From the Holocaust Encylopedia: The police in the Weimar Republic

In the years of the Weimar Republic, most active policemen were not Nazis, meaning they were not members of the Nazi Party or of Nazi organizations.

It also says at the top of the page,

Most German policemen were not members of the Nazi Party prior to 1933.

I've never seen these claim before. Is there any information on the actual composition of the police, and how many of them were members of the "Nazi Party and Nazi organizations"? It presents this as fact, however I am skeptical.

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    The site you link to says "Most policemen in the Weimar Republic were not Nazis prior to 1933." That's a very easy to believe claim. Is the quote you picked talking about that period? Jan 9 '21 at 4:08
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    @DJClayworth: The quoted claim says "In the years of the Weimar Republic" which are1918-1933, so yes.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 9 '21 at 6:28
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    That's my reading too. But I wanted to make sure the OP wasn't seeing something else. It makes this an odd question, because most people were not Nazis during the Weimar Republic, so why is it hard to believe that most Policemen were not? Frankly I don't think this is a good question for Skeptics, and would be better on History. Jan 9 '21 at 15:55
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    I am confused by the downvotes and close votes. The close votes have selected a lack of a notable claim as the reason. The claim is meaningful and specific and is made by a notable source. @DJClayworth Maybe it would be better on history.SE. In my experience, History.SE has a much lower standard of evidence. OP chose to put it in Skeptics.SE and it is on topic here. Jan 9 '21 at 17:07
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    In my personal opinion it's a wrong approach to say "I'm sceptical about this so I must ask on Skeptics". If you are uncertain of something related to Law, you ask on Law. If you are uncertain of something about travel, ask on Travel. Jan 9 '21 at 21:22

Possibly, but it's hard to have evidence that compares e.g. to contemporary polls among police officers' support for Trump (which was given [in a comment] as basis for skepticism of this claim).

The best I could find on the matter is a paper on the Berlin police relationship with the Nazis during the Weimar era. (This may or may not be representative of police in Germany more broadly, even during that era; the paper doesn't try to generalize). What this paper says, in rough summary:

  • Berlin police were not allowed to display open party affiliation.

  • The policemen were however most likely anti-communists as their internal police documents generally spoke of communists in worse terms than of everyone else, and because many police recruits came from a conservative rural background. The police cadets were actually given some lectures trying to instill them with democratic values, but these efforts were probably not very effective.

  • From the late 1920s onward, the nazis themselves (including the SA) avoided physical confrontations with the Berlin police, but instead mercilessly attacked the police chiefs with propaganda trying to drive a wedge between the patrolman and his superiors. (This was made easy because some police chiefs in Berlin were Jewish, a fact which aligned well with the broader anti-Semitic propaganda of the nazis.)

  • At some late point in 1930 the Prussian government made a more formal effort (by a decree of 25 June 1930) to forbid state officials from having relations with either communists or the NSDAP (both being regarded as too extreme), but the Prussian government itself was soon the object of the Preußenschlag in 1932. During these events some police chiefs in Berlin were replaced.

  • Please also emphasise your definitions of what 'a nazi' is. Also: PG or not, the Weimar police was mostly right-wing–extreme-right-wing, as was the judicial system; both staunchly united as at least anti-communists, often with much more Weltanschauung in common (to differentiate from any concrete party affiliation). Sadly not many numbers, or good refs, but a good starting point (coming from experts on the matters, albeit biased in their own ways…) Jan 14 '21 at 13:38
  • Biased from the other side, but giving harder numbers (which are dubious in their exactness but ballpark) and a few quite interesting further sources for the task 9783663097570 (Ch2, p43f). Equally, 3486566709 gives the exact counterweight in primary src I mentioned (p71, an observer no-PG from the police writing in his report how delighted he was –as everyone else present– listening to the antisemitism of Streicher himself, describing it as 'funny'…) Jan 14 '21 at 17:54

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