In Nazi Germany, a Blockleiter (block leader) was the lowest official of the NSDAP, responsible for the political supervision of a neighborhood or city block and formed the link between the NSDAP and the general population. Also colloquially known as a Blockwart (block attendant or warden), he was charged with planning, spreading propaganda and developing an acceptance to the policies of the NSDAP among the households (typically 40 to 60) in his area.
It was also the duty of the Blockleiter to spy on the population and report any anti-Nazi activities to the local Gestapo office; this allowed a Nazi terror state. This was helped by keeping files on each household (Haushaltskarten). Due to such activities, Blockwarts were particularly disliked by the general population. Other duties included allocating beds in homes for visiting NSDAP demonstrators, the collection of subscriptions and charitable donations especially for Winterhilfe and organising the clearing of rubble after air-raids. It is thought that there were nearly half a million Blockleiter.
Today, Blockwart is a colloquial German insult word for a person who feels the motivation to keep people in line, esp. by reporting them to officials or pressing the enforcing of rules (esp. petty rules) upon people.
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