SS-Rasse- Und Siedlungshauptamt - Formation

Formation

The RuSHA was founded in 1931 by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and Richard Walther Darré, who later rose to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer. It was an SS office. In 1935, it was upgraded to an SS Main Office. Under its first director, Darré, it propagated the Nazi ideology of "Blood and Soil". Darré was dismissed by Himmler in 1938 and was succeeded by SS-Gruppenführer Günther Pancke, SS-Gruppenführer Otto Hofmann in 1940, and SA-Gruppenführer Richard Hildebrandt in 1943.

The RuSHA was created to monitor Himmler's 1931 order that the marital decisions of unmarried SS men should be supervised by the Nazi state. SS men would thereafter have to apply for a marriage permit three months before getting married so that the parents of the fiancée could be investigated to ensure her racial purity. With time, the marriage laws became less strict, but RuSHA's power progressively grew in scope and other organizations came under its umbrella, such as the Ahnenerbe.

In December 1935 Himmler ordered the RuSHA to establish the Lebensborn network of maternity homes, whose purpose was "to accommodate and look after racially and genetically valuable expectant mothers."

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