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Encyclopedia > Gestapo

The Gestapo  (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “secret state police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Under the overall administration of the Schutzstaffel (SS), it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) (“head office of the reich security service”) and was considered a dual organization of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) (“security service”) and also a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei (SIPO) (“security police”). Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links De-Gestapo. ... In traditional grammar, a contraction is the formation of a new word from two or more individual words. ... This article is about secret police as organizations. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... The   (German for Protective Squadron), abbreviated (Runic) or SS (Latin), was a large security and military organization of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) in Germany. ... RSHA, or the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, was a subsidiary organization of the S.S. created by Heinrich Himmler on September 22, 1939, through the merger of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Gestapo and the Kriminalpolizei. ... It has been suggested that Organizing be merged into this article or section. ... Sicherheitsdienst (SD) sleeve insignia. ... The Sicherheitspolizei (security police) was a term used in Nazi Germany to described the combined forces of the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst (the SD) between 1934 and 1939. ...

Contents

History

Founding and early development

The Gestapo was established on April 26, 1933, in Prussia, from the existing organization of the Prussian Secret Police. The Gestapo was first simply a branch of the Prussian Police known as “Department 1A of the Prussian State Police”. is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Motto Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Government Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I (first)  - 1688–1701 Frederick III (last) King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I (first)  - 1888–1918 William II (last) Prime Minister1,2... The Prussian Secret Police (German: Preußische Geheimpolizei) was the state police agency of the German state of Prussia in the 19th century and early 20th century. ...

Heinrich Himmler (left) chief of the SS, with Adolf Hitler (right)

Its first commander was Rudolf Diels, who recruited members from professional police departments and ran the Gestapo as a federal police agency, comparable to several modern examples such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States. The Gestapo’s role as a political police force was only established after Hermann Göring was appointed to succeed Diels as Gestapo commander in 1934. Göring urged the Nazi government to extend Gestapo power beyond Prussia to encompass all of Germany. In this Göring was mostly successful except in Bavaria, where Heinrich Himmler (head of the SS) served as the Bavarian police president and used local SS units as a political police force. ImageMetadata File history File links Himmler_Hitler. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Himmler_Hitler. ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was the commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany by being second in power to Adolf Hitler in the Nazi hierarchy. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Rudolf Diels (December 16, 1900 - November 18, 1957) was a German politician. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), serving as both a federal criminal investigative body and a domestic intelligence agency. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ... For other uses, see Bavaria (disambiguation). ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was the commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany by being second in power to Adolf Hitler in the Nazi hierarchy. ...


In April 1934, Göring and Himmler agreed to put aside their differences (due in large part to a combined hatred of the Sturmabteilung (SA)) and Göring transferred full authority over the Gestapo to the SS. At that point, the Gestapo was incorporated into the Sicherheitspolizei and considered a sister organization of the Sicherheitsdienst. The seal of SA SA propaganda poster. ...


Increasing power under the SS

The role of the Gestapo was to investigate and combat “all tendencies dangerous to the state.”[cite this quote] It had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and Germany. Traitor redirects here. ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... “Saboteur” redirects here. ... The Nazi Party (German: , or NSDAP, English: National Socialist German Workers Party), was a far-right, racist political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. ...


Laws passed in 1936 effectively gave the Gestapo carte blanche to operate without judicial oversight. Nazi jurist Dr. Werner Best stated that “[a]s long as the Gestapo ... carries out the will of the leadership, it is acting legally.” The Gestapo was specifically exempted from responsibility to administrative courts, where citizens normally could sue the state to conform to laws. Diners Club International, originally founded as Diners Club, was formed in 1950 by Frank X. McNamara, Ralph Schneider and Alfred Bloomingdale. ... It has been suggested that Judicial Review in English Law be merged into this article or section. ... Werner Best (1903-June 23, 1989), was a German Doctor in Law and Nazi official, serving during World War II. SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant-General), department head in the SS-Gestapo within the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) and deputy of Reinhard Heydrich from 1939 to 1940, Best was one... It has been suggested that civil trial be merged into this article or section. ...


A further law passed later in the year gave the Gestapo responsibility for setting up and administering concentration camps. Also in 1936, Reinhard Heydrich became head of the Gestapo and Heinrich Müller, chief of operations; Müller would later assume overall command after Heydrich's assassination in 1942. Adolf Eichmann was Müller's direct subordinate and head of department IV, section B4, which dealt with Jews. It has been suggested that Internment be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Heinrich Müller Heinrich Müller (born 28 April 1900; date of death unknown), German police official, was head of the Gestapo, the political police of Nazi Germany, and played a leading role in the planning and execution of the Holocaust. ... Otto Adolf Eichmann (known as Adolf Eichmann; March 19, 1906 – June 1, 1962) was a high-ranking Nazi and SS Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel). ...


The power of the Gestapo most open to misuse was called Schutzhaft—“protective custody,” a euphemism for the power to imprison people without judicial proceedings, typically in concentration camps. The person imprisoned even had to sign his or her own Schutzhaftbefehl, an order declaring that the person had requested imprisonment (ostensibly out of fear of personal harm). Normally this signature was forced by beatings and torture. Solitary confinement, colloquially referred to as the hole (or in British English the block), is a punishment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding members of prison staff. ... Euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener; or in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker. ... It has been suggested that Internment be merged into this article or section. ... Torture is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he...


During World War II, the Gestapo was expanded to around 45,000 members. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Keeping Hitler in power

German Gestapo agents arrested after the fall of Liege, Belgium, are herded together in a cell in the citadel of Liege
German Gestapo agents arrested after the fall of Liege, Belgium, are herded together in a cell in the citadel of Liege

By February and March 1942, student protests were calling for an end to the Nazi regime. These included the non-violent resistance of Hans and Sophie Scholl, two leaders of the White Rose student group. Despite the significant popular support for the removal of Hitler[citation needed], resistance groups and those who were in moral or political opposition to the Nazis were stalled into inaction by the fear of reprisals from the Gestapo. In fact, reprisals did come in response to the protests. Fearful of an internal overthrow, the forces of Himmler and the Gestapo were unleashed on the opposition. The first five months of 1943 witnessed thousands of arrests and executions as the Gestapo exercised a severity hitherto unseen by the German public. Student leaders were executed in late February, and a major opposition organization, the Oster Circle, was destroyed in April 1943. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 619 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2819 × 2732 pixel, file size: 569 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gestapo ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 619 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2819 × 2732 pixel, file size: 569 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Gestapo ... Hans Scholl was born on September 22, 1918, when his father had his first position as mayor of Ingersheim near Crailsheim. ... Hans Scholl, Sophie Magdalena Scholl, and Christoph Probst, who were executed for participating in the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazi regime in Germany. ... Monument to the Weiße Rose in front of the Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of a number of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. ... Hans Oster (August 9, 1887 – April 9, 1945) was a career officer in the Wehrmacht and a dedicated opponent of Adolf Hitler and Nazism. ...


The German opposition was in an unenviable position by the late spring and early summer of 1943. On one hand, it was next to impossible for them to overthrow Hitler and the party; on the other, the Allied demand for an unconditional surrender meant no opportunity for a compromise peace, which left the people no option (in their eyes) other than continuing the military struggle.


Nevertheless, some Germans did speak out and show signs of protest during the summer of 1943. Despite fear of the Gestapo after the mass arrests and executions of the spring, the opposition still plotted and planned. Some Germans were convinced that it was their duty to apply all possible expedients to end the war as quickly as possible; that is, to further the German defeat by all available means. The Gestapo cracked down ruthlessly on the dissidents in Germany, just as they did everywhere else.


The fall of Benito Mussolini gave the opposition plotters more hope to be able to achieve similar results in Germany and seemed to provide a propitious moment to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. Several Hitler assassination plots were planned, albeit mostly in abstract terms. The only serious attempt was carried out under the codename Operation Valkyrie, in which several officers attempted to assassinate Hitler in a coup d'état. On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg brought a bomb-laden suitcase into a briefing room where Hitler was holding a meeting. The bomb went off and several were killed. Hitler, along with several others, was wounded, but his life was saved when the suitcase was unwittingly moved away by a meeting presenter. Hitler was shielded from the blast by the conference table, leaving him with minor injuries. Subsequently about 5,000 people were arrested and approximately 200, including von Stauffenberg, were executed in connection with the attempt, some on the very same day. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945) was the prime minister and dictator of Italy from 1922 until 1943, when he was overthrown. ... Claus von Stauffenberg The July 20 Plot was an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany, on July 20, 1944. ... // A coup dÉtat (pronounced ), or simply coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment — mostly replacing just the high-level figures. ... is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf[1] von Stauffenberg (15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German army officer and one of the leading figures of the failed July 20 Plot of 1944 to kill Adolf Hitler and seize power in Germany. ...


During June, July, and August, the Gestapo continued to move swiftly against the opposition, rendering any organized opposition impossible. Arrests and executions were common. Terror against the people had become a way of life. A second major reason was that the opposition's peace feelers to the Western Allies did not meet with success.


This was in part due to the aftermath of the Venlo incident of 1939, when Gestapo agents posing as anti-Nazis in the Netherlands kidnapped two British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) officers lured to a meeting to discuss peace terms. That prompted Winston Churchill to ban any further contact with the German opposition. In addition, the British and Americans did not want to deal with anti-Nazis because they were fearful that the Soviet Union would believe they were attempting to make deals behind the Soviets’ back.[citation needed] The Venlo Incident in 1939 was a Gestapo-engineered capture of two British SIS agents in the early months of World War II, on November 9, 1939. ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6),[1] is the United Kingdoms external intelligence agency. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. ...


Nuremberg Trials

Between November 14, 1945, and October 3, 1946, the allies also established an International Military Tribunal (IMT) to try 24 major Nazi war criminals and six groups. They were to be tried for crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Nuremberg Trials is the general name for two sets of trials of Nazis involved in World War II and the Holocaust. ...


Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit the crimes so specified were declared responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan. The official positions of defendants as heads of state or holders of high government offices were not to free them from responsibility or mitigate their punishment; nor was the fact that a defendant acted pursuant to an order of a superior to excuse him from responsibility, although it might be considered by the IMT in mitigation of punishment.


At the trial of any individual member of any group or organization, the IMT was authorized to declare (in connection with any act of which the individual was convicted) that the group or organization to which he belonged was a criminal organization. When a group or organization was thus declared criminal, the competent national authority of any signatory had the right to bring individuals to trial for membership in that organization, with the criminal nature of the group or organization assumed proved.


These groups—the Nazi party and government leadership, the German General Staff and High Command (OKW); the Sturmabteilung (SA); the Schutzstaffel (SS), including the Sicherheitsdienst (SD); and the Gestapo—had an aggregate membership exceeding 2 million, and it was estimated[attribution needed] that approximately half these people would be made liable for trial if the groups were convicted. National Socialism redirects here. ... Oberkommando der Wehrmacht OKW most notably stands for Oberkommando der Wehrmacht - the high Command of the Third Reich armed forces. ... The seal of SA SA propaganda poster. ... The   (German for Protective Squadron), abbreviated (Runic) or SS (Latin), was a large security and military organization of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) in Germany. ... Sicherheitsdienst (SD) sleeve insignia. ...


The trials began in November 1945, and on October 1, 1946, the IMT rendered its judgment on 21 top officials of the Third Reich. The IMT sentenced most of the accused to death or to extensive prison terms and acquitted three. The IMT also convicted three of the groups: the Nazi leadership corps, the SS (including the SD), and the Gestapo. Gestapo members Hermann Göring and Arthur Seyss-Inquart were individually convicted by the IMT. is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ... Arthur Seyss-Inquart Arthur Seyss-Inquart (born Arthur Zajtich, officially (German) Arthur Seyß-Inquart) (July 22, 1892 – October 16, 1946) was a prominent Nazi official in Austria and for wartime Germany in Poland and the Netherlands. ...


Three groups were acquitted of collective war crimes charges, but this did not relieve individual members of those groups from conviction and punishment under the denazification program. Members of the three convicted groups were subject to apprehension and trial as war criminals by the national, military, and occupation courts of the four allied powers. And, even though individual members of the convicted groups might be acquitted of war crimes, they still remained subject to trial under the denazification program. Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary and politics of any remnants of the Nazi regime. ...


Today

After the Nuremberg Trials, the Gestapo ceased to exist. The Süddeutsche Zeitung announces The Verdict in Nuremberg. ...


In 1997, Cologne, Germany, transformed the former regional Gestapo headquarters in that city—the EL-DE Haus—into a museum to document the organization's past actions. In various countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the term is used to denote in a derogatory manner all police forces, but particularly the communist-era riot police, such as ZOMO. For other uses, see Cologne (disambiguation). ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Central Europe The Alpine Countries and the Visegrád Group (Political map, 2004) Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... Riot control are the measures to control a riot or to break up an unwanted demonstration (usually of protestors). ... ZOMO units in Poland (1981) Zmotoryzowane Odwody Milicji Obywatelskiej (ZOMO) (Motorized Reserves of the Citizens Militia), were paramilitary riot police formations during the Communist Era, in Peoples Republic of Poland. ...


Organization

When the Gestapo was founded, the organization was already a well-established bureaucratic mechanism, having been created out of the already existing Prussian Secret Police. In 1934, the Gestapo was transferred from the Prussian Interior Ministry to the authority of the Schutzstaffel (SS), and for the next five years the Gestapo underwent a massive expansion. The Prussian Secret Police (German: Preußische Geheimpolizei) was the state police agency of the German state of Prussia in the 19th century and early 20th century. ... The   (German for Protective Squadron), abbreviated (Runic) or SS (Latin), was a large security and military organization of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) in Germany. ...


In 1939, the entire Gestapo was placed under the authority of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), the main office of the SS. Within the RSHA, the Gestapo was known as Amt IV (“office IV”). The internal organization of the group is outlined below. RSHA, or the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, was a subsidiary organization of the S.S. created by Heinrich Himmler on September 22, 1939, through the merger of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Gestapo and the Kriminalpolizei. ...


Referat N: Central Intelligence Office

The Central Command Office of the Gestapo, formed in 1941. Before 1939, the Gestapo command was under the authority of the office of the Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst (SD), to which the commanding general of the Gestapo answered. Between 1939 and 1941, the Gestapo was run directly through the overall command of the RSHA. The Sicherheitspolizei (security police) was a term used in Nazi Germany to described the combined forces of the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst (the SD) between 1934 and 1939. ... Sicherheitsdienst (SD) sleeve insignia. ...


Department A (Enemies)

  • Communists (A1)
  • Countersabotage (A2)
  • Reactionaries and Liberals (A3)
  • Assassinations (A4)

Department B (Sects and Churches)

  • Catholics (B1)
  • Protestants (B2)
  • Freemasons (B3)
  • Jews (B4)

Department C (Administration and Party Affairs)

The central administrative office of the Gestapo, responsible for card files of all personnel.


Department D (Occupied Territories)

  • Opponents of the Regime (D1)
  • Churches and Sects (D2)
  • Records and Party Matters (D3)
  • Western Territories (D4)
  • Counter-espionage (D5)

Department E (Counterintelligence)

  • In the Reich (E1)
  • Policy Formation (E2)
  • In the West (E3)
  • In Scandinavia (E4)
  • In the East (E5)
  • In the South (E6)

Local Offices

The local offices of the Gestapo were known as Staatspolizeistellen and Staatspolizeileitstellen. These offices answered to a local commander known as the Inspekteur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (“inspector of the security police and security services”) who, in turn, was under the dual command of Referat N of the Gestapo and also His local SS and Police Leader. The classic image of the Gestapo officer, dressed in trench coat and hat, can be attributed to Gestapo personnel assigned to local offices in German cities and larger towns. This image seems to have been popularized by the assassination of the former Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher in 1934. General von Schleicher and his wife were gunned down in their Berlin home by three men dressed in black trench coats and wearing black fedoras. The killers of General von Schleicher were widely believed to have been Gestapo men. At a press conference held later the same day, Hermann Göring was asked by foreign correspondents to respond to a hot rumour that General von Schleicher had been murdered in his home. Göring stated that the Gestapo had attempted to arrest Schleicher, but that he had been “shot while attempting to resist arrest”. Higher SS and Police Leaders were senior Nazi Party officials that commanded large units of the SS during and prior to the Second World War. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...   (7 April 1882 – 30 June 1934) was a German general and the last Chancellor of Germany during the era of the Weimar Republic. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ...


Auxiliary Duties

The Gestapo also maintained offices at all Nazi concentration camps, held an office on the staff of the SS and Police Leaders, and supplied personnel on an as-needed basis to such formations as the Einsatzgruppen. Such personnel, assigned to these auxiliary duties, were typically removed from the Gestapo chain of command and fell under the authority of other branches of the SS. Piles of bodies in a liberated Nazi concentration camp in Germany Prior to and during World War II, Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps (Konzentrationslager, abbreviated KZ or KL) throughout the territories it controlled. ... A member of Einsatzgruppe D is just about to shoot a Jewish man kneeling before a filled mass grave in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in 1942. ...


Uniforms

Insignia pins worn on SS commissioned and non-commissioned officers’ hats: the SS version of the national eagle and the Totenkopf
Insignia pins worn on SS commissioned and non-commissioned officers’ hats: the SS version of the national eagle and the Totenkopf
A warrant disc identified an operative as Gestapo without revealing personal identity.

The black SS Uniform was abolished in 1939. After the Gestapo came under the authority of the RSHA, all SD and Gestapo branches were issued field-gray uniforms. The wartime gray uniform was worn in office and while on service duties and in occupied countries (because agents in civilian clothes had been shot by members of the Wehrmacht thinking that they were partisans). When Gestapo agents were in service outside their offices they wore civilian clothes. Thus with the exception of very high-ranking members of the Gestapo—people like Heinrich Müller—Gestapo people generally wore civilian clothing in keeping with the secret, plain-clothes nature of their work. There were in fact very strict protocols protecting the identity of Gestapo field personnel. In most cases, when asked for identification, an operative was only required to present his warrant disc. This identified the operative as Gestapo without revealing personal identity, and agents, except when ordered to do so by an authorized official, were not required to show picture identification, something all non-Gestapo people were expected to do. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Daily operations

Contrary to popular belief, the Gestapo was not an omnipotent agency that had its agents in every nook and cranny of German society. So-called “V-men” as undercover Gestapo agents were known only to be used to infiltrate Social Democratic and Communist opposition groups, but these cases were the exception, not the rule. SPD redirects here. ... 1932 KPD poster, End This System The Communist Party of Germany (German Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period. ...


As the analysis of the Gestapostellen done by the historian Robert Gellately has established, for the most part the Gestapo was made up of bureaucrats and clerical workers who depended upon denunciations by ordinary Germans for their information. Indeed, the Gestapo was overwhelmed with denunciations and spent most of its time sorting out the credible denunciations from less credible ones. Far from being an all-powerful agency that knew everything about what was happening in German society, the local Gestapostellen were under-staffed, over-worked officers that struggled with the paper-load caused by so many denunciations. The ratio of Gestapo officers to the general public was extremely lop-sided; for example, in Lower Franconia, which had about one million people in the 1930s, there was only one Gestapo office for the entire region, which had 28 people attached to it, of whom half were clerical workers. Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria (seven regions), Germany (32 regions). ...


Furthermore, for information about what was happening in German society, the Gestapostellen were for the most part dependent upon these denunciations. Thus, it was ordinary Germans by their willingness to denounce one another who supplied the Gestapo with the information that determined who the Gestapo arrested. The popular picture of the Gestapo with its spies everywhere terrorizing German society has been firmly rejected by most historians.[citation needed]


Counterintelligence

The Polish government in exile in London during World War II received sensitive military information about Nazi Germany from agents and informants throughout Europe. After Germany conquered Poland in the fall of 1939, Gestapo officials believed that they had neutralized Polish intelligence activities. Image File history File links Circle-question-red. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Information. ... German supply train blown up by the Armia Krajowa during World War II. Polish resistance movement was a resistance movement in Poland, part of the anti-fascist resistance movement which fought against the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany during World War II. Resistance to the Nazi German occupation began... The Government of the Polish Republic in Exile was the government of Poland after the country had been occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union during September-October 1939. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... World map showing the location of Europe. ...


Cooperation with the NKVD

In March 1940 representatives of the Soviet secret police (NKVD) and Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane, for the coordination of the pacification of resistance in Poland (see: Gestapo-NKVD Conferences). The Soviet Union delivered hundreds of German and Austrian communists to Gestapo, as unwanted foreigners, together with relevant documents. However an advanced Polish intelligence[citation needed] network developed throughout Europe to provide information to the Allies. This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Zakopane - view from Gubałówka Hill over Zakopane (Tatra mountains in background) Zakopane - Gubałówka Hill Funicular entrance Zakopane - Gubałówka Hill Funicular Zakopane - Gubałówka Hill ski run Zakopane - Gubałówka Hill a nursery ski run Zakopane (pronounce: [zakopanε]) is a town in southern Poland with approximately 28... Zakopane The Gestapo-NKVD conferences were a series of meetings organized in late 1939 and early 1940, whose purpose was the mutual cooperation between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. ...


Some of the Polish information about the movement of German police and SS units to the East during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the fall of 1941 was similar to information British intelligence secretly got through intercepting and decoding German police and SS messages sent by radio telegraphy.[citation needed] Combatants Germany, Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Gariboldi, ARMIR Joseph Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov Dmitry Pavlov Ivan Tyulenev Ivan Konev Semyon Budyonny Georgy Zhukov... Wireless telegraphy is the practice of remote writing (see telegraphy) without the wires normally involved in an electrical telegraph. ...


In 1942, the Gestapo discovered a cache of Polish intelligence documents in Prague and were surprised to see that Polish agents and informants had been gathering detailed military information and smuggling it out to London, via Budapest and Istanbul. The Poles identified and tracked German military trains to the Eastern front and identified four Ordnungspolizei (“order police”) battalions sent to conquered areas of the Soviet Union in October 1941 and engaged in war crimes and mass murder.[citation needed] Nickname: Motto: Praga Caput Rei publicae Location within the Czech Republic Coordinates: , Country Czech Republic Region Capital City of Prague Founded 9th century Government  - Mayor Pavel Bém Area  - City 496 km²  (191. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Istanbul (Turkish: , Greek: , historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see other names) is Turkeys most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. ... Flag of the Ordnungspolizei The Ordnungspolizei (OrPo) was the name for the regular German police force that existed in Nazi Germany between the years of 1936 and 1945. ...


Polish agents also gathered detailed information about the morale of German soldiers in the East. After uncovering a sample of the information the Poles had reported, Gestapo officials concluded that Polish intelligence activity represented a very serious danger to Germany. As late as June 6, 1944, Heinrich Müller, concerned about the leakage of information to the Allies, set up a special unit called Sonderkommando Jerzy that was meant to root out the Polish intelligence network in western and southwestern Europe.[citation needed] is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...


See also

The Great Escape, written by James Clavell, W.R. Burnett, and Walter Newman (uncredited), and directed by John Sturges is a popular 1963 World War II film, based on a true story about Allied prisoners of war with a record for escaping from German prisoner-of-war camps. ...

Notable individuals

Agents and officers

Klaus Barbie in Army NCO Uniform. ... Gestapo officer insignia pins SS-Oberscharführer Franz Bürkl was a Sicherheitspolizei officer. ... Rudolf Diels (December 16, 1900 - November 18, 1957) was a German politician. ... Otto Adolf Eichmann (known as Adolf Eichmann; March 19, 1906 – June 1, 1962) was a high-ranking Nazi and SS Obersturmbannführer (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel). ... Gerhard Friedrich Ernst Flesch (8 October 1909 - 28 February 1948) was a German Nazi executed for torture and murder of members of the Norwegian resistance movement. ... Hans Bernd Gisevius Hans Bernd Gisevius (July 14, 1904-February 23, 1974) was a leading opponent to the Nazi regime. ... SS-Obergruppenführer Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner Ernst Kaltenbrunner (October 4, 1903 – October 16, 1946) was a senior Nazi official during World War II. He was executed for war crimes and crimes against humanity. ... Herbert Kappler (23 September 1907 - 9 February 1978) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer of Nazi Germany. ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was the commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany by being second in power to Adolf Hitler in the Nazi hierarchy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Heinrich Müller Heinrich Müller (born 28 April 1900; date of death unknown), German police official, was head of the Gestapo, the political police of Nazi Germany, and played a leading role in the planning and execution of the Holocaust. ... Born May 14, 1915 in Levanger, Norway Died Executed on February 1, 1947 by shooting. ... Correctly: Walther Schellenberg, full name Walther Friedrich Schellenberg (January 16, 1910 - March 31, 1952) was a German Nazi and second-in-command of the Gestapo. ... Dr. Karl Eberhard Schöngarth (1903 - 1946) was a Nazi associated with the Holocaust during World War II. Schöngarth was born in 1903 in the town of Leipzig, Germany. ... Karl Josef Silberbauer Karl Josef Silberbauer (1911 – 1972) held the rank of SS - Oberstabsfeldwebel (Sergeant Major) in the Dutch Nazi Sicherheitsdienst (German Security Service). ... Annelies Marie Anne Frank ( ) (June 12, 1929 – early March, 1945) was a European Jewish girl (born in Germany, stateless since 1941, but she claimed to be Dutch as she grew up in the Netherlands) who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during... Max Ernst Gustav Friedrich Wielen was the Gestapo police chief at Breslau. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ... Siegfried Wolfgang Fehmer (10 January 1911 in München - 16 March 1948) was a German Gestapo officer during World War 2. ...

People executed

Harry Baur (born 12 April 1880 as Henri-Marie Baur in Montrouge, Seine (Hauts-de-Seine), ÃŽle-de-France, France – died 8 April 1943 in Paris, France was a French actor. ... Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch (July 6, 1886 – June 16, 1944) was a French historian of medieval France in the period between the First and Second World Wars, and a founder of the Annales School. ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer Dietrich Bonhoeffer [] (February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, and a founding member of the Confessing Church. ... Roger Bushell in his RAF uniform shortly before his capture. ... The Great Escape, written by James Clavell, W.R. Burnett, and Walter Newman (uncredited), and directed by John Sturges is a popular 1963 World War II film, based on a true story about Allied prisoners of war with a record for escaping from German prisoner-of-war camps. ... Wilhelm Franz Canaris (January 1, 1887 – April 9, 1945) was a German admiral and head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service, from 1935 to 1944. ... The Abwehr was a German intelligence organization from 1921 to 1944. ... Constant Chevillon (1880 - 1944) was the head of FUDOFSI and other occult societies. ... Charles Delestraint (1879-1945) was a French general and French Resistance member. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... An artists rendition of Jean Moulins most famous depiction, with a scarf (see below) Jean Moulin (June 20, 1899–July 8, 1943) was a high-profile member of the French Resistance during World War II. He is remembered today as an emblem of the Resistance because of his... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Stanisław Saks (30 December 1897 – 23 November 1942) was a Polish mathematician. ... Juliusz Paweł Schauder (1899-1943) was a Polish mathematician. ... Bartholomäus (Barthel) Schink (November 27, 1927 - November 10, 1944) was one of the members of the Ehrenfelder Gruppe (Ehrenfeld Group - Ehrenfeld is a suburb of Cologne) in Cologne. ... The Edelweiss Pirates (Edelweißpiraten) were a loose group of youth culture in Nazi Germany. ... Ernst Thälmann Ernst Thälmann statue in Weimar. ... Gyula Alpári (1882 – 1942) was a Hungarian Communist politician, a journalist by profession. ...

In popular culture

Sometimes the word Gestapo is used colloquially for other organizations which are felt to be tyrannical: see Nazi/3rd Reich terms in popular culture. An example is in the book version of the Tron movie, where a character says “This kind of romp is going to annoy the local Gestapo.” National Socialism redirects here. ... Tron is a 1982 science fiction film starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn (and his counterpart inside the electronic world, Clu), Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley (and Tron), Cindy Morgan as Lora Baines (and Yori) and Dan Shor as Ram. ...


The 1946 Czechoslavkian animated cartoon Pérák a SS (The Spring-Man and the SS), featured the character Pérák, the Spring Man of Prague, a quasi-superhero based on a popular figure of Czech urban legend, taunting and evading members of the Gestapo during a surrealistic, slapstick chase over the rooftops of Prague. Pérák, the Spring Man was an urban legend originating from the Czechoslovakian city of Prague during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in the midst of the Second World War. ... For the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, see Super Hero (Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode). ... An urban legend or urban myth is similar to a modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. ... Nickname: Motto: Praga Caput Rei publicae Location within the Czech Republic Coordinates: , Country Czech Republic Region Capital City of Prague Founded 9th century Government  - Mayor Pavel Bém Area  - City 496 km²  (191. ...


The Gestapo was parodied in the hit BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, as stiff-as-board limping characters obsessed with protecting Adolf Hitler from assassination by the German military or resistance. Usually wearing black leather coats and hats, they were often seen cross-dressing. Herr Flick and Herr von Smallhausen were the local agents in the village of Nouvion, obsessed entirely with the German war effort. They were constantly under siege by the French Resistance. The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... Allo Allo! was a long-running British sitcom broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992 comprising eighty-five episodes. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattlehide. ... This articles is about cross-dressing in general, that is the act of wearing the clothing of another gender for any reason. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


In The Matrix, when Agent Smith interrogates Neo, Neo says “You can’t scare me with this Gestapo crap! I know my rights! I want my phone call.” The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. ... Movie poster for The Matrix Revolutions, featuring the various copies of Agent Smith. ... Look up neo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In Medal of Honor: Frontline, an informant appearing in “The Golden Lion” mission has a truck that takes the player for a ride. The game requires the player to get out of the truck at certain checkpoints, where he says, “Don't let the Germans see my truck! You know how the Gestapo can be.” Medal of Honor: Frontline is the first installment of Electronic Arts popular Medal of Honor series for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube video game systems. ...


In The Chaser's War on Everything, a skit featured phone bill collectors (a hot topic in Australia at the time). One segment featured a Gestapo officer calling a man and demanding that all phone bills be paid; if these demands were not met, he “would not call back tomorrow, but the day after.” The Chasers War on Everything (often shortened to The War by The Chaser cast) is a satirical television comedy series broadcast on ABC TV in Australia. ...


In Mirror, Mirror, an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, the evil, parallel-universe Mr. Sulu is head of security aboard the I.S.S. Enterprise, which Scotty likens to "the ancient Gestapo." Mirror, Mirror is a popular title for works of fiction. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... Sulu is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). ... In the fictional Star Trek universe, the I.S.S. Enterprise is a starship from the Mirror Universe reality. ... Montgomery Scott, usually known as Scotty, is a character in Star Trek: The Original Series, played by James Doohan. ...


References

Books

  • The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing racial policy 1935–1945, Robert Gellately, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, ISBN 0-19-822869-4.
  • German Resistance Against Hitler: The search for allies abroad, 1938-1945, Klemens Von Klemperer, Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-19-820551-1
  • Histoire de la Gestapo, Jacques Delarue, Paris, 1962
  • An Illustrated History of the Gestapo, Rupert Butler, Motorbooks, 1993, ISBN 0-87938-801-3
  • Untouchable: Who Protected Bormann and Gestapo Müller After 1945..., Pierre de Villemarest, Aquilion, 2005, ISBN 1-904997-02-3

Suspected hoax works about the Gestapo include:

  • Gestapo Chief: The 1948 interrogation of Heinrich Müller, Gregory Douglas. San Jose, CA 1995

External links

  • Holocaust Survivors Encyclopedia
  • U.S. Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group
  • Gestapo entry at the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) Berlin (German)

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Gestapo (342 words)
Later in 1936, the Gestapo was merged with the Kriminalpolizei (or “Kripo,” German for Criminal Police).
The army units within the Gestapo were taught many torture techniques, and were also taught many of the practices that German doctors in Dachau tested on the inmates of concentration camps.
The Gestapo, during its tenure, operated without any restrictions by civil authority, meaning that its members could not be tried for any of their police practices.
GESTAPO - German Intelligence Agencies (617 words)
The GESTAPO was founded in April 1933 by Goering to serve as a political police force in Prussia.
The GESTAPO was one of the primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews.
The great power of the GESTAPO was "Schutzhaft" -- the power to imprison people without judicial proceedings on the theory of "protective custody." This power was based upon the law of 28 February 1933 which suspended the clauses of the Weimar Constitution guaranteeing civil liberties to the German people.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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