- Published: 02 February 2012 02 February 2012
- Last Updated: 07 April 2012 07 April 2012
It was originally made up mainly of Bavarian former criminal-police officers and worked as bodyguards only in Bavarian due to the internal power struggles of the nazi movement, when Hitler was in other areas of Germany, his only protection was the SS-Begleit-Kommando. It was not until early in 1934 that the RSD was able to work throughout Germany.
The members of the RSD had to be "tried and trusted National Socialists, and furthermore excellent criminal-police officers of unconditional reliability, utmost conscientiousness in fulfillment of duties, good manners and physical dexterity" according to Heinrich Himmler.
The tasks of the RSD included personal security, investigation of assassination plans, surveillance of locations before the arrival of the protected person and checking of buildings as well as personnel.
The RSD could also request assistance from other organizations and for example took command of all local police detailed with the protection of Hitler during a visit by him to a city.
The OKW declared that the RSD officers guarding Hitler during the war were Wehrmacht officials and there were given the status of secret military police (and was now also referred to as the Reichssicherheitsdienst Gruppe Geheime Feldpolizei z.b.V.) and could now request help from the regular feldgendarmerie as well as any regular troops, enter any military building, wear the uniform of any branch etc.
The officers of the RSD were sworn in 9 Nov at the Feldherrnhalle in Munich by Himmler in the presence of Hitler, and they took the Wehrmacht oath until 1936 when it was changed to the SS one. This change was made despite the fact that not all the RSD officers were members of either the SS or NSDAP, however on 1 May 1937 all RSD officers were made SS members.
In 1936 only those who were eligible to SS membership could join the RSD and all officers had to present proof that they were of German blood.
CommandersSS-Standartenführer Johann Rattenhuber (15 Mar 1933 - 8 May 1945)
Detachments (1944)1 Adolf Hitler & Obersalzberg
2 Hermann Göring
3 Joachim von Ribbentrop
4 Heinrich Himmler
5 Joseph Goebbels
6 Wilhelm Frick
7 Hans Frank (Prague)
10 Artur Seyss-Inquart (Hague)
11 Josef Terboven (Oslo)
12 Karl Dönitz
13 Werner Best (Copenhagen)
14 Ernst Kaltenbrunner
- Robert Ley
- Erich Koch
- Sicherheits-Kontrolldienst Reichskanzlei
Sources usedPeter Hoffmann - Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Führer 1921-1945
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