David Cesarani

Men in Black

The Gestapo: Power and Terror in the Third Reich


Oxford University Press 234pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Seventy years after the Third Reich was crushed, any mention of the Gestapo still conjures up the image of merciless leather-coated enforcers of Nazi rule pouncing on terrified civilians. In fact, those most likely to wear leather coats were young recruits who entered the service on the eve of the Second World War. During the first years of Nazi rule most Gestapo operatives were career policemen and the organisation was quite small. It acquired its reputation much later, and most of its victims were in fact foreign workers in wartime Germany.

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