Das Vollzugsorgan des nationalsozialistischen Polizeisystems. Zur Geschichte der Gestapo : Teil 1: Entstehung und Konsolidierung
The “myth” of the Gestapo as an omniscient agency of terror has been largely refuted recently. The Gestapo was merely a bureaucratic institution equipped with far-reaching powers to take action. Its repressive effectiveness is often explained by the widespread willingness to denounce others in the Volksgemeinschaft. In fact, the apparatus functioned as a control, surveillance and persecution network, based on a division of tasks, in which many cooperating official bodies participated and which also made use of information from rival organisations such as the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). The article, which describes the process of the Gestapo’s emergence and the independence of the Political Police in the polycratic system of rule under National Socialism, is the first in a series of three parts. The second part will deal with the ideological radicalisation and persecution practice of the State Police as it continued under the auspices of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt with the beginning of the war in 1939.
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