Chapter

Transformations, 1934–1937

George C. Browder

in Hitler's Enforcers

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780195104790
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854462 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195104790.003.0004
Transformations, 1934–1937

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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

Chapter.  14808 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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