Himmler's Auxiliaries: The Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the German National Minorities of Europe, 1933-1945

By Valdiso Lumans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
Founding the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle

The ceremonies at Przemysl also commemorated Himmler's successful quest to become the preeminent Reich authority in all Volksdeutsche matters. Before his encounter with the Volhynian Volksdeutsche and before enlisting them as auxiliaries to serve SS purposes, he had already extended his personal authority over them. An important early step in this process was centralizing control over the myriad of groups and individuals inside the Reich promoting the Volksdeutsche cause. Himmler did not initiate the process but rather discovered it in progress and directed it to its conclusion and to his advantage. His principal instrument in this effort was an office from outside the SS, a Nazi party organ, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (VoMi), translated as the Ethnic German Liaison Office. Several of its high-ranking officials shared with Himmler the shivering wait in the snow at Przemysl. They also had in common the same gray SS uniforms as the Reichsführer SS.


THE GLEICHSCHALTUNG

Most Germans interested in Volksdeutsche matters welcomed the Nazi assumption of power in January 1933. Frustrated with the personal rivalries, the duplication of efforts, and the jurisdictional disputes

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