Gestapo Essay

1177 Words5 Pages
Everyone knows of the mistreatment and horrors of the Holocaust, but how much do we know about the monsters behind them? The Gestapo was Nazi Germany’s secret police that had a unique yet powerful role in the Final Solution. They were known for their harsh torture tactics and the willingness to kill and torture whoever they needed to get what they wanted. Jews and other targeted groups of people were stricken with the fear and worry of the Gestapo coming to their door. The Gestapo was the definitely the most feared police force in Germany. The beginning of the ‘Geheime Staatzpolizi’ or the Gestapo, was very interesting. It started with the idea to have a secret police force from the Prussian Interior Minister Hermann Gӧring. In April 26, 1933, Gӧring filled the ranks of the secret police with political and internal intelligence wings of the Nazi’s, knowing they would stay loyal to Hitler (“Gestapo”). He then put Rudolph Diels in charge of them, ecstatic that one of his men was in a powerful and important position. However, in April 1934, this secret police caught the interest of Adolf Hitler, who appointed Heinrich Himmler in charge of the Gestapo. Himmler thought Diels too soft for the job, and replaces him with Heinrich Muller (“The Gestapo”). The Gestapo policemen were chosen based on what skills they acquired and what ranking they were trying to be in. Lower ranks did not need as much party loyalty as the higher ranks. However, technocratic, bureaucratic, and police skills were highly valued when choosing these men (“Gestapo”). Many men were not chosen to be a part of the Gestapo because overall, it was only made up of 40,000 people, which included office and clothing personnel. There were 5 sections the Gestapo was spli... ... middle of paper ... ...s began. Finally, Heinrich Muller, the leader under Himmler who gave the Gestapo their brutal reputation, was never brought in. He has not been seen since 1945, right before the war ended (“Nuremberg Trials: Brief overview of Defendants and Verdicts”). When people name the major groups or people in the Holocaust, how often do you hear them name the Gestapo? Even when I began to research this topic, I did not exactly know what they did or how the contributed to the Final Solution. When I came across the information such as their horrific torture methods, lack of mercy and sympathy, and the stories from survivors, I was taken aback about how a police force of only 40,000 men throughout Germany could cause such grief and chaos. Now, I can honestly say that if I was a Jew in Germany at the time of the Holocaust, one of my worst fears would be running into the Gestapo.
Open Document