Nazi Dictatorship: Police State/Terror GCSE Edexcel History 2A


** - Schutzstaffel

  • A military group set up in 1925 as a personal bodyguard for Hitler.
  • Run by Himmler from 1929.
  • Nazi party's private police force which was totally loyal to Hitler-they warned him of Rӧhm in 1934 and were used to murder SA leaders in the Nicht of the Long Knives.
  • Gradually, in the 1930s, the ** expanded to 50,000 and were put in charge of other state security services.
  • Another role was to carry out the Nazi policy of racial purification.
  • One part, the Totenkopf- death's head units, ran concentration camps.
  • Himmler wa careful about ** recruitment- they had to look Aryan and marry racially pure wives.
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Gestapo-the Secret police

  • Gestapo- Geheime Staats polizei; Hitler's non-uniformedsecret police force.
  • Set up in 1933 by Hermann Goering and placed under control of the ** in 1936.
  • Led by Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Germans feared the Gestapo because they couldn't tell them apart from other members of the public.
  • The Gestapo arrested people o acted againt or spoke out in any way against Nazi ideas. Offenders could be imprisoned without trial.
  • All states have police forces. However, the ** and Gestapo could arrest people without being responsible to anyone but commanders and Hitler.
  • By 1939, 150,000 people were under 'protective arrest' in prisons-they had not committed criminal act such as stealing, but for ordinary things Nazis disliked, like voicing views against Nazis. Once in prison, they were at the mercy of the guards.
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  • A network of informer used to check up on anti-Nazi ideas.
  • Actively encouraged the general public to inform upon each other.
  • Children were encouraged to inform on their parents, and many did; children were encouraged to love Hitler more than their parents.
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Concentration Camps

  • The first camp opened at Dachau in 1933. Later the first female camp was in Moringen.
  • Camps were normally located in isolated areas outside cities and from public gaze. Secretive places, not controlled by normal prison rules.
  • Inmates were mainly political prisoners and 'undesirables' such as prostitues and minority groups, that the Nazi disapproved of.
  • After 1938, the ** used inmated for forced labour and for busines enterprise like making army uniforms.
  • There were 6 concentration camps by 1939 which held 20,000 people.
  • After 1939, camp grew in number and size and were used for mass murder.
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  • Hitler took control of what happened in courts.
  • The National Socialist League for Maintenance of Law was set up- all judges had to be members.
  • If any judges dipleased the Nazis, they were denied membership.
  • Certain that judges would support Nazism, Hitler gave them freedom to punish even when no laws were broken.
  • The New People's Court was set up to hear all treason cases-offences against state.
  • Judges for this court were handpicked. Even then, if Hitler though entences were too lenient, he increased them himself.
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this is a great resource for finding quick and interesting facts on Nazi Germany  

Miss E


This set of cards gives you everything you need to know about the use of terror by the Nazis as a form of control. Remember that it often comes up paired with propaganda in exam questions such as 'Terror was more important than propaganda in controlling the German people' How far do you agree? You need to talk about both of them to get full marks.



thanks for the revision cards, truly helpful.



how am i meant to take notes when theres **

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