SS Culture – Volume Twelve: Soldier

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Translated from original SS publications. The articles are about the virtues and world-view of the soldier.

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SC. 50pp.

The relationship between leader and following is determined by the common faith in the Reich and in the value of German man. The common blood ennobles us in the face of Europe’s folks. There is hence no separate honor of officer and an honor of the soldier. There is only one honor of German man. Honor violation is the worst offense; that holds for officer, non-commissioned officer and listed men. A rough tone has always been the soldier’s manner. A kind heart can hide behind that and great sensitivity regarding the other’s honor. Whoever is not conscious of the necessity of preservation of honor, above all of his subordinate, is not fit to be leader. In the military sphere the same thing is valid here that is valid for the whole folk in its position in Europe: the leadership of the European folks naturally falls back on Germany. This leadership preconditions very much ability and above all very much skill and tact. The skillful and responsibility-conscious leader shows himself especially in the treatment of the volunteers from Germanic lands.

Whoever understands how to command, will also be obeyed. Whoever is leader by calling, that means on the basis of his character value and on the basis of the strength of his faith in the nation, does not need to emphasize “authority”. Even at the end of the World War, when everything collapsed, the officers who were real leaders kept their men together and brought them home in order. Leadership by calling really shows itself in moments when all external considerations fall away. Service regulations are a poor support for authority. The men follow out of inner respect. If they do not have it, then the so-called leader will be alone at the decisive hour. That does not mean that service regulations are dispensable. In the heavy fighting of the winter and spring behind us in the east, the loyalty of the German infantryman to the leader he inwardly admired and affirmed, has been endlessly often proven.