A Dire Proposition

Refusing to Join the SS

"I told them I was an American Citizen but that did not
change their mind."

Editor's Note: When he was 16 years old, Eugene and other members of his Hitler Youth group were taken to a training camp where they were run through military drills and ultimately asked to commit to joining the SS (Schutzstaffel) a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Other than the Einsatzgruppen, the SS bore primary direct responsiblity for perpetrating the Holocaust. Despite the pressure from his peers and the authorities, Eugene refused to be a part of this organization.

“I told them I was an American Citizen but that did not change their mind or their attitude. I did finally commit to become an Army Medic and that seemed to satisfy their requirements, but they told everyone at the last night there that I was the only one not committed to the SS.”

Images

Map