During the Third
Reich, Anwärter was used as a paramilitary rank by both the NSDAP and the SS.
Within the Nazi
Party, an Anwärter was someone who had been
accepted into a government service position and the
rank was issued in two degrees: one for party members
and the other for non-party members. Anwärter was
the lowest Nazi Party rank in a complex and extensive
system of Nazi Party political ranks leading up to such
positions as Gauleiter and Reichsleiter.
As an SS rank, an Anwärter was someone who had
applied for membership in the SS and was undergoing
a probationary period after which time an appointment
would be issued to the rank of SS-Mann.
The earliest recorded use of Anwärter, as an SS
rank, was 1932 however the rank was used as title dating
back to 1925.
Within the Allgemeine-SS, the transition from Anwärter
to Mann was an extensive process typically taking over
one year. During that year, a potential SS member would
be drilled and indoctrinated and also a racial, political,
and background check would be conducted. At the end
of this time, typically in an elaborate ceremony, an
Anwärter would be promoted to the rank of SS-Mann.
After 1941, Anwärter was also used as a rank of
the Waffen-SS but to a much lesser degree than in the
General-SS. A Waffen-SS Anwärter was usually a
recruit who had been in-processed into the SS (typically
at a recruiting station) but had yet to report for basic
training. Once basic training began, the Anwärter
was unceremonisouly promoted to the rank of SS-Schütze.
Between 1942 and 1945, an even lower rank existed within
the SS known as Bewerber. The SS was the only Nazi paramilitary
group to have a rank lower than that of Anwärter.
The SS rank of Anwärter used no insignia, however
the Nazi Party rank displayed a bare collar tab with
eagle and swastika pin issued for those Anwärters who were already
Nazi party members.