Glossary beginning with S

SAsearch for term

Also called Brown Shirts, paramilitary shock units founded by the Nazi party in 1921. They were given auxiliary police functions after 1933, but lost position and power in the Nazi regime after the Night of Long Knives on June 30, 1934, which resulted in the murder of their leader Ernst Röhm and 85 other SA leaders.

Synonyms: Braunhemden, Brown Shirts, Sturm-Abteilung, Sturmabteilung
Sachsenhausensearch for term

Concentration camp for men opened in 1936. Located in Oranienburg, a suburb of Berlin and the site of an earlier "wild" concentration camp, Sachsenhausen was adjacent to the Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps. It held about 200,000 prisoners, of whom 100,000 perished. It was liberated by the Soviet army in late April 1945.

Scheunenviertelsearch for term

Popular name of the suburbs of Spandau, a living quarter in the historical Middle of Berlin west of the Alexanderplatz, it was built in the 17th century as a fire protection outside of the city fortifications, with barns for the storage of agricultural products. Here, the newly founded Jewish community started to develop in 1671. The first cemetery was founded in 1672 along the Große Hamburgische Straße [Great Hamburg Road]. Around the turn of the 20th century, it became the centre of East Jewish life in Berlin. It had a great number of prayer rooms, Talmud schools and Jewish shops. During the 1920ies, it became the centre of social and political unrest in the street fighting among communists and fascists.

Synonyms: Barn Quarter
SDsearch for term

The Security Service, the SS security and intelligence service, established in 1932 under Reinhard Heydrich and incorporated in 1939 into the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the Central Office for Reich Security.

Synonyms: Security Service, Sicherheitsdienst
Shoasearch for term

Der Begriff stammt aus dem Hebräischen und bedeutet Unheil bzw. große Katastrophe. Er bezeichnet den Völkermord an den 6 Millionen Juden durch die Nationalsozialisten. Dieser Völkermord zielte auf die vollständige Vernichtung der europäischen Juden. Er wurde mit dem staatlich propagierten Antisemitismus begründet und im Zweiten Weltkrieg seit 1941 systematisch, ab 1942 auch mit industriellen Methoden durchgeführt.

Synonyms: Schoah, Shoah
Sintisearch for term

The predominant populace of Gypsies residing in Central Europe, especially in Germany. (See "Gypsies," "Roma")

Synonyms: Gypsies, Roma, Sinti and Romanies, Sinti und Roma
Skierbieszówsearch for term

Skierbieszów is the birth place of the present German Federal President Horst Köhler. He was born there on 22 February 1943. The Köhler family had been farmers in Bessarabia, after the annexation of the region by the Soviet Union they were evacuated and resettled in Skierbieszów at the end of November 1942, in the context of National Socialist »Germanisation« policy, after the Polish inhabitants had been expelled. The village was then renamed "Heidenstein". Today, the village school is named after the last Polish president before the war, Ignaz Moscicki, who also hails from Skierbieszów.

Sobiborsearch for term

Killing center located in the Lublin district in eastern Poland. Sobibor opened in May 1942 and closed one day after a rebellion by its Jewish prisoners on October 14, 1943. At least 250,000 Jews were killed there.

SSsearch for term

The SS started as guard detachments formed in 1925 to act as Hitler's personal guard. From 1929 on, under Heinrich Himmler, the SS developed into the elite units of the Nazi party. These Nazi paramilitary, black-shirted storm troops used two symbols copied from Teutonic runes -- a parallel, jagged double S usually used as a warning for high-tension wires or lightning. The SS was built into a giant organization by Himmler and provided the staff for the police, concentration camp guards and fighting units [Waffen SS].

Synonyms: Schutzstaffel
Stalagsearch for term

Prisoner of war camp for enlisted men (Allied soldiers), usually under the jurisdiction of the German Army [Wehrmacht].

Stasisearch for term

Die Abkürzung Stasi steht für Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. Das Ministerium für Staatssicherheit der DDR war der Inlands- und Auslandsgeheimdienst der DDR und zugleich Ermittlungsbehörde (Untersuchungsorgan) für „politische Straftaten“. Zudem war das Ministerium vor allem ein Unterdrückungs- und Überwachungsinstrument der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschland (SED) gegenüber der DDR-Bevölkerung, das dem Machterhalt diente. Dabei setzte es als Mittel Überwachung, Einschüchterung, Terror und die so genannte Zersetzung gegen Oppositionelle und Regimekritiker ein.

Struthofsearch for term

Also known as Natzweiler-Struthof: A concentration camp for men established in May 1941 near Strasbourg in German-occupied France to hold prisoners from the occupied western European countries. Natzweiler and ist surrounding subcamps held approximately 19,000 prisoners by the end of the war.

Synonyms: Natzweiler-Struthof
Stumbling Blockssearch for term

Arts project to commemorate the expulsion and murder of Jews, Sinti and Roma, victims of euthanasia, politically and religiously persecuted persons and homosexuals by the Nazis. Concrete blocks with a brass plate fixed on top are set into the sidewalk in front of the houses where persecuted persons used to live. The names and most important personal data of the persecuted persons are engraved into the brass surface. The project idea was developed by Cologne sculptor Günter Demnig in 1990. More than 5,500 stones have been installed in numerous towns up to now. Persons wanting to support the project can take on a "godparenthood" for the production and installation of a stone.

Synonyms: Stolperstein, Stolpersteine
Stutthofsearch for term

Located 25 miles east of Gdansk (Danzig), established on September 2,1939 as a prison camp for Polish men, since January 1941 also a forced labor camp for women. Since January 1942, Stutthof was a concentration camp with a complex of 146 subsidiary camps for prisoners from all over Nazi-occupied Europe. Conditions were extremely harsh. In summer 1944, mass murder by gassing began. A total number of 115,000 men, women and children were registered in Stutthof when evacuation and death marches began in January 1945. Less than 50,000 survived. The Soviet Army liberated Stutthof in April 1945.

Swing Youthsearch for term

In the late 1930s, dissident teenagers in Hamburg, Berlin and other German cities who did not belong to the Hitler Youth participated in prohibited swing dance and jazz music activities. Swing music was considered "ungerman" and "degenerate." Most of the Hamburg teenagers were from elite schools and wealthy families and they defied Nazi social conventions, since jazz was a symbol of political disobedience and resistance. Many of these teenagers were arrested and later confined in concentration camps, such as Moringen and Uckermark.

Synonyms: Swing Jugend, Swing Music