The word "Gestapo” has become synonymous with the terrible brutality and terror of the Nazi regime in World War II.
The Gestapo came into existence in 1933 as department 1A of the Prussian State Police. Under the SS, the Gestapo grew in power, and was given the job of investigating and combatting‘all tendencies dangerous to the state'. Schutzhaft (protective custody) gave the Gestapo the power to imprison without judicial proceedings, often in concentration camps. It was also responsible for destroying opposition to Hitler. By early 1942, as the Nazi regime grew increasingly popular in Germany, a number of protests took place. The Gestapo's response was brutal. Thousands were arrested and executed, and all dissent was crushed.
The Schutzstaffel (German for"Protective Squadron"), or SS was a major Nazi military organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. It grew from a small paramilitary unit to an elite 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.
The Waffen-SS (German for"Armed SS", literally "Weapons SS") was the combat arm of the SS. In contrast to the Heer, Germany's regular army, the Waffen-SS was a group of combat units composed of volunteer troops, with its members partially having strong personal commitments to Nazi ideology and also partially selected on a racial basis.
This first English translation of the training manual used before and during World War II provides a rare glimpse into the actual operating procedures of the Gestapo, SS and Waffen-SS- procedures until now virtually undocumented. Part I covers police training; Part II describes paramilitary operations in open terrain; Part III details urban police operations during peace and war times.