Управление государственной тайной полиции (Гестапо) (г. Берлин)

  • Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt (Berlin); Office of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) (Berlin)
  • Upravlenie gosudarstvennoi tainoi politsii (Gestapo) (g. Berlin)
Language of Description
1933 - 1945
Level of Description
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Polish
  • Spanish
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

930 files

Biographical History

The German Secret State Police (Gestapo) originated in the political department of the police headquarters in Berlin during the Weimar Republic. With the Nazi assumption of power in 1933, this agency, renamed the Gestapo, came under the control of Hermann Goring and Rudolf Diels, and later, of Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. It was given broad powers of arrest and wiretapping, and engaged in torture and executions. Section II 1 of the Gestapo was charged with fighting the "enemies" of the regime, including the Jews. After Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938), the Gestapo became the main instrument of the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish policies. In 1939, the Gestapo was fused with other security arms (the Sipo and SD) to form the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). The Gestapo took part in the enslavement of "inferior races," "pacifying" and subduing the occupied territories, and persecuting the Jews; it carried out a major role in the "Final Solution." It supervised deportations from the ghettos to extermination camps, and pressured German-allied countries to deport their Jews.

Scope and Content

A significant portion of the collection's contents was transferred to the German Democratic Republic in the 1950s-70s. (These materials are noted in the inventories and are not included among the collection's files.) The collection's contents are catalogued in three inventories. Documents in the collection contain information on communist, social-democratic, anti-fascist, religious, and Jewish organizations in Germany; reports on "unreliable" persons; information on Masonic lodges; police surveillance files (for example, on the conduct of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin); agents' dispatches by agents on the activities of emigre organizations outside Germany; and clippings from German and foreign newspapers, journals, and other printed publications concerning the situation in Germany. The documents on Jewish affairs relate to the period before the Second World War. The collection includes documents and surveillance related to the Zionist movement in Germany: correspondence of the Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior and of the Prussian Gestapo Office with the Zionist Federation of Germany; reports by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) on the twenty-fifth congress of the Zionist Federation of Germany (1936) and other materials of the conference; reports by Gestapo agents and correspondence with them, regarding the twenty-fifth conference of the Zionist Union of Germany; a message from the Berlin Zionist Union to the Berlin Gestapo on the departure for Jerusalem of union leaders Dr. G. Landauer and K. Blumenfeld with a pledge to report to the Gestapo on the situation in Palestine and on the development of the Zionist movement in Palestine (28 January 1936); results of elections of the Zionist Federation of Germany leadership (chairman: S. Moses; secretariat: I. Eisner, H. Friedenthal, G. Joseftam, R. Katzenstein, A. Lehmann, G. Lubinski, A. Michaelis, J. Prinz, E. Rosenberg, M. Traub, S. Chertok, and K. Tuchler); a list of other top officers of the Zionist Union of Germany, as well as of Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael. The collection contains a bibliography of Jewish literature that was drawn up for the Gestapo, and that includes among the listed publications books on the Jewish question, on the history of the Jews and Judaism, and on the situation of Jews in Germany, Hungary, Britain, and other countries. The collection contains internal Gestapo correspondence and intelligence: a file on the work of Gestapo agents Beneber and Munzer in collecting materials on a London antisemitic conference on boycotting Jews; correspondence with Gestapo offices in Kassel, Elbing, and Munster on Jewish organizations, and overviews of the activities of Jewish organizations; a Gestapo agent's report on the nineteenth World Zionist Congress in Lucerne (Switzerland), and attachments to the report (minutes of speeches, including that of Nachum Sokolow on the situation of Jews in Germany, and statistical tables of Congress participants by country); a file on surveillance of meetings, conferences, and conventions of Jewish organizations; minutes of a meeting of the board of the Reich Representation of Jews in Germany from 15 June 1937, and lists of members of this organization's board; lists of members of various Jewish societies; and correspondence with the Gestapo office in Elbing on the discovery of the corpse of Sh. Vishnik, a.k.a. "Black Paul," and a description of the murdered man. There also are lists of German Jews having emigrated to Italy; these documents contain intelligence on those Jews prior to their departure, on their tax debts, their economic and political activities in Germany and Italy, and related matters. There is also a list of persons of Jewish origin en route through Germany (a "blacklist"). The collection also has documents on the situation of Jews in the USSR; these include reports and communiqués from the German Embassy in the USSR on Jewish organizations in the USSR, particularly on the activities of Agro-Joint, and a surveillance file on the activities of the Society to Promote the Agricultural Resettlement of Jews in the Soviet Union (OZET). There is Gestapo correspondence on expelling Jewish Soviet citizens from Germany, including lists of Jewish Soviet citizens expelled or subject to expulsion from Germany.

Finding Aids

  • Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov, Scranton - London 2010.

Existence and Location of Copies

  • Microfilms are held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.

Archivist Note

Entry selected by Krzysztof Tyszka from the book “Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive”, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0