German citizens are stopped and searched by plain-clothes and uniformed police in March 1933 under the pretext they might be concealing weapons.
From the History Place: "The Gestapo is Born."
"Surprisingly, the Gestapo was never actually a very big organization. At its peak it employed only about 40,000 individuals, including office personnel and the plain-clothes agents. But each Gestapo agent operated at the center of a large web of spies and informants."
Get that? 40 THOUSAND controlled a nation of 80 MILLION. As my friend Aaron Zelman once observed, "If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had possessed a Mauser rifle, twenty rounds AND THE WILL TO USE IT, Adolf Hitler would be a footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic." Remember the numbers. THEY want you to think that they are all powerful and all knowing. They are not. Tyrants and their tax-paid minions are only powerful to the degree that you surrender such power to them by your timidity or your "law abidingness."
This is something to keep in mind when the American version of the Gestapo finally starts making house calls. As I said back in 1999 in an essay entitled "What I Have Learned From the Twentieth Century":
LESSON NO. 1: If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and take you someplace you do not want to go because of who you are or what you think -- kill him. If you can, kill the politician who sent him. You will likely die anyway, and you will be saving someone else the same fate. For it is a universal truth that the intended victims always far outnumber the tyrant's executioners. Any nation which practices this lesson will quickly run out of executioners and tyrants, or they will run out of it.
Kurt Hofmann put it more succinctly: "Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the government officials committing it."
Remember, too, that the cost of early resistance is likely to be far less than the ultimate cost of passivity in the face of pure evil.