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EICKES CULTIVATION OF ELITISM A sign declaring Barnard College ranks Number 1 in the Journal of Economic Educations Fall 1997 Rankings of 40 ELITE Liberal Arts Colleges Economics Departments adorns the door of my dorm room Although society emphasizes the attainment of elitism or status it may not be aware that the doctrine of elitism and those who are labeled elite have been ingrained in society since childhood Parents dedicate their energies and funds to provide the best opportunities for their children And the childrens resulting future success becomes the reward for their parents determination Similarly in Soldiers of Destruction by Charles W Sydnor Jr Theodore Eicke the creator and commander of the Third SS Panzer Division Totenkopf strives to instill upon his soldiers the elite character of their division With the goal of instilling elitism in his soldiers Eickes combination of uncompromising demand for obedience talent for organization and a gift for inspiring and leading men has given the Totenkopfdivision the reputation as one of the most powerful formations in the German armed forces As a result of its uncompromising leader Theodore Eicke the SS Totenkopfdivision possessed a special character and demeanor even among the other SS divisions First Eickes doctrine of elitism was routed in the Nazi movement that he embraced with zeal and ferocity This elitist mentality can be traced back to Eickes handling of the prewar concentration camps Eickes conviction in the inferiority of the prisoners established the basis for his development of the standard concentration camp system as a place of forced labor solitary confinement and other established forms of abuse In addition Eicke wholeheartedly believed that the concentration camps were the only available and effective instrument for destroying these adversaries of the National Socials These concentration camps were organized and guarded by the militarized SS formations that Eicke himself had recruited Since the fuhrer had given the SSTV-a racially select group of individuals-sole responsibility for guarding and running
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