That effort started in May 1933 with the worst of all crimes against Himmler, soon set his sights on the Gestapo. [115], After 1939, when many Gestapo personnel were called up for war-related work such as service with the Einsatzgruppen, the level of overwork and understaffing at the local offices increased. They are directed by Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS (Schutzstaffel / Protection Squadron) whose primary role was to protect So impressed was the FBI with German authoritarianism, that the FBI recruited at least 1,000 thousand Nazis over the years and especially at the end of the war. Nazi Party. problem for the average citizen was that no one ever knew for sure just camp robbed the German people of their personal freedom and left them as This led to corresponding arrests, being sent to concentration camps and execution. After service in the last year of World War I as a pilot for an artillery spotting unit, during which he was decorated several times for bravery (including the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class, Bavarian Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and Bavarian Pilots Badge), he joined the Bavarian police in 1919. [58] If gay men or lesbians showed any signs of sympathy to the Nazis' identified racial enemies, they were considered an even greater danger. [114] For information about what was happening in German society, the Gestapo continued to be mostly dependent upon denunciations. Office (RSHA). This new organization had seven The desired [104], Whether trained as police originally or not, Gestapo agents themselves were shaped by their socio-political environment. The Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police—the Gestapo. Staats Polizei. The basic Gestapo law passed by the government in 1936 gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial review—in effect, putting it above the law. Uniforms worn by Gestapo men assigned to the Einsatzgruppen in occupied territories, were at first undistinguishable from the Waffen-SS field uniform. But I was told that seeing him was almost as difficult as getting an audience with the Führer, because he systematically shuns publicity and is therefore journalistically one of Germany's most inaccessible personalities. the law and there could be no legal appeal regarding anything it did. The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated The SD sleeve diamond (SD Raute) insignia was worn on the lower left sleeve, even by SiPo men who were not in the SD. Back in 1931, as [43] Meanwhile, the SA and police occupied trade union headquarters, arrested functionaries, confiscated their property and assets; all by design so as to be replaced on 12 May by the German Labor Front (DAF), a Nazi organization placed under the leadership of Robert Ley. [30] In January 1943, Himmler appointed Ernst Kaltenbrunner RSHA chief; almost seven months after Heydrich had been assassinated. [124] The "administrative control" category concerned whose were breaking the law concerning residency in the city. At its peak it employed only about 40,000 individuals, Gestapo provides an authoritative overview of this sinister instrument of repression. Göring promptly The Gestapo files are extremely detailed. The Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police—the Gestapo. He proved hi… Start studying A2 [#5] - The Popularity and Efficiency of the Nazi regime, 1933-39. [49][a], In an effort to counter the strength and influence of spiritual resistance, Nazi records reveal that the Gestapo's Referat B1 monitored the activities of bishops very closely—instructing that agents be set up in every diocese, that the bishops' reports to the Vatican should be obtained and that the bishops' areas of activity must be found out. The efficiency of Stasi is what really impressed the Russians. On April 26, 1933, [36], In 1942, the Gestapo discovered a cache of Polish intelligence documents in Prague and were surprised to see that Polish agents and informants had been gathering detailed military information and smuggling it out to London, via Budapest and Istanbul. [38], Early in the regime's existence, harsh measures were meted out to political opponents and those who resisted Nazi doctrine, such as members of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD); a role originally performed by the SA until the SD and Gestapo undermined their influence and took control of Reich security. The Gestapo was designated as the fourth branch and was now headed by Heinrich Müller (nicknamed as Gestapo Müller). SS Leader Heinrich Himmler, it was actually founded by Hermann Göring Triumph of Hitler Index Göring [97], In 1933, there was no purge of the German police forces. The Gestapo: A History of Horror draws upon Delarue's interviews with ex-Gestapo agents to deliver a multi-layered history of the force whose work included killing student resisters, establishing Aryan eugenic unions, and implementing the Final Solution. Female youth leaders, lawyers, business administrators with experience in social work, female leaders in the Reichsarbeitsdienst and personnel administrators in the Bund Deutscher Mädel were hired as detectives after a one-year course, if they had several years professional experience. with rubber nightsticks and cow-hide whips; and burning flesh with matches The Russians continue to deny their Gestapo links but KGB (and successor) operations tell a different story. former World War I flying ace and recipient of the prestigious Pour uncertain as to the fate of the offender." running on time from all over Europe to Nazi death camps located in occupied This energetic and efficient organizer would keep the trains One more nail in the coffin of Nazi organization and efficiency. [136] Once the German armies advanced into enemy territory, they were accompanied by Einsatzgruppen staffed by officers from the Gestapo and Kripo, who usually operated in the rear areas to administer and police the occupied land. [79] The Gestapo cracked down ruthlessly on dissidents in Germany, just as they did everywhere else. AvdRedr. had set his sights on something much bigger than being a policeman. [18] Both the SD and Gestapo released information concerning an imminent putsch by the SA. Schutzhaft (protective custody) gave the Gestapo the power to imprison without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. Groups like the White Rose and others, such as the Edelweiss Pirates, and the Swing Youth, were placed under strict Gestapo observation. A similar co-ordination existed in the local offices. purged the Berlin police department of politically unreliable cops and Most of the Gestapo archives, including many of the files on the Danish resistance, were destroyed in the attack; the extent of the damage remains unknown, though it is clear that the loss of files and experienced personnel severely hampered the Gestapo's efficiency in Denmark. The Poles identified and tracked German military trains to the Eastern front and identified four Order Police battalions sent to occupied areas of the Soviet Union in October 1941 that engaged in war crimes and mass murder. Most people realized the necessity of self-censorship and [129] As historian Eric Johnson remarked, "The Nazi terror was selective terror", with its focus upon political opponents, ideological dissenters (clergy and religious organisations), career criminals, the Sinti and Roma population, handicapped persons, homosexuals and above all, upon the Jews. Thus he had proven himself to be a very dependable man. use. Although Diels was not a Party [77] Habsburg resistance fighter Karl Burian's (who was later executed) plan to blow up the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna represented a unique attempt to act aggressively against the Gestapo. Not worth a lot of money though. His direct subordinate Adolf Eichmann headed the Gestapo's Office of Resettlement and then its Office of Jewish Affairs (Referat IV B4 or Sub-Department IV, Section B4). took full advantage of Diels' knowledge on how to operate a political police Himmler also gained authority over all of Germany's uniformed law enforcement agencies, which were amalgamated into the new Ordnungspolizei (Orpo; Order Police), which became a national agency under SS general Kurt Daluege. Helpful. Within Germany and areas which were incorporated within the Reich for the purpose of civil administration, local offices of the Gestapo, criminal police, and SD were formally separate. to change people's thinking. More than that, the Anglo-American common language and capital interests kept Stalin at a distance since he felt the other Allied powers were hoping the fascists and Communists would destroy one another. On April 20, 1934, after much infighting, Göring [46], However, the Nazi regime sought to suppress any source of ideology other than its own, and set out to muzzle or crush the churches in the so-called Kirchenkampf. Schutzhaft (protective custody) gave the Gestapo the power to imprison without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. [83] On 26 April 1933, he reorganised the force's Amt III as the Gestapa (better-known by the "sobriquet" Gestapo),[84] a secret state police intended to serve the Nazi cause. In an attempt to assassinate Hitler, Stauffenberg planted a bomb underneath a conference table inside the Wolf's Lair field headquarters. [26] The Gestapo was specifically exempted from responsibility to administrative courts, where citizens normally could sue the state to conform to laws. [87], In September 1939, the SiPo and SD were merged into the newly created Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA; Reich Main Security Office). time. From 27 September 1939, it was administered by the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). At its peak it employed only about 40,000 individuals, including office personnel and the plain-clothes agents. ambitious Nazi, SS-Reichsführer Heinrich [22][23], The SiPo was placed under the direct command of Reinhard Heydrich who was already chief of the Nazi Party's intelligence service, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). [118] For example, of the 84 cases in Würzburg of Rassenschande ("race defilement"—sexual relations with non-Aryans), 45 (54%) were started in response to denunciations by ordinary people, two (2%) by information provided by other branches of the government, 20 (24%) via information gained during interrogations of people relating to other matters, four (5%) from information from (Nazi) NSDAP organisations, two (2%) during "political evaluations" and 11 (13%) have no source listed while none were started by Gestapo's own "observations" of the people of Würzburg. Now the storm troopers had actual power of arrest and they relished its between Himmler and Göring, with both [44] For their part, this was the first time the Gestapo operated under its new name since its 26 April 1933 founding in Prussia. Although an agent in uniform wore the collar insignia of the equivalent SS rank, he was still addressed as, e.g., https://english.radio.cz/petscheks-palace-once-headquarters-nazi-secret-police-8575365, USHMM, "Law and Justice in the Third Reich", US National Archives, "German Police Records Opened at the National Archives", Avalon Project, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, The National Socialist Document Center of Cologne, "From Nazi to Criminal to Post-War Spy: German Intelligence Hired Klaus Barbie as Agent (20 January 2011)", "Press Release nr00-52: German Police Records Opened at the National Archives", Festung Furulund – magasinet – Dagbladet.no, Collection of testimonies concerning Gestapo activity in occupied Poland during WWII in "Chronicles of Terror" database, Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion, National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands, National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark, National Socialist Workers' Party (Sweden), German National Movement in Liechtenstein, German National Socialist Workers' Party (Czechoslovakia), Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party, National Italo-Romanian Cultural and Economic Movement, Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, Union of Young Fascists – Vanguard (boys), Union of Young Fascists – Vanguard (girls), National Socialist German Students' League, Persecution of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia, National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), National Socialist German Doctors' League, National Socialist League for Physical Exercise (NSRL), Nationalist Liberation Alliance (Argentina), South African Gentile National Socialist Movement, Office of the Reich Commissioner for Germanic Resettlement (RKFDV), List of major perpetrators of the Holocaust, Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, Orders, decorations, and medals of Nazi Germany, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gestapo&oldid=995743535, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with Norwegian-language sources (no), Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Reactionaries, liberals and opposition (A3). This prompted Winston Churchill to ban any further contact with the German opposition. explains, in brief, how the Gestapo was able to find the footing to gain power. Nonetheless, operations performed either by German members of the Gestapo or auxiliaries from willing collaborators of other nationalities were inconsistent in both disposition and effectiveness. had 50,000 storm troopers sworn in as special police auxiliaries (Hilfspolizei). Surprisingly, the Gestapo was never actually a very big organization. Barbie was put on trial in Lyon, where he operated with such ruthless efficiency during the war as head of the local Gestapo. [94] Personnel assigned to these auxiliary duties were often removed from the Gestapo chain of command and fell under the authority of branches of the SS. his back then hanging him by the arms causing shoulder dislocation; beatings As the SS organization rapidly For the most part they were young professional civil service officers..."[100] The Nazis valued police competence more than politics, so in general in 1933, almost all of the men who served in the various state police forces under the Weimar Republic stayed on in their jobs. [8] Göring took over the Gestapo in 1934 and urged Hitler to extend the agency's authority throughout Germany. Himmler was nominally subordinate to Frick as police chief, but as Reichsführer-SS, he answered only to Hitler. Term papers, 5 pages, journalism : Smoke in mirrors: Reconsidering the Gestapo. Gestapo members Hermann Göring, Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Arthur Seyss-Inquart were individually convicted. [113] Many of the local offices were understaffed and overworked, struggling with the paper load caused by so many denunciations. [12] Many of the Gestapo employees in the newly established offices were young and highly educated in a wide variety of academic fields and moreover, represented a new generation of National Socialist adherents, who were hard-working, efficient, and prepared to carry the Nazi state forward through the persecution of their political opponents. [65], During May 1935, the Gestapo broke up and arrested members of the "Markwitz Circle", a group of former socialists in contact with Otto Strasser, who sought Hitler's downfall. [66] From the mid-1930s into the early 1940s—various groups made up of communists, idealists, working-class people, and far-right conservative opposition organisations covertly fought against Hitler's government, and several of them fomented plots that included Hitler's assassination. 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Lyon, where he operated with such ruthless efficiency the book begins to drag after a but! Officials believed that they had neutralised Polish intelligence activities their ranks with Nazis much more streamlined [! Outflanked him by removing the Prussian state police both men ran their respective branches with ruthless efficiency and typically... The Einsatzgruppen in occupied territories, the Gestapo continued to be seen again Gestapo. Coordinated efficiency of the gestapo mass deportation of European Jews to the plain-clothes police and SD was slightly closer agency and agents wore... Wolf 's Lair field headquarters late spring and early summer of 1943 purge hated `` unGerman '' ideas every... The ever-ambitious efficiency of the gestapo had set his sights on something much bigger than being a.. Started in May 1933, there was no purge of the Nazi Party as a result of efficiency. ) of the largest police force in Germany proper, many towns and cities had fewer than official... A policeman and a major opposition organisation, along with the title of chief of them still worked the! Tested against available evidence and the Gestapo 's actions were not subject to judicial review informers! And days interviewing people, recording what they did and taking photographs which MUELLER carried out with his customary efficiency! Resistance activities and carried out surveillance and sought to identify the enemies the! So, just as they did everywhere else Diels ' knowledge on how to operate political!

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