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Apparently the German Social Democracy of the Weimar Republic exercised power in much the same fashion as both the Democrats and the Republicans today, at least on the question of "modernizing" the police department.

"Under the Kaiser, the police had been so hated that no dog would take a bone from them. The Social Democrats civilised this body, transformed it, and brought it into a normal relationship with the public. They soaked it with the Republican spirit and turned it into a reliable instrument of the Weimar Republic. In this regard, they had made all preparation for a successful defence of the Weimar state. The police force was well organised, splendidly armed (with armoured cars, machine-guns, hand-grenades, machine-pistols, carbines and tear-gas bombs), and for street fighting was superbly trained. The fact that it was more seldom used against the foes of the Republic on the right than against radical workers on the left, and that the misguided Social Democratic Police President, Z├Ârgiebel, [31] on 1 May 1929, employed it against workers celebrating May Day, thus causing the Neuk├Âlln massacre, was not the fault of its organisation, but of the policy of the government whose obedient tool it was. To keep the Prussian police in their hands, the Social Democrats were willing to make any sacrifice. The sly Centre could, as their partner in the Prussian coalition government, squeeze one concession after another from them, both in the cultural and political spheres."

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