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Chapter Summary

The foundations of modern Bavarian policing were laid down by bureaucratic reformers constructing an enlarged and centralized state in the nineteenth century. This tradition featured a militarized model of police organization and deployment, the regulation of many aspects of local community life and individual residence by “administrative police,” the registration of identity and movement, the monitoring of moral health, and a system of routine political and attitudinal surveillance. In 1946–1950, the Landpolizei benefited from the ties that its leader, Michael von Godin, had forged with his direct American sponsors during the crucial period when a native Bavarian civil government was not yet fully functional. The discreet charm of a police state whose date of expiry remains an open question continues to fascinate a useful focus for sobering reflection in the search for a usable past in which Germany seems forever engaged.

Keywords: administrative police; Bavarian civil government; Landpolizei; Michael von Godin; modern Bavarian policing; political surveillance



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