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Geheime Staatspolizei

         Above: a French male detainee, lashed hand and foot to a wooden beam, is hanging between two chairs during questioning in Paris.

         This photograph was taken by a Standartenfuhrer who wanted to improve his torture skills. 

       Source: Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure   (DGSE - French Secret Service)

            The Gestapo was given no limits to operate. It had the right, without judicial resolution, to search, arrest, torture, and kill anyone, or imprison them in a concentration camp.

            The organization maintained about 45,000 permanent members. Their primary task, but not limited to, was investigation of all state-endangering efforts in Nazi-dominated countries. To be brief: their focus was to terrorize everyone into submission.

         Many people, including Germans, were struck with anxiety when a man would flip from his pocket, not a chained-watch, but a dreaded Gestapo 'Warrant' disk (See Left). 

         The strategy bred suspicion easily since any well attired businessman sporting a pocket-watch chain caused apprehension.

With permission from:
"Third Reich Warrant Discs 1934-1945" by Don Bible
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Heinrich Himmler

         The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police) was formally organized after the Nazi's seized power and was responsible for the organized terror in Germany and Nazi occupied areas during World War II.

         The Gestapo was created by Hermann Goering, the supreme chief of the Prussian police, in 1933 and permitted unquestionable authority. In 1936, Hermann Goering, under pressure from Heinrich Himmler, agreed to hand over control of the Gestapo to the SS- Schutzstaffel, which was under Himmler's control. 

         This was very bad news for people under Nazi authority.

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