Patriotic. for my guess, they where young, they had a chance at adventure and glory.... they had a job....I agree with tippi, its still the main reason why young people join the forces today... as far as any indoctrination probably no more than any army today. Political views definitle shape an army and their are those that join up for those reasons... but i would hazard a guess that the "average" ss soldier was no better or worse than todays soldiers, morally or even politicly . He was joining up because his mates were, he got fed and clothed, the shelias thought he looked good in uniform,and he was gunna get paid to shoot at people....how goods that.... then i suppose reality sets in but its all to late by then...
I wouldn't call them terrorist, as they fight in uniform and by the rules of war (mostly except for a few divisions etc etc)
Well they are as Tippo says; an average american soldier today when they enlist, although they have been indoctrinated to fight and die for the fatherland and belive them selves to be racial superior to anyone else. other than that they were just soldier with a mission.
A mission I can't agree with was good, except for stopping communism, that is.
Let's cut that politically correct bullshit. Germany was guilty of commiting the supreme crime of waging aggressive war.
Therefore anyone who has willingly joined their armed forces, knowing that they are waging aggressive war or are preparing to wage aggressive war shares that crime and is nothing but a common bandit and terrorist.
It's funny how people are talking about "Nazis" being evil only when they have murdered Jews or commited other "war crimes". It's probably because Jews are the only group using German war crimes for they advantages, so they have a reason to out-talk everyone else.
Because of that, people forget that the whole World War II was a one big fucking war crime.
The only reason why all these German "war crimes" were committed, including the fucking Holocaust is that German soldiers were outside German borders and countries where the victims lived were ruled by German bandits that have hijacked these countries by commiting numerous crimes process - illegally crossing their borders, attacking and murdering government servicemen, destroying government property, attacking and murdering civilians and destroying their property, disrupting normal lives of people, robbing people and institutions, committing acts of vandalism, kidnapping people, etc.
If these bandits were too dumb to understand the consequences of aggressive war to ordinary people, then it's their problem. Actually, it's not uncommon amongst bandits to think that they are evil.
The SS was not your standard German soldier. That would be the Wehrmacht. The SS was an offshoot of the SA - brownshirts - a paramilitary political action committee, if you will. The SS were the section that survived (and helped perpetrate?) the Night of the Long Knives, so you could also guess they were the "nationalist" part of the National Socialist Party. I'm not even an amateur historian (although I like to read); I am sure there are several experts here who could correct and/or expand on anything I've said.
--- On a side note --- I do have a very dear friend, who as a teenager in Greece, survived the Nazi Occupation of that country. I haven't asked her for any details ("So, when your neighbors were gunned down, was that done by Wehrmacht or SS troops?"), but her vote would be for terrorist.
The SS was not a "normal" troop. The SS was a political arm of the Nazi system. That was the inspiration of those, who founded this unit. Now one of you say: "Yes, but was not all politically-related organization/association in Germany Nazi-infiltrated!" And I can only say: "Yes!" But what about the SS makes it to a very special Nazi organization? The idea of creation and the idea behind this foundation!
It is true, that many young men in Germany (and later in Europe) believed the promises of the politicians, teachers and parents (!), and entered the SS. Therefore, the SS was a reflection of their time and the people themselves. Therefore were brutal murderers in the SS, but innocent young men too (and all other human potential).
The very, very more noble motive – in any case – had the Allies.
The generation that joined the SS in 1939/40, was not the generation that had chosen Hitler in 1933. Therefore, this generation was infested of the Nazi system.
Disambiguate the question. "SS" can refer to many military and governmental units of the German establishment during Nazi reign. If you are referring to the Waffen SS, a branch of the German Armed Forces that commonly consisted of battle-trained soldiers and exclusively used on the frontlines as such, then the missing option and correct answer is "soldier."
Whether that soldier happened to be patriotic, indifferent, fanatical, or insane is a social quality that could be found in all ranks and all branches of the German Armed Forces.
By 1943 the German Army and Waffen SS (and "Waffen" carries some distinction) were being fed recruits through conscription, not volunteerism. That means that the possibility of being placed in a branch not of your choosing was a reality. Moreover, Wehrmacht soldiers (of all ranks) were incorporated into decimated SS divisions routinely during the war. This too was not necessarily done voluntarily.
The early, pre-war Waffen SS was filled with "patriots", ideologues, opportunists, and few professional soldiers. That exact make-up ended up spelling disaster for many of them, since, of course, a fanatical ideologue does not necessarily make a good soldier. It's well documented and commented that the early-war Waffen SS divisions were not particularly battle-worthy, and they suffered high attrition rates as a result.
It's a subject that always gets a lot of interesting answers. It also one that gets a lot of stupid, misinformed and generalized ones (few around here).
Well, I guess, the proble is that there is no average SS soldier. Hi personally attitude strongly depends on what time he was recruited, in which unit he did his service, what was his life before and so on and so on.