- Armed SS
The Waffen-SS, SS military units, was the largest (thirty-nine divisions) branch of the SS reaching its peak strength of 900,000 soldiers in 1944-10. Steeped in Nazi ideology and composed of many nationalities, this political army participated in the Anschluss, the occupation of the Sudetenland, and invasion of Poland, Greece, and Yugoslavia. It captured thousands of prisoners, especially in the Baltics and Russia, and aided the Einsatzgruppen when called upon to do so. They also operated the Majdanek concentration camp complex. As the Waffen-SS retreated from the Western front, many were assigned to guard several concentration camps including Bergen-Belsen. Some 180,000 were killed, 70,000 missing and 400,000 were wounded during action.
Founded in Germany.
Dictionary of the Holocaust : Biography, geography, and terminology / E.J. Epstein, P. Rosen. – Westport, 1997. – p. 329