In the diary and belongings of an SS man who killed himself, the following sentence is often repeated: „My life no longer has value!“ What did he mean by that, and did he have a right to talk that way?
The SS man was 21 years old. His love – which had bound him with two different girls, one after the other, was not of a frivolous kind. He had sought a worthwhile union, an equal wife, who would give him healthy children in a lasting marriage. He gave up the first girl when medical examinations clearly showed the girl would remain infertile. But then, when a new dear love had bound him to another girl, he learned in the hospital that he himself through his own fault had become sterile. Since then the sentence about the purposelessness of his life was often repeated in his writings, and that he had lost everything he had lived, loved and fought for the perpetuation in his children.
What did the SS man want to achieve through his suicide? Did he want to make up for his self-inflicted infertility or did he wish to escape a childless existence, which seemed poor and empty to him?
We will gladly leave the examination of these questions to the psychiatrists. For us SS men, in this case, as in all cases of suicide, only one question is necessary and important: Did the deed help or hurt the folk?
Nobody can deny that the deed of the SS man mentioned here caused serious damage to the folk. For through it nothing was atoned for or made good. Quite the opposite: not only did the SS man deprive his folk of progeny, but through his own death he also deprived it of himself and of his own work-strength and fighting-strength. Hence, he added to his guilt.
There may be cases where a great guilt can only be atoned for through death. Then there is the case where the continued life of the guilty person can mean an unbearable burden for the community. In all other cases there is only one atonement and reconciliation, namely the total life effort for the community.
In his order of March 19, 1939, the Reichsführer SS clearly took a position to suicide. It says:
„At most 15% of suicides are committed for reasons that can be accepted, so for example the ending of life after a crime that hurts the community and tarnishes honour. 85% of the suicides, however, are committed for reasons that can never be accepted, such as fear of punishment, fear of a test, after reprimand from a superior, after an argument with parents. after the dissolution of an engagement, out of jealousy, after an unlucky love affair etc.
„Suicides of this kind have nothing do to with heroism or heroic spirit. They are viewed by we SS men as an escape, as a desertion from struggle and from life itself.”
„The SS has never had understanding for people who avoid struggle. Therefore, I decree that in all cases where an investigation instigated by the superior clearly determines that the reason for the suicide cannot be accepted, that no notice be given to the death of the man, and that the SS does not participate in the burial.”
Your life does not belong to you, but to your folk.
– H. Kl