The Gestapo: Power and Terror in the Third Reich

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OUP Oxford, May 22, 2014 - History - 256 pages
The Gestapo was the most feared instrument of political terror in the Third Reich, brutally hunting down and destroying anyone it regarded as an enemy of the Nazi regime: socialists, Communists, Jews, homosexuals, and anyone else deemed to be an 'anti-social element'. Its prisons soon became infamous - many of those who disappeared into them were never seen again - and it has been remembered ever since as the sinister epitome of Nazi terror and persecution. But how accurate is it to view the Gestapo as an all-pervasive, all-powerful, all-knowing instrument of terror? How much did it depend upon the cooperation and help of ordinary Germans? And did its networks extend further into the everyday life of German society than most Germans after 1945 ever wanted to admit? Answering all these questions and more, this book uses the very latest research to tell the true story behind this secretive and fearsome institution. Tracing the history of the organization from its origins in the Weimar Republic, through the crimes of the Nazi period, to the fate of former Gestapo officers after World War II, Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle investigate how the Gestapo really worked - and question many of the myths that have long surrounded it.

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User Review  - Shrike58 -

While the other review posted regarding this book is accurate enough in terms of content, I think rather better of this monograph. I'd argue that it's useful to have a nuts-and-bolts account of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - RandyStafford -

Unlike most Oxford University Press books I’ve read, this one doesn’t repeat itself from chapter to chapter. That probably explains its short length. I read it hoping for some information on the ... Read full review


List of Plates
Foundation and Early Years
Organizational Development
Gestapo Employees
The Modus Operandi
The Practice of Persecution in the Reich
The Gestapo in Europe
and Eastern Europe
The Gestapo after 1945
What Remains of the Gestapo?
Select Bibliography

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About the author (2014)

Carsten Dams is Professor of Police Sciences at the School of Public Management of North-Rhine Westphalia. His main research interests are the history of policing in the twentieth century, and the relationship between policing and violence. Michael Stolle is an Executive Director of the 'House of Competence' at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, responsible for the institute's training and career development programs. He is a specialist in the history of the Gestapo in the Third Reich and has published widely in the field.

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