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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 SD into 1937: In Search of Image and Mission

The SD into 1937: In Search of Image and Mission

(p.175) 8 The SD into 1937: In Search of Image and Mission
Hitler's Enforcers

George C. Browder

Oxford University Press

From 1934 through 1937, organizational development and the search for a secure raison d'être brought Germany's Sicherheitsdienst (SD) to maturity and expanded its missions. The growing connections with, first, the Gestapo, and then Kriminalpolizei (Kripo), increased the complexity of mission, image, and membership to the point that one can speak of “multiple split (ego-institution) identities.” This confusing constellation demands close analysis as a key to how the diverse membership involved itself in sanctioned inhumanity. First, however, surviving evidence from a variety of perspectives reveals much about the continued growth of the SD and makes possible an evaluation of the quality and the real character of its operations. Meanwhile, the SD evolved broadly conceived intelligence operations and seriously pursued its role of reshaping society. For two years, in pursuit of this evolution, the headquarters underwent constant reorganization until a stable SD Main Office structure emerged.

Keywords:   Germany, Sicherheitsdienst, Gestapo, Kriminalpolizei, split identities, sanctioned inhumanity, intelligence, reorganization

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