Just found a nice uniform picture of two policemen. Maybe somebody can explain the big SS-Sign near the belt.
09-14-2011 07:59 AM
Hi Peter, it donotes membership of the SS.
Himmler encouraged German Police Officers to join the SS.
Adrian is correct, it was also seen on forgin vol. divisions worn by the Germanic/Full SS member cadre.
Please allow me to elaborate a little on Ade's and Jeff's posts:
At first, the embroidered SS breast runes were only worn on Order Police uniforms. According to the initial (May 1937) orders, they were authorized for wear by:
"a) Members of the uniformed Order Police who have been honorably discharged from the SS on the basis of the regulations laid down for the Police and Armed Forces or due to a transfer to the SA, including the Feldjägerkorps
b) Members of the uniformed Order Police, who at present are still members of the SS
c) In the future, those members of the SS who have directly transferred to the Order Police."
So, they identifed policemen who simultaneously held full SS membership or who had previously held it and had left the SS honorably under certain conditions.
It should be noted that the right to wear the runes had to be applied for and granted on an individual basis; a policeman meeting the requirements could not simply sew them on his uniform on his own initiative.
In August 1941, eligibility to wear the breast runes with their uniforms was extended to personnel of the TN and the volunteer fire brigades holding full SS membership. (Personnel of the professional firefighting services, i.e. the later Feuerschutzpolizei had been eligible since May 1937)
During the war, an increasing number of ethnic Waffen-SS formations were raised who were not entitled to wear the SS runes on their collar patches and whose collar patches were either blank or of various special designs.
Since the right to wear the SS runes was considered a privilege, this was extremely unpopular with the German SS cadre personnel serving with these formations.
Thus, in July 1943, they, too were authorized to wear the breast runes to display their status and set them apart from the foreign troops.
One final modification came about with orders from Himmler in June 1944: All concentration camp guard personnel were now ordered to wear a newly-introduced double-armed Swastika collar patch instead of the previously worn "Death's Head" and SS-runes collar patches. As within the field units of the Waffen-SS, the regular SS personnel were now also authorized to wear the breast runes so as to distinguish them from other camp personnel such as those who had been transferred in from the replacement army to act as temporary guards. (From photographic evidence it is clear that these changes had been carried out only to a very limited degree by the end of the war.)
Last edited by HPL2008; 09-14-2011 at 08:12 PM.