The terror state

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 08-11-18 11:54

Instruments of the Police

Assessment of instruments of police

  • Sax (1992) on the **:
    • ‘The ** was not merely a police, surveillance, and paramilitary organisation. Its main objective…was to make great the racially pure Volksgemeinshcaft.’
  • Best (chief legal advisor to the Gestapo) on the Gestapo:
    • ‘As long as the “police” [Gestapo] carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally.’
  • Himmler on the SD:
    • 'The SD will discover the enemies of [National Socialism] and it will initiate counter-measures through the official police authorities.'
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The police

  • Ordnungspolizei: (Orpo) conventional, municipal uniformed police.
  • Kriminalpolizei: (Kripo) plain clothes police investigating ordinary crimes.
  • 1936: all Länder police forces were unified into a national force under Himmler, who was answerable only to Hitler.
  • A new division, Sipo (Security Police) combined the Kriminalpolizei and Gestapo.
  • Reinhard Heydrich oversaw it and answered to Himmler.
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The Gestapo

  • The Gestapo investigated crimes against the Third Reich including treason, spying, sabotage, and sent thousands to concentration camps without trial (‘protective custody’).
  • It acted against Jews, left-wingers, trades unionists, homosexuals, undesirables, critics of the regime. As racial legislation developed, the Gestapo’s role grew.
  • Its agents infiltrated suspected opposition groups and monitored non-conforming individuals but also relied heavily on informants and denunciations.
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The **

  • The ** was the main instrument of terror, with a wide a range of roles. By 1939, the ** had 240,000 members across various organisations.
  • Waffen ** (elite military units) grew to rival the Wehrmacht.
  • Death’s Head Units ran concentration camps and Panzers (tank) units.
  • **-WVHA (economic branch) ran over 150 firms.
  • The ** organised extermination camps and controlled much of Germany’s conquered territories in World War Two
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The SD

  • The SD was the internal security or secret service, considered an elite. The SD was responsible for the security of the Third Reich.
  • The SD focused on information gathering. It investigated and rooted out enemies (real or potential) of the Third Reich. There was no right of appeal.
  • The SD reported on public opinion and could investigate or monitor anyone it suspected of being an ‘enemy of the state.’ It had an extensive network of informants.
  • Reinhard Heydrich, and therefore Himmler oversaw the SD
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The courts

Instruments of the Police

Instruments of the police were vital for maintaining control over Germany.

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the courts

Under Hitlers dictatorship, the courts were manipulated to favour the Nazi regime

New courts

  • New People’s courts and special courts were set up alongside traditional courts.
  • So judges who went against the government’s wishes were easily bypassed.
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Agencies outside the law

  • New specialist agencies were given their own powers to enforce policies.
  • The Gestapo and ** operated outside the legal system.
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Oath of loyalty

  • Existing judges had to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler. Under a new penal code their decisions must reflect the will of the people. They could be replaced.
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  • Punishments were arbitrary and there was no right of appeal in some courts.
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Mechanisms of Propaganda

Different historians have drawn different conclusions about how successful Nazi propaganda was, although different forms of propaganda would have had different ent impacts.

Goebbels headed Nazi headed Nazi Germany's propaganda machine

  • It had 3 parts: the RMVP (Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda); the Reich Chamber of Culture; and the NSDAP Central Propaganda Office.
  • The RMVP controlled propaganda, arts and entertainment
  • The Reich Chamber for Culture was to promote Germanic, Völkisch culture. Membership was compulsory for anyone involved in arts, culture or the media.
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methods of control

  • The RMVP controlled all aspects of the media and the arts in a variety of ways:
    • Direct or part ownership.
    • Controlling those who could work in the media and the arts.
    • Overseeing what the media and the arts produced.
    • Dealing with non-conformists.
  • Licenses were issued to approved writers, artists, musicians etc and could be revoked. Without a license, you could not work.
    • The RMVP gradually bought shares in German film production companies.
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Forms of propaganda

The Nazi propaganda machine, under Goebbels, was very pervasive. Everyone was exposed to Nazi propaganda.

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The Arts

  • Visual art: -Artwork portrayed superior, heroic Aryans or idyllic family life.
    • Landscapes often showed rural Volk and the land they worked (‘Blood and Soil’).
    • Degenerate art was banned, including abstract, surreal art and artists like Van Gogh, Picasso as well as work by communists, Jews etc.
  • Architecture:
    • Public buildings were to be a lasting memorial to the 1000 Year Reich. Both their outside and inside space would be experienced by thousands daily
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  • In April 1934 the Nazis created a unified German radio system and purged it of all the usual undesirable elements. It controlled all radio content.
  • Cheap radios were subsidised by the Nazi party. They had limited range and only picked up one station.
  • By 1939, 70% of German households owned one.
  • Most output was light entertainment or news.
  • Every district and a loud speakers to broadcast speeches by Nazi leaders
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sports rallies and festivals

  • Nuremberg rallies were filmed and shown on newsreels. It was hoped people would be fired with enthusiasm for Nazism. They were addressed by Hitler.
  • Festivals celebrating key dates in Nazi history were introduced, such as Nazis seizure of power (30 January), Hitler’s birthday (20 April) and the Munich Putsch (9 November).
  • Adam (1992)
    • ‘Few politicians have produced such adoration, even hysteria, as Hitler.’
  • The 1936 Berlin Olympics were an international propaganda opportunity.
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Printed Word

  • Book burnings were not effective but were highly symbolic.
  • Books burned included all Jewish authors, left wing, liberal, democratic works, traitors, foreigners or anything deemed to denigrate the German Volk.
  • The Reich Association of the German Press had lists of acceptable editors and journalists.
  • The RMVP controlled content through the Press Agency.
  • Local newspapers were harder to control but the Nazis’ publishing firm, Eher Verlag, took over most titles. In 1939 they controlled 69% of newspapers.
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  • Film was not usually overtly used as propaganda. Its value was in keeping the ma**es entertained. There were newsreels before all feature films however were full of propaganda.
  • About one sixth of feature films were propaganda e.g. Jud Sü** (1940).
  • Leni Riefenstahl was the most famous producer. She also made films of festivals, rallies like Triumph of the Will (1935) about the Nuremberg Rally and Olympia (1938) about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
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