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Nazi and SS Roots of Modern German Police Establishment

COMMENT: An insight­ful post graces the Deutsche Welle web­site. We’ve high­light­ed the unfold­ing scan­dal sur­round­ing the Ger­man judi­cial estab­lish­men­t’s col­lu­sion with neo-Nazi ele­ments and the gov­ern­men­t’s ongo­ing cov­er-up and destruc­tion of evi­dence in the case. That col­lu­sion appears to be proac­tive, to an extent.

 A recent book by a for­mer offi­cial of the BKA, the Ger­man fed­er­al police (equiv­a­lent of the FBI) focus­es on the Nazi and SS ori­gins of that agency. (33 of 48 top BKA offi­cials at the agen­cy’s incep­tion had back­grounds as SS lead­ers.)

Sup­ple­ment­ed by an inter­nal col­lo­qui­um, the inquiry notes the post­war Nazi net­work­ing with­in the BKA and the effect this appears to have had on post­war Ger­man law enforce­ment, par­tic­u­lar­ly with regard to pol­i­cy toward right-wing extrem­ists, anti-immi­grant xeno­pho­bia and anti-Semi­tism.

Worth remem­ber­ing in this regard is the con­cept of bureau­crat­ic iner­tia. Gov­ern­ment bureau­cra­cies man­i­fest that iner­tia, and the con­tem­po­rary Ger­man col­lu­sion with Nazi ele­ments must be viewed against the back­ground of the Nazi/SS gen­e­sis of the BKA.  

We should not fail to note that the SS/Nazi offi­cials head­ing the BKA would undoubt­ed­ly have answered to for­mer Gestapo chief Hein­rich Mueller, secu­ri­ty direc­tor for the Bor­mann Cap­i­tal Net­work and the Under­ground Reich.

Ger­man Police Begins Ban­ish­ing Long Shad­ow of Nazi Past; Deutsche Welle; 2012.

EXCERPT: A Fed­er­al Crime Office inves­ti­ga­tion into how for­mer SS offi­cers remained at its helm well into the 1960s is well under­way, pro­vid­ing new insights into how Nazis were rein­te­grat­ed into main­stream soci­ety.

The ties between some BKA founders and Nazis are no longer dis­put­ed. . . .

. . . A total of three col­lo­quia focus­ing on the role of ex-Nazi police offi­cers who found­ed the BKA in 1951 and made up the core of its lead­er­ship into the 1970s, was launched by the BKA in the sum­mer. The agency has opened its archives to an inter-dis­ci­pli­nary team of renowned researchers.

The found­ing core of the BKA includ­ed some 48 mem­bers of the Nazi secu­ri­ty forces known as the Reich­skrim­i­nalpolizei, or Kripo. They became part of a new Crim­i­nal Police Force in the post­war British Occu­pied Zone, which lat­er evolved into the BKA. Accord­ing to Zier­cke, of the 48, 33 had been SS lead­ers. . . .

. . . .At the end of the 1950s, near­ly all of the BKA lead­er­ship posi­tions were still filled with ex-Nazis or SS lead­ers. Accord­ing to Zier­cke, the police orga­ni­za­tion was rife with cliques and inter­nal con­nec­tions lead­ing back to the Nazi era that helped with re-com­mis­sion­ing.

The BKA’s inves­ti­ga­tion aims to exam­ine the ques­tion of whether the Nazis’ notions on crime fight­ing were car­ried on after the war. . . .

. . . . But then came the pub­li­ca­tion of a book by a for­mer BKA employ­ee Dieter Schenk. Titled “The Brown Roots of the BKA,” the book argues that the orga­ni­za­tion had been found­ed by active Nazis.

Whether the BKA founders were Nazis or mere­ly careerists is some­thing dis­cussed in the Schenk book as well as the cur­rent col­lo­quia. More impor­tant, accord­ing to Schenk, is his belief that the polit­i­cal lean­ings of the BKA founders can still be felt in its pol­i­cy, “in the half-heart­ed­ness with which it has fought against the rad­i­cal right, anti-Semi­tism and anti-immi­grant” ele­ments in the coun­try. . . .



3 comments for “Nazi and SS Roots of Modern German Police Establishment”

  1. How many mem­bers of the post-war Ger­man gov and civ­il ser­vice were known Nazis?

    Bear­ing in mind these fig­ure only include ‘known’, rather than the ones that man­aged to keep it qui­et....

    “204 top offi­cials in the Fed­er­al Eco­nom­ics Min­istry who served under Lud­wig Erhard between 1949 and 1962, more than half had a Nazi past. Four of them joined the Nazi Par­ty before Adolf Hitler came to pow­er 1933, 29 per­cent after March 1933, and 20 per­cent after 1937. In the Third Reich, they were Nazi sec­tion lead­ers (Rot­ten­führer) or squad lead­ers (Schar­führer), senior assault lead­ers (Ober­sturm­führer) and assault lead­ers (Sturm­ban­n­führer) in the SA. Four belonged to the SS Cav­al­ry Corps, and sev­en to the Gen­er­al SS, of whom one was an SS senior assault leader and six were block lead­ers.

    Of the can­di­dates apply­ing for a post under the de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings, 19 (11 per­cent) were clas­si­fied as “fel­low trav­ellers,” while 70 were regard­ed as “taint­ed.” Among them were a min­is­ter and 25 state sec­re­taries.

    The basis for the recruit­ment of for­mer Nazi par­ty mem­bers into the min­istries was a sup­ple­men­tary Act of 1951 to Arti­cle 131 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, accord­ing to which pre­vi­ous­ly released “less­er offend­ers” could be rein­tro­duced into the civ­il ser­vice. Between 1951 and 1953, the total num­ber of those re-employed in the fed­er­al and state admin­is­tra­tions (exclud­ing the post office and rail­ways) under Arti­cle 131 was 39,000.

    In 1952, approx­i­mate­ly 38 per­cent of senior civ­il ser­vants in the For­eign Min­istry were for­mer Nazi Par­ty mem­bers. By March 31, 1955, some 77.4 per­cent of all civ­il ser­vants at the Min­istry of Defence had come in under Arti­cle 131.
    At the Min­istry of Eco­nom­ics, the fig­ure was 68.3 per­cent, and at the Press and Infor­ma­tion Office, 58.1 per­cent. At the Min­istry of Defence, there were 190,280 sol­diers, Army offi­cials and sur­vivors who fell under Arti­cle 131.

    The response lists 27 gov­ern­ment mem­bers who were in the Nazi Par­ty. The list includes mem­bers of the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (SPD), Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union (CDU), Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU) and Free Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (FDP).

    Inter­est­ing­ly, the find­ings regard­ing the “Gehlen Organ­i­sa­tion,” the fore­run­ner of the Fed­er­al Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND), estab­lished in 1946 by the Allies, note:

    “Accord­ing to pub­lic doc­u­ments from the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency (CIA), by ear­ly 1954, some 50 or 51 employ­ees of the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion had pre­vi­ous­ly been in the Waf­fen SS, Gen­er­al SS or the SS Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice.” (a MASSIVE under­state­ment)

    There were 203 offi­cials with a Nazi past in the Office of the Attor­ney Gen­er­al.

    The fig­ures in the gov­ern­ment response are incom­plete in many respects, because the report­ing of Nazi Par­ty mem­ber­ship on tak­ing up a post var­ied wide­ly from one insti­tu­tion to anoth­er. As one report from 2005 shows, many per­son­nel records made no note of Nazi Par­ty mem­ber­ship.

    Numer­ous per­son­nel files have been destroyed, mak­ing impos­si­ble a sci­en­tif­ic inves­ti­ga­tion of those with a pos­si­ble Nazi past.

    Of the near­ly one mil­lion pub­lic ser­vants in 1955, the per­son­nel files of only 210,000 remain. (ie the huge fig­ures above are based on only 1/5th of the total)

    The long delay in apprais­ing Nazi crimes and the long his­to­ry of con­ceal­ment of the Nazi links of office­hold­ers in Ger­many have led to a sit­u­a­tion where much can sim­ply no longer be inves­ti­gat­ed.”

    Bun­destag doc­u­ment — http://dip21.bundestag.de/ dip21/btd/17/081/1708134.pdf

    Posted by GW | January 15, 2013, 5:10 pm
  2. Take a look at the Wikipedia list­ing for ‘Braun­buch.’ This book, pub­lished by the East Ger­mans, was char­ac­ter­ized as pro­pa­gan­da and its sale banned in West Ger­many. It iden­ti­fied the Nazi back­grounds of many West Ger­man offi­cials, includ­ing many police offi­cials. The book is in Ger­man.

    Posted by Mr. Orange | January 26, 2013, 1:41 pm
  3. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/german-intel-paid-neo-nazi-informer-240000–18589845

    Ger­man Intel Paid Neo-Nazi Informer $240,000
    BERLIN Feb­ru­ary 25, 2013 (AP)

    Ger­many’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency has come under fire for pay­ing almost a quar­ter of a mil­lion dol­lars to a neo-Nazi informer linked to a far-right ter­ror group.

    Oppo­si­tion law­mak­ers and anti-Nazi cam­paign­ers crit­i­cized the pay­ments made over 18 years after they were first report­ed Sun­day by con­ser­v­a­tive week­ly Bild am Son­ntag.

    Offi­cials at the intel­li­gence agency declined to com­ment on the report. But the head of a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee tasked with inves­ti­gat­ing a string of mur­ders alleged­ly car­ried out by the group says the infor­ma­tion appears accu­rate.

    Law­mak­er Sebas­t­ian Edathy told The Asso­ci­at­ed Press on Mon­day that the news­pa­per’s report matched infor­ma­tion sub­mit­ted to his com­mit­tee.

    Edathy said the pay­ments total­ing €180,000 ($240,000) to a man iden­ti­fied by the news­pa­per as Thomas R. were “off the scale” for an infor­mant.

    Posted by Vanfield | March 1, 2013, 12:40 pm

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