The History of the SS Honor Ring

The SS Honor Ring (Der SS-Totenkopfring or SS-Ehrenring) was instituted at the personal behest of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and was awarded for outstanding achievement and loyalty. It remains the most highly prized and sought after of all SS awards.

It is estimated that there were about 14,500 SS Honor Rings awarded. Adhering to SS regulations it is believed that about 9,200 rings were returned to the SS spiritual centre at Wewelsberg Castle upon the death of the ring bearer or his discharge from service. In the spring of 1945 with the SS and Wehrmacht in full retreat, Himmler ordered that the rings at Wewelsberg be blast sealed into the side of a nearby mountain to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy, the location of these rings remains a mystery to this day. When the castle was finally captured only 200 SS rings were found. Also, an unknown number were lost in combat and never accounted for. Today it is estimated that only about 3,000 SS Honor Rings survived the great conflict.

For an in depth study of this fascinating subject please refer to Don Boyles’ book “SS Totenkopf H. Himmler Honor Ring 1933 – 1945”.