National Socialist Motor Corps

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Houseflag of the NSKK
NSKK standard

The National Socialist Motor Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps, NSKK),[1] also known as the National Socialist Drivers Corps, was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party that existed from 1931 to 1945. The group was a successor organization to the older National Socialist Automobile Corps, which had existed since the beginning of 1930. It was headed by Adolf Hühnlein from 1934. After Hühnlein's death in 1942, Erwin Krauss took over his position as Korpsführer (Corps Leader).

The National Socialist Motor Corps was the smallest of the Nazi Party organizations and had originally been formed as a motorized corps of the Sturmabteilung (SA). On 20 July 1934, the group had a membership of approximately ten thousand and was separated from the SA to become an independent organization. Further, the Motor SA was removed from the SA and merged into "its junior partner", the NSKK.[2] This following the then recent major purge the SA suffered during the Night of the Long Knives.[2]

The primary aim of the NSKK was to educate its members in motoring skills. They were mainly trained in the operation and maintenance of high performance motorcycles and automobiles. In the mid-1930s, the NSKK also served as a roadside assistance group, comparable to the modern-day American Automobile Association or the British Automobile Association.

Membership in the NSKK did not require any knowledge of automobiles and the group was known to accept persons for membership without drivers' licenses. It was thought that training in the NSKK would make up for any previous lack of knowledge. The NSKK did, however, adhere to Nazi racial doctrine and screened its members for Aryan qualities. The NSKK was also a paramilitary organization with its own system of paramilitary ranks. From 1935 onward, the NSKK also provided training for Panzer crews of the German Army.[1]

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the National Socialist Motor Corps became a target of the Wehrmacht for recruitment, since NSKK members possessed knowledge of motorized transport, whereas the bulk of the Wehrmacht relied on horses. Most NSKK members thereafter joined the regular military, serving in the transport corps of the various service branches.

In 1945, the NSKK was disbanded and the group was declared a "condemned organization" at the Nuremberg Trials (although not a criminal one). This was due in part to the NSKK’s origins in the SA and its doctrine of racial superiority required from its members.

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  1. ^ a b McNab 2011, p. 45.
  2. ^ a b McNab 2013, p. 20.

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