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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and insightful
I have read so many books on the Third Reich they start to blend into each other. this however is different. he takes a smaller part and concentrates it and gives a brilliant accounting of what the Gestapo was, how it was created, its main protagonists, and what it was doing. his research is very thorough. even the style of the book keeps it interesting and accessible by...
Published on 17 Mar 2010 by Mr. Pj Williams

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Readers should be aware that although recently republished, this book was written in 1962. As such, it obviously contains no information based on research any more recent than that, and in fact the author indicates that his main source was the well-thumbed Nuremberg transcripts. There is obviously nothing in here sourced from the archives of former Iron Curtain countries,...
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by schlockhorror


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Gestapo: A History of Horror (Hardcover)
Readers should be aware that although recently republished, this book was written in 1962. As such, it obviously contains no information based on research any more recent than that, and in fact the author indicates that his main source was the well-thumbed Nuremberg transcripts. There is obviously nothing in here sourced from the archives of former Iron Curtain countries, either, given the date it was written. By modern standards this is a major omission, because most of Germany's conquered territories were in the east.

It is also translated from French, and it shows. Whether this is because the French phrasing has quirks in the original, or whether the translation is a bit clunky, I'm not sure. However, when one reads of Lubbe, the retarded Dutchman executed for starting the Reichstag fire, described as a "creature" and as "half-demented", you do rather wonder what is going on. It's not really the language you expect in a history book.

Finally, notwithstanding its title and even the chapter headings, this book covers quite different ground to what you might expect. In the wake of works like Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, I was expecting to read about how a police state was put into effect, and about how reliant it must have been on widespread co-operation. I was also expecting to read about why the Gestapo, and indeed US troops today, adopted torture as a means of extracting information, even though the evidence is that people under torture will say anything just to make it stop.

Instead, what you get here is an organisational history of the German fascist state. There is a lot of information about the rise of Nazism and the personal background of their leaders, and lots about the roles and rivalry of the SS and SA - several hundred pages of it, in fact. But this has very little bearing on the functioning of the actual Gestapo. If the book had been called "Hitler's Method of Repression 1923 to 1939", it would have been a lot less misleading and a more accurate summary of the book's content. But then nobody would buy it, because there are plenty of other titles on the subject that draw on better sources, and also read rather better, than this does.

This was probably good enough for 1962, when there was a lot less out there about this period of European history. Fifty years on, this book falls very far short, which is a shame because police and state repression seem to be on the rise once more, and we could do with a handbook to help us recognise it.

Sorry, cannot recommend this book; it's not at all clear to me who would get anything out of it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and insightful, 17 Mar 2010
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Mr. Pj Williams (cardiff uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gestapo (Paperback)
I have read so many books on the Third Reich they start to blend into each other. this however is different. he takes a smaller part and concentrates it and gives a brilliant accounting of what the Gestapo was, how it was created, its main protagonists, and what it was doing. his research is very thorough. even the style of the book keeps it interesting and accessible by the non scholar ( like me). it also gives some great insights into the whys and wherefores of Nazi Germany itself, why something like the Gestapo and the third Reich could come into being in the first place. all in all a great book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gestapo, 2 Oct 2010
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Ms. J. Mcconnell (u.k) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Gestapo: A History of Horror (Hardcover)
i found this book a great source of knowledge into the workings of the gestapo,and found lots of information and facts about the different sections and the work the did.i thought the author had written it extremly well and found the book hard to put down once i had started reading. i had actually bought the book to read about the notorious klaus barbie as the book deals with the ss in france, but found that even though his name is mentioned on the back there was no reference to him in the whole of the book, which i must admit i found strange. if anyone reading this wants to know more about this organization and the people who instumented it, this is a great book to read,i am know reading it for a second time.
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The Gestapo: A History of Horror
The Gestapo: A History of Horror by Jacques Delarue (Hardcover - 19 Jun 2008)
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