It was considered Hitler’s spearhead, an elite unit: the SS was one of the most elementary pillars of the Nazi dictatorship. The party’s own instrument of rule and oppression was responsible for the persecution of opponents of the regime, brutal war crimes and, not least, for carrying out the Holocaust. Its mischief extends far beyond the end of the war. “Our honor means loyalty” was their motto, which also resonates with the new right. This makes it all the more urgent to take another critical look at the subject of the SS, its history and its dark myth: How did a small group of thugs rise to become the most feared organ in the Nazi state? What mechanisms did the SS use on its way to the top? What ideology did it follow? Who resisted it, who fell victim to it? Who were the leaders and who were the perpetrators, some of whom are still convinced today that they did nothing wrong?