By 1944 it was clear that the war was lost as the Reich shrank back to the borders of Germany. But there was plenty for the Gestapo to do. Even within the dwindling resources of a doomed regime, the Gestapo was determined to keep its grip on the people.
They persecuted resistance members, the merely indifferent, "decadent" jazz musicians, and couples of mixed race. As with any corrupt system, they lost touch with reality, and its violence spiraled out of control even while in its own death throes.
When the Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Hitler failed, the Gestapo was given a free hand. But amidst the bloodshed, many Gestapo officers prepared themselves for a future in a defeated Germany. Many were able to slip back into normal society at war's end and many prospered. Some were brought to justice: Eichmann in Israel in the 1960s, others in Germany, France, and elsewhere -- some pursued into the 1970s. The Gestapo is long gone -- but its crimes have not been forgotten.
Alexander IV History's supplementary notes:
Written and Directed by Wolfgang Schoen, Holger Hillesheim
Dr. Neil Gregor (University of Southampton)
-- This is shared without profit for educational and historical purposes ---