The Role of the SS,SD and Gestapo in suppressing opposition

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  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 21-05-13 20:52

The Gestapo

  • State Police, headed by Muller who was a fanatical anti-communist, but not a member of the Nazi Party.
  • The Gestapo developed a reputation for being 'all seeing and all knowing' when in reality they were a small organisation who saw their role as service to the state rather than to the Nazis.
  • They depended on information supplied to them by Nazi activists who would spy on their neighbours and workmates.
  • Most information came from voluntary denunciations from ordinary Germans with personal grudges.
  • The Law on Malicious Gossip was used to prosecute those who were reported for making any statements which could be construed as being critical of the regime.
  • Gestapo was successful in instilling an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
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SD

  • Internal security service of the Nazi party. 
  • Set up to investigate claims that the party had been infiltrated by political enemies.
  • After 1933 the SD's role was intelligence gathering. It did not have police powers to arrest and detain suspects. One of its most important roles was to monitor public opinion and report to Hitler.
  • The SD worked independantly of the gestapo, which caused confusion between the two organisations.
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SS

  • Hitler's personal bodyguard in 1926.
  • SS had certain police functions, particularly after the Night of the Long Knives, and became the main organisation for identification, detention and arrest of prisioners. They also ran concentration camps.
  • The SS was an elite force and members were held up as role models for society and volksgemeinschaft.
  • SS Concentration camp guards were given paramilitary training, which created the Waffen-SS. These were considered to be the elite force and gave the party control over the army.
  • The SS owned several companies and employed slave labour to work for them, so they had an economic role too.
  • After 1939, The SS was given responsibility for administering conquered territory
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