The office can trace its origins to 1931 when the SS created the SS-Amt to serve as an SS Headquarters staff overseeing the various units of the Allgemeine SS (General SS). In 1933, after the NSDAP came to power, the SS-Amt was renamed the SS-Oberführerbereichen and placed in command of all SS units within Nazi Germany.
This agency then became the SS-HA on January 30, 1935. The organization oversaw the Allgemeine-SS, concentration camps, the SS-Verfügungstruppe (Template:Lang-en), and the Grenzschutz (Template:Lang-en).
During the late 1930s, the power of the SS-HA continued to grow becoming the largest and most powerful office of the SS, managing nearly all aspects of the paramilitary organization. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the SS-Verfügungstruppe expanded rapidly becoming the Waffen-SS in 1940. By this time, the office of the SS-Hauptamt could no longer administer the entire SS organization. As a result, the SS-HA was downsized losing much of its pre-war power to the SS Führungshauptamt (Template:Lang-en) and the main offices of the Allgemeine SS.
In 1940 the SS-Hauptamt remained responsible for SS administrative in matters such as manpower allocation, supplies, personnel transfers, and promotions. The SS-HA had 11 departments (Template:Lang-de):
- Amt Zentralamt (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Leitender Ärzt beim Chef SS-HA (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Verwaltung (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Ergänzungsamt der Waffen-SS (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Erfassungsamt (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt für Weltanschauliche Erziehung (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt für Leibeserziehhung (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt für Berufserziehung (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Germanische Leitstelle (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Germanische Ergänzung (Template:Lang-en)
- Amt Germanische Erziehung (Template:Lang-en)
The SS-HA was technically subordinate to the Persönlicher Stab Reichsführer-SS (Template:Lang-en), but in reality it maintained autonomy.
thumb, the former chief of the SS Main Office, in the dock at the Nuremberg Trials in 1949. He was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for crimes against humanity but was released in 1951.]] After the close of World War II, members of the SS-Hauptamt were tried as war criminals because they had maintained, for other branches of the SS, the "paper trail" for such activities as the Einsatzgruppen, Final Solution and the commission of the Holocaust.
The files of the SS-Hauptamt can today be found (via microfiche) with National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland. The original documentation is kept in Germany, under the authority of the Bundesarchiv in Berlin. Template:-