Nazi Control of Germany 1933-1945

How the Nazis Controlled Germany 1933-1945

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  • Created by: Lollipop
  • Created on: 07-06-12 12:28

The SS

  • The SS were formed in 1925 from people loyal to Hitler
  • After virtually destroying the SA in 1934 it grew into a huge organisation with many responsibilities
  • It was lead by Himmler
  • The SS men were Aryans (Pure Germans), very highly trained and loyal to Hitler
  • Under Himmler they had the responsibility for destroying Nazi opposition and carrying out Nazi policies
  • There were two divisions in the SS - the Death Heads who were responsible for the concentration camps and slaughter of the Jews and the Waffen-SS who were a special armoured regiment which fought alongside the regular army
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The Gestapo

  • The Gestapo were a secret state police
  • They were the force most feared by ordinary people
  • Under the commandment of Heydrich the Gestapo agents had many powers
  • They could arrest citizens on suspicion and send them to concentration camps without trial or explanation
  • Research has shown that people thought they were more powerful than they actually were and as a result many ordinary German people informed on each other because they thought the Gestapo would find out anyway
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The Police and Courts

  • They also helped to prop up the Nazi dictatorship
  • Top jobs in the local police forces were given to high ranking Nazis who reported to Himmler
  • As a result the police added political 'snooping' to there normal law and order role
  • They were under strict instructions to ignore crimes committed by Nazi agents
  • Similarly, the Nazis controlled magistrates, judges and courts which meant that opponents of the Nazis rarely received a fair trail
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Concentration Camps

  • Concentration camps were the Nazis ultimate sanction against their own people
  • They were set up almost as soon as Hitler took power
  • The first concentration camps in 1933 were simply makeshift prisons in disused factories and warehouses - soon these were purpose built
  • The camps were in isolated rural areas and run by SS Death's Head Units
  • Prisoners were forced to hard labour. Food was limited and prisoners suffered harsh discipline, beatings and random executions
  • By the late 1930s deaths in the camps became more common and very few people came out alive from them
  • Jews, Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, churchmen and anyone else brave enough to criticise the Nazis ended up here
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