THE TITLE OF this study unfortunately implies much and tells little. The scope of any work such as this must of necessity be limited to certain aspects only of the regimes in question. The formation and political history of the Nazi and Soviet regimes, for example, have been covered only in the most cursory manner, and only insofar as they bore a direct relationship to the network of terror which evolved in both states.
The historical period herein covered is approximately 1932 to 1941 for Germany and 1918 to 1958 for Soviet Russia. Emphasis has been placed on the Soviet model, which is the more contemporary of the two. The history, scope and function of the Nazi secret police will, however, be discussed where it can be shown that a similarity or a contrast existed with respect to the organs of repression in Russia.
In addition to a discussion of the terror itself, mention will also be made of the background, methods, goals and actual operations of the instruments of terror. I have tried, to the best of my ability, to preserve the continuity throughout the text and to avoid "skipping" from the Gestapo in one paragraph to the N.K.V.D. in the other. A conscious attempt has been made not only to examine the system of terror in and for itself but also to discover the significance of terror in the daily life of the average citizen as well as to ascertain to what extent terror represents an inevitable feature of totalitarian societies."Arnold Reifer