Gestapo

Geheime Staatspolizeithe authoritiesauthoritiessecurity servicesSecret State Policesecret policeGerman Security ServicesGestapo agent a Gestapo prisonblack uniform
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Hermann Göring

GöringHermann GoeringGoering
The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation.
One of his first acts as a cabinet minister was to oversee the creation of the Gestapo, which he ceded to Heinrich Himmler in 1934.

Heinrich Himmler

HimmlerAlfred HimmlerH Himmler
Beginning on 20 April 1934, it passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel (SS) national leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police (Chef der Deutschen Polizei) by Hitler.
From 1943 onwards, he was both Chief of German Police and Minister of the Interior, overseeing all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo (Secret State Police).

Schutzstaffel

SSßNazi SS
Beginning on 20 April 1934, it passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel (SS) national leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police (Chef der Deutschen Polizei) by Hitler.
Additional subdivisions of the SS included the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) organizations.

Sicherheitspolizei

SiPoSecurity PoliceSIPO-SD
The Gestapo at this time became a national rather than a Prussian state agency as a sub-office of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police). Shortly thereafter, Himmler created the Kriminalpolizei (Kripo; Criminal Police), merging it with the Gestapo into the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police), under Heydrich's command.
It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo (secret state police) and the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police; Kripo) between 1936 and 1939.

Sicherheitsdienst

SDSecurity ServiceAusland-SD
It became known as Amt (Dept) 4 of the RSHA and was considered a sister organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD; Security Service).
Originating in 1931, the organization was the first Nazi intelligence organization to be established and was considered a sister organization with the Gestapo (formed in 1933) through integration of SS members and operational procedures.

Rudolf Diels

Rudolph Diels
The first commander of the Gestapo was Rudolf Diels, a protégé of Göring.
Rudolf Diels (16 December 1900 – 18 November 1957) was a German civil servant and head of the Gestapo in 1933–34.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated Gestapo, was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.
In response, Hitler used the Schutzstaffel (SS) and Gestapo to purge the entire SA leadership.

Reinhard Heydrich

HeydrichR. HeydrichReinhardt Heydrich
With Frick's support, Himmler (pushed on by his right-hand man, Reinhard Heydrich) took over the political police of state after state.
He was chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD).

Heinrich Müller (Gestapo)

Heinrich MüllerGeneral MüllerMüller
Himmler and Heydrich both immediately began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
For the majority of World War II in Europe, he was the chief of the Gestapo, the secret state police of Nazi Germany.

Josef Albert Meisinger

Josef Meisinger
Himmler and Heydrich both immediately began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
He held a position in the Gestapo and was a member of the Nazi Party.

Bavarian Political Police

political police
Himmler and Heydrich both immediately began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
It served as a forerunner of the Gestapo in Bavaria, the secret police during the Nazi era and was predominantly engaged in the persecution of political opponents of the Nazis.

Franz Josef Huber

Himmler and Heydrich both immediately began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
Huber joined the Nazi Party in 1937 and worked closely with Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller.

Night of the Long Knives

Night of Long KnivesThe Night of the Long KnivesRöhm Putsch
For the Gestapo, the next two years following the Night of the Long Knives, a term describing the putsch against Röhm and the SA, were characterised by "behind-the-scenes political wrangling over policing".
The primary instruments of Hitler's action, who carried out most of the killings, were the Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary force under Himmler and its Security Service (SD) and Gestapo (secret police) under Reinhard Heydrich.

Werner Best

Dr Werner BestBEST, Karl Rudolf Werner
The SS officer Werner Best, one-time head of legal affairs in the Gestapo, summed up this policy by saying, "As long as the police carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally".
He was the first chief of Department 1 of the Gestapo, Nazi Germany's secret police, and initiated a registry of all Jews in Germany.

Ordnungspolizei

Order PoliceOrpoPolizei
Himmler also gained authority over all of Germany's uniformed law enforcement agencies, which were amalgamated into the new Ordnungspolizei (Orpo; Order Police), which became a national agency under SS general Kurt Daluege.
The Orpo assumed duties of regular uniformed law enforcement while the SiPo consisted of the secret state police (Geheime Staatspolizei or Gestapo) and criminal investigation police (Kriminalpolizei or Kripo).

Final Solution

Final Solution to the Jewish QuestionThe Final SolutionEndlösung
During World War II, the Gestapo played a key role in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
In May 1941, Gestapo leader Heinrich Müller wrote a preamble to the new law limiting the jurisdiction of military courts in prosecuting troops for criminal actions because: "This time, the troops will encounter an especially dangerous element from the civilian population, and therefore, have the right and obligation to secure themselves."

Nacht und Nebel

Night and FogNight and Fog DecreeNight and Fog prisoner
In addition, thousands of political prisoners throughout Germany—and from 1941, throughout the occupied territories under the Night and Fog Decree—simply disappeared while in Gestapo custody.
On 7 December 1941, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler issued the following instructions to the Gestapo:

Secret police

political policeinternal intelligence organizationsAl-Amen
The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated Gestapo, was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.
In Nazi Germany, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police, Gestapo) (1933–1945) was used to eliminate opposition; as part of the Reich Main Security Office, it also was a vital organizer of the Holocaust.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

BonhoefferDietrichBonhoeffer, Dietrich
Some pastors, like the Protestant clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer, paid for their opposition with their lives.
He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years.

White Rose

The White RoseWeiße RoseDie Weiße Rose
These included the non-violent resistance of Hans and Sophie Scholl, two leaders of the White Rose student group.
Their activities started in Munich on 27 June 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943.

Sturmabteilung

SABrownshirtsbrown shirts
Concerned that Diels was not ruthless enough to effectively counteract the power of the Sturmabteilung (SA), Göring handed over control of the Gestapo to Himmler on 20 April 1934.
Rudolf Diels, the first Gestapo chief, estimated that in 1933 Berlin, 70 percent of new SA recruits were former Communists.

Kriminalpolizei

Kripocriminal policeCID
Shortly thereafter, Himmler created the Kriminalpolizei (Kripo; Criminal Police), merging it with the Gestapo into the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police), under Heydrich's command.
It was combined, along with the secret state police, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) into two sub-branch departments of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo).

Ernst Kaltenbrunner

KaltenbrunnerKALTENBRUNNER, Ernst
After Heydrich's 1942 assassination, Himmler assumed the leadership of the RSHA until January 1943, when Ernst Kaltenbrunner was appointed chief.
The RSHA was composed of the SiPo (Sicherheitspolizei; the combined forces of the Gestapo and Kripo) along with the SD (Sicherheitsdienst, Security Service).

Adolf Eichmann

EichmannEichmann trialtrial of Adolf Eichmann
His direct subordinate Adolf Eichmann headed the Gestapo's Office of Resettlement and then its Office of Jewish Affairs (Referat IV B4 or Sub-Department IV, Section B4).
On 27 September 1939 the SD and the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo, "Security Police") – the latter comprising the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) and Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) police agencies – were combined into the new Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA, "Reich Security Main Office"), which was placed under Heydrich's control.

Abbreviation

abbreviatedsyllabic abbreviationabbrev
The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated Gestapo, was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.
For example, Gestapo stands for Geheime Staats-Polizei, or "secret state police".