I, for one, am trying to make the point that, consistent with the Nuremburg ruling, each individual is innocent until proven guilty. Please see my earlier posting.
I am trying to make the point that gross generalizations such as all SS troops were guilty of atrocities or all Heer troops were innocent of such atrocities are worse than wrong, they are unfair.
Nor will you see my deny that atrocities are committed by all sides in war. War is not neat and tidy, nor is a always a matter of black and white choices.
Nonetheless, it is natural that members are interesting in learing more about the SS and all of its disparate elements. The complexity of the SS in and of itself is part of the reason for so much confusion about it among the general public.
You raise a good question about "field units" and another about participation.
"As for the holocoust (ie the murder of millions of jews in four polish camps), one thing that strikes me is that there was not so many Germans involved. Three people decided it, another 18 planned it and some 80 officers and guards with the help of a couple of thousand ukranian and balts commited the worst autrocity of our time. Now I must admit that I do not count in the on the field units that operated at the front, as I do not know much about them. But I understand that it was not a significant part of the organization."
Please allow me to amplify. Many people who have not spent long years of research as I have on these matters naturally focus on the more incredibly horrifying "extermination camps," Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno, and Belzec and Majdanek. But there were hundreds of other camps where jewish, gypsy, political prisoners, POWs and civilians died. Then there were the field operations you noted. The camps accounted for approximately four million jewish deaths. Nearly two million died in other ways, mostly at the hands of the einzatz kommandos made up primarily of security police and order police (thousands of troops) under the RHSA in eastern poland and the USSR.
Because of the extensive size of the camps, the ghetto system used until the extermination camps were all operational, and the field operations, the inescapable conclusion is that thousands of germans were involved in the holocaust, as were poles, balts, ukrainians and others.
Those involved ranged from various elements of the RSHA, Reich Security Main Administration, including police and SS, as well as civilians (not least of which were the Reichsbann workers helping keeping the trains runnning to the camps), and Heer and Luftwaffe personnel.
Unfortunately thousands of Germans played roles in the holocaust, not just a few.