Continuity and Change in the Vienna Police Force, 1914–1945

Part II

  • Mark Lewis
Keywords: Viennese police, interwar period, Austrian history, Austrofascism, racial persecution

Abstract

Part II is the second half of a study examining the transformation of the Viennese police during four political systems. Part I had shown that the police was centralized and given additional powers between 1927 and 1934, yet the force was not ideologically unified, as a small section joined the Nazi Party. Part II, covering Austrofascism and Nazism, sheds light on the Kriminalpolizei and the Sicherheitswache (the latter became the German Schutzpolizei after March 1938). Both institutions were shaped “from above” and “from below”. The Nazi Sicherheitsdienst wanted to build a new, expanded state police in Vienna (the Gestapo) and secure the compliance of the regular police, yet police at the middle and lower ranks adapted themselves to Nazi policy, even if they were not Nazi Party members. In particular, the Kriminalpolizei and Schutzpolizei helped enforce labor policy, expropriation, racial persecution, and deportation of Roma and Jews.

Published
2020-05-08