Secret police

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The first page of Beria's notice (oversigned by Stalin and other high-ranking Politburo members), to kill approximately 25,000 Polish officers and intellectuals in the Katyn Forest and other places in the Soviet Union

A secret police force is an agency most often used in dictatorships to scare people living under a dictatorship into agreeing with the dictator's policies. Not all dictatorships, however, use a secret police force. Fidel Castro's Cuba and Mao Zedong's China were able to maintain a dictatorship without using secret police.[source?]

Historical secret police agencies[change | change source]

Secret police agency Nation Existed from State leader
Cheka / OGPU / NKVD [1][2] U.S.S.R. 1917–1946 Joseph Stalin
Gestapo Third Reich 1933–1945 Adolf Hitler
Stasi East Germany (DDR) 1950–1990 Walter Ulbricht / Erich Honecker (1971–89)
OVRA Italy 1927–1943 Benito Mussolini
DINA / CNI Chile 1973–1990 Augusto Pinochet
State Security Department North Korea 1948–present [3] Kim dynasty (North Korea)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The chronology of the Soviet secret police agencies is very complicated. Listed here are examples up to 1946. The series continues postwar as the MGB and KGB.
  2. Andrew, Christopher and Mitrokhin, Vasili 2000. The sword and the shield: the Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the KGB. N.Y. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00312-5, ISBN 978-0-465-00312-9
  3. Though still in existance, the set-up is clearly based on the Soviet model.