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Hitler's EnforcersThe Gestapo and the SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution$
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George C. Browder

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195104790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104790.001.0001

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The Weimar Police

The Weimar Police

(p.13) 1 The Weimar Police
Hitler's Enforcers

George C. Browder

Oxford University Press

Most of the police in Heinrich Himmler's Security Service empire came from the professional police of pre-Nazi Germany. Even though many joined the Nazi Movement, and even became Security Service-Sicherheitsdienst (SS-SD) members, the vast majority identified themselves primarily as policemen. Toward an analysis of these men, one should evaluate and apply as appropriate the sociopsychological theories that have developed from the study of modern police. When applied to the German experience between 1918 and 1945, some of these theories provide likely explanations for police behavior in the Weimar and Nazi eras. The body of theory in question developed largely from research on American police and then expanded, with appropriate modifications, to other societies within the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition. Although many German and Austrian sociologists have few qualms about applying much of this theory to their own contemporary police, applying it to Weimar Republic police requires caution.

Keywords:   Heinrich Himmler, Nazi, Security Service, Sicherheitsdienst, policemen, Weimar Republic, police, Germany

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