Himmler was nominally subordinate to Frick as police chief, but as Reichsführer-SS, he answered only to Hitler. 0 Comment Report abuse. [53], Violence and arrest was not confined to that of opposing political parties, membership in trade unions, or those with dissenting religious opinions, but also homosexuality. Start studying A2 [#5] - The Popularity and Efficiency of the Nazi regime, 1933-39. two man, proved to be something of a genius in creating a hugely efficient 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. [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. running on time from all over Europe to Nazi death camps located in occupied But even this was not enough. As late as 6 June 1944, Heinrich Müller—concerned about the leakage of information to the Allies—set up a special unit called Sonderkommando Jerzy that was meant to root out the Polish intelligence network in western and southwestern Europe. expanded in the late 1930s, the super-ambitious Heydrich acquired immense Nearly all of them, including: the Römer Group, Robby Group, Solf Circle, Schwarze Reichswehr, the Party of the Radical Middle Class, Jungdeutscher Orden, Schwarze Front and Stahlhelm were either discovered or infiltrated by the Gestapo. Well, there was one Gestapo that I did want to see -- the Big Chief of them all -- Heinrich Himmler himself. Under the SS, the Gestapo grew in power, and was given the job of investigating and combatting 'all tendencies dangerous to the state'. [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. He joined the Nazi party as a member of its security service on Sept. 26, 1935. Never before had an organisation attained such complexity, been vested with such power, or reached such a pitch of 'perfection' in efficiency and horror. [54] Homosexuals were correspondingly considered a threat to the Volksgemeinschaft (National Community). The book begins to drag after a while but the point is made. Finally the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) were a German Nazi formation of concentration camps guards. Some do not survive the test, while others are redefined. [120] The Gestapo always showed a special interest in denunciations concerning sexual matters, especially cases concerning Rassenschande with Jews or between Germans and foreigners, in particular Polish slave workers; the Gestapo applied even harsher methods to the foreign workers in the country, especially those from Poland,[121] Jews, Catholics and homosexuals. The Russians continue to deny their Gestapo links but KGB (and successor) operations tell a different story. The Russians continue to deny their Gestapo links but KGB (and successor) operations tell a different story. Upon becoming Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler "[131] The involvement of ordinary Germans in denunciations also needs to be put into perspective so as not to exonerate the Gestapo. [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. At the end of the Cold War one in 90 East Germans was working as an informer for … Once arrested, they were sent to the nearest police cell. Decentralization can affect the efficiency of a company detrimentaly and affected the railroad system, in a negative way. This paints the Gestapo as a banal collection of hapless policemen, not the superior intelligence apparatus of an evil genius. [126] Failing that, torture and planting evidence were common methods of resolving a case, especially if the case concerned someone Jewish. problem for the average citizen was that no one ever knew for sure just The Russians continue to deny their Gestapo links but KGB (and successor) operations tell a different story. men working against each other to curry favor with Hitler as to who would [f], Several terms redirect here. [76], In Austria, there were groups still loyal to the Habsburgs, who unlike most across the greater German Reich, remained determined to resist the Nazis. lives of top Nazis, which he studied with delight. had 50,000 storm troopers sworn in as special police auxiliaries (Hilfspolizei). Amt) which quickly became known as the GPA. 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. [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. [130] "Selective terror" by the Gestapo, as mentioned by Johnson, is also supported by historian Richard Evans who states that, "Violence and intimidation rarely touched the lives of most ordinary Germans. "[140] Nonetheless, German authorities ordered the mobilization of reserve Polish police forces, known as the Blue Police, which strengthened the Nazi police presence and carried out numerous "police" functions; in some cases, its functionaries even identified and rounded up Jews or performed other unsavory duties on behalf of their German masters. On 26 April 1933, Göring merged the two units as the Geheime Staatspolizei, which was abbreviated by a post office clerk for a franking stamp and became known as the "Gestapo". But even before that many West … This move also gave Himmler operational control over Germany's entire detective force. German efficiency made all of the evil much more streamlined. in April 1933. Interior for the State of Prussia, Germany's biggest and most important on Nazi leaders. Schutzhaft (protective custody) gave the Gestapo the power to imprison without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. The actual term 'Gestapo' was supposedly created by a Berlin postal official The had invented one of the most notorious names in history. 7.How were Japanese soldiers acculturated to being killing machines? History of the Gestapo Police law Conclusion How did they inspire fear? a decree was issued creating the Secret Police Office (Geheime Polizei Department C (Administration and Party Affairs), central administrative office of the Gestapo, responsible for card files of all personnel including all officials. [99][d] Some locals aided the Gestapo, whether as professional police auxiliaries or in other duties. The book begins to drag after a while but the point is made. Others were arrested simply on the basis of being "suspected of activities hostile to the State" or that there was reason to "suppose that his dealings might harm society". Nevertheless, in practice there was jurisdictional overlap and operational conflict between the SD and Gestapo. was now headed by Heinrich Müller (nicknamed [154], Leitstellung (district office) staff did wear the grey SS service uniform, but with police-pattern shoulderboards, and SS rank insignia on the left collar patch. After uncovering a sample of the information the Poles had reported, Gestapo officials concluded that Polish intelligence activity represented a very serious danger to Germany. [57][b] Between 1933 and 1935, some 4,000 men were arrested; between 1936 and 1939, another 30,000 men were convicted. [15] Röhm's position was menacing as more than 4.5 million men fell under his command once the militias and veterans organisations were absorbed by the SA,[16] a fact which fuelled Röhm's aspirations; his dream of fusing the SA and Reichswehr together was undermining Hitler's relationships with the leadership of Germany's armed forces. The stricter laws did not apply to lesbians as their behavior was never officially criminalized, even though their behaviors were labeled "deviant". One of his main accomplishments was the reorganization After the war in Europe ended, the Gestapo was declared a criminal organization by the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at the Nuremberg trials. [31] Müller remained the Gestapo Chief. This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 17:32. or a soldering iron. [31] The specific internal departments of Amt IV were as follows:[90], In 1941 Referat N, the central command office of the Gestapo was formed. [62] Efforts to resist the Nazi regime amounted to very little and had only minor chances of success, particularly since the broad percentage of the German people did not support such actions. [110] The majority of Gestapo informers were not full-term informers working undercover, but were rather ordinary citizens who chose to denounce other people to the Gestapo. [116][117] Work done by social historians such as Detlev Peukert, Robert Gellately, Reinhard Mann, Inge Marssolek, René Otto, Klaus-Michael Mallamann and Paul Gerhard, which by focusing on what the local offices were doing has shown the Gestapo's almost total dependence on denunciations from ordinary Germans, and very much discredited the older "Big Brother" picture with the Gestapo having its eyes and ears everywhere. He proved hi… [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. foolish enough to say something risky or tell an anti-Nazi joke in mixed buildup became apparent. [22] The idea was to fully identify and integrate the party agency (SD) with the state agency (SiPo). 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. were being beaten up by rowdy young storm troopers drunk with their newfound Bauz, Ingrid; Sigrid Brüggemann; Roland Maier, eds. [52] Over 2700 Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox clergy were imprisoned at Dachau alone. [29] The Gestapo became Amt IV (Department IV) of RSHA and Müller became the Gestapo Chief, with Heydrich as his immediate superior. Such reputations are tested against available evidence and the growing body of scholarship. national intelligence system that kept tabs on everyone. his back then hanging him by the arms causing shoulder dislocation; beatings Home; All Articles; Videos; Free Black-Papers; STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS. Much who wanted a name that would fit on a regulation-sized postal rubber stamp. who took over as Gestapo chief two days later. [68], Early efforts to resist the Nazis with aid from abroad were hindered when the opposition's peace feelers to the Western Allies did not meet with success. No one was exempt Among the first to speak out were religious dissenters but following in their wake were educators, aristocratic businessmen, office workers, teachers, and others from nearly every walk of life. [105] Browder also describes a sandwich effect, where from above; Gestapo agents were subjected to ideologically oriented racism and criminal biological theories; and from below, the Gestapo was transformed by SS personnel who did not have the proper police training, which showed in their propensity for unrestrained violence. Three others—Hans Fritzsche, Hjalmar Schacht, and Franz von Papen—were acquitted. [126] Beyond that, sleep deprivation and various forms of harassment were used as investigative methods. Triumph of Hitler Index with rubber nightsticks and cow-hide whips; and burning flesh with matches In this, he ran into conflict with Schutzstaffel (SS) chief Heinrich Himmler who was police chief of the second most powerful German state, Bavaria. [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). [110] The Gestapo office in Saarbrücken had 50 full-term informers in 1939. would use that information to help solidify his own position within the [17] Several Nazi chieftains, among them Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, and Himmler, began a concerted campaign to convince Hitler to take action against Röhm. Most SiPo members joined the SS and held a rank in both organisations. The legal policy as proclaimed by Hitler in 1938 was: "All means, had set his sights on something much bigger than being a policeman. It became known as Amt (Dept) 4 of the RSHA and was considered a sister organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD; Security Service). 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. The victims were mostly Kalus Barbie became a member of the Nazi Party in 1937 and joined the SD (Security Service), a branch of the SS in 1935. The Gestapo (The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police) by Frank McDonough is a compelling and a “fresh interpretation” of Hitler’s notorious and effective police force in Germany during the years up to and including WWII. [124] The "administrative control" category concerned whose were breaking the law concerning residency in the city. 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. Schutzhaft (protective custody) gave the Gestapo the power to imprison without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. [11] Himmler and Heydrich both immediately began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger. [85] Less than two weeks later in early May 1933, the Gestapo moved into their Berlin headquarters at Prinz-Albrecht-Straße 8. a man's testicles in a special vice; securing a prisoner's wrists behind Suspected anti-Nazis would now vanish Back in 1931, as ambitious Nazi, SS-Reichsführer Heinrich across the street, a quiet co-worker, even a schoolboy. [19] Once persuaded, Hitler acted by setting Himmler's SS into action, who then proceeded to murder over 100 of Hitler's identified antagonists. [23] The Gestapo became a national state agency. [124] The "other" category associated with non-conformity included everything from a man who drew a caricature of Hitler to a Catholic teacher suspected of being lukewarm about teaching National Socialism in his classroom. [42] On the following day, the newly formed Gestapo officers, who had been shadowing some 58 trade union leaders, arrested them wherever they could find them—many in their homes. to his delight, Göring discovered that [10] Also on that date, Hitler appointed Himmler chief of all German police outside Prussia. 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. Both men ran their respective branches with ruthless efficiency. [141] While in many countries the Nazis occupied in the East, the local domestic police forces supplemented German operations, noted Holocaust historian, Raul Hilberg, asserts that "those of Poland were least involved in anti-Jewish actions. There were reports that Müller ended up in the foreign secret service at Washington D.C., some allege he was in Moscow working for the Soviets, still others claimed he escaped to South America—but none of the myths have ever been proven; all of which adds to the "mysterious power of the Gestapo". The first thing he did was to prohibit regular [37], Polish agents also gathered detailed information about the morale of German soldiers in the East. Never before had an organisation attained such complexity, been vested with such power, or reached such a pitch of 'perfection' in efficiency and horror. Formed in 1933, the Gestapo became one of the most feared state forces of the Third Reich before and during World War II. between Himmler and Göring, with both 03:08, 10 November 2005 (UTC) You are quite right. Term papers, 5 pages, journalism : Smoke in mirrors: Reconsidering the Gestapo. human thought and culture – the burning of books. Now the storm troopers had actual power of arrest and they relished its [35], The Polish government in exile in London during World War II received sensitive military information about Nazi Germany from agents and informants throughout Europe. They were subject to co-ordination by inspectors of the security police and SD on the staffs of the local higher SS and police leaders, however, and one of the principal functions of the local SD units was to serve as the intelligence agency for the local Gestapo units. The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated Gestapo (German: [ɡəˈʃtaːpo]; /ɡəˈstɑːpoʊ/),[2] was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and in German-occupied Europe. force. Thus he had proven himself to be a very dependable man. The city was also known as the “capital of the French Resistance.” His trial began on May 11 and would last nearly two months. His interest in police 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. The Gestapo came into existence in 1933 as Department 1A of the Prussian State Police. Heydrich, named chief of the Gestapo by Himmler on 22 April 1934, also continued as head of the SS Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst; SD). country that had worked so well back in Germany. But each Gestapo agent operated at the center of a large web of spies and informants. Jails were soon overflowing with people taken into "protective [135] Much like their affiliated orgainizations, the SS and the SD, the Gestapo "played a leading part" in enslaving and deporting workers from occupied territory, torturing and executing civilians, singling out and murdering Jews, and subjecting Allied prisoners of war to terrible treatment. Within a few years, Himmler became Chief of the The efficiency of Stasi is what really impressed the Russians. On April 20, 1934, after much infighting, Göring It should read credible rather then creditable. There were strict protocols protecting the identity of Gestapo field personnel. The Gestapo gained a reputation for ruthlessness and efficiency as it carried out surveillance and sought to identify the enemies of the state. Frick did not have the political power to take on Göring by himself so he allied with Himmler. power and quite often drunk on beer. company might get a knock on the door in the middle of the night or a tap [67] One of the methods employed by the Gestapo to contend with these resistance factions was 'protective detention' which facilitated the process in expediting dissenters to concentration camps and against which there was no legal defence. [143] Other Danish civilians, like in many places across Europe, acted as Gestapo informants but this should not be seen as wholehearted support for the Nazi program, as motives for cooperation varied. [134], As an instrument of Nazi power, terror, and repression, the Gestapo operated throughout occupied Europe. Those in custody were told to sign Form D-11; this was an “Order For Protective Custody”. McDonough delineates how the “Night of the Long Knives” of June 30, 1934, brutally eliminated any opposition to the Gestapo, including the murder of Ernst Röhm, leader of the storm troopers. One more nail in the coffin of Nazi organization and efficiency. next turned his attention to the plain-clothes police. For the wider use of "Secret Police", see, General opposition and military conspiracy, Population ratios, methods and effectiveness, Bonhoeffer was an active opponent of Nazism in the German resistance movement. had successfully hushed-up the scandal surrounding the suicide of Hitler's That effort started in May 1933 with the worst of all crimes against [108] In Düsseldorf, the local Gestapo office of only 281 men were responsible for the entire Lower Rhine region, which comprised 4 million people. The official positions of defendants as heads of state or holders of high government offices were not to free them from responsibility or mitigate their punishment; nor was the fact that a defendant acted pursuant to an order of a superior to excuse him from responsibility, although it might be considered by the IMT in mitigation of punishment. camp robbed the German people of their personal freedom and left them as This was partly because of the Venlo incident of 9 November 1939,[69] in which SD and Gestapo agents, posing as anti-Nazis in the Netherlands, kidnapped two British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) officers after having lured them to a meeting to discuss peace terms. Back in 1931, as a member of the Munich police, Müller had successfully hushed-up the scandal surrounding the suicide of Hitler's niece Geli Raubal. [151], In 1997, Cologne transformed the former regional Gestapo headquarters in Cologne—the EL-DE Haus—into a museum to document the Gestapo's actions. The East German infiltration of NATO, and especially West Germany, was epic. The inhibited, dutifully obedient subjects. [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. Instead of being exclusively a Prussian state agency, the Gestapo became a national one as a sub-office of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police). The East German infiltration of NATO, and especially West Germany, was epic. The Allgemeine SS (General SS) were a Paramilitary Guard and Reserve (rounding up undesirables at home), and worked in support of the Gestapo. [60] However, resistance groups and those who were in moral or political opposition to the Nazis were stalled by the fear of reprisals from the 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. In 1942, 29-year-old Klaus Barbie received orders to become the newly-appointed head of the ruthless Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, in Lyon, France. The efficiency of Stasi is what really impressed the Russians. Terror against "state enemies" had become a way of life to such a degree that the Gestapo's presence and methods were eventually normalised in the minds of people living in Nazi Germany. [21], On 17 June 1936, Hitler decreed the unification of all police forces in Germany and named Himmler as Chief of German Police. [74][75] Stauffenberg and his group were shot on 21 July 1944; meanwhile, his fellow conspirators were rounded up by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp. [4][5] He originally wanted to name it the Secret Police Office (Geheimes Polizeiamt), but the German initials, "GPA", were too similar to those of the Soviet State Political Directorate (Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie, or GPU). Section B4 of the Gestapo dealt exclusively with [80], In January 1933, Hermann Göring, Hitler's minister without portfolio, was appointed the head of the Prussian Police and began filling the political and intelligence units of the Prussian Secret Police with Nazi Party members. former World War I flying ace and recipient of the prestigious Pour who those informants were. 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. A chilling, meticulous record of state brutality that is more compelling than any novel. The SD sleeve diamond (SD Raute) insignia was worn on the lower left sleeve, even by SiPo men who were not in the SD. The Gestapo supplied the information which implicated the SA and ultimately enabled Himmler and Heydrich to emancipate themselves entirely from the organisation. Office (RSHA). [54] In 1934, a special Gestapo office was set up in Berlin to deal with homosexuality. began using the Gestapo to silence Hitler's political opponents in Berlin Historian George C. Browder contends that there was a four-part process (authorisation, bolstering, routinisation, and dehumanisation) in effect which legitimised the psycho-social atmosphere conditioning members of the Gestapo to radicalised violence. In an attempt to assassinate Hitler, Stauffenberg planted a bomb underneath a conference table inside the Wolf's Lair field headquarters. [149], The trials began in November 1945. into the Gestapo, immediately giving him important national security assignments which MUELLER carried out with his customary ruthless efficiency. [150] The IMT also convicted three of the groups: the Nazi leadership corps, the SS (including the SD) and the Gestapo. How could the Holocaust have happened? [145], Between 14 November 1945 and 3 October 1946, the Allies established an International Military Tribunal (IMT) to try 22 major Nazi war criminals and six groups for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The SS officer Werner Best, one-time head of legal affairs in the Gestapo,[27] summed up this policy by saying, "As long as the police carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally". [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. ever-present threat of arrest and indefinite confinement in a concentration The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. 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. [111], According to Canadian historian Robert Gellately's analysis of the local offices established, the Gestapo was—for the most part—made up of bureaucrats and clerical workers who depended upon denunciations by citizens for their information. agent operated at the center of a large web of spies and informants. [89] However, Gestapo leader Heinrich Müller was never tried, as he disappeared at the end of the war. The Gestapo was designated as the fourth branch and was now headed by Heinrich Müller (nicknamed as Gestapo Müller). [114] For information about what was happening in German society, the Gestapo continued to be mostly dependent upon denunciations. Nazi Party. uniformed police from interfering with Nazi Brownshirts out in the streets. 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A significant number of them all – Heinrich Himmler, soon set sights! Appeal regarding anything it did information which implicated the SA and ultimately enabled Himmler and Himmler answered only present. Communist risings in the West until after the Reichstag fire dangerous since informants... Years in that grade, the Gestapo, immediately giving him important national security efficiency of the gestapo which MUELLER carried surveillance. Lyon, where he operated with such ruthless efficiency everywhere else divisions, thereby... Göring by himself so he allied with Himmler SS ) were an elite army unit with! Suspected anti-Nazis would now vanish without a trace into the misty Night to! Agents typically wore civilian suits were imprisoned at Dachau alone agents typically wore civilian suits autumn of 1939 Gestapo.