The Origins of a National Police Force as proposed by Obama
See Obama's SS
"This National Police Force of Obama’s would have to be as well-funded and powerful, his own words, as the current military is. You know, the one whose primary loyalty was to America, not Obama?"
The gestapo (help·info) (contraction of geheime Staatspolizei: "Secret State Police") was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Under the overall administration of the Schutzstaffel (SS), it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) ("head office of the Reich's security service") and was considered a dual organization of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) ("security service") and also a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei (SIPO) ("security police").
"In contrast to the black-uniformed Allgemeine-SS, the political wing of the SS, the military wing, the Waffen-SS evolved into a second German army aside the regular one, the Wehrmacht, operating in tandem with them. The Waffen-SS gained a reputation for barbarity; its units helped wipe out resistance in both the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Warsaw Uprising, and perpetrated the Malmedy massacre near the Belgian town of Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944."
[italics and color emphasis mine. lw]
The Schutzstaffel (help·info) (German for "Protective Squadron"), abbreviated SS- or (Runic)- was a major Nazi organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. The SS grew from a small paramilitary unit to an elite powerful force that served as the Führer's "Praetorian Guard," the Nazi Party's "Shield Squadron" and a force with as much political influence as the regular German armed forces. Built upon the Nazi racial ideology, the SS, under Heinrich Himmler's command, was primarily responsible for the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis during the Second World War.
Initially smaller than the Ernst Röhm's Sturmabteilung (Storm Battalion abbreviated SA), the SS grew in size and power due to its exclusive loyalty to Hitler, as opposed to the SA, which was seen as semi-independent and a threat to Hitler's hegemony over the party. Under Himmler, the SS selected members according to the "Aryan" ideology. Developing elite police and military units such as the Waffen SS, Himmler used the SS to develop an order of men claimed to be superior in racial purity and abilities than other Germans and national groups, the model for the Nazi vision of a master race. During the World War, SS units operated alongside the Army and in the final stages of the war, exercised dominance over the Army to eliminate perceived threats to Hitler's power while implementing his strategies despite the increasingly failing war effort.
The SS was responsible for the vast majority of war crimes perpetrated under the Nazi regime, including the Holocaust. As part of its race-centric functions, the SS oversaw the isolation and displacement of Jewish people from the populations of Germany and conquered territories, seizing their assets and imprisoning them in concentration camps and ghettos where they would be used as slave labor, pending extermination.
Chosen to implement the Nazi "Final Solution" for Jews and other groups deemed "inferior," the SS carried out the enslavement, torture and killing of approximately twelve million people. Most victims were Jews and/or of Polish and Slavic extraction, but a significant number of victims included racial groups such as the Roma people. Furthermore the purge was extended to those viewed as deviant to the ideology of the master race including as per Nazi eugenics, not limited to but including political opponents, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled and handicapped. In addition those belonging to labour organisations and/or perceived to be affiliated with groups (religious, political, social and otherwise) that opposed the regime, or were seen to have views contradictory to the goals of the Nazi government were rounded up in large numbers including the Clergy of all faiths, Jehovah's Witnesses, Freemasons, Communists, and Rotary Club members.
Foreseeing Nazi defeat in the war, a significant number of SS personnel organized their escape to South American nations. Many others were captured and prosecuted by Allied authorities at the Nuremberg Trials for war crimes, and absconding SS criminals were the targets of police forces in various Allied nations, post-war Germany, Austria and Israel.
In 1936, the SS absorbed the regular German police forces and incorporated all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies into the Ordnungspolizei. SS-Oberstgruppenführer Adolf Von Assenbach became commander of the Ordnungspolizei (known as the Orpo), and Heinrich Himmler became Chief of the German Police. By 1944, the Orpo had also absorbed minor law enforcement agencies such as the Postal Police, Railway Security Police, Water Protection Police, and even night watchmen who were considered state employees. The Ordnungspolizei had a separate system of Orpo ranks and it was possible for Orpo members to hold dual status in both the SS and the Orpo. In 1944, all Orpo Police Generals gained equivalent Waffen-SS rank so that they would be treated as military officers, instead of police officials, if captured by the Allies. The Orpo also maintained a military division, considered part of the Waffen-SS as well as a number of Police Regiments which performed security duties under the authority of the RSHA.
Situations arose early in the Nazi regime of SS activities coming into conflict with German law. The first recorded instances, of SS personnel charged with breaking the law through the performance of their duties, was in 1934 at the Dachau concentration camp, when the local town magistrate charged several SS guards with murder after several prisoners were executed without cause or trial.
The SS response to the German legal establishment was to petition the Reich Ministry of Justice to pass an act that removed the SS, and all of its members, from the jurisdiction of the civilian courts. This effectively placed the SS 'above the law', and its members could break regular German law without fear of penalty.
For those SS personnel who committed acts that were illegal even by SS standards, the SS established a series of SS and Police Courts. The SS and Police Courts were the only authority that could try SS personnel for criminal behavior and were under the authority of the Hauptamt SS Gericht.
The Sturmabteilung (help·info), abbreviated SA, (German for "Assault detachment" or "Assault section", usually translated as "stormtroop(er)s"), functioned as a paramilitary organization of the NSDAP – the German Nazi party. They played a key role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s.
SA men were often called "brownshirts", for the colour of their uniforms, and to distinguish them from the Schutzstaffel (SS), who wore black and brown uniforms (compare the Italian blackshirts). Brown-coloured shirts were chosen as the SA uniform because a large batch of them was cheaply available after World War I, having originally been ordered for German troops serving in Africa.
The SA was also the first Nazi paramilitary group to develop pseudo-military titles for bestowal upon its members. The SA ranks would be adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief among them the SS. They were very important to Hitler's rise to power until they were superseded by the SS after the Night of the Long Knives.
The term Sturmabteilung predates the founding of the Nazi party in 1919. It originally comes from the specialized assault troops used by Germany in World War I utilising Hutier infiltration tactics. Instead of a large mass assault, the Sturmabteilung was organized into small squads of a few soldiers each. The first official German stormtroop unit was authorized on 2 March 1915; German high command ordered the VIII Corps to form a detachment for the testing of experimental weapons and the development of appropriate tactics that could break the deadlock on the Western front. On 2 October 1916, Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff ordered all German armies in the west to form a battalion of stormtroops. First applied during the German Eighth Army's siege of Riga, then again at the Battle of Caporetto, their wider use in March 1918 allowed to push back Italian lines tens of kilometers.
In Munich in late 1920, Hitler created the Ordnertruppen, a body of ex-soldiers and beer hall brawlers in order to protect gatherings of the Nazi party from disruptions from Social Democrats and Communists. On November 4, 1921 the Nazi party held a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbräuhaus. After Hitler had spoken for some time the meeting erupted into a melee in which a small company of Ordnertruppen distinguished itself by thrashing the opposition. The Nazis called this event "Saalschlacht" (meeting hall battle). After this the organization came to be called the SA. Under their popular leader, Stabschef Ernst Röhm, the SA grew in importance within the Nazi power structure, initially growing in size to thousands of members. In 1922, the Nazi Party created a youth section, the Jugendbund, for young men between the ages of 14 and 18 years. Its successor, the Hitler Youth, remained under SA command until May 1932.
From April 1924 until late February 1925 the SA was known as the Frontbann to avoid the temporary ban on the Nazi party. The SA carried out numerous acts of violence against socialist groups throughout the 1920s, typically in minor street-fights called Zusammenstöße ('collisions').
As the Nazis went from an extremist political party in the turbulent times of 1920s Germany to the unquestioned government of the nation, the SA was no longer needed for its original purpose. An organization that could inflict more subtle terror and obedience was needed and the thuggish SA who had been born out of street violence was simply not capable of doing so. The younger SS was more suited to this task and began to take over the previously held roles of the SA.
After Hitler took power in 1933, the SA became increasingly eager for power and saw themselves as the replacement for the German army. This angered the regular army (Reichswehr) who already resented the Nazi party. It also led to tension with other leaders within the party who saw Röhm's increasingly powerful SA as a threat to their own personal ambitions. Originally an adjunct to the SA, the Schutzstaffel (SS) was placed under the direct control of Heinrich Himmler in part to restrict the power of the SA and their leaders.
Although some of these conflicts were based on personal rivalries, there were also key socioeconomic conflicts between the SS and SA. SS members generally came from the middle class, while the SA had its base among the unemployed and working class. The SA were more radical than the SS, with its leaders arguing the Nazi revolution had not ended when Hitler achieved power, but rather needed to implement socialism in Germany. Despite its sympathy for its own brand of socialism, the SA would often pick street fights with Communists and Social Democrats.
Perhaps the greatest single factor leading to the downfall of the SA however, was Röhm's decision to directly challenge the army, or Reichswehr. After Hitler's seizure of power in 1933, Röhm lobbied Hitler to appoint him Minister of Defense, a position held by the conservative Werner von Blomberg. While Blomberg and others in the traditional military saw the SA as a source of recruits for an enlarged army, Rōhm wanted the SA to become the new German military itself. Röhm naturally wanted himself to lead this new German army. Limited by the Treaty of Versailles to one hundred thousand soldiers, army leaders were concerned that they could be swallowed up by the much larger SA. In January 1934, Röhm presented Blomberg with a memorandum demanding that SA should replace the army as the nation's ground forces, and that the Reichswehr become a training adjunct to the SA. President Paul von Hindenburg would not stand for this, and threatened to impose martial law if Hitler did not act against Röhm.
After this ultimatum, Hitler ordered the arrest and subsequent execution of the leadership of the SA, which took place on June 30-July 2, 1934, on what is known as the Night of the Long Knives. At Hitler's behest, senior Nazis including Himmler faked a dossier that purported to show that Röhm had received payment from the French to carry out a coup against Hitler. Hitler personally led the SS raid on the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee, where Röhm and SA-Obergruppenführer Edmund Heines were garrisoned. Victor Lutze became the new leader of the SA, and the organization was soon marginalized in the Nazi power structure in favor of the SS. Membership in the organization dropped from 2.9 million in August 1934 to 1.2 million in April 1938.
It became little more than an old comrades association, appearing at the Nuremberg Rallies and called out for lining the streets for parades. Another factor contributing to the decline of the SA was the reintroduction of conscription in 1935 and the buildup of the German Army. Members of the Hitler Youth enrolled in the Wehrmacht rather than "graduating" to the SA. The SA remained active until the end of the war, but its only significant action after 1934 was Kristallnacht, when all SS and SA units were activated to riot against Jews, destroying Jewish businesses and synagogues. After that period until the end of the war, virtually all of its functions were taken over by the SS.
The Geheime Staatspolizei (German for Secret State Police, abbreviated “Gestapo”) was formally organized after the Nazis seized power in 1933. Hermann Göring, the Prussian minister of the interior, detached the espionage and political units of the Prussian police. And staffed them with thousands of Nazis. Göring became the commander of this new force on April 26, 1933. At the same time that Goring was organzing the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler was directing the SS (Schutzstaffel, German for “Protective Echelon”), Hitler's elite paramilitary corps. In April 1936, he was given command of the Gestapo as well, integrating all of Germany's police units under Himmler.
Later in 1936, the Gestapo was merged with the Kriminalpolizei (or “Kripo,” German for Criminal Police). The newly integrated unit was the called the Sicherheitspolizei (or “Sipo,” German for Secret Police). In 1939, during the reorganization of the German armies, the Sipo was joined with an intelligence branch of the military known as the Sicherheitsdienst (“SD,” meaning Security Service). After this merger, the Sipo became known as the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt (“RSHA,” meaning Reich Security Central Office), and was headed by Reinhard Heydrich. Because of these frequent changes, the functions of the Gestapo became blurred, and often overlapped with those of the other branches of the German forces.
During World War II, the Einsatzgruppen (Task Force) was formed, and came to be an integral part of the Gestapo. It was the Task Force's job to round up all the Jews and other “undesirables” living within Germany's newly conquered territories, and to either send them to concentration camps or put them to death.
The army units within the Gestapo were taught many torture techniques, and were also taught many of the practices that German doctors in Dachau tested on the inmates of concentration camps. The Gestapo, during its tenure, operated without any restrictions by civil authority, meaning that its members could not be tried for any of their police practices. This unconditional authority added an elitist element to the Gestapo; its members knew that whatever actions they took, no consequences would arise.
Sources: Gutman, Israel. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. “Gestapo.” Volume 1: A-K. NY: Simon and Schuster. 1990.Britannica.com. “Gestapo.”
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