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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].