The Sicherheitspolizei (English: Security Police), often abbreviated as SiPo, was a term used in Germany for security police. In the Nazi era, it was used to describe the state political and criminal investigation security agencies. It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo (secret state police) and the Kriminalpolizei (criminal police; Kripo) between 1936 and 1939. As a formal agency, the SiPo was folded into the RSHA in 1939, but the term continued to be used informally until the end of World War II in Europe.

Schutzstaffel Abzeichen
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-027-1475-38, Marseille, deutsch-französische Besprechung

SiPo officers in Marseilles during World War II
Agency overview
Formed26 June 1936
Preceding agency
Dissolved22 September 1939
Superseding agency
TypeState Security Police
JurisdictionGermany Germany
Occupied Europe
HeadquartersPrinz-Albrecht-Straße, Berlin
Employees245,000 (1940)[1]
Ministers responsible
Agency executive


The term originated in August 1919 when the Reichswehr set up the Sicherheitswehr as a militarised police force to take action during times of riots or strikes. However owing to limitations in army numbers, it was renamed the Sicherheitspolizei to avoid attention. They wore a green uniform, and were sometimes called the "Green Police". It was a military body, recruiting largely from the Freikorps, with NCOs and officers from the old German Imperial Army.[2]

Nazi Era

Stander Chef der SiPo und SD 1942
Standard for the chief of SiPo

When the Nazis came to national power, Germany, as a federal state, had myriad local and centralised police agencies, which often were un-coordinated and had overlapping jurisdictions. Himmler and Heydrich's grand plan was to fully absorb all the police and security apparatus into the structure of the Schutzstaffel (SS).[3] To this end, Himmler took command first of the Gestapo (itself developed from the Prussian Secret Police). Then on 17 June 1936 all police forces throughout Germany were united, following Adolf Hitler's appointment of Himmler as Chef der Deutschen Polizei (Chief of German Police).[4] As such he was nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, but in practice Himmler answered only to Hitler.[5]

Himmler immediately reorganised the police, with the state agencies statutorily divided into two groups: the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police; Orpo), consisting of both the national uniformed police and the municipal police, and the Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police; SiPo), consisting of the Kripo and Gestapo.[5] Reinhard Heydrich was appointed chief of the SiPo and was already head of the party Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service; SD) and the Gestapo.[6][7] The two police branches were commonly known as the Orpo and SiPo (Kripo and Gestapo combined), respectively.[5]

The idea was to fully identify and integrate the party agency (SD) with the state agency (SiPo).[8] Most of the SiPo members were encouraged or volunteered to become members of the SS and many held a rank in both organisations. Nevertheless, in practice there was jurisdictional overlap and operational conflict between the SD and Gestapo.[9] The Kripo kept a level of independence since its structure was longer-established.[10] Himmler founded the Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei in order to create a centralized main office under Heydrich's overall command of the SiPo.[9]

The Einsatzgruppen were formed under the direction of Heydrich and operated by the SS under the SiPo and SD.[11][12] The Einsatzgruppen had its origins in the ad hoc Einsatzkommando formed by Heydrich to secure government buildings and documents following the Anschluss in Austria in March 1938.[13] Originally part of the SiPo, two units of Einsatzgruppen were stationed in the Sudetenland in October 1938. When military action turned out not to be necessary because of the Munich Agreement, the Einsatzgruppen were assigned to confiscate government papers and police documents. They also secured government buildings, questioned senior civil servants, and arrested as many as 10,000 Czech communists and German citizens.[14]


In September 1939, with the founding of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt; RSHA), the Sicherheitspolizei as a functioning state agency ceased to exist as the department was merged into the RSHA.[15] Further, the RSHA obtained overall command of the Einsatzgruppen units from that time forward. Members of the Einsatzgruppen units at this point were drawn from the SS, the SD and the police.[16] They were used during the invasion of Poland to forcefully de-politicise the Polish people and kill members of groups most clearly identified with Polish national identity: the intelligentsia, members of the clergy, teachers, and members of the nobility.[16] When the units were re-formed prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the men of the Einsatzgruppen were recruited from the SD, Gestapo, Kripo, Orpo and Waffen-SS.[17] These mobile death squads were active in the implementation of the Final Solution in the territories overrun by the Nazi forces.[18]

Organizational structure

Amt Politische Polizei (Office of the Political Police)
PP II A - Kommunismus und andere marxistische Gruppen (Communism and other Marxist groups)
PP II B - Kirchen, Sekten, Emigranten, Juden, Logen (Churches, sects, emigrants, Jews, lodges)
PP II C - Reaktion, Opposition, Österreichische Angelegenheiten (Reaction, Opposition, Austrian Affairs)
PP II D - Schutzhaft, Konzentrationslager (Protective custody, concentration camps)
PP II E - Wirtschafts-, agrar- und sozialpolitische Angelegenheiten, Vereinswesen (Economic, agricultural and social affairs organizations)
PP II G - Funküberwachung (Radio surveillance)
PP II H - Angelegenheiten der Partei, ihrer Gliederungen und angeschlossenen Verbände (Affairs of the party, its divisions and affiliated associations)
PP II J - Ausländische Politische Polizei (Foreign Political Police)
PP II Ber. - Lageberichte (Situational reporting)
PP II P - Presse (Press Affairs)
PP II S - Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung (Combating homosexuality and abortion)
PP III - Abwehrpolizei (Police Intelligence)

See also



  1. ^ Laqueur & Baumel 2001, p. 608.
  2. ^ Edmonds 1987, p. 210.
  3. ^ Browder 1990, pp. 226–227, 231–234.
  4. ^ Browder 1990, pp. 225–226.
  5. ^ a b c Williams 2001, p. 77.
  6. ^ Weale 2010, pp. 134, 135.
  7. ^ Williams 2001, p. 61.
  8. ^ Browder 1996, pp. 233–234.
  9. ^ a b Weale 2010, pp. 134–135.
  10. ^ Buchheim 1968, pp. 166–187.
  11. ^ Gerwarth 2012, p. 132.
  12. ^ Zentner & Bedürftig 1991, p. 227.
  13. ^ Streim 1989, p. 436.
  14. ^ Longerich 2012, pp. 405, 412.
  15. ^ Weale 2012, pp. 140, 141.
  16. ^ a b Longerich 2010, p. 144.
  17. ^ Longerich 2010, p. 185.
  18. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 113, 123, 124.


  • Browder, George C. (1990). Foundations of the Nazi Police State: The Formation of Sipo and SD. The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-81311-697-6.
  • Browder, George C (1996). Hitler’s Enforcers: The Gestapo and the SS Security Service in the Nazi Revolution. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19820-297-4.
  • Buchheim, Hans (1968). "The SS – Instrument of Domination". In Krausnik, Helmut; Buchheim, Hans; Broszat, Martin; Jacobsen, Hans-Adolf (eds.). Anatomy of the SS State. New York: Walker and Company. ISBN 978-0-00211-026-6.
  • Edmonds, James (1987). The Occupation of the Rhineland. London: HMSO. ISBN 978-0-11-290454-0.
  • Gerwarth, Robert (2012). Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-30018-772-4.
  • Laqueur, Walter; Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-30008-432-0.
  • Longerich, Peter (2010). Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280436-5.
  • Longerich, Peter (2012). Heinrich Himmler: A Life. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-959232-6.
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5.
  • Streim, Alfred (1989). "The Tasks of the SS Einsatzgruppen, pages 436–454". In Marrus, Michael (ed.). The Nazi Holocaust, Part 3, The "Final Solution": The Implementation of Mass Murder, Volume 2. Westpoint, CT: Meckler. ISBN 0-88736-266-4.
  • Weale, Adrian (2010). The SS: A New History. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1408703045.
  • Weale, Adrian (2012). Army of Evil: A History of the SS. New York: Caliber Printing. ISBN 978-0-451-23791-0.
  • Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 1—Road To War. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-5-6.
  • Zentner, Christian; Bedürftig, Friedemann (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. (2 vols.) New York: MacMillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-897500-6.
Administrative police in Nazi Germany

The Administrative Police of the Third Reich (German: Verwaltungspolizei), was not only responsible for the internal administration of the police services, but also for many administrative functions which in other countries were performed by purely civilian agencies.

Eduard Strauch

Eduard Strauch (17 August 1906 – 15 September 1955) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer, commander of Einsatzkommando 2, commander of two Nazi organizations, the Security Police (German: Sicherheitspolizei), or Sipo, and the Security Service (German: Sicherheitsdienst, or SD), first in Belarus – then called White Russia or White Ruthenia – and later in Belgium. In October 1944, he was transferred to the military branch of the SS (Waffen-SS).

Ernst Weiner

Ernst Josef Albert Weiner (1913 – 17 December 1945) was a German SS Hauptsturmführer during World War II, most noted for his role in the Sicherheitspolizei in Norway during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany.

As a head of the intelligence department Sipo IV N in the Sicherheitspolizei in Oslo, Weiner was involved in the retaliation operation Blumenpflücken, and personally conducted the first four murders; on Einar Hærland, Sigurd Roll, Gunnar Spangen and Sigrid Hammerø. Arnfinn Moland does not include Hammerø in his book about liquidations.In 1945, the occupation ended and Weiner was arrested. He was interrogated as a part of the legal purge in Norway after World War II, but never convicted, as he shot and killed himself and a fellow prisoner on 17 December 1945.

Estonian Security Police and SD

The Estonian Security Police and SD (German: Sicherheitspolizei und SD Estland, Estonian: Eesti Julgeolekupolitsei ja SD), or Sipo, was a security police force created by the Germans in 1942 that integrated both Germans and Estonians within a unique structure mirroring the German Sicherheitspolizei.Following the German occupation in 1941, the German Army created police Prefekts based upon the old Estonian police model. In 1942 a new Sicherheitspolizei structure was installed. The new Sipo force was designed by Martin Sandberger, leader of Einsatzkommando 1a. It was a unique joint structure that consisted of a German component called "Group A" with departments A-I to A-V and an Estonian component called "Group B" with corresponding departments. The Estonian Sipo wore the same uniforms as their German counterparts, and attended Sipo schools in the Reich.

Evald Mikson

Evald Mikson (Icelandic: Eðvald Hinriksson), (12 July [O.S. 29 June] 1911 – 27 December 1993) was a goalkeeper in the Estonian national football team, winning seven caps between 1934 and 1938. He has been accused of playing an active role in the murder of Jews in Estonia during his service as Deputy Chief of the Estonian Sicherheitspolizei in the Tallinn-Harju district during World War II.


The Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police), abbreviated Gestapo (German pronunciation: [ɡeˈstaːpo, ɡəˈʃtaːpo] (listen)), was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.

The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel (SS) national leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police (Chef der Deutschen Polizei) by Hitler. The Gestapo at this time became a national rather than a Prussian state agency as a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; Security Police). Then, from 27 September 1939 forward, it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA; Reich Main Security Office). 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 Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei

Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei (Main Office of the Security Police) was a central state police agency office in Nazi Germany entrusted with the national leadership of the Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Police; Kripo) and the Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police; Gestapo) for the years 1936–1939.

Heinrich Fehlis

Heinrich Fehlis (1 November 1906 in Wulften am Harz – 11 May 1945 in Porsgrunn) was an SS officer during World War II, most noted for his command of the Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst in Norway during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany.

Born in Wulften am Harz, Germany, Fehlis was a newly educated attorney when he joined the SA in 1933 and shortly thereafter became a member of the Nazi Party. He moved to the SS in 1935 and rose through their ranks. He was active in the Einsatzgruppen during Operation Weserübung. In November 1940 he succeeded Walter Stahlecker in the dual command of the SD and Sicherheitspolizei for Norway and Oslo, reporting to Reinhard Heydrich and Ernst Kaltenbrunner in Berlin and Josef Terboven in Norway.Fehlis and other German Gestapo officials tried to escape capture after Germany had capitulated, taking over a German military camp (Lager Franken) near Porsgrunn, Norway, impersonating one lieutenant "Gerstheuer" in the German Alpine Corps. Commanded by his superior in Sandefjord (Hauptmann Walter) to surrender, he asked for an hour to organize the surrender. During that time he found the means to first poison, then shoot himself.

Helmut Bischoff

Helmut Bischoff (March 1, 1908 – January 5, 1993) was a German SS-Obersturmbannführer and Nazi security official. During World War II he was the leader of Einsatzkommando 1/IV in Poland and also served as chief of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo) for Poznań (Posen) and Magdeburg.

In December 1943 Bischoff was appointed head of security for Germany's V-weapons program and would serve as director of the SD at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp from February to April 1945. Between 1967 and 1970 Bischoff was a central figure in the Essen-Dora war crimes trial.

Herbert Kappler

Herbert Kappler (23 September 1907 – 9 February 1978) was a key German SS functionary and war criminal during the Nazi era. He served as head of German police and security services (Sicherheitspolizei and SD) in Rome during the Second World War and was responsible for the Ardeatine massacre. Following the end of the war, Kappler stood trial in Italy and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He escaped from prison shortly before his death in West Germany in 1978.

Kriminalpolizei (Nazi Germany)

Kriminalpolizei (English: Criminal Police), often abbreviated as Kripo, is the German name for a criminal investigation department. This article deals with the agency during the Nazi era.

In Nazi Germany, the Kripo consisted of the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (Reich Criminal Police Department; RKPA), which in September 1939 became Department V of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). The Kripo had directly subordinated criminal investigation centers (Kripo-Leitstellen and Kripo-Stellen), as well as the criminal investigation divisions of the local state (Staatliche Kriminalabteilungen) and municipal police departments (Gemeindekriminalpolizeiabteilungen). In 1943 both the latter became directly subordinated to the criminal investigation centers. The personnel consisted of detectives in the Junior Criminal Investigation Career, the Executive Criminal Investigation Career, and the Female Criminal Investigation Career.

Mechelen transit camp

The Mechelen transit camp, officially SS-Sammellager Mecheln in German, was a detention and deportation camp established in a former army barracks at Mechelen in German-occupied Belgium. It was managed by the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo-SD), a branch of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt, in order to collect and deport Jews and Romani mainly out of Belgium towards the labor camp of Heydebreck-Cosel and the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau in German occupied Poland.

During the Second World War, between 4 August 1942 and 31 July 1944, 28 trains left from this Belgian casern and deported over 25,000 Jews and Roma, most of whom arrived at the extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the end of war, 1240 of them had survived.Since 1996, a Holocaust museum has been open near the site of the camp: the Kazerne Dossin – Memorial.


Niederkirchnerstraße (German: [ˈniːdɐkɪʁçnɐˌʃtʁaːsə]) is a street in Berlin, Germany. The thoroughfare was known as Prinz-Albrecht-Straße until 1951 but the name was changed by the post-war German government due to its connotation with Nazi Germany. The street was the location of the SS Reich Main Security Office, the headquarters of the Sicherheitspolizei, SD, Einsatzgruppen and Gestapo. The site is now marked by the Topography of Terror memorial and a museum which includes a permanent exhibition showing the crimes of Nazism.

Otto Bradfisch

Otto Bradfisch (10 May 1903, Zweibrücken – 22 June 1994, Seeshaupt) was an economist, a jurist, an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant colonel), leader of Einsatzkommando 8 of Einsatzgruppe B of the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei or SiPo) and the SD, and Commander of the Security Police in Litzmannstadt (Łódź) and Potsdam.


Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (RKPA), was Nazi Germany's central criminal investigation department, founded in 1936 after the Prussian central criminal investigation department (Landeskriminalpolizeiamt) became the national criminal investigation department for Germany. It was merged, along with the secret state police department, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) as two sub-branch departments of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo). The SiPo was under Reinhard Heydrich's overall command. In September 1939, with the founding of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security office; RSHA), the Sicherheitspolizei as a functioning state agency ceased to exist as the department was merged into the RSHA.

SS-Junker Schools

SS-Junker Schools (German SS-Junkerschulen) were leadership training facilities for SS-Junkers, officer candidates of the Schutzstaffel (SS). The term Junkerschulen was introduced by Nazi Germany in 1937, although the first facilities were established at Bad Tölz and Braunschweig in 1934 and 1935. Additional schools were founded at Klagenfurt and Posen-Treskau in 1943, and Prague in 1944. Unlike the Wehrmacht's "war schools", admission to the SS-Junker Schools did not require a secondary diploma. Training at these schools provided the groundwork for employment with the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo; security police), the Sicherheitsdienst (SD; security service), and later for the Waffen-SS. Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler intended for these schools to mold cadets for future service in the officer ranks of the SS.

Sicherheitspolizei (Weimar Republic)

The Sicherheitspolizei, or security police, was a paramilitary German police group set up in most states of the Weimar Republic at the end of 1919 and largely financed by the central government. In its anti-riot role it can be seen as roughly analogous to the Bereitschaftspolizei in today's Federal Republic.

In view of the unstable internal political situation in the Weimar Republic, especially in the imperial capital of Berlin, Hauptmann Waldemar Pabst of the Imperial Cavalry Guards Corps considered a barracked and militarily armed and trained police group necessary to control political violence. It was intended to be a more useful tool in the fight against insurrection than the existing police forces taken from the monarchy. After street extensive general strikes and street violence in March 1919, Pabst sent a corresponding concept to the Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske during the German Revolution of 1918–19. Noske approved the plan and promoted its formation together with Wolfgang Heine. According to Noske's wishes, the police group thus constituted the nucleus of the new Reichswehr. In September 1919, 2,500 local and municipal police officers protested against the construction of the new national police service. In contrast to local police, who usually wore blue uniforms, the Sipo were called the "green police" after their uniform color.

Walther Bierkamp

Walther Bierkamp also spelled, Walter Bierkamp (17 December 1901, Hamburg – 15 May 1945, Scharbeutz) was a jurist of Nazi Germany who was born in Hamburg. He served as Chief of the Sicherheitspolizei or SiPo (Security Police) and Sicherheitsdienst or SD (Security Service) in Düsseldorf. Later he held the same position for Belgium and Northern France. Bierkamp was involved in war crimes. He took command of Einsatzgruppe D, which was later known as Kampfgruppe Bierkamp, named after him when Bierkamp was its leader. He rose to the rank of SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of Police. He committed suicide in Scharbeutz on 15 May 1945.

Wolfgang Birkner

Wolfgang Birkner (27 October 1913 – 24 March 1945) was a German SS functionary with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer, and the Holocaust perpetrator in World War II. Birkner served as the KdS Warschau (Komandeur der Sicherheitspolizei) in Warsaw following the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

After the German attack on the Soviet forces in eastern Poland during Operation Barbarossa, Birkner and his Einsatzkommando were deployed in the newly-formed Bezirk Bialystok district in the Army Group Centre Rear Area due to reports of alleged Soviet guerrilla activity. Birkner arrived in Białystok from the General Government on 30 June 1941, sent in by the SS Police commander Eberhard Schöngarth on orders from the Reich Main Security Office. As veteran of Einsatzgruppe IV from the Polish Campaign of 1939, Birkner was a specialist in rear security operations.

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