The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume II
Criminality of Groups and Organizations
The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) & Sicherheitsdienst
(Part 1 of 9)

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This section on the Geheime Staatspolizei (GESTAPO) includes evidence on the criminality of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) of the Schutzstaffeln (SS). In the Indictment the SD is included by special references as a part of the SS, since it originated as a part of the SS and always retained its character as a party organization, as distinguished from the GESTAPO, which was a State

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organization. As will be shown in this section, however, the GESTAPO and the SD were brought into close working relationship, the SD serving primarily as the information-gathering agency and the GESTAPO as the executive agency of the police system established by the Nazis for the purpose of combatting the political and ideological enemies of the Nazi regime. This close working relationship between the GESTAPO and the SD was accomplished by the appointment of Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer of the SS, to the position of Chief of the German Police. What is proved in this section with respect to the criminality of the SD applies directly to the case against the SS. The relationship between the SS and the GESTAPO is considered in section 5 on the SS.

A. Development of the Gestapo and the SD. (1) Development of the GESTAPO. The Geheime Staatspolizei, or GESTAPO, was first established in Prussia on 26 April 1933 by Goering, with the mission of carrying out the duties of political police with or in place of the ordinary police authorities. The GESTAPO chief was given the rank of a higher police authority and was subordinated only to the Minister of the Interior, to whom was delegated the responsibility of determining its functional and territorial jurisdiction (2104-PS). Pursuant to this law, and on the same date, the Minister of the Interior issued a decree on the reorganization of the police which established a State Police Bureau in each government district of Prussia subordinate to the Secret State Police Bureau in Berlin. (2371-PS)

On 30 November 1933 Goering issued a decree for the Prussian State Ministry and for the Reichs Chancellor which acknowledged the valuable services which the GESTAPO was able to render to the State and which placed the GESTAPO under his direct supervision as Chief. The GESTAPO was thereby established as an independent branch of the Administration of the Interior, responsible directly to Goering as Prussian Prime Minister. This decree gave the GESTAPO jurisdiction over the political police matters of the general and interior administration and provided that the district, county, and local police authorities were subject to the directives of the GESTAPO (2105-PS). By a decree of 8 March 1934 the regional State Police offices were separated from their organizational connection with the district government and established as independent authorities of the GESTAPO. (2113-PS)

Parallel to the development of the GESTAPO in Prussia, the Reichsfuehrer SS, Heinrich Himmler, created in Bavaria the

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Bavarian Political Police and also directed the formation of political police forces in the other federal states outside of Prussia. The unification of the political police of the various states took place in the spring of 1934 when Hermann Goering appointed Himmler the Deputy Chief of the Prussian GESTAPO in place of the former Deputy Chief, Diels. Himmler thereby obtained unified control over the political police forces throughout the Reich. (1680-PS)

On 10 February 1936 the basic law for the GESTAPO was promulgated by Goering as Prussian Prime Minister. This law provided that the Secret State Police had the duty to investigate and to combat in the entire territory of the State all tendencies inimical to the State, and declared that orders in matters of the Secret State Police were not subject to the review of the administrative courts (2107- PS). On the same date, 10 February 1936 , a decree for the execution of said law was issued by Goering as Prussian Prime Minister and by Frick as Minister of the Interior. This decree provided that the GESTAPO had authority to enact measures valid in the entire area' of the State and measures affecting that area, that it was the centralized agency for collecting political intelligence in the field of political police, and that it administered the concentration camps. The GESTAPO was given authority to make police investigations in cases of criminal attacks upon Party as well as upon State. (2108-PS)

On 28 August 1936 a circular of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police provided that as of 1 October 1936 the political police forces of the German provinces were to be called the "Geheime Staatspolizei" (Secret State Police). The regional offices were still to be described as State Police (2372-PS). On 20 September 1936 a circular of the Minister of the Interior commissioned the GESTAPO Bureau in Berlin with the supervision of the duties of the political police commanders in all the States of Germany. (L-297)

The law relating to financial measures in connection with the police of 19 March 1937 provided that officials of the GESTAPO were to be considered direct officials of the Reich and their salaries, in addition to the operational expenses of the whole State Police, were to be borne from 1 April 1937 on by the Reich. (2243-PS)

Through the above laws and decrees the GESTAPO was established as a uniform political police system operating throughout the Reich and serving Party, State, and the Nazi leadership.

(2) Development of the SD. In 1932 the Reichsfuehrer of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, created the Sicherheitsdienst, or SD, as an

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intelligence service of the SS under the then SS-Standartenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich. (1680-PS)

On 9 June 1934, the NSDAP issued an ordinance which merged all information facilities then existing within the Party organization into the SD, and the SD was established as the sole Party information service.

In the course of its development, the SD came into increasingly closer cooperation with the GESTAPO and also with the Reich Kriminalpolizei, the Criminal Police, or KRIPO. The GESTAPO and the KRIPO considered together were called the Sicherheitspolizei, the Security Police, or SIPO. The SD was also called upon to furnish information to various State authorities. On 11 November 1938 a decree of the Reich Minister of the Interior declared that the SD was to be the intelligence organization for the State as well as for the Party, that it had the particular duty of supporting the Secret State Police, and that it thereby became active on a national mission. These duties necessitated a close cooperation between the SD and the authorities for the General and Interior Administration. (1680-PS; 1638-PS)

Through the above laws and decrees the SD was established as a uniform political information service operating throughout the Reich and serving Party, State, and the Nazi leadership.

(3) Consolidation of the GESTAPO and the SD. The first step in the consolidation of the political police system of the State (the GESTAPO) and the information service of the Nazi Party (the SD) took place in the spring of 1934 when Goering appointed Himmler Deputy Chief of the GESTAPO. Heydrich was the head of the SD under Himmler, and when Himmler took over the actual direction of the GESTAPO, these two agencies were in effect united. under one command. (1956-PS;

On 17 June 1936, "for the uniformity of police duties in the Reich," the position of Chief of the German Police was established in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, to which was assigned the direction and protection of all police affairs within the jurisdiction of the Reich. By this law Himmler was appointed Chief of the German Police under Frick, the Reich Minister of the Interior, and was given the right to participate in the sessions of the Reich Cabinet as Chief of the German Police. (2073-PS)

On 26 June 1936 Himmler issued a decree providing for the appointment of a chief of the uniformed police and of a chief of the Security Police. This decree divided the German police system into two principal branches:

(a) Ordnungspolizei (ORPO or Regular Police).

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(b) Sicherheitspolizei (SIPO or Security Police).

The Ordnungspolizei was composed of the Schutzpolizei (Safety Police), the Gendarmerie (Rural Police), and the Gemeindepolizei (Local Police). The Sicherheitspolizei was composed of the Reich Kriminalpolizei (KRIPO) and the Geheime Staatspolizei (GESTAPO). Daluege was named head of the Ordnungspolizei and Heydrich was named head of the Sicherheitspolizei. Since Heydrich was also head of the SD, he took the new title of Chief of the Security Police and SD. (1551-PS)

On 27 September 1939 by order of Himmler, in his capacity as Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, the central offices of the GESTAPO and the SD, together with the Criminal Police, were centralized in the office of the Chief of the Security Police and SD under the name of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Security Main Office, or RSHA. Under this order the personnel and administrative sections of each agency were coordinated in Amt I and Amt II of the RSHA; the operational sections of the SD became Amt III (except for foreign intelligence which was placed in Amt VI); the operational sections of the GESTAPO became Amt IV and the operational sections of the KRIPO became Amt V. Ohlendorf was named the Chief of Amt III, the SD within Germany; Mueller was named the Chief of Amt IV, the GESTAPO; and Nebe was named the Chief of Amt V, the KRIPO. (L-361)

On 27 September 1939 Heydrich, as Chief of the Security Police and SD, issued a directive pursuant to the foregoing order of Himmler, in which he ordered the designation and heading "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" to be used exclusively in internal relations of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and the heading "The Chief of the Security Police and SD" in transactions with outside persons and offices. The directive provided that the GESTAPO would continue to use the designation and heading "Geheime Staatspolizeiamt" according to particular instructions.

In 1944 most of the sections of the Abwehr (military intelligence) were incorporated into the various sections of the RSHA and into a new section connected with Amt VI, called the Militaersches Amt.

Heydrich was Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) until his death on 6/4/1942, after which Himmler directed the organization until the appointment of the defendant Ernst Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD. Kaltenbrunner took office on 30 January 1943 and remained Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA) until the end of the war. (2644-PS)

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