SS Leadership Guide: Symbol
by Alfred Kotz
August 6 2004
[from SS Leadership Guide, Fuehrer Befiehl!, Wir Folgen!]
SS man! Have you taken a good look at the skull insignia on your cap? Have you during a quiet hour reflected what it has to say to you? You will fully understand that if you place your hand on a skull and feel the bony shelf of a once living brain. In spirit, the man who left behind his skull you know that you are, what he once was -- stands in front of you. You shudder at the thought that you will one day be what he now is. You will feel something like fear of something that you didn't understand before. Do not be ashamed of that! You have the right fear, which you must deal with all by yourself. You cannot talk about it with others, This journey is nothing other than education, which should enable us to help create a new type of man in Germany.
There is no condition of fearlessness. Otherwise, there would be no courage. Those who like to brag about their bravery are not the truly courageous ones. For them it starts with concern about what others might say and it ends with cowardice. All that can be prettily hidden. Look more closely beyond the veils! You will soon discover that they have never shared the fate of men in battle who have experienced the worst things. What do they know of enduring need -- about which one doesn't like to speak? When it was down to the last, when we knew that death came in the bright flames amid the roar of explosives, all of us had fear, all. It just comes down to how it was overcome and mastered. There's when the real leaders showed themselves. We looked to them. They made us strong again.
Our skull symbol leads you to the middle between passing and becoming, between cradle and coffin. We are nothing but the link between that which sank and that which will arise. The fear of a man that it might be over tomorrow, the fear of being too late with that, which must be done, is natural and right. Without all who existed before you, you would not exist. Upon everything we do and do not do is built the life of those coming after us. In our days we carry the huge responsibility for Germany's future. Everything we do poorly is a debt our children must pay. Even the simplest person could not survive if he were not integrated into the folk community. Our action can thus never be solely for the present; it goes beyond that. A strong breed should live again in Germany. We help toward that goal as long as there is still time. But we do not preach to the other fellow, rather we begin with ourselves. The skull symbol calls on us to burn out whatever is invalid and cowardly within ourselves. It calls us to build and secure whatever is important and honorable. Strong and daring, it calls us to be ready for any deed that serves the goals of the nation, so that those after us can truthfully say: We Germans fear God, but otherwise nothing in the world.
SS man! The skull on the cap should be a help to you on your way. The symbol has more to tell you than can be written down in a book. The world of the soul can only be comprehended by the soul, not by the letters of the alphabet. The skull reminds us of the mortal. It also reminds us of the eternal, inner goods of the nation that you serve. What is still to be feared after the realization of a demand placed on a man and his manliness? From German history we see how well the German knows how to die decently. Comrades, let us look toward the last moment without hesitation! We do that all the better if we also have the courage to live decently, so that we do not have to be ashamed of ourselves if the last minute allows us enough strength to look back.
In life a thousand hesitations meet us with their "ifs and buts." What do we care about the opinion of the mass if it does not correspond to our thought and our goal? Why do we have to consider the false compulsion of social ties if we have recognized them to be false? Indeed, it is often easier to die bravely than to live bravely.
We are not afraid of the last; why should we be afraid to be as we want to be? Namely, straight and simple and pure in body and spirit-honest, conscientious and loyal-loyal to the Fuehrer, loyal to the Fatherland, loyal to ourselves and our clan, and loyal to our ancestors!
What is straight remains straight to us; we do not make it crooked. But is something is crooked, we seize it firmly and make it straight. Right is right, and that remains so. We are the sworn enemy of injustice. We have the courage to practice moderation, even if that is not always done in our surroundings.
Whoever has been led by fate into fire has in that grave hour seen past the curtain of this existence. He gained a view into the endless expanses before the dark gates again quietly closed. His eyes saw the many trivialities of everyday life. The shallowness that leads so many people to exaggerate their measure is revealed to him and vanity seems especially faded. Appearance is so ridiculous to him. He understands why people who belong together so often pull apart. Frequently trivialities, often mere prejudice and disfavor are the cause.
His eyes then see everything that is important, above all what pure German initially means, to do a German thing for its own sake, that being German means: to be clear. It is better to be clear through a silent deed than through great words.
We wish to be seed among wheat, but not a weed, which becomes overgrown and hides its own lack of value with pretty colors. We agree with the old Moltke; be more than appearance.
We make no bones about it that -- through iron discipline and joyous obedience -- we seek full value in bearing of character and accomplishment.
Anything beyond that is bad. Anything less than that is neglect of the good of the nation.
What we achieve through our efforts lives on. It lives in counless little things. It lives in the good example of our own bearing. It works day after day and often manifests itself long after we have closed our eyes. It will live on when we ourselves have already been forgotten.
Thus we fulfill the purpose of SS. We will always be ready to protect the Fuehrer with our bodies. Our souls, however, protect Adolf Hitler's spirit. Hence we demand more and more difficult things from ourselves than from others.
Every deficiency eventually finds its explanation in comfort and sloppiness...and cowardice. Whoever is cowardly, even just a little, cannot be true. The triumph over fear and the consolidation of loyalty grow from the same seed. The skull reminds you of that.
That's why, SS, your honor is your loyalty.