This video is called ‘Order and Annihilation’ looks at police role during Nazism.
By Verena Nees in Germany:
“Order and Annihilation” exhibition reveals link between Germany’s police force and the Nazi regime
10 August 2011
In the German postwar period, it was long claimed that only the Gestapo (Nazi secret police) were involved in the mass murder and the extermination policies of the Nazis. An exhibition, “Order and Annihilation–The Police and the Nazi Regime” at the German Historical Museum in Berlin, thoroughly dispenses with this assertion. All sections of the police, including regular uniformed and criminal detection forces, were willing tools of the Nazis.
However, what makes the exhibition particularly impressive is something else: It reveals the continuity of the role of the police, not only from the imperial era to the Hitler dictatorship, but also into the period since 1945. Hardly any police officers were brought before the courts after the war to account for their crimes. The few who were accused appealed to their obligation to obey orders, defended themselves with lies, and were only found guilty of “complicity in murder” in the rare event of an actual conviction. Many Nazi police simply continued their careers in the force, a considerable number of them attaining leadership positions.
The exhibition project was initiated by the former Potsdam chief of police, Detlef Graf von Schwerin, the son of a resistance fighter. It was taken up and funded by the standing committee of the state interior ministers, and prepared by the German Police Academy in Münster in cooperation with a team of historians. Klaus Neidhardt, president of the German Police Academy, declared in his opening welcome to the exhibition that trainee police officers should be confronted with the past in order to “be aware of abuse of power”.