At the pinnacle of its power, the Schutzstaffel or SS was directed from 12 so-called Hauptämter or main offices which together made up the Reichsführung-SS. The foundation of this structure found its roots in the structure of the Sturmabteiling or SA. The SA leadership was formally in charge of the SS which was directly subordinate to the Oberste SA-Führung. The early leaders were Felix Pfeiffer von Salomon and. Ernst Röhm. Both men created an organizational structure which became the foundation for the one of the SS.
Just like the SA, the SS was established as a semi-professional organization. The men who joined the Stoßtrup Adolf Hitler in 1923 and the SS in 1925 did so voluntarily out of their political conviction. In the course of the years however, the SS evolved into an organization which encompassed various professional departments.
After the end of World War Two, the Nuremberg trials were held from 1945 to 1949. The best known trial against 24 high ranking Nazis (the IMT) was followed by a series of trials against less prominent war criminals (the NMT).
In almost all Nazi crimes, one organization in particular was explicitly involved. This was the Schutzstaffel or in short SS, the major element in political and racial suppression in the Third Reich. The organization was founded to protect Adolf Hitler and other Nazi bigwigs but evolved into an all-encompassing organization which took the main responsibility for safety within the Reich.
On May 18, 1942, two anti-Nazi-communist groups set fire to the anti-Soviet exhibition, the Soviet paradise, which was held in the Lustgarten in Berlin. For Goebbels, this incident formed the direct cause to urge Adolf Hitler to deport all Jewish people from Berlin. The culprits of the arson were members of the Herbert-Baum-Gruppe.
On July 20, 1944, the most famous of all planned attempts on the Führer took place in his HQ. Hitler barely got away with his life, resulting in a manhunt for the perpetrators. The main character, Claus von Stauffenberg was executed in the inner courtyard of the Bendlerblock in Berlin. Other defendants were executed in Plötzensee prison in Berlin.
In the fall of 1944, the Dutch were convinced their liberation from German occupation was imminent. Instead, they were confronted with a severe winter and a critical shortage of fuel and food which would claim thousands of lives and would generally be known as the Hongerwinter.