Emil Maurice (January 19, 1897, Westermoor – February 6, 1972, Munich ) was an early member of the Nazi Party. A watchmaker, he was a close associate of Adolf Hitler with a personal friendship dating back to at least 1919. With the founding of the Sturmabteilung in 1920, Maurice became the first Oberster SA-Fuhrer (Supreme SA Leader).
In 1923, Maurice also became the SA commander of the newly established Stabswache, a special SA company given the task of guarding Hitler at Nazi parties and rallies. In 1925, two years after the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Maurice and Hitler refounded the Stabswache as the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler which was renamed, later that year, as the Schutzstaffel (SS). At that time, Hitler became SS Member nr. 1 and Emil Maurice became SS Member nr. 2. Maurice became an SS-Führer in the new organization, although the leadership of the SS was assumed by Julius Schreck, the first Reichsfuhrer-SS.
He reportedly had a brief relationship with Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece. When the SS was reorganized and began to expand in 1932, Maurice became a senior SS officer and would eventually be promoted to the rank SS-Oberführer. While Maurice never became a top commander of the SS his status as SS Member #2 effectively credited him as the actual founder of the organization. Heinrich Himmler, who ultimately would become the most recognized leader of the SS, held SS Member #168. Maurice’s stagnant SS career, after Himmler had become Reichsführer-SS, has led historians to uncover evidence that Himmler suspected Maurice as being part Jewish. Himmler had lobbied for Maurice to be removed from the SS, although Hitler never approved this due to Maurice’s early membership in the organization.