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A secret police force is an agency most often used in dictatorships. It is used to scare people living under a dictatorship into agreeing with the dictator's policies. Not all dictatorships, however, use a secret police force. Fidel Castro's Cuba and Mao Zedong's China were able to maintain a dictatorship without using secret police.
Historical secret police agencies
|Secret police agency||Nation||Existed from||State leader|
|Cheka / OGPU / NKVD ||U.S.S.R.||1917–1946||Joseph Stalin|
|Gestapo||Third Reich||1933–1945||Adolf Hitler|
|Stasi||East Germany (DDR)||1950–1990||Walter Ulbricht / Erich Honecker (1971–89)|
|DINA / CNI||Chile||1973–1990||Augusto Pinochet|
|State Security Department||North Korea||1948–present ||Kim dynasty (North Korea)|
- The chronology of the Soviet secret police agencies is very complicated. Listed here are examples up to 1946. The series continues postwar as the MGB and KGB.
- Andrew, Christopher and Mitrokhin, Vasili 2000. The sword and the shield: the Mitrokhin Archive and the secret history of the KGB. N.Y. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00312-5,ISBN 978-0-465-00312-9
- Though still in existance, the set-up is clearly based on the Soviet model.