Dachau and the SS studies the concentration camp guards at Dachau, Hitler's first concentration camp and a national 'school' of violence for all concentration camp personnel. Set up in the first months of Hitler's rule, it was a bastion of the Nazi 'revolution' and a key springboard for the ascent of Heinrich Himmler and the SS to control of the Third Reich's terror and policing apparatus. Throughout the pre-war era of Nazi Germany, Dachau functioned as a national academy of violence where SS concentration camp personnel were schooled in steely resolution and the techniques of terror. An international symbol of Nazi depredation, Dachau was the cradle of a new and terrible spirit of destruction. Combining new research on the pre-war history of Dachau with theoretical insights from studies of perpetrator violence, this volume offers the first systematic study of the 'Dachau School'. It challenges assumptions about concentration camp violence as the product of individual pathologies, whether of ideological zealots or mindless sadists, and explores the backgrounds and socialization of thousands of often very young men in the camp. Christopher Dillon analyses recruitment to the Dachau SS and evaluates the contribution of ideology, training, masculinity, and social psychology to the conduct and subsequent careers of concentration camp guards. Graduates of the Dachau School would go on to play a central role in the wartime criminality of the Third Reich, particularly at Auschwitz. Dachau and the SS makes an original contribution to the pre-history of the Holocaust, and to the social and institutional organisation of violence.