Julius Schreck (July 13, 1898 – May 16, 1936) was an early Nazi Party member and also the first commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS). Schreck joined the Nazi Party in 1920, at about the same time as Adolf Hitler, and the two developed a deep friendship in the early days of Nazi history.
In 1921 Schreck was one of the founders of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and also helped form the Stabswache, which was an early company of SA troops assigned as bodyguards to Hitler. In 1923, Schreck participated in the Beer Hall Putsch and was incarcerated at Landsberg prison along with other top Nazi leaders.
When the Nazi Party was refounded in 1925, Schreck was asked by Emil Maurice to help found a new bodyguard company for Hitler which would be known as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler. Later that year, the group of eight men was renamed as the Schutzstaffel and Schreck became SS Member number 5. He was also asked by Hitler to command the bodyguard company and, as such, became the first Reichsführer-SS (although Schreck never referred to himself by this title).
In 1926, Schreck stood down as the Reich Leader of the SS, which was then still a very small organization of no more than 100 members. He remained on the SS rolls as an SS-Führer and worked as Hitler’s private chauffeur. In 1930, after the SS had begun to expand under Heinrich Himmler, Schreck was appointed as an SS-Standartenführer but had little actual power. He remained as Hitler’s chauffeur for the next six years before resigning due to poor health. His final SS rank was that of SS-Oberführer.
In 1936, Julius Schreck developed meningitis and died on May 16th. He was honored in a Nazi state funeral with Adolf Hitler delivering his eulogy.
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|Reich Leader of the SS |
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