J. Ryan StackhouseDec 7, 2021
Enemies of the People
Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo
Cambridge University Press 2021
How do terror and popularity merge under a dictatorship? How did the Gestapo deal with critics of Nazism? Based on hundreds of secret police case files, Enemies of the People explores the day-to-day reality of political policing under Hitler. Examining the Gestapo's policy of 'selective enforcement', J. Ryan Stackhouse challenges the abiding perception of the Gestapo as policing exclusively through terror. Instead, he reveals the complex system of enforcement that defined the relationship between state and society in the Third Reich and helps to explain the Germans' abiding support for Hitler and their complicity in the regime's crimes. Stories of everyday life in Nazi Germany paint the clearest picture yet of just how differently the Gestapo handled certain groups and actions, and the routine investigation, interrogation, and enforcement practices behind this system. Enemies of the People: Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo (Cambridge UP, 2021) offers penetrating insights into just how reasonable selective enforcement appeared to Germans, and draws unavoidable parallels with the contemporary threat of authoritarianism.
Lea Greenberg is a scholar of German studies with a particular focus on German Jewish and Yiddish literature and culture; critical gender studies; multilingualism; and literature of the post-Yugoslav diaspora.