Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Waffen SS - Soldiers or Warriors?

There is a temptation to describe Hitler's SS as his elite soldiers, but this would not be accurate. The SS were an elite warrior movement.

There is a fundamental difference between a soldier and a warrior which I'll explain here. The SS was quite separate from the German army. They were drawn from all walks of life, all classes, from rich and poor. Some were members of the NSDAP, others not. Some from Germany, many more were not. What led these young men to join the SS was the  Weltanschauung they all shared. The SS was a volkisch Männerbund which was bound by the philosophy of National Socialism. A common cause and common blood held these men in union. It is this that made the SS man a warrior - his willingness to fight in a stuggle for a cause which he dedicated his life to. 

In stark contrast the armies of today consist of soldiers. Here is the difference. The SS was a religious order, an army who shared a common goal. Todays armys are not. They consist of soldiers. The word soldier means a 'person paid to fight'. For many in the armed forces it is just a job. And many of the worlds armies today are fighting wars for foreign powers in foreign lands, and would certainly be used against  their own nations people should any form of 'Western Spring' arise.It would be safe to say that most soldiers did not believe in the causes that led to the  fighting in Iraq - that our leaders were following their own political agenda - but they still went to Iraq, because they were paid too. Soldiers are literally 'sold'. Even the origins of the word Soldier has its roots in monetary payment - from the Roman coin Solidus, which was used as payment to the army and Soldato - someone in receipt of this payment.

2 comments:

  1. Good post. The SS were voluntary, and a Knightly Order - Mannerbund!

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    1. Not only were they physically healthier than regular soldiers, they were spiritually awake. I have no doubt they understood the higher cause for which they fought.

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