Presentation on theme: "The Nazi Police State. The Nazi Party Hitler was popular but the Nazi party was not. The party was organised on the Fuhrer Prinzip with Hitler in the."— Presentation transcript:
The Nazi Police State
The Nazi Party Hitler was popular but the Nazi party was not. The party was organised on the Fuhrer Prinzip with Hitler in the role of supreme leader. The function of the party was to spread Nazi ideas, carry out Nazi party policy and see that it was accepted by the ordinary people.
Organisation of the Party The backbone of the party was the Gauleiters Hitler’s regional commanders. Hitler said “I have made the Gauleiters true kings”. Rauschinigg,a former Nazi,claimed “ he never ran counter to the opinion of his Gauleiter” They had enormous power and were ultra loyal. At the bottom of the party organisation were the block leaders who spied on individuals in their street.
The Gestapo The Gestapo were the Prussian State police and came under Himmler’s control in 1933. It was the most important security agent of the state able to decide for itself what the law was. “Never before …..had an organisation attained such a comprehensive penetration ( of society), possessed such power,…. and ability to arouse terror and horror….” Jacques Delarue
Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent? In fact the Gestapo were not everywhere. In the entire country there were only 32,000 Gestapo officers. In Wurzburg there were only 28 Gestapo officers for a population of 1 million. Historian Gellatey in his book “Hitler’s willing executioners” argues that the Nazi state was only possible with the backing of ordinary people. In fact 57% of denunciations came voluntarily from neighbours, in some cases over 80%.
The SS The SS evolved from Hitler’s elite body guard into the Nazi state’s main instrument of terror and the main pursuers of the racial state. In 1929 they numbered only 280 by 1933, 52,000 by 1939, 240,000. The SS helped in the consolidation of power and ran the first concentration camp Dachau near Munich. Laterly they carried out Nazi racial policy in the east including the extermination of the Jews.
Subversion of the Law There was a breakdown of the rule of law as the Gestapo and the SS became a law unto themselves. In February 1933 Goring ordered the shooting of the enemies of the state. The Nazis would not permit any criticism of the regime. There was no need to actually commit a crime, subversive thoughts and acts might lead to an accusation of being an enemy of the state.
Law Courts By 1935 courts deemed all police actions as legal. Special people’s courts were set up. Lawyers had to belong to the Nazi Lawyers Association. Judges were forced to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler.