What’s more, the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, was behind the move to give Dirlewanger this special role. The unit’s men were to be drawn from the ranks of convicted poachers serving jail sentences, and their mission would be to hunt down partisan fighters in occupied Poland. Apparently Himmler believed the particular skills of the poachers would make them well-suited to their task.
Some members of the SS, however, balked at the idea of the elite body taking on convicted criminals. But their objections were simply brushed aside, and the mission went ahead as planned. Dirlewanger’s first job, then, was to run a labor camp in Poland. But his conduct in doing so, resulted in an official enquiry by an SS judge.