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Heinrich Himmler, 1945

Caption   Heinrich Himmler, 1945 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
More on...   
Heinrich Himmler   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 26 Jul 2007
Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 May 2012 08:59:12 PM

DECISIONS OVER THE LIFE & DEATH OF MILLIONS:

REICHFUHRER-SS HIMMLER WHAT WAS HE THINKING? WHAT WERE THOSE NUMBERS THE FUHRER WANTED TODAY.
FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T REMEMBER, ITS NO PROBLEM I'LL JUST ROUNDUP MORE OF THE THE USUAL SUSPECTS. LATER I'LL PROCESS THE USUAL PAPERWORK, ROUNDOFF THE NUMBERS AND ITS DONE!

Himmler became head of the Gestapo in 1934,
and later named Chief of all German police.
The Gestapo was the Official police of Nazi Germany.

ABOVE THE LAW:

The Gestapo was under the Administration of the Schutzstaffel-SS and was Administered by
the Reichsscherheitshauptamt/Reich Security Service(RSHA)that was considered a dual organization of the Sicherheitsdienst(SD)
that was also an office of the Sicherheitpolizei Security Police.
Another Security force, that came under its control was Kriminalpolizei(Kripo)and the
Odnungspolizei(Orpo)

TRUST NO ONE:

Infamous laws that were passed in 1936 gave
the Gestapo "carte blanche" to operate and use force anywhere in Germany and Occupied Europe, agents also operated in neutral countries.

CARTES BLANCHES:

French term meaning "Blank Document" giving
one unrestricted power, To act to one's own disteretion, unconditional authority.

The Gestapo was exempt from responsibility to the courts where citizens could sue the State, to conform to laws.
The Gestapo had over 40,000 agents, besides
informers, instigators and accomplices that
would report all questionable activities by citizens. People had to be careful of what they said, who they said it to, and where they said it, many people would be careful of what they even thought.

BEHIND EVERY BUSH, STANDING ON EVERY CORNER:

The Gestapo gave the impression, they were everywhere, but agents weren't everywhere and agents had to rely on its army of informers and, leads would be followed up.
Many of the personal who worked in the Gestapo were bureaucrats and clerks along with civilian staff, who filled and typed out endless froms and did file work on just about every person, place and thing.
Most offices were at times under-staffed and over-worked.

THE FEW WERE FEARED:

Some field offices were staffed by twenty or less clerks and other personal with maybe a couple of Gestapo agents. Like police the world over, they could if need be call upon
added force if the case needed.

Some cities or towns had fewer than 50 agents
Dusseldorf, Germany for example had a population of 4,000,000 million, but only 200 agents. Nuremberg, Germany home of the great Nazi party rallies, had 100 agents but the population feared the informers who reported on the citizen. The informers were the unseen guard who reported every activity
and conversation, who seen or herd anything
said against the Reich...

MEN IN BLACK:

Everyone has seen the black SS and Gestapo uniforms that were the terror agents of the Third Reich. In 1939 the all-black uniform was dropped, agent were issued the army field gray uniform, but on some occasions the black uniform was still used.

IN UNIFORM:

Gestapo agents wore similar insigina to the SS, but didn't ware the SS-runes on the right collar tab, unlike the SS, the right collar tab was blank and black in color without insigina, but wore their rank on the left collar tab that was the same within the SS. Rank was also worn on the uniform shoulder boards.

The left sleeve had the SS-eagle, letters SD in white or gray within a black diamond insignia, the lower sleeve had cufftitle. Headgear could be peak hat w/SS-eagle and skull and crossbone insignia, soft fold side cap or soft visior field-cap and jackboots.

DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM:

They would be armed with semi-automatic pistols and in some cases revolvers were issued, when the pistol supply became limited many of these weapons came from the occupied countries. Rifles and Submachine guns, were carried and if they need backup added troops with heavy weapons and armored vehicles would be called.

CIVILIAN DRESS, HIDING IN PLANE SIGHT:

Gestapo agents who worked in civilian attire
would blend in with the population while in the field. Many agents wore suits, shirt and tie with a black leather overcoat and soft brimmed hat. Like all Gestapo agents, they carried their identification disk without giving away their names, except when ordered by higher officials.

Agents were armed with different types of semi-automatic pistols or revolvers some carried the Walther PPK pistol in 7.65mm or 9mm even a 6.35mm model, that's a small
.25 caliber round, it could have been used as a backup weapon, I doubt any agent would carry such a pistol firing a light round as his primary weapon in dark places but who knows. I'm no expert, so I'm only guessing here.


AND THEN THERE WERE NONE:

After WWII the Gestapo and all other police
units ceased to exist, the terror was over
what happened to them?, did they melt away into the population?, escape to foreign countries?, since the end of WWII, how many of them have been brought to justice, and how many of them worked for both the East and West during the Cold War.

DID YOU KNOW:

The East German VP/Volkspolizei was formed after WWII in Communist East Germany.
They took over from where the Gestapo left off.
The Volkspolizei controlled law and order had their informents, protected the border
were a para-military unit, with its own border troops, artillery and armored force.

WERE BACK! SAME TUNE TO A DIFFERENT DANCE:

The East Germans filled the gap, left by the wartime Secret Police of the Third Reich,
they took the best operating manuals from the Gestapo, the Odnungspolizei(Orpo)and the Kriminalpolizei(Kripo)and created the new
Volkspolizei, nicknamed (VoPo) with the collapes of East Germany and the unification of Germany in 1999/1990, the Volkspolizei
VoPo was disbanded.

I HAVE LISTED FACTS THAT ARE ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE FROM AVAILABLE INFORMATION. POSTED COMMETS DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE EDITOR/WW2DB IN ANYWAY.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 May 2012 04:55:14 PM

Reichfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, was Chief of all German police and answered to no-one but Adolf Hitler.

NUREMBERG TRIALS:

From November 1945 to October 1946 the Allies
held trials for captured Nazis, charged with
crimes against peace, war and humanity.
The Nazi party, German General Staff & High Command the SA, SS, SD and the Gestapo were all listed as war criminal organizations.

However, the German General Staff was acquitted during the trials, but condemned both Generals Keitel and Jodl to death for specific war crimes.
As for the General Staff, itself it was not convicted and not listed as a criminal organization. Its operation and planning was much the same as those of other countries, its up to the reader to decide if it was a criminal organization.

Members of the SS, SD and the Gestapo were still wanted by the US, USSR, Britain, and France along with other countries in Western and Eastern Europe.

ONE BIG HAPPY SECERT POLICE: NOT SO FAST

Did the different Security forces work together the answer was both yes & no, many operations were planned separately both the SD, Kripo, Sipo and the Gestapo fought over
juistrictions and operational areas.

(Sipo) Sicherheitspolizei Security Police

RANK AMATEURS:

The Gestapo and Kripo had experienced police
officers and investigators who felt the SD
was run by rank amateurs. Each Security force blamed the other for internal and external blocking of needed intelligence and
information leading to arrests.

NAZIS OR POLICEMAN:

In 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor
there was no purge of the German police force, like those of the SA. Most officers
continued working as policemen solving local crimes. However, looking over their shoulder was the SS, SD and Gestapo.
In some police departments officers were also
members of the Gestapo. On the other hand some policemen were career officers and were not Nazis. Many worked in their trade and were not opposed to the Nazi regime and were willing to serve.
During World War II in occupied countries in
Europe the Gestapo swelled to over 150,000
agents, informants and other personal.

THE FORCE IS WITH US:

After WWII the Allies kept the German police force intact to maintain law and order.
Under the de-Nazification program members of the Nazi party were dismissed many were investigated for war crimes.
Career policeman returned to civil-law enforcement, over the watchful eye of the Allied powers. Allied military police also enforced the re-building of civil law in Germany, many in the law profession, even the courts were investigated before they were able to return to practice, much the same as with the police, the law profession was watched by the Allies as well.

SOME TERMS NEVER DIE:

Did you know today in Germany the State police or Landespolizei performs different types of investigations, has uniformed and plane clothes officers, its department is
called Criminal Investigation Department also
known as Kriminalpolizei or (Kripo)













hITLER'S eNFORCERS
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
8 May 2012 06:31:19 PM

SOLDIERS IN BLACK OR POLICEMAN:

SiPo was one unit within the Gestapo & Kripo all belonged to SiPo-SD organizations.
To study German police structure is a very difficult subject, I'm no expert on this subject, but I've tried my best to explain its many different formations.

WHO'S WHO:

SiPo, Gestapo & SD wore SS ranks another problem, was that not everyone who wore the (SD) Diamond insignia was an (SD) member, but were at times Gestapo.
On duty Gestapo agents wore the field gray uniform as worn by (SiPo) w/standard SS rank street agents wore civilian clothes.

It was very confusing, still confused there's
more... a member of the Gestapo wasn't a member of the SS, but could later join the SS, but remember the Gestapo was a civilian agency.

A member of the (SD) was also an SS member, during the war, all the Security Formations were issued the army field gray uniform.
Gestapo & Kripo were Government police and not party organizations, but members did join the Nazi Party.
The Gestapo held more power than the(SD)and often took people into what they called protective custody.

Many of its officers wore civilian clothes as they monitored and investigated activity against the Reich, they also wore uniforms for other duties.

4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Jan 2013 12:54:17 PM

ALL OF US HAVE SEEN THOSE WWII MOVIES WHERE THE GERMANS ASK ERA PAPPER "YOUR PAPERS" OR PAPIER BITTE! "PAPERS PLEASE"

What exactly are your papers? People in occupied Europe and even in Germany itself people were issued identification card with
photographs and other papers carried at all times.

TRUST NO ONE:

ID cards were needed for travel even from your home area. Travel by bus, train or private car were restricted without papers.
Even the German soldier carried his pay book and papers, did you know All Officers even Generals in the German General Staff had to have their papers.

THE BIG BOOK:

Once you were issued ID cards and the other papers needed, your name went into a special travel directory: The watch list for who, where, when and why.

How many times a person or persons traveled together, where you went, how long you stayed and who you saw, even who you talked to on the street and for how long. Most of this information couldn't even be gathered without informents.

NAZI THINKING:

Who was watched and why and who told Little Kurt of the Hitler youth, reported that Uncle Konrad is going once again to visit Aunt Hilda why would he make another trip, he traveled there last week. Check on Uncle Konrad is he listed in the watch list, if not list him, orders..Tail Uncle Konrad.

WHEN IN DOUBT: PAPIER BITTE!

Anybody away from his or her home, was assumed to be up to no good. Besides the local police, you had to show your papers to Military police, Uniformed SS-units, Plain clothes Gestapo agents, Railway police and Frontier assuming you could travel that far.
That's German efficiency for you...
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
27 Mar 2014 02:25:50 PM

WHO'S WHO IN A POLICE STATE: WORKING FAST!

As soon as Adolf Hitler assumed power all the civilian police systems were unified into a single
state police machine. The(Orpo)Order Police had the duties of regular police in law enforcement.

The(Kripo)or Kriminalpolizei were detectives who were fighting crime, both of these forces were under control of none other than Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler.

THE BLACK UNIFORM:

Beloved by Hollywood movie producers the black-SS uniform with swastika armband was used in the 1930s and was later replaced with the field-gray
uniform that was issued in 1938.
The black-SS uniform was still used for different ceremonial duties. During the war, surplus black-SS uniforms with all insignia removed were later issued to local auxiliary police forces in the occupied countries.

SO MANY DEPTARTMENTS IT WAS BEWILDERING:

State Protection Police
Municipal Protection Police
State Rural Police & Urban Emergency Police
Traffic Police
Auxiliary Police
Air Raid Protection Police
Railway Police
Factory Protection Police
Postal Police
Mines Police
Dams Police
Water Police
Border Police
Customs Police

WARS END:

Many of its members were arrested by the Allies
others took off their uniforms and vanished into the background of post-war Europe others took their own lives rather than face capture and death by the Allies and others fled to other countries.
To maintain law & order during the post-war period after the war, both German military and Civilian police provided law enforcement along with Allied occupation forces. The court system was also controlled by Allied forces.

WEST GERMANY:

After WWII West German Police were decentralized
with each state within the Federal Republic having its own(Bundeslander)or police force.

EAST GERMANY:

The fear of the Secret Police continued with the formation of the East German Police State which
maintained a(Volkspolizei)designed after(SD)and
(SS)structures.
My comments are just an overview and not a source
of definitive information.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

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