Emil Maurice

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SS-Oberführer Emil Maurice wearing the Blood Order.

Emil Maurice (19 January 1897, Westermoor – 6 February 1972, Munich) was an early member of the National Socialist German Workers Party and one of the founders of the SS. Together with Erich Kempka, he also served as one of Hitler's personal drivers—despite having Jewish ancestry.

Early life and association with Hitler[edit]

A watchmaker by trade, Maurice was a close associate of Adolf Hitler; their personal friendship dated back to at least 1919. With the founding of the Sturmabteilung in 1920, Maurice became the first Oberster SA-Führer (Supreme SA Leader).

In 1923, Maurice also became the SA commander of the newly established Stabswache, a special SA company given the task of guarding Hitler at Nazi parties and rallies. He was imprisoned with Hitler and Rudolf Hess at Landsberg after the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch. While in prison with Hitler, he took down part of the dictation for Mein Kampf and is mentioned in the book.[1]

In 1925, two years after the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Maurice and Hitler refounded the Stabswache as the Schutzstaffel (SS). At that time, Hitler became SS member No. 1 and Emil Maurice became SS member No. 2. Maurice became an SS-Führer in the new organization, although the leadership of the SS was assumed by Julius Schreck, the first Reichsführer-SS. Maurice became Hitler's chauffeur. He reportedly had a brief relationship with Geli Raubal, Hitler's niece, and lost his job as Hitler's chauffeur.

When the SS was reorganized and expanded in 1932, Maurice became a senior SS officer and would eventually be promoted to the rank SS-Oberführer. While Maurice never became a top commander of the SS, his status as SS member #2 effectively credited him as the actual founder of the organization. Heinrich Himmler, who ultimately would become the most recognized leader of the SS, was SS member #168.

Conflict with Himmler over Jewish roots[edit]

After Himmler had become Reichsführer-SS, Maurice fell afoul of Himmler's racial purity rules for SS officers when he had to submit details of his family history before he was allowed to marry in 1935.[1] All SS officers had to prove racial purity back to 1750, and it turned out that Maurice had Jewish ancestry: Charles Maurice Schwartzenberger (1805–1896), the founder of Thalia Theater in Hamburg, was his great-grandfather. Himmler, who had always been jealous of Hitler's close friends since the party's early days (especially of the lack of control he had over Hitler's inner bodyguards), was delighted.[citation needed]

Himmler recommended that Maurice be expelled from the SS, along with other members of his family. To his annoyance however, the Führer stood by his old friend. In a secret letter written on 31 August 1935, Hitler compelled Himmler to make an exception for Maurice and his brothers, who were informally declared "Honorary Aryans" and allowed to stay in the SS. Despite his Jewish ancestry, Maurice was first and foremost a loyal companion to Hitler.[citation needed]

Later life[edit]

In 1936 he became a Reichstag deputy for Leipzig and from 1937 was the chairman of the Munich Chamber of Commerce.

From 1940 to 1942, he served in the Luftwaffe as an officer. After the war in 1948, he was sentenced to four years in a labor camp.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hamilton, Charles (1984). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 1, R. James Bender Publishing, p. 161.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Leader of the SA
1920 - 1921
Succeeded by
Hans Ulrich Klintzsche