National Socialist Motor Corps
The National Socialist Motor Corps , also known as the National Socialist Drivers Corps, was a paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....
organization of the Nazi Party
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...
that existed from 1931 to 1945. The group was a successor organization to the older National Socialist Automobile Corps, which had existed since the beginning of 1930. It was headed by Adolf Hühnlein
Adolf Hühnlein was a German soldier and Nazi Party official. He was the Korpsführer of the National Socialist Motor Corps, the NSKK, from 1934 until his death in 1942....
from 1934. After Hühnlein's death in 1942 Erwin Krauss took over his position as Korpsführer (Corps Leader).
The National Socialist Motor Corps was the smallest of the Nazi Party organizations and had originally been formed as a motorized corps of the Sturmabteilung
The Sturmabteilung functioned as a paramilitary organization of the National Socialist German Workers' Party . It played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s...
(SA). In 1934, the group had a membership of approximately ten thousand and was separated from the SA to become an independent organization. This action may have saved the NSKK from extinction, as shortly thereafter the SA suffered a major purge during the Night of the Long Knives
Night of the Long Knives
The Night of the Long Knives , sometimes called "Operation Hummingbird " or in Germany the "Röhm-Putsch," was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political murders...
The primary aim of the NSKK was to educate its members in motoring skills. They were mainly trained in the operation and maintenance of high performance motorcycles and automobiles. In the mid 1930s, the NSKK also served as a roadside assistance group, comparable to the modern-day American Automobile Association
American Automobile Association
AAA , formerly known as the American Automobile Association, is a federation of 51 independently operated motor clubs throughout North America. AAA is a not-for-profit member service organization with more than 51 million members. AAA provides services to its members such as travel, automotive,...
or the British Automobile Association
The Automobile Association
The Automobile Association , a British motoring association founded in 1905 was demutualised in 1999 to become a private limited company which currently provides car insurance, driving lessons, breakdown cover, loans and motoring advice, and other services...
Membership in the NSKK did not require any knowledge of automobiles and the group was known to accept persons for membership without drivers' licenses
A driver's license/licence , or driving licence is an official document which states that a person may operate a motorized vehicle, such as a motorcycle, car, truck or a bus, on a public roadway. Most U.S...
. It was thought that training in the NSKK would make up for any previous lack of knowledge. The NSKK did, however, adhere to racial doctrine and screened its members for Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...
qualities. The NSKK was also a paramilitary organization with its own system of paramilitary ranks
Ranks and insignia of the National Socialist Motor Corps
The Ranks and insignia of the National Socialist Motor Corps were a paramilitary rank system used between the years of 1931 and 1945...
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the National Socialist Motor Corps became a target of the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...
for recruitment, since NSKK members possessed knowledge of motorized transport, whereas the bulk of the Wehrmacht relied on horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...
s. Most NSKK members thereafter joined the regular military, serving in the transport corps of the various service branches.
In 1945, the NSKK was disbanded and the group was declared a "condemned organization" at the Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....
(although not a criminal one). This was due in part to the NSKK’s origins in the SA and its doctrine of racial superiority required from its members.