Use of Terror in Nazi Germany

How Terror was used to control Nazi Germany

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Organisation of Germany

1. Germany - Germany was divided into 32 Gaue (regions) each run by a Gauleiter (region leader)

2. A Gau- The Gaue were divided into 760 Kreise (districts)

3. A Kreis- The Kreise were divided into 21,354 Ortsgruppe (groups)

4. An Ortsgruppe- The Ortsgruppe were divided into 70,000 Zellen (cells)

5. A Zell- The Zellen were divided into 400,000 Blocke (blocks)

6. A Block- Each block consisted of 30-40 houses or flats.

What does all this mean?

This Organisation allowed the Nazis to surpervise every single German citizen. The most imprtant people were the 400.000 Block leaders who were on every street or block of flats in every town and city. They snooped on neighbours and reported any suspicious behaviour to their party boss. This way, any criminals could be identified and turned in and even neighbours turned on each other in fear of being put into a concentration camp.

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Police Control

The Nazi Police network was run by the SS which was a branch of the SA. Led by Himmler, the SS helped Hitler get rid of SA leaders in the night of long knives. As a reward, Hitler made the SS independant and 2 years later, Himmler was given control of the whole police network.

The SS

  • Originally Hitler's bodyguard
  • Later became inforcers of racial policies
  • "Death Head" SS men organized the holocaust of jews and concentration camps
  • Waffen SS men were elite soldiers in WW2 who followed army and dealt with prisoners.
  • Effective because they were Aryan and looked up to by Germans.

The Gestapo

  • Nazi Secret Police Force
  • Agents designed to blend in- no uniform
  • Used informers and spies from all over Germany
  • Had the power to bug telephones, open letters and inprison people without a trial.
  • Effective Because they dealt with everyday Germans
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Informers and Concentration Camps

Informers and the Courts

  • Informers were used by the Gestapo to spy on ordinary people and "Inform" on anybody who opposed Hitler.
  • Children in the Hitler Youth were encouraged to be informers.
  • Courts were designed for televised "Show Trials"
  • The accused was always found guilty and allowed no defence- meant to set example to others.
  • Effective because you never knew who was an informer.

Concentration Camps

  • Created straight after Hitler came into power to contain political prisoners and opponents.
  • Camps in Germany were basically slave labour.
  • Rumours of shootings, beatings and deaths reached most Germans
  • You had a sentence, but many inmates were never seen again.
  • Effective because of the power of rumours and fear.
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