Himmler’s order on SS marriages (1931)

In December 1931, Heinrich Himmler signed the following order on marriages by members of the Schutzstaffel or SS. This policy was an attempt to maintain racial purity within the SS:

“1. The SS is a band of German men of strictly Nordic descent chosen according to certain principles.

2. In accordance with National Socialist ideology and in the realisation that the future of our Volk rests upon the preservation of the race through selection and the healthy inheritance of good blood, I hereby institute the Marriage Certificate for all unmarried members of the SS, effective January 1st 1932.

3. The desired aim is to create a hereditarily healthy clan of a strictly Nordic German variety.

4. The marriage certificate will be awarded or denied solely on the basis of racial health and heredity.

5. Every SS man who intends to get married must procure for this purpose the marriage certificate of the Reichsführer SS.

6. SS members who marry despite having been denied marriage certificates will be stricken from the SS; they will be given the choice of withdrawing.

7. Working out the details of marriage petitions is the task of the Race Office of the SS.

8. The Race Office of the SS is in charge of the Clan Book of the SS, in which the families of SS members will be entered after being awarded the marriage certificate or after acquiescing to the petition to enter into marriage.

9. The Reichsführer SS, the leader of the Race Office, and the specialists of this office are duty bound to secrecy on their word of honour.

10. The SS believes that, with this command, it has taken a step of great significance. Derision, scorn, and incomprehension do not move us; the future belongs to us!

Reichsfuhrer H. Himmler