The German rider Peter Steffes, pictured here in 1931, was implicated in the sale of property stolen from Jewish families and in the death of another German cyclist, Albert Richter, who was arrested by the Gestapo in December 1939 and died in custody.

Photo Édouard  BOUBAT…




J’ai rêvé tellement fort de toi,

J’ai tellement marché, tellement parlé,

Tellement aimé ton ombre,

Qu’il ne me reste plus rien de toi.

Il me reste d’être l’ombre parmi les ombres

D’être cent fois plus ombre que l’ombre

D’être l’ombre qui viendra et reviendra

               dans ta vie ensoleillée.



Engagé dans la résistance dès 1940, il est arrêté en février 1944 par la Gestapo, transféré à Compiègne, déporté à Buchenwald puis Térézine où il meurt le 8 juin 1945…


Relais d’écriture mémoire et poésie :

Les poésies du poly.



abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei, “Secret State Police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe

GESTAPO warrant disk

As a citizen of the third reich, if, for whatever reason, there arose questions about you or your conduct, there was one ID that you would have feared being shown above all others:

It is the one shown in above photos:

The silver warrant disk of the GeStaPo 

It was carried as identification by all members of the gestapo.granting that person unlimited rights of access, examination, and arrest

GESTAPO uniform which was not worn

Contrary to EXTREMELY popular belief and over 60 years of misrepresentation in the media, the Gestapo did NOT wear the black SS uniform while on duty!  

Although individual Gestapo officers could and did join the Allgemeine-SS or other Party organizations, those uniforms would not have been worn on duty.”

The uniform which they were reputed to wear was mostly RETIRED, slightly before the outbreak of war in late 1939.

Allgemeine-SS reservists who continued to wear the black uniform after the outbreak of war, were ridiculed by german citizens for remaining safe behind lines doing office work, “…cowards wearing their fine black uniforms, while soldiers of the reich had gone off to fight in the war”.  

As time went on, the black SS uniforms grew more and more unpopular, Himmler in 1942 ordered them all recalled and insignia removed.

The black service uniform of the Allgemeine-SS which was NOT worn by the Gestapo.


The grey SS uniform worn by members of the Gestapo 


Before their 1939 amalgamation into the RSHA, the Gestapo and Kripo were plainclothes police agencies and had no uniforms.

sub-office IV of the RHSA was the Gestapo

Beginning in 1940, the grey SS uniform was worn by Gestapo in occupied countries, even those who were not actually SS members, because agents in civilian clothes had been shot by members of the Wehrmacht thinking that they were partisans.

Unlike the rest of the SS, the right-side collar patch of the RSHA was plain black without insignia, as was the uniform cuffband.

Gestapo agents in uniform did not wear SS shoulderboards, but rather police-pattern shoulderboards piped or underlaid in “poison green” (giftgrün). 


the grey SS uniform as worn by Gestapo agents in occupied countries.

Gestapo agents in uniform did not wear SS shoulderboards, but rather police-pattern shoulderboards piped or underlaid in “poison green” (giftgrün). 



Sicherheitdienst sleeve diamond worn also by Gestapo

A diamond-shaped black patch with “SD” in white was worn on the lower left sleeve even by SiPo men who were not actually in the SD.

Sometimes this Raute was piped in white; there is some debate over whether this may or may not have indicated Gestapo personnel.

I have never accepted the fact that Mengele himself believed he was doing serious work — not from the slipshod way he went about it. He was only exercising his power. Mengele ran a butcher shop — major surgeries were performed without anesthesia. Once, I witnessed a stomach operation — Mengele was removing pieces from the stomach, but without any anesthetic. Another time, it was a heart that was removed, again, without anesthesia. It was horrifying. Mengele was a doctor who became mad because of the power he was given. Nobody ever questioned him — why did this one die? Why did that one perish? The patients did not count. He professed to do what he did in the name of science, but it was a madness on his part.

- One of Dr. Mengele’s surviving ‘patients’.

The controlled press, the white press, inflames the white public against Negroes. The police are able to use it to paint the Negro community as a criminal element. The police are able to use the press to make the white public think that ninety per cent or ninety-nine per cent of the Negroes in the Negro community are criminals, and once the white public is convinced that most of the Negro community is a criminal element, then this automatically paves the way for the police to move into the Negro community exercising Gestapo tactics, stopping any black man who is on the sidewalk, whether he is guilty or whether he is innocent, whether he is well-dressed or whether he is poorly dressed, whether he is educated or whether he is dumb, whether he’s a Christian or whether he’s a Muslim, as long as he is black and a member of the Negro community the white public thinks that the white policeman is justified in going in there and trampling on that man’s civil rights and on that man’s human rights.

If you are writing a lesson plan about the Holocaust and you are considering using The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as an in-class film, don’t. Instead, consider using Louis Malle’s Au Revoir Les Enfants, which, while it also deals with questions of gentile children’s confrontations with the Holocaust, it does so with a basis in the first-hand experience of the writer-director who actually was a Catholic School student in Vichy France who witnessed hidden Jews in his class taken away by the Gestapo. 

One could imagine that Louis Malle crafted the film out of forty years of guilt and regret. And while its portrayal of boyhood in a time of war is occasionally warm and even funny, the sting of its inevitably bitter conclusion is only enhanced for it. 

The film is non-violent enough to be watched by children around the 10-year old range while not pulling its punches. There are no depictions of corpses, death camps or murders. But it is uncompromising in its portrayal of questions about bystanders, collaborators and resistance that The Boy in the Stripe Pyjamas manages to ignore in its insistence on the ignorance of gentile youth and its misdirected and lazy “it could happen to you” scare tactics.  Instead it deals seriously with questions of anti-semitism, willful ignorance, guilt and allowing war to rob one of their human decency. And while it has no real on-screen violence, the movie manages to build genuine terror and suspense while contrasting between the Catholic Headmaster who hid three Jews in his school, and the Pro-Nazi Vichy Collaborationists who showed more zeal in their genocidal anti-semitism than the Wehrmacht soldiers stationed in the town. 

The film was recently rereleased in Europe. Not a moment too soon, in my opinion here.