In the last few days, I've had an amazing experience.  Amazing  because I discovered a natural story that no one I know of has written.

 

It began when I mused about what it would have been like to be an honest detective in Berlin during the Nazi era.  (The thought came from a reference to Nazi I made in a short story).  I figured it would have been difficult at best.  I started some research on-line and found it wasn't just difficult, it was a horror.  That brought the thought that there must have been a large number of honest people in Germany.  We've been lead to believe that all Germans were monsters (I don't believe it) and the Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals were the victims.  And they were, but they weren't the only victims. I believe most Germans were good people swept up in the times, that they either didn't know what was going on or didn't want to know.

 

By 1934, all policing duties were under the auspices of the Gestapo.  All cops were closely watched (like most German citizens) not only for their work but for political reasons.  The main way the National Socialists took over Germany was removing people who "were a threat to the German people" meaning Hitler.  So a person thought to be out of sync with the socialist ideology would be detained and probably executed.

 

What made this amazing was the facts of life for such a detective.  If a young girl was raped, murdered, and mutilated the the Kriminalpolezei would investigate the crime, unless she was a Jew.  Then there was no crime committed.

 

I've become so intrigued that this subject that it will form the core of my next book.  The working title is Kriminalpolezei and will feature Detective Dierk Kappel and his partner Menno Wechsler.    Right now I'm reading The Gestapo by Jacques Delarue.  Next will be the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  I'll keep you up to date.  If you know of other books that would be useful research let me know.

 

By nature, I'm a rather emotional person.  I have hunch I'll cry more than once before it is done.

 

 

 

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Comment by Brian Hoffman on September 18, 2011 at 4:02am
I've been careful on the research using well respected text like the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
Comment by I. J. Parker on September 18, 2011 at 12:16am

Well, as a German-American, I'll thank you for that balanced view.  Be careful with your research, however, not all people who wrote about the time were conscientious, and many preferred to feed into the stereotype. Yes, it's an eye opener when you take a look at how many non-Jewish Germans ended up in concentration camps simply because they objected.

I think Philip Kerr has a series that starts during the Nazi era.

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