SS stands for (Schutzstaffel, “security echelon”), which are a  branch of the Nazi workers party who are a militia  in fascist Germany.  The SS started in 1923, when Hitler’s escort was formed from members of the SA (Sturmabteilung; known in English as Storm Troopers) devoted to Hitler. In November 1923 this group, together with the Nazi Party and the SA, was disbanded for participation in an attempted coup (the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich 1923). The SS proper, originally intended to protect the führer and safeguard fascist meetings, was organized in November 1925. In 1926 it was made subordinate to the leadership of the newly legalized SA.

In 1929, Hitler appointed H. Himmler Reichsführer (head) of the SS. Himmler was given the task of turning the SS into an elite corps for the extermination of “traitors” within the SA and the Nazi Party. Those chosen for the SS were SA members who were fanatically devoted to the führer, of fully acceptable racial background (of “Aryan origins” dating back to the late 18th century), and physically strong.