Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II. USGPO, Washington, 1946, pp. 248-302

[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. A listing of legal references and documents relating to the Gestapo and SD appears on pages 302-316. .For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999, published November 1998] 

The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo)
and Sicherheitsdienst (SD)

Nuremberg Charges

Part VI

Part I, Part II, Part III,
Part IV, Part V

Punishment of Relatives of Accused
Murder of Prisoners
Seizure and Spoliation of Private and Public Property
Third Degree Interrogations

Crimes of the SD and Gestapo Against Humanity

Gestapo and SD Primary Agencies for the Persecution of the Jews
Gestapo and SD Were Primary Agencies for the Persecution of the Churches


(9) The GESTAPO and SD executed or confined persons in concentration camps for crimes allegedly committed by their relatives.

On 19 July 1944, the Commander of the SIPO and SD for the District Radom published an order transmitted through the Higher SS and Police Leaders to the effect that in all cases of assassination or attempted assassination of Germans, or where saboteurs had destroyed vital installations, not only the guilty person but also all his (or her) male relatives should be shot and the female relatives over 16 years of age put into a concentration camp. (L-37)

In the summer of 1944, the Einsatzkommando of the SIPO and SD at Luxembourg caused persons to be confined at Sachsenhausen concentration camp because they were relatives of deserters and were, therefore," expected to endanger the interest of the German Reich if allowed to go free."( L-21 5)

(10) The GESTAPO and SD were instructcd to murder prisoners in the SIPO and SD prisons to prevent their release by the Allied armies.

On 21 July 1944, the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD for the District Radom forwarded an order of the Befehlshaber of the SIPO and SD to the effect that it was essential that the number of inmates of the SIPO and SD prisons be kept as low as possible. Inmates were to be subjected only to short formal interrogations and then to be sent by the quickest route to concentra-ion camps. Preparations were to be made for total clearance of the prisons should the situation at the front necessitate such action. In the case of sudden emergency precluding the evacuation of the prisoners, they were to be shot and their bodies buried or otherwise disposed of, the buildings to be dynamited, and so forth. In similar circumstances, the Jews who were still employed in the armament industries or in other work were to be dealt with in the same way. The liberation of prisoners or Jews by the enemy was to be avoided at all costs. (L-53)

(11) The GESTAPO and the SD participated in the seizure and spoliation of public and private property.

In connection with the program for the mass extermination of Jews and Communist functionaries, the GESTAPO and the SD seized all personal effects of the persons executed or murdered. On the eastern front the victims were required not only to give up all their personal possessions, but even to remove their outer garments prior to being murdered. (2620-PS)

In connection with the program of confiscation of scientific, religious, and art archives and objects, an agreement was entered into between Rosenberg and Heydrich, under which the SD and Rosenberg were to cooperate closely in the confiscation of public and private collections. (071-PS)

(12) The GESTAPO and SD conducted third degree interrogations.

On 26 October 1939 an order to all GESTAPO offices from the RSHA signed Mueller, "by order," in referring to execution of protective custody during the war, stated in part:

"In certain cases, the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police will order flogging in addition to detention in a concentration camp. Orders of this kind will, in the future, also be transmitted to the State Police District Office concerned. In this case, too, there is no objection to spreading the rumour of this increased punishment. * * * " (1531-PS)

On 12 June 1942 the Chief of the Security Police and SD, through Mueller, published an order authorizing the use of third degree methods in interrogating where preliminary investigation indicates that the prisoner could give information on important facts such as subversive activities, but not to extort confessions of the prisoner's own crimes. The order stated in part :

"* * * 2. Third degree may, under this supposition, only be employed against Communists, Marxists, Jehovah's Witnesses, saboteurs, terrorists, members of resistance movements, parachute agents, anti-social elements, Polish or Soviet-Russian loafers or tramps. In all other cases, my permission must first be obtained.

"* * * 4. Third degree can, according to the circum-stances, consist amongst other methods, of::

very simple diet (bread and water)
hard bunk
dark cell
deprivation of sleep
exhaustive drilling
also in flogging (for more than 29 strokes a doctor must be consulted) ." (1531-PS)

On 24 February 1944 the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD for the district Radom, "in view of the variety of methods used to date in third-degree interrogations and in order to avoid excesses," published an order issued by tlne BdS Cracow based on regulations in force for the Reich which followed closely the limitations laid down in the above decree of 12 June 1942. (L-89)

   G. Crimes of the GESTAPO and SD Against Humanity.

(1) The GESTAPO and the SD were primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews.

The persecution of the Jews under the Nazi regime is a story of increasingly severe treatment, beginning with restrictions, then seizure and spoliation of property, commitment to concentration camps, deportation, slave labor, and finally mass murder. The responsibility of the GESTAPO and the SD for the mass extermination program carried out by the Einsatz Groups of the SIPO and SD and in the annihilation camps to which Jews were sent by the SIPO and SD has already been considered. In this subdivision, the place of the GESTAPO and SD in the development of this persecution will be treated.

Section B of the SD dealt with problems of nationality, including minorities, race and national health, immigration, and resettlement. Section B4 of the GESTAPO, headed by Eichmann, dealt with Jewish affairs, including matters of evacuation, means of suppressing enemies of the people and State, and dispossession of rights of German citizenship. One of the functions of the SD was to furnish information concerning the Jews to the GESTAPO. One of the functions of the GESTAPO was to carry out the Nazi program of persecution of the Jews. (L-185; L-219.)

The GESTAPO was charged with the enforcement of discriminatory laws, such as those preventing Jews from engaging in business, restricting their right to travel, and prohibiting them from associating with gentiles. Violations of such restrictions resulted in protective custody and confinement in concentration camps by the GESTAPO. (L-217; L-152; L-167.)

The Chief of the Security Police and SD ordered the GESTAPO and the SD to supervise the anti-Jewish pogrom staged in November 1938 following the von Rath incident in Paris. As many Jews were to be arrested in all districts as the available jail space would hold. Well-to-do Jews were to be singled out for arrest, and primarily only healthy male adults of not too advanced age. Immediately after completion of the arrests, the competent concentration camp was to be notified in order to provide for speediest transfer of Jews to the camps. (3051-PS)

On 11 November 1938 Heydrich reported to Goering by secret express letter on the results of the action as reported by the GESTAPO. The report stated in part:

"* * * The extent of the destruction of Jewish shops and houses cannot yet be verified by figures. The figures given in the reports: 815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed, only indicate a fraction of the actual damage caused, as far as arson is concerned. Due to the urgency of the reporting, the reports received to date are entirely limited to general statements such as 'numerous' or 'most shops destroyed. ' Therefore the figures given must have been exceeded considerably.

"191 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed. In addition 11 parish halls, [Gemeindehauser] cemetery chapels and similar buildings were set on fire and 3 more completely destroyed.

"20,000 Jews were arrested, also 7 Aryans and 3 foreigners. The latter were arrested for their own safety.

"36 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36. Those killed and injured are Jews. One Jew is still missing. The Jews killed include one Polish national, and those injured include 2 Poles." (3058-PS)

On 31 July 1941 Goering sent the following order to the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Heydrich :

"Complementing the task that was assigned to you on 24 January 1939, which dealt with arriving at a solution of the Jewish problem through furtherance of emigration and evacuation as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe." (710-PS)

In February or March 1943, according to Gottfried Boley, Ministerialrat in the Reich Chancery, a conference on the solution of the Jewish problem, attended by representatives of the ministries, was called by Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD. Boley states:

"The meeting was presided over by Eichmann who had charge of Jewish problems in the GESTAPO. In his opening remarks Eichmann referred to former conferences that had taken place in the office of the Chief of the Security Police and SD, and that on this occasion he wished to discuss the matter in a more basic manner. He stated that the Jewish question had to be solved in a quick and proper way. Representatives of the Chief of the Security Police and SD who attended the conference made it clear to those present that the remaining Jews had to be sent forcibly to concentration camps or be sterilized. Those present at the conference must have carried away the impression that the objectives were the extermination of the Jewish people." (2645-PS)

The deportation of Jews into concentration camps was part of the program for slave labor. Jews not fit for work were screened out at extermination centers, such as Auschwitz, and the remainder were taken into concentration and work camps. The orders were issued by Himmler and passed through the Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner (formerly Heydrich) to Mueller, Chief of the GESTAPO, and then to Eichmann for execution. (2376-PS; 1472-PS.)

In Galicia, the deportation of Jews was carried out during the period from April 1942 to June 1943. At the end of that time Galicia had been entirely cleared of Jews. In all, 434,392 Jews were deported from Galicia alone. In connection with the deportations, Jewish property was confiscated, including furniture, clothing, money, dental fillings, gold teeth, wedding rings, and other personal property of all kinds. The Security Police participated in this action along with other police and SS detachments. (L-18).

In Warsaw the Security Police played a responsible role in the segregation of the Jews and placing them in the Ghetto, in the subsequent removal of the Jews to concentration camps, and in the final clearance of the Ghetto. The Ghetto was established in November of 1940. Over 300,000 Jews were deported from it between July and October 1942, and 6,500 more were deported in January 1943. In April and May 1943 the final clearance of the Ghetto was accomplished under the direction of the SS and Police Leader of the Warsaw area, and with units of the SIPO, Waffen SS, Order Police, and some military and Polish police units. Thousands of Jews were killed in the action. About 7,000 were transported to "T. II" where they were exterminated. The remaining 40,000 to 45,000 were placed in concentration camps. (1061- PS)

In Denmark the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD was ordered in September of 1943 to arrest all Danish citizens of Jewish belief and send them to Stettin by ship and from there to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt. In spite of the protests of the Kommandeur of the SIPO and SD, Kaltenbrunner as Chief of the Security Police and SD gave direct orders to carry out the anti-Jewish action. Eichmann, head of the Jewish section in the GESTAPO, had direct charge of the clearance program. (2375-PS)

In Hungary the deportation of Jews was again carried out by Eichmann. This action took place under direction of the GESTAPO after the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944. About 450,000 Jews were deported from Hungary due to the pressure and direction of the GESTAPO. (L2605-PS)

(2) The GESTAPO and the SD were primary agencies for the persecution of the churches.

The fight against the churches was never brought out into the open by the GESTAPO and the SD as in the case of the persecution of the Jews. The struggle was designed to weaken the churches and to lay a foundation for the ultimate destruction of the confessional churches after the end of the war. (1815-PS)

Section C2 of the SD dealt with education and religious life. Section Bl of the GESTAPO dealt with political Catholicism. Section B2 with political Protestantism sects, and Section B3 with other churches and Freemasonry. (L-1 85)

As early as 1934 the GESTAPO enforced restrictions against the churches. An order by the State Police of Dusseldorf prohibited the churches from engaging in public activities, especially public appearances in groups, sports, hikes, and the establishment of holiday or outdoor camps.( R-l 45)

In 1934 the Bavarian Political Police placed three ministers in protective custody for refusing to carry out the order of the Government to ring church bells on the occasion of the death of Hindenburg. (1521-PS)

The GESTAPO dissolved those church organizations which it considered to have political objectives. In 1938 the GESTAPO at Munich dissolved by order the Guild of the Virgin Mary of the Bavarian dioceses. (1481-PS)

An insight into the hidden objectives and secret methods of the GESTAPO and the SD in the fight against the churches is disclosed in the file of the GESTAPO regional office at Aachen (1815-PS). On 12 May 1941 the Chief of the GESTAPO issued a directive in which he reported that the Chief of the Security Police and SD had issued an order under which the treatment of church politics which had theretofore been divided between the SD and the GESTAPO was to be taken over entirely by the GESTAPO. The SD "church specialists" were to be temporarily transferred to the same posts in the GESTAPO and operate an intelligence service in the church political sphere there. SD files concerning church political opposition were to be handed over to the GESTAPO, but the SD was to retain material concerning the confessional influence on the lives of the people.

On 22 and 23 September 1941 a conference of church specialists attached to GESTAPO regional offices was held in the lecture hall of the RSHA in Berlin. The notes on the speeches delivered at this conference indicate that the GESTAPO considered the church as an enemy to be attacked with determination and "true fanaticism" The immediate objective of the GESTAPO was stated to be to insure that the Church did not win back any lost ground. The ultimate objective was stated to be the destruction of the confessional churches. This was to be brought about by the col-lection of material through the GESTAPO church intelligence system to be produced at a proper time as evidence for the charge of treasonable activities during the German fight for existence.

The executive measures to be applied by the GESTAPO were discussed. It was stated to be impractical to deal with political offenses under normal legal procedure owing to lack of political perception which prevailed among the legal authorities. The so-called "agitator-Priests," therefore, had to be handled by GESTAPO measures, and when necessary removed to a concentration camp. The following punishments were to be applied to priests according to individual circumstances: warning, fine, forbidden to preach, forbidden to remain in parish, forbidden all activity as a priest, short-term arrest, protective custody. Retreats, youth and recreational camps, evening services, processions and pilgrimages were all to be forbidden on grounds of interfering with the war effort, blackouts, overburdened transportation, etc.

In executing this program close cooperation was required between the GESTAPO and the SD. The study and treatment of the Church in its opposition to the Nazi state was the responsibility of the GESTAPO. The result of this treatment of the Church in the sphere of "religious life" remained the province of the SD. By these means the GESTAPO and the SD carried on the struggle of the Nazi conspirators against the Church.

H. Conclusion.

The evidence shows that the GESTAPO was created by Goering in Prussia in April 1933 for the specific purpose of serving as a police agency to strike down the actual and ideological enemies of the Nazi regime, and that henceforward the GESTAPO in Prussia and in the other States of the Reich carried out a program of terror against all who were thought to be dangerous to the domination of the conspirators over the people of Germany. Its methods were utterly ruthless. It operated outside the law and sent its victims to the concentration camps. The term "GESTAPO" became. the symbol of the Nazi regime of force and terror.

Behind the scenes, operating secretly, the SD, through its vast network of informants, spied upon the German people in their daily lives, on the streets, in the shops, and even within the sanctity of the churches.

The most casual remark of a German citizen might bring him before the GESTAPO, where his fate and freedom were decided without recourse to law. In this government, in which the rule of law was replaced by a tyrannical rule of men, the GESTAPO was the primary instrumentality of oppression.

The GESTAPO and the SD played an important part in almost every criminal act of the conspiracy. The categories of these crimes, apart from the thousands of specific instances of torture and cruelty in policing Germany for, the benefit of the conspirators, indicate the extent of GESTAPO and SD complicity. T

he GESTAPO and SD fabricated the border incidents which Hitler used as an excuse for attacking Poland.

Through the Einsatz Groups they murdered approximately 2,000,000 defenseless men, women, and children.

They removed Jews, political leaders, and scientists from prisoner of war camps and murdered them.

They took recaptured prisoners of war to concentration camps and murdered some of them.

The GESTAPO established and classified concentration camps and sent millions of people into them for extermination and slave labor.

The GESTAPO cleared Europe of the Jews and was responsible for sending 4,000,000 Jews to their deaths in annihilation camps.

The GESTAPO and SD rounded up hundreds of thousands of citizens of occupied countries and shipped them to Germany for forced labor, and sent slave laborers to labor reformatory camps and concentration camps for disciplining.

They executed captured commandos and paratroopers and protected civilians who lynched Allied flyers.

They took civilians of occupied countries to Germany for secret trial and punishment.

They arrested, tried, and punished citizens of occupied territories under special criminal procedures which did not accord them fair trials, and by summary methods.

They murdered or sent to concentration camps the relatives of persons who had allegedly committed crimes.

They ordered the murder of prisoners in SIPO and SD prisons to prevent their release by the Allied armies.

They participated in the seizure and spoliation of public and private property.

They were primary agencies for the persecution of the Jews and of the churches.

In carrying out these crimes the GESTAPO operated as an organization, closely centralized and controlled from Berlin headquarters. Reports were submitted to Berlin, and all important decisions emanated from Berlin. The regional offices had only limited power to commit persons to concentration camps. All cases, other than those of short duration, had to be submitted to Berlin for approval. From 1943 to the end of the war the defendant Kaltenbrunner was the Chief of the Security Police and SD in Berlin. The GESTAPO was organized on a functional basis. Its principal divisions dealt with the groups and institutions against which it committed the worst crimes-Jews, churches, communists, and political liberals. Thus, in perpetrating these crimes, the GESTAPO acted as an entity, each section performing its part in the general criminal enterprises ordered by Berlin. It must be held responsible as an entity.

The SD was at all times a department of the SS. Its criminality directly concerns and contributes to the criminality of the SS. As to the GESTAPO, it is submitted that:

1. The GESTAPO is an organization, in the sense in which that term is used in Article 9 of the Charter.
2. The defendants Goering and Kaltenbrunner committed the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter in their capacity as members and leaders of the GESTAPO.
3. The GESTAPO, as an organization, participated in and aided the conspiracy which contemplated and involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter.

In 1941, on German Police Day, Heydrich, the former Chief of the Security Police and the SD, said:

"Secret State Police, Criminal Police, and SD are still adorned with the furtive and whispered secrecy of a political detective story. In a mixture of fear and shuddering-and yet at home with a certain feeling of security because of their presence,-brutality, inhumanity bordering on the sadistic, and ruthlessness are attributed abroad to the men of this profession." (Extract from a brochure on Reinhard Heydrich, published in December 1943.)

The evidence as it is submitted, shows that brutality, inhumanity, sadism, and ruthlessness were characteristic of the GESTAPO and that it was and should be declared, a criminal organization, in accordance with article 9 of the Charter.

Gestapo and SD Nuremberg Charges, Part V

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 18/01/99
ęS D Stein

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