"The Gestapo", what do we think about when we hear those two words? Secret, police, horror, torture, evil? Yes and this book tells the reader all there is to know about this organisation and so much more.
- Jacques Delarue
The author was an actual member of The French Resistance and thus had first hand knowledge of the evils that went on during the occupation of France.The research that was carried out for this book is mind boggling to say the least, for one the author used transcripts from the Nuremberg Trials, that in itself amounted to 23 volumes and 17 appendix volumes. The author also interviewed numerous persons in order to give us a piece of work which will astonish, educate and dare I say maybe even shock every one who reads this book.
The book itself comprises of some 354 pages not including a very detailed index, Preface and Introduction! Attention to detail was very much at the fore of the authors thoughts when he put this book together.
The book not only covers the founding of this organisation but also goes into great detail as to how the NSDAP, ie the Nazi party came to power. Most of us are aware of the great depression and unemployment and hyperinflation which gripped Germany and the failed Munich 1923 Putsch which led to Hitler been imprisoned. This book touches these events and goes deep into the pre Gestapo days of the Nazi Party and how the NSDAP finally seized power when 80 Communist Party members failed to take their seats in The Reichstag after been 'advised' not to.
The book also goes into great detail concerning the fire at The Reichstag where the Communists were blamed, it details how the fire was started who planned it, (Goebbels and Goering) the execution of the fire and the subsequent trial where Goering actually took the stand. This book went into a lot of detail concerning this episode and although I had read about this fire in Anthony Beaver's book "Hitler" this book went deeper and delved into the cunning and thinking behind this audacious scheme to finally bring down the Communist Party in Germany once and for all and to pave the way clear for the most ruthless, evil and brutal organisation to take power that the world has ever seen.
The founder of The Gestapo and leader was not Himmler but Goering the author explains how Himmler was brought into the organisation, and how it spread its tentacles into everybody's lives in Nazi Germany and how eventually Himmler became leader and how Himmler went onto form the SS, which was a political military machine which worked closely with the Gestapo.
I could go on, I haven't touched upon the lives of the prisoners in occupied Europe, I will leave that in the book, but hopefully if you have read this review this far you will be interested enough to go out and buy the book because this book deserves a place on the book shelf of anyone who has the slightest interest in the Second World War. It truly brings home the horror in which the world would today would be subjected to had The Allied Forces succumbed to Hitler and his evil Henchmen.
I thoroughly recommend this book and have no hesitation in awarding it FIVE Mushroom Heads!
As a footnote this book was first published in 1962 and has received two awards in France.