The 1st SS-Standarte was a regimental command of the Allgemeine-SS and one of the most important units in the General-SS order of battle. The unit was formed on 1 August 1928 as the Schutzstaffel (SS) reorganized from previous units, known as SS-Gaus. Based in Munich, the 1st SS Standarte was charged with protection of top Nazi Party leaders, including Adolf Hitler. Its first commander was Josef "Sepp" Dietrich. For most of its existence, the command was known by the honor title "Julius Schreck".
By 1929, Hitler had formed a personal bodyguard unit known as the Stabswache, which would eventually become the nucleus of the future 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. At this stage, the Stabswache and the 1st SS Standarte were practically one and the same. By 1930, however, Dietrich began to be seen strictly as the commander of the Stabswache, with the day-to-day running of the 1st Standarte handled by SS-Standartenführer (later Oberführer) Heinrich Höflich.
When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Dietrich traveled with the Führer to Berlin to set up a new SS-Guard for the German leader. It is at this point that the duties of the 1st SS Standarte as Hitler's personal guard effectively came to an end. Dietrich went on to form the "SS-Stabswache Berlin" that later became known as the SS-Sonderkommando Berlin. In November 1933, the Sonderkommando received the title Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH). Finally, Himmler modified that title to Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) on 13 April 1934.
In the summer of 1933, leadership of what remained of 1st Standarte in Munich was taken over by SS-Standartenführer Emil Wäckerle. After the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, by which time the SS had solidified itself from headquarters offices in Berlin, the 1st SS Standarte lost most of its operational importance and became a ceremonial unit attached to the Munich Nazi Party headquarters, known as the "Brown House".
The next commander of the 1st SS-Standarte, after the Night of the Long Knives, was Julian Scherner, later known as the SS and Police Leader of Krakau, who was immortalized in the Steven Spielberg film Schindler's List. After Scherner's tour as the Standarte commander, leadership passed through two more leaders, until eventually command was assumed by SS-Standartenführer Erich Buchmann, who held the command until the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Order of Battle
- SS-Oberabschnitt Süd (SS Division South)
- First SS-Abschnitt (1st SS District)
- 1st-SS Standarte (1st SS Regiment)
- SS-Sturmführer Josef Dietrich (August 1, 1928 – September 18, 1929)
- SS-Oberführer Heinrich Höflich (September 18, 1929 – February 10, 1933)
- SS-Standartenführer Emil Wäckerle (February 10, 1933 – November 9, 1933)
- SS-Standartenführer Johann Maier (November 9, 1933 – January 1, 1934)
- SS-Obersturmführer Julian Scherner (January 1, 1934 – January 9, 1935)
- SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Butchner (January 9, 1935 – November 9, 1936)
- SS-Obersturmbannführer Willibald Fleichmann (November 9, 1936 – October 1, 1937)
- SS-Standartenführer Erich Buchmann (October 1, 1937 – May 8, 1945)
- Cook, Stan & Bender, R. James. Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, R. James Bender Publishing, 1994, pp. 17, 19.
- Yerger, Mark C. Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units, and Leaders of the General SS, Schiffer Publishing (1997). ISBN 0-7643-0145-4