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SS Officer Photo for ID

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    SS Officer Photo for ID

    I tried posting this on one of the pinned threads without response, so am reposting here in the hope that someone can identify this SS officer.

    I am told that this SS-officer studio ("Monnier Salon") portrait photo was acquired from the family in Germany - but came discreetly with no family name. Apparently it was told that he served in Dachau and then Auschwitz camps. Under magnification, I can see what appears to be two pips - and a cypher (indistinguishable) in between them - on the shoulder board. From that and the collar rank insignia, I believe this to indicate the rank of Hauptsturmfuhrer.

    Would an officer serving in a concentration camp have a related cypher on the shoulder boards (perhaps a "K")?

    Seeking any and all clarification and, if possible, an identification of the officer in this photo. All feedback will be appreciated.

    Thanks for looking.

    Attached Files

    Rank is Hauptsturmführer, yes.

    His decorations tell us that he is a WWI veteran and that he saw field service in WWII as well (as he is wearing the EK II clasp).

    The pre-war camp guard formations of the SS wore shoulder strap cyphers as did the additional Totenkopfstandarten raised in wartime, which wore the regimental number. Offhand I can't think of any cyphers that would have been worn by the actual camp staff, though, with the exception of an "L" for training personnel. (If there were others, I will gladly stand corrected.)

    Unfortunately, we can't make out his right collar patch, but it doesn't appear to be a Death's Head. (To me it looks like SS runes followed by a small cypher, which would make them SSVT collar patches, but we just don't see enough of them to be certain.)

    Nothing in the photo indicates a camp affiliation, but it is not impossible, either (especially given that transfers between field formations and camps occurred).

    (As an afterthought: Monnier is a French name, so the photograph may have been taken in a studio in occupied France - far from Dachau or Auschwitz. But then, it's not impossible for a German to have a French name, either. Still, it might be a clue.)
    Last edited by HPL2008; 12-14-2019, 06:47 AM.


      Thank you HPL2008 for your feedback. I have searched without success for a cypher resembling that which appears on the shoulder board pictured. While still not very clear, I am adding here a close-up in the hopes that someone can identify it.
      Attached Files



        my first reaction was a "K" also.



          I can't make out the cypher, possibly an "L" for training? They didn't use the letter "K" for camps. Sincerely, DJB


            I found a useful chart here on the site showing SS collar tabs and shoulder board cyphers - see here:
            While not complete, it does show SS-Totenkopfverbande collar tabs with a stylized "C K" for Camp Commandant Staff; a "U" with umlaut for SS-Training Camp Dachau; and a "D" for SS-Sturmbann Dachau.
            As well, it shows a metal cypher "SK" over "D" indicating Standortkommandatur Dachau.
            The chart also shows a metal cypher "L" for Lehr, as already mentioned above.
            I think that if there were a cypher for Concentration Camp / Konzentrationslager, the letters "KZ" would have been used.

            Thanks to all for the feedback thus far. I hope that together we can achieve some consensus and solve this interesting mystery.
            Last edited by jwburchell; 12-16-2019, 12:31 AM.


              I agree, as HPL2008 pointed out above, that the collar patch is almost certainly showing the SS runes and despite anecdotal evidence has nothing to do with the SS-TV.
              The cypher itself has a very distinctive shape and I have distorted the army pattern Gothic "G' in Photoshop and applied to the close-up as it is the only cypher I can think that matches the curved back of the letter and the down stroke to the right.
              If correct, it would indicate that the SS-Hauptsturmführer served with a motorcycle battalion. The use of the emblem may be unofficial or not, but I'm afraid I am not conversant with regulations after about 1939.
              Attached Files


                Thanks, Derek. (I was hoping you would comment on the photo.)


                  Yes, indeed...and a very big thank you from me, as well, Derek for your valued assistance which is greatly appreciated. Nice, as well, to note that you are located in :-)

                  Season's greetings!



                    There doesn't seem to be an edit function so I will just point out that I inadvertently typed a "G" in my post above when it is clearly a "K" that I had superimposed on the photo.


                      Thank you, Derek, for the clarification.
                      As noted, the "K" must have been used by the SS-VT motorcycle battalion with which the SS-Hauptsturmführer served.


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