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The Gestapo: A History of Horror PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Gestapo: A History of Horror
Author: Jacques Delarue
Publisher: Published May 17th 2008 by Skyhorse Publishing (first published 1962)
ISBN: 9781602392465
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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From 1933 to 1945, the Gestapo was Nazi Germany's chief instrument of counter-espionage, political suppression, and terror. Jacques Delarue, a saboteur arrested by the Nazis in occupied France, chronicles how the land of Beethoven elevated sadism to a fine art. The Gestapo: A History of Horror draws upon Delarue's interviews with ex-Gestapo agents to deliver a multi-layere From 1933 to 1945, the Gestapo was Nazi Germany's chief instrument of counter-espionage, political suppression, and terror. Jacques Delarue, a saboteur arrested by the Nazis in occupied France, chronicles how the land of Beethoven elevated sadism to a fine art. The Gestapo: A History of Horror draws upon Delarue's interviews with ex-Gestapo agents to deliver a multi-layered history of the force whose work included killing student resisters, establishing Aryan eugenic unions, and implementing the Final Solution. This is a probing look at the Gestapo and the fanatics and megalomaniacs who made it such a successful and heinous organization—Barbie, Eichmann, Himmler, Heydrich, Müller. The Gestapo's notorious reign led to the murder of millions. The Gestapo is an important documentation of what they did and how they did it.

30 review for The Gestapo: A History of Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    The narrator said some names weird, consequently I was hearing about people like Doctor "Hole In Bum" and Lt "Hoe Fucker". And frankly some of the phrasing was hilarious. "Penetrating the rear" happened a lot, but my personal favorite was when someone was "assigned to stiffen Hitler" but ended up being "reprimanded for a lack of firmness". I mean really. This was originally written in French, so I like to think the translator was just screwing with people. But really, this was very informative. I The narrator said some names weird, consequently I was hearing about people like Doctor "Hole In Bum" and Lt "Hoe Fucker". And frankly some of the phrasing was hilarious. "Penetrating the rear" happened a lot, but my personal favorite was when someone was "assigned to stiffen Hitler" but ended up being "reprimanded for a lack of firmness". I mean really. This was originally written in French, so I like to think the translator was just screwing with people. But really, this was very informative. I wouldn't recommend it for someone with only a passing interest in WWII history, its a bit intimidating. It's an exhaustive account, and even going into this knowing who everyone was and with some familiarity with events, I lost the thread of the book several times. And a little dry, even for a history book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    A.L. Sowards

    This was an informative book about an unpleasant subject. Some parts were more interesting than others, but I definitely learned a few new things. It’s a good place to go if you’re interested in some of the main villains of WWII but don’t want to read separate biographies on each of them. It also covered organizational issues, Nazi rivalries, and of course their crimes. I was struck with how quickly the Nazis were able to take over. I’ve read other histories of Nazi Germany (The Rise and Fall of This was an informative book about an unpleasant subject. Some parts were more interesting than others, but I definitely learned a few new things. It’s a good place to go if you’re interested in some of the main villains of WWII but don’t want to read separate biographies on each of them. It also covered organizational issues, Nazi rivalries, and of course their crimes. I was struck with how quickly the Nazis were able to take over. I’ve read other histories of Nazi Germany (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, for example), but this book really hit home how fast and how completely Hitler, Himmler, Goering, and their associates turned Germany into a police state. It’s frightening. The book was written by a Frenchman, and so it discusses the Gestapo and the SS in France more than it covers Holland or Belgium or Czechoslovakia. It had decent coverage of Poland and the Soviet Union. Probably 3.5 stars. The writing (a translation from French) was competent if not elegant. There were a few typos in the electronic version, but they weren’t too distracting. The kindle version is only $1.99.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ana-Maria Bujor

    A very informative and detailed book about Gestapo, the way it got to have so much control, the power struggle between Nazi leader and of course, the end of it all. It is definitely worth a try if you know at least a bit about World War 2, if you can remember numerous German names and if you want to learn more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    Just because the details exposed in this book are facts registered by the history and actually lived and suffered by so many people, we may believe the horrors described on this book were true. As Mr. Delarue himself says it, back in 1960 he took the text of this book directly from real registers raised during the malevolent years of Nazism. Since the information was taken directly from existent records -the text is organized and presented as a summary of those documents- this book deserves to be Just because the details exposed in this book are facts registered by the history and actually lived and suffered by so many people, we may believe the horrors described on this book were true. As Mr. Delarue himself says it, back in 1960 he took the text of this book directly from real registers raised during the malevolent years of Nazism. Since the information was taken directly from existent records -the text is organized and presented as a summary of those documents- this book deserves to be read, in order to learn how an evil man –Himmler- incredibly, in just 12 years, built a so intricate and obeying organization, aimed exclusively to restrict liberty, submit millions of people in various European countries and built death factories around Europe for efficiently kill millions of human beings. Really, the devil exists. We must be conscious that provided the convenient circumstances; such an organization may appear again. Although interesting, the book is a little bit difficult to read because too many uncommonly words are used. The original was written in French Language and perhaps the translator used frequently the dictionary, hence, many words relate with that language and even though correct, some have a sort of forced meaning into the phrase where they are located, therefore, the reason for me to give 4 stars to this book. I fully recommend this book, which is a reflection of what is at present happening and preparing to come in some Latin-American countries.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Insightful and interesting. Discussed the primary minds behind the Gestapo and the S.S. like; Himmler, Heydrich, and Goering to name a few. Discusses the birth of National Socialism and explains the drama of that scandalous Roehm. Some of the things that will continue to run through my head was an interesting tidbit concerning the Nazi "breeding farms" between select prized Aryan individuals who could produced fine Nordic specimens for the Reich. The interesting part concerned a study made som Insightful and interesting. Discussed the primary minds behind the Gestapo and the S.S. like; Himmler, Heydrich, and Goering to name a few. Discusses the birth of National Socialism and explains the drama of that scandalous Roehm. Some of the things that will continue to run through my head was an interesting tidbit concerning the Nazi "breeding farms" between select prized Aryan individuals who could produced fine Nordic specimens for the Reich. The interesting part concerned a study made sometime in the 1950's that tested the intelligence of these babies raised by the Reich and found that they scored, on a whole, infinitely lower than other children. Another fact that I was aware of about the Nazi use of Jewish "human parts" like, fat for soap and hair for socks and slippers. But the thing that haunts me was that in 1945, 7 tons of human hair was found. I was trying to think of how horrible that must have been. Seven tons of human HAIR!! Decompression chamber experiments were equally revolting. In fact, the author simply wrote at times that the tortures were "too indescribable" or "too revolting to convey." In all, a great book to add to any WWII history buffs collection.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Raquel

    Very dense and detailed in the material. World War II is one my of my favorite historical topics, but I think this would be a difficult book for someone unfamiliar with general knowledge about the Nazi party and various parts. The author spent little time with backstory and the reader needed to be somewhat familiar with names, conflicts, etc. But, this allowed for a more in depth exploration about the "in's and out's" of the Gestapo, which I appreciated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Given that this book was written in fifties and the topic is very close to the author (who was a victim of the Gestapo), its a very interesting description of how the Gestapo worked, the infighting, the total control, and just how quickly ordinary people can be corrupted in the right situation. The book is a bit dated and does not have some of the more recent information regarding that era. But it presents just how terrifying and brutal they were and how good they were at control. Its interestin Given that this book was written in fifties and the topic is very close to the author (who was a victim of the Gestapo), its a very interesting description of how the Gestapo worked, the infighting, the total control, and just how quickly ordinary people can be corrupted in the right situation. The book is a bit dated and does not have some of the more recent information regarding that era. But it presents just how terrifying and brutal they were and how good they were at control. Its interesting because there are many similarities between the Gestapo and the KGB. It would be interesting to get the author's comparison.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Taisynn

    An intimate look into the rise and fall of the Gestapo This book explains and demonstrates the rise and fall of the Gestapo, the army, and even the rise of Hitler. It fully explains how a whole country could be forced to be silent as the tortures of the war, the concentration camps, and the persecution of Germans willing to stand up to such heinous acts. This is a must-read in order to better understand the Nazi's reasoning for what they did. I can only pray that our youth continue to study what An intimate look into the rise and fall of the Gestapo This book explains and demonstrates the rise and fall of the Gestapo, the army, and even the rise of Hitler. It fully explains how a whole country could be forced to be silent as the tortures of the war, the concentration camps, and the persecution of Germans willing to stand up to such heinous acts. This is a must-read in order to better understand the Nazi's reasoning for what they did. I can only pray that our youth continue to study what led to such heinous atrocities in the name of "loyalty."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Martijn Hartman-maatman

    A big book but such a great read. Every detail of one of the most evil organizations of the second world war is described. Who were these people and how did they get so much power and how could they do all those horrible things every day and still go home every night. Because the author is French, a lot of the book is about France, which is a little annoying sometimes. But overal I really liked the book and recommend it to everyone...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Peace

    An extremely unpleasant, even horrific read. And a requisite one, both for those who are glad that hellishness is over and those ever alert for a present day redux. You can, and should, read for yourselves the grisly horror of the Nazis, and perhaps worse, the at best cowardice and at worst, the silent and self-serving confirmation and support of the atrocities by the German populace. But hear what Delarue says in summation:"The crimes of Nazism are not the crimes of one nation. Cruelty, a taste An extremely unpleasant, even horrific read. And a requisite one, both for those who are glad that hellishness is over and those ever alert for a present day redux. You can, and should, read for yourselves the grisly horror of the Nazis, and perhaps worse, the at best cowardice and at worst, the silent and self-serving confirmation and support of the atrocities by the German populace. But hear what Delarue says in summation:"The crimes of Nazism are not the crimes of one nation. Cruelty, a taste for violence, the religion of force, ferocious racialism, are not prerogatives of a period or of a people. They are of all ages and of all countries....but let a regime come which not only liberates these terrible impulses but makes a virtue of them... in which gentleness, kindness, pity, respect for law, and a taste of freedom were no longer virtues, but inexpiable crimes. It was a world in which one could only obey by crawling, killing on orders, and dying oneself in silence...It was a world where people exterminated for pleasure and where murderers were treated as heroes....If a people is subjected to a regime composed of obsessional propaganda, terror, total militarization, denunciation, and surveillance...if criminals are glorified; if a nation is deprived of all morality and persuaded that is an elect people...the final result will always be the same....What people could resist a similar regime tomorrow? ...And who will be tomorrow's victims?"

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cerisaye

    Listened to the audiobook, with some distracting mispronunciations and odd emphases. Takes forever to get to the Gestapo, so you get not only how the Gestapo was formed but a whole background history of how Hitler and the National Socialists came to power, and what they did once they seized it, the Reichstag fire, Night of the Long Knives, etc. Comic book caricature descriptions of big-name Nazis, all grotesque monsters with odd physical attributes, no banality of evil. Written by a French survi Listened to the audiobook, with some distracting mispronunciations and odd emphases. Takes forever to get to the Gestapo, so you get not only how the Gestapo was formed but a whole background history of how Hitler and the National Socialists came to power, and what they did once they seized it, the Reichstag fire, Night of the Long Knives, etc. Comic book caricature descriptions of big-name Nazis, all grotesque monsters with odd physical attributes, no banality of evil. Written by a French survivor of Gestapo treatment in the early 1960s so based on old research (from transcripts of the Nuremberg trials, for e.g.) and memoirs therefore out-of-date compared with modern histories of this well-researched period. It's chilling, insightful and comprehensive, almost too much detail to be honest, which bogs down the narrative. At times it was like dipping into one of J Robert Janes' St-Cyr and Kohler crime novels set in Occupied France- Delarue's book must be one of his sources- only this account of terror, intimidation and executions is all too horribly real, ruthless repression of resistance, torture, deportations to concentration camps (the last convoy left Paris the week before liberation in August 1944). A rather dry read but an informative one, interesting to anyone wanting to know more about the Gestapo and how it operated throughout the Nazi period. Dated but still valuable as a source and a history.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Grimes

    How to accurately reflect on a writing of such sheer horror... Took me awhile to read this one, as it is not good bedtime reading, nor something that you can read just a few pages at a time. As a historical reference, however, it is definitely top notch. At times a bit organizational heavy. (Such as descriptions of each of the subdivisions within a particular branch of the Gestapo...) However, at the same time, it's necessary to show the breadth and scope of the organization itself. I'd recommend i How to accurately reflect on a writing of such sheer horror... Took me awhile to read this one, as it is not good bedtime reading, nor something that you can read just a few pages at a time. As a historical reference, however, it is definitely top notch. At times a bit organizational heavy. (Such as descriptions of each of the subdivisions within a particular branch of the Gestapo...) However, at the same time, it's necessary to show the breadth and scope of the organization itself. I'd recommend it to history buffs, or those needing a reference material, but otherwise? Probably something to avoid.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gmaharriet

    The evil described in this book would be incredible if not for the documentation and sworn statements of the people who survived. So many innocent civilians died at the hands of these monsters. Although the book sometimes bogs down in details about inpronoucible names and the dates jump around a bit, any previous reading about WWII and Nazi Germany helps to tie it all together. Let us hope, never again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Disturbing, but that's the truth of the matter. I was hoping learn more about the intricacies of the Gestapo, and less details of the Holocaust, though I know they go hand in hand. I'm just trying to understand how and why it was allowed to exist in the world theater.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barry Edstene

    At this point I am just 1/3 of the way through what I am finding to be an excellent depiction of the facts that have been long egnoried by most of us. The German's under Hitler became the worst thing humanity has ever suffered. We need to review and understand what really went on. It can happen again and if we do not understand our past we cannot see our future. So far a great read, I will get back to you in a day or two. Well that day or two took eight. This book is one of the best researched th At this point I am just 1/3 of the way through what I am finding to be an excellent depiction of the facts that have been long egnoried by most of us. The German's under Hitler became the worst thing humanity has ever suffered. We need to review and understand what really went on. It can happen again and if we do not understand our past we cannot see our future. So far a great read, I will get back to you in a day or two. Well that day or two took eight. This book is one of the best researched that I have found about the most sinister groups to ever plague the world. The organizations and the men who conceived and ran them are hard to comprehend, but historicl facts and document's prove that they were not only with us, but what they were.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gary Bearden

    Informative I've read many WW II books. This is among the better ones at giving a historic view and also being readable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Leslie

    This is an excellent history of how the Gestapo became the powerful organization it became in Nazi Germany and the men who vied for leadership of what became an all-encompassing, multinational police force. The Gestapo was revered and reviled, depending on your political and social stance. It brought fear into the lives of not only non-Aryans, but for the whole German population. The terror of torture and death was always present and anyone could denounce their neighbor for expressing any opinio This is an excellent history of how the Gestapo became the powerful organization it became in Nazi Germany and the men who vied for leadership of what became an all-encompassing, multinational police force. The Gestapo was revered and reviled, depending on your political and social stance. It brought fear into the lives of not only non-Aryans, but for the whole German population. The terror of torture and death was always present and anyone could denounce their neighbor for expressing any opinion other than the Nazi Party's ideology. The book did not go into the ways members of the Gestapo tortured and murdered people, but very much focuses on a general theme of perceived betrayal by those in the organization and how the leaders were mostly resentful of others' posts and also the immortality of the men who were the big wigs. This book was a very good read. The author traces the way the Gestapo slowly incorporated other departments of Hitler's police and espionage units and became the monster it did. Delarue also gives insight into the lives of Himmler, Goering and the others, denoting their resentments and jealousies and how each was determined to stay in Hitler's good graces., as well as the Reich's army. I would recommend this book to any student who studies WWII history. I found it to be thorough and well-researched. Like any history book, there is a bibliography that would give you further reading opportunities on the subject of the Gestapo.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    "The human being is a dangerous wild animal. In normal periods his evil instincts remain in the background, held in check by the conventions, habits, laws, and criteria of civilization, but let a regime come which not only liberates these terrible impulses but makes a virtue of them, then from the depths of time the snout of the beast reappears, tears aside the slender disguise imposed by civilization, and howls the death cries of forgotten ages. . . The German example is already fading. Already "The human being is a dangerous wild animal. In normal periods his evil instincts remain in the background, held in check by the conventions, habits, laws, and criteria of civilization, but let a regime come which not only liberates these terrible impulses but makes a virtue of them, then from the depths of time the snout of the beast reappears, tears aside the slender disguise imposed by civilization, and howls the death cries of forgotten ages. . . The German example is already fading. Already in the four corners of the world the survivors, those who regret the passing of Nazism, are sniffing at the changing wind. If men have short memories, if the circumstances prove favorable, when times of trouble or the absence of solid safeguards permit it, the bloody tide could once more be unleashed."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica jefishr

    Interesting An in-depth look at the gestapo and their rise to power. The politics are very detailed and it focuses on a different aspect than most ww2 books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John McDonald

    As researched and descriptive as any work of history I have ever read, the book and it author make no apologies for describing the authoritarianism, criminality, and depravity of a complex organization created expressly to depress dissent, herd and transport minorities--Jews, Catholics, Czechs and Poles, Gypsies, virtually all non Aryan peoples--to their deaths, with a specific emphasis on experimenting on human beings for the purposes of improving the conditions of German soldiers and the Germa As researched and descriptive as any work of history I have ever read, the book and it author make no apologies for describing the authoritarianism, criminality, and depravity of a complex organization created expressly to depress dissent, herd and transport minorities--Jews, Catholics, Czechs and Poles, Gypsies, virtually all non Aryan peoples--to their deaths, with a specific emphasis on experimenting on human beings for the purposes of improving the conditions of German soldiers and the German people. It is a long, depressing chronicle, but one that is authoritative because of the LaRue's knowledge, research and personal goals in writing it because of the knowledge he gained as an agent of resistance forces.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Phil Geusz

    This is an older book, which means it doesn't benefit from the most recent research. It's also translated from French, which means that perhaps the prose doesn't ring as powerfully as when read in the original language. Yet, this book contains one key element which nearly all modern works must by definition lack. The author-- who also is clearly fully qualified in the academic sense to deal with his subject matter-- was not only there, but personally spent time in a Gestapo prison. "First hand r This is an older book, which means it doesn't benefit from the most recent research. It's also translated from French, which means that perhaps the prose doesn't ring as powerfully as when read in the original language. Yet, this book contains one key element which nearly all modern works must by definition lack. The author-- who also is clearly fully qualified in the academic sense to deal with his subject matter-- was not only there, but personally spent time in a Gestapo prison. "First hand research" of this sort is simply irreplaceable in a work like this. As a result the book absolutely reeks of the evil done by these men, as well it should.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Álvaro

    Un documento bibliográfico excelente, que nos permite conocer con mayor amplitud los engranajes de esta temible organización, así como su ascenso, acciones y principales líderes. Si bien en ciertos momentos puede resultar denso dado el volumen de información expuesto, debe tenerse en cuenta que su finalidad es ante todo divulgativa, dada por una persona que vivió en su propia piel el yugo del régimen nazi. Destacar también la reflexión final del autor, breve, fácil quizá, pero, tras todo lo expue Un documento bibliográfico excelente, que nos permite conocer con mayor amplitud los engranajes de esta temible organización, así como su ascenso, acciones y principales líderes. Si bien en ciertos momentos puede resultar denso dado el volumen de información expuesto, debe tenerse en cuenta que su finalidad es ante todo divulgativa, dada por una persona que vivió en su propia piel el yugo del régimen nazi. Destacar también la reflexión final del autor, breve, fácil quizá, pero, tras todo lo expuesto, absolutamente cierta.

  23. 4 out of 5

    James Wharton

    Originally published in 1962, this book is a good, if long, introduction to a dark period in modern world history. The author is French and suffered at the hands of the Gestapo. I liked that the author spent some time explaining external military and political events so as to provide a frame of reference for how the Gestapo developed. He also suggests actions by external actors that could have deterred this development. Most of the book is devoted to Gestapo history in Germany and France. As such, Originally published in 1962, this book is a good, if long, introduction to a dark period in modern world history. The author is French and suffered at the hands of the Gestapo. I liked that the author spent some time explaining external military and political events so as to provide a frame of reference for how the Gestapo developed. He also suggests actions by external actors that could have deterred this development. Most of the book is devoted to Gestapo history in Germany and France. As such, it is not a complete history of the Gestapo.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Very good and definitely informative! Just as the subject of my review states; this is a very informative book. It would take too long to go into detail. But this book lays out everything about the Nazi Germany; from the planning of the taking of Germany, the atrocities starting at Hitler's Chancellory, Hitler's suicide, the "infighting" of who would take over the Reich. And all how the Gestapo had a HUGE role throughout the entire period. The major players of course are mentioned, along with nam Very good and definitely informative! Just as the subject of my review states; this is a very informative book. It would take too long to go into detail. But this book lays out everything about the Nazi Germany; from the planning of the taking of Germany, the atrocities starting at Hitler's Chancellory, Hitler's suicide, the "infighting" of who would take over the Reich. And all how the Gestapo had a HUGE role throughout the entire period. The major players of course are mentioned, along with names not as known beyond high school history and TV documentaries.

  25. 4 out of 5

    E. Kahn

    Not a great intro to the topic, as the book meanders a bit, focusing at times on events that, while not devoid of interest, are only marginally relevant to the Gestapo itself. Organizational charts and a chronological approach would have been a great help. That said, it's well-written, vivid and approachable. The author's musings in the final chapter are as insightful in 2014 as they were in 1962 or 1945.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    A good overview and history of not only the Gestapo but also the R.S.H.A. I particularly found the emphasis on the French experience of the Gestapo interesting. Which is not surprising since the author had first had experience during the war. I would recommend this to anyone that has an interest in The Nazis and the natural progression in the name of security of the state especially the appendix which breaks down the different departments of the R.S.H.A.

  27. 4 out of 5

    southern touch

    The present cabinet picks and law changes being considered are the same roadmap to power as relayed in the book. The parallels are striking. Self aggrandizement and ruthless use of every occasion twisting threads of truth into the reverse. Always holding back information. Very scary parallels.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt Stevens

    A good starting place on the history of the Gestapo. Felt like this was a straight up history book. Told much more about the organization of the Gestapo as opposed to their tactics. Truly felt like this was a good book but very dry. Not much of a storied history, more facts and figures than anything.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Johnston

    A history of the Gestapo and SS with particular attention to how they operated in Occupied France because of the author's nationality. It's a easy subject to make exciting, and the author doesn't drop the ball.

  30. 5 out of 5

    konstk

    Отличная книга, рассматривающая в подробностях жуткую историю гестапо, ее жестокие деяния, затронувшие жизни миллионов людей. Об этих позорных страницах истории человечества необходимо помнить и не забывать никогда, иначе те жертвы были напрасны.

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