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SS-Oberabschnitt Donau was the primary division command of the Allgemeine-SS in the country of Austria. The Oberabschnitt was formed in 1934 under Alfred Rodenbücher as an early attempt to influence the Anschluss with Nazi Germany. Originally known as Oberabschnitt Österreich, the SS command oversaw all underground Austrian SS activities until 1938 when Germany incorporated Austria into the Third Reich.

Ernst Kaltenbrunner took over leadership of the Oberabschnitt in 1937 and the command was renamed as Oberabschnitt Donau in May 1938; the headquarters was located in Vienna. In 1939, the northern area of the Oberabschnitt was reformed into the SS-Oberabschnitt Alpenland.

In addition to overseeing the regular mustering formations of the Allgemeine-SS in Austria, Oberabschnitt Donau personnel helped establish anti-Jewish measures in Austria and also assisted the SS-Totenkopfverbände with the establishment of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. Ernst Kaltenbrunner was the primary driving force behind these efforts until 1943 when he was promoted to assume duties as head of the RSHA. The command then passed through two more leaders until Austria was occupied in 1945 following the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.

Oberabschnitt Commanders


  • Yerger, Mark C. Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units, and Leaders of the General SS, Schiffer Publishing (1997). ISBN 0-7643-0145-4

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