Gestapo

Knowledge Identifier: &Gestapo

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Gestapo

Administered by officers of the SS add

Category: Justice-Crime

Founded in 1851.

Countries: Germany (45%), France (10%), Poland (8%)

Main connections: Schutzstaffel, Sicherheitsdienst, Heinrich Himmler

Linked to: Sicherheitsdienst, Sicherheitspolizei, Nazi Party, Sturmabteilung

 

Timeline


 

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1920

Karl M. Baer - In December 1920 he became director of the Berlin Section of the Loge B'nai B'rith, a post he held until the Section's forcible closure by the Gestapo on 19 April 1937


1930

Siegfried Fehmer - Fehmer joined the National Socialist German Workers Party in January 1930 and was employed by the Gestapo from 1934


1932

Anna Seghers - Her 1932 novel, "Die Gefährten" was a prophetic warning of the dangers of Fascism, which led to her being arrested by the Gestapo


1933

According to historian Rupert Butler, "From its creation in 1933 until its death in May 1945, anyone living in Nazi controlled territory lived in fear of a visit from the Gestapo add something

 

Hermann Göring formed the unit in 1933 add something

 

In 1933, there was no purge of the German police forces add something

 

In late 1933, the "Reich" Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick wanted to integrate all the police forces of the German states under his control add something

 

One man who served in the Prussian Gestapo in 1933 recalled that most of his co-workers "were by no means Nazis add something

 

Rees, p 64-65 Gellately argued that it was because of the widespread willingness of Germans to inform on each other to the Gestapo that Germany between 1933 and 1945 was a prime example of panopticism add something

 

The Nazis valued police competence more than politics, so in general in 1933, almost all of the men who served in the various state police forces under the Weimar Republic stayed on in their jobs add something

 

Reinhard Heydrich - Hermann Göring founded the Gestapo in 1933 as a Prussian police force

 

Artur Dinter - After the Nazis gained power in 1933, Dinter attempted to re-join the NSDAP. He was rebuffed and the Gestapo intensified its surveillance of him and even arrested him for a short while

 

Hans Lorbeer - Because of anti-fascist resistance and contacts to the group "Weise", he would be in a concentration camp in 1933 and 1934, the "Zuchthaus" and "Emslandlager", after which he was a laborer under Gestapo supervision

 

Konrad Sturtzel - From 1933-1941 the Gestapo was located there and it was mainly destroyed in 1944 during World War II. Reconstructed in 1951 it serves today as headquarters of the government of South-Baden

 

Rudolf Lange - He received a doctorate in law in 1933, and was recruited by the Gestapo office of Halle

 

Johanna Kirchner - In 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power, and the dedicated anti-fascist had to go underground, as her help in freeing an anti-Nazi from the Gestapo became known, leading to the danger of her possible arrest

 

Herbert Michaelis - In 1933, the year the National Socialists seized power, someone anonymously denounced him to the Gestapo

 

Gerhard Klopfer - When the Nazis came to power in 1933, he joined the Nazi Party and the SA along with the Gestapo the following year

 

Fritz Diez - On the morning of 28 February 1933, a day after the Reichstag fire, Diez's home was raided by the Gestapo

 

On 26 April 1933, Göring merged the two units as the Gestapo add something

 

Fritz Bauer - Due to his membership in the SPD and his Jewish heritage, he was arrested by the Gestapo in May 1933, and a short time later he was dismissed from his civil service position

 

Ludwig Hilberseimer - In July 1933 Hilberseimer and Wassily Kandinsky were the two members of the Bauhaus that the Gestapo identified as problematically left-wing


1934

Göring himself took over the Gestapo in 1934 and urged Hitler to extend the agency's authority throughout Germany add something

 

This image seems to have been popularized by the assassination of the former Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher in 1934 add something

 

Franz Walter Stahlecker - In 1934, he was appointed head of the Gestapo in the German state of Württemberg and soon assigned to the main office of the "Sicherheitsdienst"

 

Reinhard Heydrich - When Göring transferred full authority over the Gestapo to Himmler in April 1934, it immediately became an instrument of terror under the SS's purview

 

Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of SS national leader, Heinrich Himmler who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police by Hitler add something

 

Concerned that Diels was not ruthless enough to effectively counteract the power of the "Sturmabteilung" , Göring handed over control of the Gestapo to Himmler on 20 April 1934 add something

 

Heydrich, named chief of the Gestapo by Himmler on 22 April 1934, continued as head of the SS Security Service add something

 

Reinhard Heydrich - On 30 June 1934 the SS and Gestapo acted in coordinated mass arrests that continued throughout the weekend


1935

As early as 1935, however, a Prussian administrative court had ruled that the Gestapo's actions were not subject to judicial review add something

 

Fritz Diez - During 1935, Diez - fearing an interrogation by the Gestapo - had to emigrate from Germany

 

Hans Westermann - Shortly after he had begun reorganizing the Hamburg party, which had been weakened by Gestapo attacks, Westermann and numerous others were arrested late March 5, 1935 or early March 6

 

Kurt Lischka - On 1 September 1935 Lischka joined the Gestapo and in January 1940 became head of the Gestapo in Cologne


1936

In 1936, Himmler made it a suboffice of the "Sicherheitspolizei" add something

 

In 1936, the Gestapo was moved from the Prussian Interior Ministry to the "Reich" Interior Ministry and combined with the Kripo to form the SiPo, "Sicherheitspolizei" add something

 

Reinhard Heydrich - The Gestapo Law, passed in 1936, gave police the right to act extra-legally

 

Eduard Wald - On May 11, 1936, he was arrested by the Gestapo and on June 30, 1937, he was sentenced at the Volksgerichtshof to 15 years' hard labor

 

From June 1936, a concerted effort was made to recruit policemen of the SiPo into the SS, and SS members into the Kripo and especially the Gestapo, but with limited success; by 1939 only a small percentage of Gestapo agents were SS members add something

 

On 17 June 1936, Hitler decreed the unification of all police forces in the Reich and named Himmler as Chief of German Police add something

 

Elizabeth Wiskemann - Although her warnings about the nature of the Nazis went apparently unheeded by British officialdom, Wiskemann gained a reputation as an outspoken critic of Nazism, not least among the Nazis and she was arrested by the Gestapo and expelled from Germany in July 1936


1937

Constantin von Dietze - He was arrested and held in captivity by the Gestapo for two weeks in 1937 after a conflict with the "German Christians" in which he informed visitors attending the church of the arrest of the Confessing Church's pastor and subsequent replacement with a pastor for the "German Christians

 

Lou Andreas-Salome - Salomé's literary and analytical studies became such a vogue in Göttingen, the German town in which she lived her last years, that the Gestapo waited until shortly after her death by uremia in 1937 to "clean" her library from works by Jews

 

Vidkun Quisling - The same year the state police, abolished in 1937, was reestablished to assist the Gestapo in Norway, and radio sets were confiscated across the country

 

Fritz Eberhard - The underground organization of the ISK was crushed by the Gestapo in 1937

 

Kurt Schwitters - On 2 January 1937 Schwitters, wanted for an 'interview' with the Gestapo, fled Hanover to join his son Ernst in Norway, who had already left Germany on 26 December 1936.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - In September 1937, the Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde and by November arrested 27 pastors and former students

 

Alois Hundhammer - This workshop became a point of contact for former members of the BVP as well as current members of the Munich Catholic circle before being closed by the Gestapo in November 1937


1938

After that year, political investigations declined with only 18 investigations in 1938, 13 in 1939, two in 1941, seven in 1942, four in 1943 and one in 1944 add something

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - In 1938, the Gestapo banned Bonhoeffer from Berlin

 

Walter Rauff - From January 1938 he was an aide of Reinhard Heydrich firstly in the "Sicherheitsdienst" or SD, the SS security service, later in the "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" or RSHA, the Reich Security Main Office, a department created by Himmler in 1939 grouping the Gestapo, SD and "Kripo", the criminal police

 

Abraham Joshua Heschel - In late October 1938, when he was living in a rented room in the home of a Jewish family in Frankfurt, he was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Poland


1939

After 1939, when many Gestapo personnel were called up for war-related work such as service with the "Einsatzgruppen", the level of overwork and understaffing at the local offices increased add something

 

After Germany conquered Poland in the autumn of 1939, Gestapo officials believed that they had neutralized Polish intelligence activities add something

 

Before their 1939 amalgamation into the RSHA, the Gestapo and Kripo were plainclothes police agencies and had no uniforms add something

 

For example, in 1939 Stettin and Frankfurt am Main only had a total of 41 Gestapo men combined add something

 

From the Autumn of 1939, Soviet secret police and Gestapo closely collaborated in the aftermath of the partition of Poland add something

 

Hollywood notwithstanding, after 1939 the sinister black SS uniform was only worn by "Allgemeine-SS" reservists; it was abolished in 1942 add something

 

Median annual wage for an industrial worker was 1,495 RM in 1939 add something

 

This was partly because of the aftermath of the Venlo incident of 1939, when SD and Gestapo agents posing as anti-Nazis in the Netherlands kidnapped two British Secret Intelligence Service officers lured to a meeting to discuss peace terms add something

 

Alphonse Mucha - When German troops moved into Czechoslovakia during the spring of 1939, Mucha was among the first persons to be arrested by the Gestapo.

 

With the formation of RSHA in September 1939, Gestapo officers who held SS rank began to wear the wartime grey SS uniform when on duty in the "Hauptamt" or regional headquarters add something

 

Werner Best - Prior to September 1939, as an SS-Brigadeführer, Best while head of Department 1 of the Gestapo oversaw organization, administration, and legal affairs

 

Then from 27 September 1939 forward, it was administered by the "Reichssicherheitshauptamt" and was considered a sister organization of the "Sicherheitsdienst" add something

 

Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski - Arrested by the Gestapo on October 18, 1939, he was imprisoned in the German concentration camps Stutthof, Grenzdorf, Sachsenhausen and Dachau, where he died

 

Sigismund Payne Best - He was captured by German Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst men on 9 November 1939 in what came to be known as the Venlo Incident

 

Exchanges of prisoners took place as early as December 1939 add something


1940

Beginning in 1940, the grey SS uniform was worn by Gestapo in occupied countries, even those who were not actually SS members, because agents in civilian clothes had been shot by members of the "Wehrmacht" thinking that they were partisans add something

 

Xawery Dunikowski - Dunikowski did not leave Kraków until 1940 when he was arrested by the Gestapo

 

In March 1940, representatives of the NKVD and Gestapo met for the third time in the best known of these conferences which lasted for one week in Zakopane, to coordinate the pacification of resistance in Poland add something

 

Jan Karski - During one such mission in July 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo in the Tatra mountains in Slovakia

 

Rudolf Lange - From May to July 1940, Lange ran the Gestapo offices of Weimar and Erfurt, while working as the deputy head of the office of the Inspector of the SiPo in Kassel


1941

It should be noted that in 1941 "Referat N", the central command office of the Gestapo was formed add something

 

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 autumn of 1941 was similar to information British intelligence secretly got through intercepting and decoding German police and SS messages sent by radio telegraphy add something

 

Johannes Joachim Degenhardt - As a member of this youth organisation, which was banned by the Nazis, he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941, when he co-organised a demonstration of young people to show loyalty to the new spiritual leader, Lorenz Jaeger, on the day of his consecration as the Bishop of Paderborn

 

Johannes Joachim Degenhardt - He was held in solitary confinement for several weeks in the Dortmund Gestapo headquarters, imprisoned in a 3 x 1,5 m cell, beaten by the guards and not released until Christmas of 1941, with the warning that he would be sent to a concentration camp if he said anything about his imprisonment

 

Robert Uhrig - In 1941, the Gestapo infiltrated the Uhrig Group with informers and in February 1942, Uhrig and 200 other members of the Uhrig Group were arrested

 

Claus von Stauffenberg - The mass executions of Russians, Ukrainians, Jews and others, as well as what he believed was an already apparent deficiency in military leadership , finally convinced Stauffenberg in 1942 to join with resistance groups within the "Wehrmacht", the only force that had a chance to overcome Hitler's Gestapo, SD, and SS

 

Rudolf Breitscheid - These efforts were not successful, and in 1941, approximately a year into the German occupation of France, he was arrested by the Gestapo and interned in the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp

 

The Soviet-Nazi cooperation continued up to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 add something

 

The Poles identified and tracked German military trains to the Eastern front and identified four "Ordnungspolizei" battalions sent to conquered areas of the Soviet Union in October 1941 and engaged in war crimes and mass murder add something


1942

After Heydrich's 1942 assassination, Himmler assumed the leadership of the RSHA, but in January 1943 Ernst Kaltenbrunner was appointed Chief of the RSHA. Müller remained the Gestapo Chief, a position he occupied until the end of the war add something

 

In 1942 Ernst Kaltenbrunner became the RSHA chief after Heydrich was assassinated in Prague add something

 

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 add something

 

Werner Dissel - At 1942, he barely avoided an arrest during the Gestapo's crackdown on the Red Orchestra

 

Alexander Rado - At the end of 1942, Abwehr and Gestapo caught up with the Rote Kapelle, Leopold Trepper's network

 

Johanna Kirchner - In 1942, Kirchner was arrested by the Vichy Régime and handed over to the Gestapo

 

William Ash (pilot) - He flew Spitfires in World War II on many defensive and offensive missions, including an attack on the German battleships "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau", culminating in "big wing" fighter sweeps over France, on one of which, in March 1942, he was shot down and was caught by the Gestapo, twice being sentenced to death before being "rescued" by the German Luftwaffe, and shipped off to Stalag Luft III

 

After Heydrich's death in June 1942, and as the war progressed, Müller's power and the independence grew substantially add something

 

Between June 1942 and March 1943, student protests were calling for an end to the Nazi regime add something

 

Heinrich Rau - In June 1942, he was handed over to the Gestapo by the Vichy regime and was held until March 1943 in the Gestapo prison in the Prince Albrecht Street

 

Helmut Lent - In June 1942, his brother Joachim was arrested by the Gestapo after reading the so-called Mölders letter from the pulpit

 

Arvid Harnack - In July 1942, the Decryption Department of the "Oberkommando des Heeres" managed to decode the group's radio messages, and the Gestapo pounced

 

Kazimierz Skorupka - On 17 August 1942, Skorupka was arrested by the Gestapo, having managed to inform those closest to him that the Nazis knew about his conspiratory activities

 

Libertas Schulze-Boysen - The Gestapo discovered their Resistance group in summer 1942 and her husband was arrested on August 31, 1942

 

Kurt Schumacher (sculptor) - During Schumacher's arrest on September 12, 1942, the Gestapo destroyed his studio in Berlin , including a large amount of his artwork

 

John Sieg - He was arrested on October 11, 1942 and was taken to the Gestapo prison on Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, where he endured intensive interrogations and abuse

 

Bernhard Bastlein - On October 15, 1942, the Gestapo began a wave of arrests and two days later, they arrested Bästlein at work

 

Regina Jonas - The next day, November 5, 1942, the Gestapo arrested her and she was deported to Theresienstadt

 

Bernhard Bastlein - On November 30, 1942, he gave the Gestapo a written statement explaining why he had been and would remain a Resistance fighter


1943

Nevertheless, some Germans did speak out and show signs of protest during the summer of 1943 add something

 

Student opposition leaders were executed in late February, and a major opposition organization, the Oster Circle, was destroyed in April, 1943 add something

 

The German opposition was in an unenviable position by the late spring and early summer of 1943 add something

 

The first five months of 1943 witnessed thousands of arrests and executions as the Gestapo exercised their powers over the German public add something

 

Roman Shukhevych - After the arrest of Natalia Shukhevych in 1943 by the Gestapo, Roman Shukhevych took Irene to the orphan shelter at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Convent of Vasilianky in the village of Phylypove, near the township of Kulykiv in 30 kilometres from Lviv, where Irene remained until the end of the World War II surviving German occupation and Holocaust

 

Nancy Wake - By 1943, Wake was the Gestapo's most wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head

 

Karl Silberbauer - Four years later, he joined the Gestapo, moved to the Netherlands, and in 1943 transferred to the SD in The Hague

 

Fritz Theilen - He was imprisoned at the Gestapo's Cologne headquarters — the El-De Haus — in 1943

 

Marian Spychalski - In 1943 as part of Soviet effort to destroy Polish independence and resistance movement he denounced to the Gestapo various members of Polish resistance organizations

 

Jorge Semprun - In 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp for his role in the Resistance

 

Walter Rauff - Rauff was sent to Milan in 1943 where he took charge of all Gestapo and "Sicherheitsdienst" operations throughout northwest Italy

 

Nancy Wake - She learned that the Gestapo had tortured her husband to death in 1943 for refusing to disclose her whereabouts

 

Michel Thomas - In January 1943, he was arrested and interrogated by Klaus Barbie, only being released after convincing the Gestapo officer that he was an apolitical French artist

 

Christoph Probst - On 18 February 1943, the Scholls were distributing the sixth leaflet at the university when they were discovered by the caretaker, who delivered them to the Gestapo

 

Christoph Probst - When the Scholl siblings were arrested at the university, the Gestapo thereby had proof against Christoph Probst, who because of it was executed on 22 February 1943, along with Hans and Sophie Scholl, even though he had asked for clemency during interrogation and the trial for the sake of his wife and three children, aged three years, two years and four weeks

 

Heinrich Rau - After a few months in a Gestapo prison, he was transferred to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in March 1943

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging in April 1945 while imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp, just 23 days before the German surrender

 

Werner Goldberg - Mr. Goldberg was soon back in the hands of the Gestapo and in April 1943 was summoned for deportation, but Werner told him not to show up and he was again saved

 

August Perk - Years later , on April 14, 1943, the Gestapo arrested August Perk as a result of denunciation by neighbors and work colleagues

 

Karl Plagge - In November 1943, a Jewish prisoner named David Zalkind, his wife, and child attempted to escape from the camp and were caught by the Gestapo

 

Paul Touvier - In December 1943, at the instigation of the Gestapo, Touvier and his men raided a synagogue where some Jewish refugees were reportedly hiding


1944

Pierre-Jules Boulanger - In 1944 when the Gestapo headquarters in Paris was sacked by the French Resistance, his name was prominent on a Nazi blacklist of the most important 'Enemies of the Reich' to be arrested in the event of an allied invasion of France

 

Richard Strauss - Strauss was unable, however, to protect his Jewish relatives completely; in early 1944, while Strauss was away, Alice and his son Franz were abducted by the Gestapo and imprisoned for two nights.

 

Henri Reynders - The Gestapo got wind of Father Bruno's activities and raided Mont César Abbey in 1944

 

Ferenc Fricsay - When the Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944, the chief editor of the Szeged daily newspaper warned Fricsay that the Gestapo planned to arrest him; he and his wife and three children avoided this fate by going underground in Budapest

 

Kaj Munk - He was arrested and subsequently assassinated by the Gestapo on the night of 4 January 1944 at Hørbylunde, near Silkeborg

 

Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam - On March 19, 1944 the Germans invaded Hungary and Gestapo chief Adolf Eichmann immediately organized the round-up, ghettoization, and deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz

 

Steponas Kairys - In April 1944 majority of the members were arrested by the Gestapo

 

Louis Armand - He was arrested by the Gestapo on 25 June 1944

 

Adolf Reichwein - In early July 1944, Reichwein was arrested by the Gestapo, and, in a trial against Julius Leber, Hermann Maaß and Gustav Dahrendorf, sentenced to death by Roland Freisler's "Volksgerichtshof"

 

Freya von Moltke - On July 20, 1944 there was an attempt on Hitler's life, which the Gestapo used as a pretext to eliminate perceived opponents to the Nazi regime

 

Otto Armster - On 23 July 1944 Armster had been arrested by the Gestapo and transported to Berlin , where he was taken in to custody at the solitary confinement prison on Lehrter Street until 25 April 1945

 

Johannes Kleiman - In August 1944 he was arrested with Victor Kugler by the Gestapo after an unknown informant alerted the authorities to their aiding and concealment of Jews in the premises on the Prinsengracht

 

Hans Speidel - He was suspected however and was eventually arrested on 7 September 1944 by the Gestapo and accused of being involved in the July Plot

 

Werner Best - This reduced the Gestapo's already limited trust in the Danish police even further, and on 19 September 1944, the German army began arresting members of the Danish police forces

 

Kim Malthe-Bruun - On 19 December 1944, Kim was caught by the Gestapo in an apartment on Classen Street with two friends


1945

Max Planck - Consequently, Erwin died at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945.

 

Kurt Adler - From the Metropolitan Opera Association, Inc., New York Press Bureau Artist's Questionnaire, Nov. 13, 1945 Both parents were murdered by the Gestapo during World War II, after they were deported to Izbica concentration camp, which served as a transfer camp, to the Be??ec extermination camp in Poland on May 15, 1942

 

Gad Beck - In early 1945, a Jewish spy for the Gestapo betrayed him and some of his underground friends

 

Raoul Wallenberg - On March 8, 1945, Soviet-controlled Hungarian radio announced that Wallenberg and his driver had been murdered on their way to Debrecen, suggesting that they had been killed by the Arrow Cross Party or the Gestapo

 

Nikolay Timofeev-Ressovsky - He was sent to the German concentration camp in Mauthausen and executed by the Gestapo on 1 May 1945

 

Between 14 November 1945 and 3 October 1946, the Allies established an International Military Tribunal to try 22 of 24 major Nazi war criminals and six groups for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity add something


1946

On 1 October 1946, the IMT rendered its judgement on 21 top officials of the Third "Reich": 18 were sentenced to death or to long prison terms, and three acquitted add something


1956

Reinhold Eggers - In September 1956, as he was in the Soviet Occupied Zone, he was arrested by the Russians and questioned about Gestapo agents in Colditz


1980

Fiona Spence - One of the most recognisable Australian television stars during the early 1980s, she is best known for her small screen roles as Gestapo like prison officer Vera Bennett in the Australian television series "Prisoner" and the unlucky in love spinster Celia Stewart in "Home and Away"


1984

Klaus Barbie - In 1984, Barbie was indicted for crimes committed while he directed the Gestapo in Lyon between 1942 and 1944


2012

Paul LePage - In his weekly radio address on July 8, 2012, LePage said, while discussing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that the IRS was "the new Gestapo" due to their role in enforcing the law