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The Landpolizei, The "Popular Mood," And Political Policing

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Chapter Summary

At the end of June 1957, the Landpolizei station chief for the Kreis of Traunstein sat down to compose a monthly report on the mood of the population. Political surveillance over the rural population on behalf of the central government was one of the interesting duties inherited by the discreet Bavarian police state of the early Federal Republic from the occupation-era public-order system. Although the initial impetus for the postwar reemergence of police reporting on the mood, preoccupations, and opinions of the population had come from the Americans and their particular security priorities, this surveillance was only one component of wider range of older practices that eventually reemerged to constitute a renewed system of political policing in 1950s Bavaria. Konrad Jarausch and Michael Geyer have pointed to the need for histories of the post-Nazi period that explicitly “conceptualize the democratic transformation as a prolonged and contested process of cultural re-orientation”.

Keywords: Bavarian police state; cultural re-orientation; democratic transformation; Landpolizei; political policing; post-Nazi period



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