Synopses & Reviews
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 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.
"an engrossing ... taxonomy of evil" -- Kirkus
"An engrossing ... taxonomy of evil" -- Kirkus
"The Gestapo: Power and Terror in the Third Reich draws on all the latest scholarship to offer readers a compelling overview of what the organization was, what it did, and how it changed over time. Like many other penetrating explorations of the Nazi killing machine, it raises some very disturbing and ultimately unanswerable questions about the nature evil and cruelty in the world. A fine book all around, but not a book for the faint of heart." -- The Daily Beast
"An excellent short introduction to one of the most complex issues in the history of the Third Reich."-- Richard Overy, author of The Third Reich: A Chronicle
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
1. Foundation and Early Years
2. Development of the Organization
3. Gestapo Collaborators
4. How the Gestapo Worked
5. Persecution in the Reich
6. The Gestapo in Europe
7. The Gestapo after 1945
Conclusion: what is left of the Gestapo?
Selected Further Reading