The evolution of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC), the police organization today known as Interpol, is investigated in the period when the organization came under control of the Nazi regime & when, at roughly the same time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) became the Commission’s official US representative. Confronting some of the prior historical literature on Interpol, this article draws out the conflicting motives of Nazi police & FBI in participating in the same international organization. It is argued that the nazification of the ICPC occurred in two strategic stages: from seeking influence in the organization to acquiring control of it. Although the infiltration of the ICPC by Nazi police officials was realized in these stages, in practical terms, it never went beyond presenting an illusion of continuity in international police cooperation. It is concluded that theoretical models of nazification should consider the rationality & purposive orientation of its direction as well as its complex dynamics & historically variable determinants.
This article provides an analysis of the nazification of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC), the organization today known as Interpol, against the background of the American participation in the Commission by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Although the sociology of Nazism has made very important progress in recent years, especially with respect to the study of popular support for Nazism & the reception of the holocaust, the nazification of the ICPC has not yet received due attention. Of all historical antecedents of international police cooperation today, Interpol may surely count among the most relevant & most discussed. However, several writings devoted to uncovering the past of the police organization offer very shaky interpretations & are more critical of Interpol than the presented evidence can support. Relatedly, there is considerable disagreement in the literature about the course of the ICPC since the Nazis took control. Some commentators have suggested that the Commission no longer functioned after the “Anschluss” of Austria in March 1938, others argue that the Commission was effectively used to advance Nazi goals. [Read More]