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Nazi Germany secret police / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Geheime Staatspolizei (German pronunciation: [ɡəˈhaɪmə ˈʃtaːtspoliˌtsaɪ] (Loudspeaker.svglisten); transl."Secret State Police"), abbreviated Gestapo (/ɡəˈstɑːp/ gə-STAH-poh, German: [ɡəˈʃtaːpo] (Loudspeaker.svglisten)),[3] was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and in German-occupied Europe.

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Geheime Staatspolizei
Gestapo headquarters at 8 Prinz Albrecht Street in Berlin (1933)
Agency overview
Formed26 April 1933 (1933-04-26)
Preceding agency
Dissolved8 May 1945 (1945-05-08)
TypeSecret police
JurisdictionGermany and Occupied Europe
HeadquartersPrinz-Albrecht-Straße 8, Berlin
52°30′25″N 13°22′58″E
Employees32,000 (1944 est.)[1]
Ministers responsible
Agency executives
Parent agencyAllgemeine SS

The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various political police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. On 20 April 1934, oversight of the Gestapo passed to the head of the Schutzstaffel (SS), Heinrich Himmler, who was also appointed Chief of German Police by Hitler in 1936. Instead of being exclusively a Prussian state agency, the Gestapo became a national one as a sub-office of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police). From 27 September 1939, it was administered by the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA). It became known as Amt (Dept) 4 of the RSHA and was considered a sister organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD; Security Service). During World War II, the Gestapo played a key role in the Holocaust. After the war ended, the Gestapo was declared a criminal organisation by the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at the Nuremberg trials.