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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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Transformations, 1934–1937

Transformations, 1934–1937

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 Transformations, 1934–1937
Source:
Hitler's Enforcers
Author(s):

George C. Browder

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104790.003.0004

This chapter analyzes Gestapo operations and personnel and offers insights into the more significant, functional forces at work in their transformation. The personnel changes that Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich made contributed to transformations. Although historians usually assert that they purged the Gestapo, that is a half-truth. Extensive changes did occur in those sections responsible for administrative and legal affairs. New people, mostly from the Bavarian police, now formed Heydrich's staff. In Main Department I, however, one Prussian high civil servant replaced two, consolidating work from former Departments I and II. Perhaps only a stopgap, he lasted less than a year—to be replaced when Werner Best arrived in Berlin. Of all the changes, only ten clearly stand out as purges. Furthermore, with few exceptions, one set of Prussian bureaucrats merely re-placed another. An analysis of the changes under the new Main Department II raises further questions about purges.

Keywords:   Gestapo, transformation, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, purges, police, bureaucrats

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