14 - The 'Terror State'

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  • The 'Terror State'
    • The Nazis and the Law
      • Nazi concept was based on leadership + Hitler didn't want to be bound to the law
        • Hitler's word was law
      • After 1933 the Nazis didn't introduce a new constitution
        • They created new laws to bend the justice system to their needs
        • New courts + police organisations were introduced
      • Not all Germans were treated as equals
        • Judges couldn't act independently of the government
          • Individuals could be arrested without trial
    • The Police System in the Third Reich
      • Nazis didn't abolish the Weimar separate police forces of different states
        • But they did create of Nazi controlled police forces who answered to Hitler
          • Many police forces created confusion
            • ** - controlled by Heinrich Himmler
            • SA - controlled by Rohm in 1933 (could arrest + detain)
            • SD (an intelligence gathering offshoot of the **)
            • Gestapo - secret State police in Prussia. 1933 it covered the whole country
      • Himmler (** Chief of Police)
        • **
        • Orpo Municipal Police
        • Sipo Security Police (Heydrich
          • Foreign Intelligence
          • Domestic Intelligence
        • SD Security Service Heydrich
          • Kripo Criminal Police
          • Gestapo Secret State Police
      • 1933-36 Goering, Rohm + Himmler fought over police control
        • 1934 Himmler's power was strengthened with the Night of the Long Knives
          • Rohm eliminated + SA power reduced
        • Himmler exploited the rivalry between Goering and Frick
      • 1936 **, SD and Gestapo were paced under Himmler's control
        • 1939 creation of the Reich Security Department Headquarters (RHSA) which placed all police under ** control
      • The **
        • After the Night of the Long KNives the ** role expanded
          • By 1936 when Himmler was appointed Chief of the German Police the ** controlled the entire Third Reich + concentration camps
        • Himmler intended the ** to be obedient - values of loyalty + honour
        • 1936 control tightened + increased repression
          • More concentration camp inmates
            • ** violence was systematic + ruthless as instruments of terror
              • ** concentration camp guards were brutalised to remove human feelings towards inmates
      • The SD
        • Established 1931 as Nazi party internal security
          • Investigated claims of infiltration from political enemies
          • Led by Reinhard Heydrich
        • After 1933 it's role was intelligence gathering
          • Monitor public opinion, identify on unsupportive people
        • By 1939 it had 50k officers
          • Staffed by amateurs who were committed to the Nazis
        • It worked independently of the gestapo + lead to overlaps between them
      • The Gestapo
        • Originally created for Prussia alone, but eventually extended over entire country
        • Reputation for being omniscient
          • Ordinary Germans believed it had agents everywhere
        • Only 20k officers in 1939 - most were office-based agents + not members of the Nazi party
          • Professional police officers who served the state
        • Depended on information from informers
          • Every block of flats/street had a 'block leader' who reported on suspicious activity
        • A lot of info came voluntarily because of personal grudges
          • So much info it was impossible to investigate all crimes
        • Successful in creating an atmosphere of suspicion
    • The Court and The Justice System
      • Jan 1933 few judges belonged to the Nazi party despite being conservative
        • Lon tradition of  freedom from political interference for lawyers + judges was a problem for Nazis
          • ** + SA violence was clearly illegal + lawyers wanting to uphold the law prosecuted stormtroopers
      • Hitler was annoyed that all but one of the defendants were acquitted in the Reichstag Fire
        • A few judges and prosecutors were dismissed by the regime
      • Coordinating the justice system
        • Merging the  judges + lawyers' associations with League of National Socialist Lawyers
          • Created the Front of German Law in April 1933
          • Career prospects depended on adhering the regime
        • Special courts were set up in 1933, the People's Court in 1934
          • Dealt with political crimes + had 3 'Nazi judges' alongside 2 professional judges
          • No juries + no rights to appeal to sentences
      • SA + ** threats + these measures got the judges + lawyers into line
        • Many non-Nazi judges continued to work but the justice system couldn't interfere with Nazi terror
      • 1934-39 - 3400 people were tried by the People's Court (Communists + socialists)
        • Most given the death penalty

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