How it was done

“In the muddle of competing agencies that constituted the governmental system of the Third Reich, the SS was the effective instrument of domination. Unfettered by the normal restraints of law and accountable only to its commander, and beyond him the Führer himself, it exercised sovereign control over the lives and liberties of German citizens, arresting and detaining them on any pretext, imprisoning them for long periods for unproved or invented crimes (even after the regime was presumably stable and consolidated, there were never fewer than 10,000 Germans in concentration camps), subjecting them to inhuman physical torments, and murdering them for daring to criticize the realities of National Socialism and the crimes of its leadership. The knowledge of the enormities that the SS perpetrated daily, the knowledge that the camps were always waiting for new inmates, the knowledge that many who entered them were never heard of again was never absent from the minds of German citizens, and the fear that it induced was a potent force in maintaining their obedience to the dictatorship. In the Third Reich, terror was the greatest of political realities.” – Gordon A. Craig, Germany 1866-1945

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