers. As the evidence will show, its members were utilized in about every phase of SS activity. They were called upon in the anti-Jewish pogroms of 1938; they took over the task of guarding concentration camps during the war; they participated in the colonization and resettlement program. In short, the term "SS" normally meant the General SS.

It was organized on military lines as will be seen from the chart, ranging from district (Oberabschnitt) and sub-district (Abschnitt) down through the regiment, battalion, company, to the platoon. Until after the beginning of the war it constituted numerically the largest branch of the SS. In 1939 D'Alquen, the official SS spokesman, said, and I quote from his book, our Document Number 2284-PS, Page 9, Paragraph 3, of the English translation, and Page 18 of the original document:
"The strength of the General SS, 240,000 men, is subdivided today into 14 corps, 38 divisions, 104 infantry regiments, 19 mounted regiments, 14 communication battalions, and 9 engineer battalions, as well as motorized and medical units. This General SS stands fully and wholly on call as in the fighting years...."
Similar reference to the military organization of the General SS will be found in Himmler's speech, "Organization and Obligations of the SS and the Police," our Document Number 1992(a)-PS, at Page 4 of the translation, and in the Organization Book of the NSDAP for 1943, our Document Number 2640-PS, at Pages 4 and 5 of the translation.

Members of this branch, however, with the exception of certain staff personnel, were subject to compulsory military service. As the result of the draft of members of the General SS of military age into the Army, the numerical strength of presently active members considerably declined during the war. Older SS men and those working in or holding high positions in the main departments of the Supreme Command of the SS remained. Its entire strength during the war was probably not in excess of 40,000 men.

The second component to be mentioned is the Security Service of the Reichsführer SS, almost always referred to as the SD Himmler described it in his speech, "Organization and Obligations of the SS