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Authoritarianism and social status of former members of the Waffen-SS and SS and of the Wehrmacht. Research data.

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Researchers

Name
Steiner, John M.
Fahrenberg, Jochen

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Dataset Information

Title Authoritarianism and social status of former members of the Waffen-SS and SS and of the Wehrmacht. Research data.
Original Title Autoritre Einstellungen und Statusmerkmale von ehemaligen Angehrigen der Waffen-SS und SS und der Wehrmacht. Forschungsdaten zur Studie.
Citation Steiner, J.M., & Fahrenberg, J. (2011). Authoritarianism and social status of former members of the Waffen-SS and SS and of the Wehrmacht. Research data. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Files on CD-ROM]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID. https://doi.org/10.5160/psychdata.srjn66ei02
Language of variable documentation German
Responsible for Data Collection Steiner, John M.; Fahrenberg, Jochen
Data Collection Completion Date 1966
Dataset Publication 2011
Dataset ID srjn66ei02
Study Description The research project can be traced back to Else Frenkel-Brunswiks suggestion to also survey Germans using the Fascism (F)-Scale. Authoritarian and anti-democratic attitudes should be able to be demonstrated particularly distinctly in former members of the SS (and the Waffen-SS). For comparison, former members of the Wehrmacht were considered. Although this dataset had hardly been regarded, it is - as Meloen (1993, S. 52, S. 68) determined - of outstanding importance to the validity of the F-Scale.
Questionnaires filled out by 229 members of the former Waffen-SS and SS as well as by 202 members of the Wehrmacht between 1962 and 1966 were analyzed in a an initial paper (Steiner & Fahrenberg, 1979), mainly with regard to the F-Scale and several sociobiographical traits. Thirty years after the initial publication, a reanalysis of the questionnaire material, which was more comprehensive and employed improved methods of analysis, was presented (Steiner & Fahrenberg, 2000). Besides various methodological improvements, the confirmation and validation of the originally reported group differences using an exact matching technique is of particular importance. Formerly, these results were confounded with sociodemographic traits such as schooling, occupational class and military rank.

F-Scale
In the reanalysis, the Waffen-SS and SS group has a much significantly higher mean on the F-Scale (M = 90.15, SD = 11.33) as compared to the Wehrmacht group (M = 77.96, SD = 18.43) t (310) = 8.00, p< .0001, whereby the valid N equal N =226 and N = 194 respectively. The effect size of this difference in mean value may be interpreted as medium to large according to Cohens terminology (Steiner & Fahrenberg, 2000).

Statistical Twins
Beginning with the Wehrmacht group, statistical twins from the Waffen-SS and SS group with the same sociodemographic trait combinations were selected. Even after the step-by-step formation of statistical twins, the group differences in attitude remained highly significant. The findings on the higher value on the F-Scale and the higher index for war decorations proved to be robust as well (Steiner & Fahrenberg, 2000).

Summary
The following characteristic trait pattern could be shown for the former members of the Waffen-SS and SS, when compared to the members of the Wehrmacht: authority-oriented, conformist and obedient, intolerant, narrow-minded and rigid, potentially latently hostile. Even twenty years after the end of the war and approx. twenty-five years after these men volunteered or were recruited, typical traits exist, pointing to relatively stable dispositions (Steiner & Fahrenberg, 2000).
The reanalysis from the year 2000 constituted a contentual enhancement, through which the reliability of the results could also be increased, by means of better controlled statistical methods.
Hypotheses The central hypothesis is that the former members of the Waffen-SS and SS would exhibit higher fascist values. Other hypotheses draw from settings and features that were additionally examined.
Keyphrase authoritarianism & social status of former SS members & Wehrmacht soldiers in Nazi Germany, functional aspects of authoritarianism & obedience & individual differences, 229 former SS members & 202 Wehrmacht soldiers, research data
Funding Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung
Rating The data could only be obtained 2 decades after the war had ended and the 2 groups are not random samples. In particular, the composition of the Waffen-SS group and SS and the possible effects of a preselection through cooperation with the HIAG (Hilfsgemeinschaft auf Gegenseitigkeit der Angehrigen, or "Mutual Help Association of Former Waffen-SS Members") and former commanders remain unknown. These shortcomings relativize the results and the theoretical interpretation (Steiner & Drive Mountain, 2000).
The questions prompting a ranking of personal preferences for a specific song, professions, and cities were (more or less) completed by only a quarter of the respondents; many only answered some of these questions. This was coded into 3 variables (ranking or check mark). Because of this inconsistency, these variables block were not complete and therefore only exemplary evaluated.
Individual data items are missing in both the F-scale as well as other variables. The number of missing data on the F-scale is recorded in a separate variable.

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PSYNDEX Classification and Controlled Terms

Classification Personality Traits & Processes
Controlled Terms Authoritarianism
Obedience
Fascism
Individual Differences
Data Collection

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Research Method Description

Research Method Description Questionnaire Data
Classification of Data Collection Partially Standardized Survey Instrument (provides question formulation; open answer format)
Research Instrument The questionnaire consists of 2 parts: 21 items of the F scale, which, according to Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson and Sanford (1950) measures the expression of the basic characteristics of fascism, such as authoritarian, antidemocratic attitudes, and a further 27 mostly multifaceted questions (Steiner & Drive Mountain, 2000).
The items of the short form F-scale used here were selected from the item pool so that all 9 areas are represented with relevant items: conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy, power and toughness, destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and sex. To avoid refusals, items that could be considered too personal or threatening, were - at the direction of Retired General Felix Steiner - omitted. The following items were left: numbers 19, 32, 43, 53, 67 of the F-form; 78, 50 of the F-60 form; 2, 6, 9, 13, 18-19, 21, 25-27 , 31, 37-39, 41 of the F-45 form (see Sanford et al. 1950, p 226, 248, 255) (Steiner & driving Berg, 2000). The items were translated by the first author. Response format was scaled from -3 to +3, wherein the center position "0" was not explicitly mentioned or defined.
In addition to socio-biographical questions, the preferred form of government, preference for 1 of 3 properties (loyalty, honor, justice), branch of service, rank, the time point when Hitler's "Mein Kampf" was read, and military decorations (medals for bravery and injury) was also examined. In addition, 3 lists (composers or genres, professions, cities of different countries) were presented to gain any possible indirect evidence of typical attitudes, such as preference for marching music, sympathies for the profession of police officers and soldiers, or aversions to certain cities such as Jerusalem or Moscow. A number of other questions about Nazi ideology, creed, Jews, and reasons for entry into the Waffen-SS were removed from questionnaire at the advice of retired General Steiner to again avoid any refusals to answer questions (Steiner & driving Berg, 2000).
Data Collection Method Data collection in the presence of an experimenter
-Individual Administration
-Paper and Pencil
Data collection in the absence of an experimenter
-Mail Survey
Time Points single measurement
Survey Time Period -
Characteristics -
Population Former members of the Waffen-SS, the SS, and the Wehrmacht
Experimental Pool Individuals
Sample Convenience sample
Quota Sample
Subject Recruitment Recruitment was done through an SS-head section leader and retired Waffen-SS General Felix Steiner, and by enabling the HIAG to contact local HIAG groups. Enclosed was a request to anonymously take the questionnaire, and send them to retired general Steiner in Munich; others were sent directly to the author. That a total of 229 evaluable questionnaires were returned was mainly due to the help of former Waffen-SS commanders and the still relatively strong hierarchical structure of the organization (Steiner & driving Berg, 2000).
Former members of various branches of the Wehrmacht were recruited as a comparison group. Random selection or parallelization of these individuals was not practically feasible. The 202 questionnaires analyzed were also anonymously sent to the author or collected by interested workers in different regions of the Federal Republic with the support of retired General Kurt Zeitzler via the Association of German Soldiers (Steiner & driving Berg, 2000).
Sample Size 431 Individuals
Return/Drop Out -
Gender Distribution 100% male subjects (n=431)
Age Distribution 30 years or older
Special Groups -
Country Germany
Region -
City -
Variables F-scale items
Socio-demographic variables (preference for father/mother, age, marital status, children, property (home, cars, TV), education, religious creed, profession)
Preferences for types of music / types of government
Most important attribute (loyalty, justice, honor)
Job satisfaction
Reasons for job dissatisfaction
Nonmilitary training
Job / Residence preferences
First-time reading of "Mein Kampf"
Military service in World War 2
Parents' professions
Military awards
Place of birth
Information concerning preferred music/profession/city
Preference for marching music
Preference for Wagner's music
Group classification Waffen-SS/SS vs Wehrmacht
Subjects ID number

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Data Status

Data Status Complete Data Set
Original Records Questionnaire filled out by either the subject or the experimenter containing closed and/or open answers
Transformation The original scale of +3 (strong belief ) to -3 ( strongly disagree ) was transformed into a 6-point scale with a expected mean value of 3.5.
The answers concerning the father's occupation and one's own occupation were coded to capture the social prestige of the profession. The social prestige scale of Kleining and Moore ( 1968) was used, a form of data collection yielding more details than today's methods. This publication contains a list of 9 groups of 4 professions that provide an anchor for the classification of a given profession (Kleining & Moore, 1968, pp. 504 , map SSE St/x). Then these classifications of social prestige were grouped into 5 classes: upper class and upper-middle class, middle-middle class, lower-middle class, upper-lower class, and low class. The answers to the occupation of the mother were not evaluated as almost all specified "housewife."
The medals were divided into the following classes: (1) Knights Cross, German Cross in Gold (class 4), (2) Iron Cross I, Hand-to-hand Combat Medal, and similar orders (class 3), (3) Iron Cross Gold II and similar orders (class 2), (4) any other orders (class 1). The number named medals was multiplied by these arbitrary classes. The distribution of the aggregate thus obtained was grouped into 4 approximately equal levels along with "no medals."
When the Medals for injury during combat the following weighting was used: Black = 1, Silver = 5, Gold = 10. The distribution was grouped in 2 classes along with "no medal for injury." Mr. Jobst Freiherr von Cornberg is acknowledged for his advice on this point.
Some made double entries on the item concerning loyalty, honor, and justice, which were considered "missing data." In a second evaluation step, loyalty and honor were summarized and compared with justice.
Because of inadequate responses regarding preferred music, cities, and occupations only individual items were evaluated: preference for the profession of civil servants, soldiers, and police as well as for marching music and Wagner. Item answers were counted as "1" when either ranked from 1-5 or if the item was checked.
F-scale values were calculated in different ways: Because of poor statistical properties due to the item- and factor-analytical controls, Item 10 "sciences..." was eliminated. A possible correction of the scale value for the number of missing data could be made. 4 cases with more than 9 missing data were excluded anyway.

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Description of the Provided Data

Description Primary data set
File Name srjn66ei02 _pd.txt
Data Content 431 subjects, 134 variables
Data Points 431*134=58,616 data points
Variables F-scale items (21), Socio-demographic variables (preference for father vs mother, age, marital status, children, property (home, cars , TV), education, religious confession) (9), Preferred music (16 ), Preferred form of government (1), Most-valued characteristic (loyalty vs justice vs honor) (3), Job satisfaction (19), Reason for job dissatisfaction (6), Nonmilitary training (1), admired occupations (14), Preferred places of residence (30), first reading of "Mein Kampf" (4), Information regarding military service in World War 2 (9), Father's occupation/own occupation (2), Father's social class/ own social class (2), number of war decorations (4), Weighted and aggregated variables of war decorations (3), Birth place (1), Favored music/profession/city (3), Waffen-SS/SS vs Wehrmacht grouping (1), subject ID number (1)
MD5 Hash ccc5101cae7693b0bad031aef79b1fb2
  
Description Primary data set with derived variables
File Name srjn66ei02 _ad.txt
Data Content 431 subjects, 139 variables
Data Points 431*139=59,909 data points
Variables F-scale items (21), Socio-demographic variables (preference for father vs mother, age, marital status, children, property (home, cars , TV), education, religious confession) (9), Preferred music (16 ), Preferred form of government (1), Most-valued characteristic (loyalty vs justice vs honor) (3), Job satisfaction (19), Reason for job dissatisfaction (6), Nonmilitary training (1), admired occupations (14), Preferred places of residence (30), first reading of "Mein Kampf" (4), Information regarding military service in World War 2 (9), Father's occupation/own occupation (2), Father's social class/ own social class (2), number of war decorations (4), Weighted and aggregated variables of war decorations (3), Birth place (1), Favored music/profession/city (3), Waffen-SS/SS vs Wehrmacht grouping (1), subject ID number (1), Preference for marching music (1), Preference for Wagner's music (1), Value of missing data F-scale (1), sum value F-scale (21 items) (1), sum value F-scale (20 items ) (1), sum value F-scale corrected (21 items) (1), total value F-scale (20 items) (1)
MD5 Hash 530fb9178fdea91ae10bf948cd084171
  

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Description of Additional Materials

Description File Name
German codebook of primary data set srjn66ei02 _pd.txt srjn66ei02 _kb.txt
German codebook of primary data set with derived variables srjn66ei02 _ad.txt srjn66ei02 _aa.txt

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Publications Directly Related to the Dataset

Publications Directly Related to the Dataset
Fahrenberg, J. & Steiner, J. M. (2004). Adorno und die autoritre Persnlichkeit. Klner Zeitschrift fr Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 56, 127-152. Datensatz 0199501
Steiner, J.M. & Fahrenberg, J. (1970). Die Ausprgung autoritrer Einstellung bei ehemaligen Angehrigen der SS und der Wehrmacht. Klner Zeitschrift fr Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 22, 551-566.
Steiner, J. M. & Fahrenberg, J. (2000). Autoritre Einstellung und Statusmerkmale von ehemaligen Angehrigen der Waffen-SS und SS und der Wehrmacht: Eine erweiterte Reanalyse der 1970 publizierten Untersuchung. Klner Zeitschrift fr Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 52, 329-348.Datensatz 0156070

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Utilized Test Methods

Utilized Test Methods
Adorno, T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (1950). The Authoritarian Personality. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Sanford, R. N., Adorno, T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E. & Levinson, D.J. (1950). The Measurement of Implicit Antidemocratic Trends. In: T.W. Adorno, E. Frenkel-Brunswik, D.J. Levinson & R. N. Sanford. The Authoritarian Personality (S. 222-288). New York: Harper & Brothers.

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Further Reading

Further Reading
Kleining, G. & Moore, H. (1968). Soziale Selbsteinstufung (SSE). Ein Instrument zur Messung sozialer Schichten. Klner Zeitschrift fr Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 20, 502-552.Datensatz 9001460
Lederer, G. & Schmidt, P. (Hrsg.). (1995). Autoritarismus und Gesellschaft. Trendanalysen und vergleichende Jugenduntersuchungen von 1945 1993. Opladen: Leske und Budrich.Datensatz 0092019
Meloen, J.D. (1993). The F Scale as a Predictor of Fascism : An overview of 40 years of authoritarianism research. In : W.F. Stone, G. Lederer & R. Christie (Eds.): Strength and Weakness: The Authoritarian Personality Today (S. 47- 69). New York: Springer.
Steiner, J.M. (1976). Power Politics and Social Change in National Socialist Germany. A Process of Escalation into Mass Destruction. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton.
Steiner, J.M. (1980). The SS Yesterday and Today: A Sociopsychological View. In: J.E. Dimsdale (Hrsg.) Survivors, Victims, and Perpetrators. Essays on the Nazi Holocaust (S. 405-456). Washington D. C.: Hemisphere.
Stone, W. F., Lederer, G. & Christie, R. (Eds). (1993). Strength and Weakness: The Authoritarian Personality today. New York: Springer.

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