I'm new to the forum so forgive me if this has been covered before. There was a book published in 1943 called "Women Of The Gestapo" by an author called Richard Baxter. It purports to give an account of the activities of the Women's Branch of the secret police - it concentrates on entrapments. But it says that the Head of the Women's Branch was someone called Carola Limbach. I can't find any more information on Limbach on line and details in the book are scanty. It's a slim volume (paper was tight during the War), written in purple prose, oobviously a propaganda exercise. In style it reminds me of the late Dennis Wheatley and it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that Wheatley and Baxter were one and the same person as I believe DW worked in Intelligence during WW2. But does anyone have any more information on Carola Limbach - or, indeed, Richard B?
In the foreword Baxter writes, "the incidents which I have given are facts, based on authentic information". He says that one of Hitler's first moves was to place Carola Limbach in charge of the Madchen-Bund (sic). Apparently she was in her "50s and never a beauty - tall, gaunt and domineering". There's little more data than that - nothing about where she came from in Germany etc,and it certainly is odd that there is no mention of her in any files or records anywhere. Surely she would be a high profile war criminal on top of everyone's list. I mean, I know that the Gestapo was a secret organisation but this is ridiculous!
So yes, it's possible that Baxter was fed duff info, or just simply invented her as a stereotypical Nazi.
I've looked around a bit for Carola Limbach but did not find anything on her either. Did a Women's branch of the Gestapo exist at all? I've drawn various organigrams of the Gestapo's structure over time according to the descriptions in Höhne's 'Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf' (1967, pp.171-175) but there was no hint to such an institution. The net didn't give me anything useful either.
There were of course female employees in the Gestapo but they all seem to have had only very minor positions (secretaries, archive clerks). The papers Ancasta posted for example give the woman's position as 'Angestellte' (clerk), not as 'Beamtin' (official) which would permit her to exert state authority. When the Gestapo tried to trap one of the 'Rote Kapelle' parachute agents in October 1943 they had to rely on one of their female clerks, Gertrud Breiter, to pose as the agents German contact woman (Höhne, 1988, p.380), Obviously no specially trained female personnel was available in the Gestapo even then.
They also had some women available they could force to cooperate (like Stella Goldchlag) or who had volunteered to do so (like Dagmar Imgart) but noone in his right mind would base a police force on such types.
Swoboda-Riecken (2001) and Seidler (1998) don't provide any information on Gestapo women at all,
Therefore I doubt that anything like a female branch of the Gestapo ever existed.
The person who's fitting best to Baxter's vague details is Regierungs- und Kriminalrätin Friederike Wieking, head of the 'Weibliche Kriminalpolizei' (Women's CID)
August 3rd, 1891 born in Gildehaus, County Bentheim
Attends local primary and secondary schools
1910-1911 attends the Christian social Women's College in Hanover.
1911 obtains her social worker diploma
1918 - 1922 social worker for the police in Stettin, appointed to state official in 1919.
1919 - 1933 member of the 'Deutscher Sozialbeamtenverband' (German Public Service Social Workers Union).
1922 - 1927 senior social worker in 'Preußisches Landesjugendamt' (Prussian Youth Administration Office) in Berlin
1927 joins Prussian police
1927 - 1937 head of of the 'Weibliche Kriminalpolizei' (Women's CID) in Berlin. First rank Kriminalrätin, later promoted to Kriminaldirektorin (i.e. in the career track of 'Höhere Beamte' (senior officials)).
1933/1934 joins NS Beamtenbund (National Socialist State Officials Union)
1934 joins NS Frauenschaft
1936 Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei are teamed up to form the 'Sicherheitspolizei' (SiPo, security police)
1937 - 1945 head of the 'Weibliche Kriminalpolizei' (Women's CID) in the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (Reich's CID)
1939 Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei are transferred to the newly established Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). The Kriminalpolizei is Office V of the RSHA, Wieking commands department V A 3
1941 joins NSDAP
1942 staff member of the Reichsfrauenführung
1943 promoted to Regierungs- und Kriminalrätin
July 3rd, 1945 arrested by the NKVD in Spandau, incarcerated in special camp no.7 Weesow
August 1945 transferred to special camp no. 6 Frankfurt/Oder
September 1945 transferred to special camp Jamlitz
March 1947 transferred to special camp no. 1 Mühlberg
September 1948 transferred to special camp no. 2 Buchenwald
released from Buchenwald on February 6th, 1950
Friederike Wieking dies on August 21st, 1958 in West-Berlin.
Age, physical appearance and professional position do losely fit Baxter's description. At best he relied on some rumours that reached Great Britain via traitors and spies for his book. but it could be total fiction as well.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauptamt_S ... itspolizei
"Umschulungslager existieren nicht". Zur Geschichte des sowjetischen Speziallagers Nr. 6 in Jamlitz 1945 - 1947
Brandenburgische Historische Hefte Nr. 16,
Hersausgeber: Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Postdam, 2001
Online version http://www.politische-bildung-brandenbu ... slager.pdf
pp.154-155, picture from there too
Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf. Die Geschichte der SS.
Bertelsmann Verlag, Güterloh, 1967 (licensed print from Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg, 1992)
Der Krieg im Dunkeln. Macht und Einfluß der deutschen und russischen Geheimdienste.
Ullstein Verlag, Berlin, 1988
Franz W. Seidler
Frauen zu den Waffen?
2nd ed., Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, 1998
Berufliche Sozialisation und Rollenverständnis der Geschlechter in der Gegenwart. Dargestellt am Beispiel der Frauen in der Schutzpolizei.
Ph.D. thesis, University of Kiel, 2001
Online version http://deposit.ddb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?i ... 579423.pdf
(pp.56-83 give a useful synopsis on the historical development of police women in Germany from 1900 - 1945.)
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