Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1956-PS

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Das Archiv, Vol. 22-24, Page 1342 January 1936.

Meaning and tasks of the Secret State Police.

In order to refute the malicious rumours spread abroad, the "Voelkische Beobachter" (V.B. of 22.1.36) published an article on the origin, meaning and tasks of the Secret State Police; extracts from this read as follows:

The Secret State Police was created simultaneously in all German Provinces after the National Socialist Revolution owing to cogent political necessity. In Prussia its creator was Prime Minister Goering who is still the Chief of the Secret State Police today. In Bavaria the bavarian political Police was created by the Reichs Leader of the S.S. Himmler, who at the same time directed the building of the political Police forces in the other provinces outside Prussia. The Political Police Forces became uniformly co-ordinated when, in the spring of 1934, Prime Minister Goering appointed the Reichs Leader of the S.S. as deputy Chief of the Prussian Secret State Police-cf. Si P.38 (Vol. 1). Thereby a unified leadership and a proportionate extension of the Political Police Forces of all provinces was assured.

The Secret State Police is an official machinery on the lines of the criminal Police, whose special task is the prosecution of crimes and offences against the State, above all the prosecution of high treason and treason. The task of the Secret State Police is to detect these crimes and offences, to ascertain the perpetrators and to bring them to judicial punishment. The number of criminal proceedings continually pending in the People's Court on account of high treasonable actions and of treason is the result of this work. The next most important field of operations for the Secret State Police is the preventive combatting of all dangers threatening the State and the leadership of the State. As, since the National Socialist Revolution, all open struggle and all open opposition to the State and to the leadership of the State is forbidden, a State Police as a preventive instrument in the struggle against all dangers threatening the State, is indissolubly bound up with the National Socialist Leader State. The opponents of National Socialism were not removed by the prohibition of their organizations and their newspapers, but have withdrawn to other forms of struggle against the State. Therefore, the National Socialist State has to trace out, to watch over and to render harmless the underground opponents fighting against it in illegal organizations, in camouflaged associations, in the coalitions of well meaning fellow Germans and even in the organizations of party and state before they have succeeded in actually executing an action directed against the interest of the state. This task of fighting with all means the secret enemies of the state will be spared no leader State, because powers hostile to the state, from their foreign headquarters, always make used of some persons in such a state and employ them in underground activity against the state.

The preventive activity of the Secret State Police consists primarily in the thorough observation of all enemies of the state in the Reichs territory. As the Secret State Police can not carry out, in addition to its primary executive tasks, this observation of the enemies of the state, to the extent necessary, there steps alongside to supplement it the Security Service of the Reichs Leader of the S.S., set up by the deputy Fuehrer as the political intelligence service of the movement, which puts a large part of the forces of the movement mobilized by it into the service of the security of the state. The Secret State Police takes the necessary Police preventive measures against the enemies of the state on the basis of the results of the observation. The most effective preventive measure is without doubt the withdrawal of freedom, which is covered in the from of "protective custody", if it is to be feared that the free activity of the persons in question might endanger the security of the state in any way. The employment of protective custody is so organized by directions of the Reichs and Prussian minister of the Interior and by a special arrest examination procedure of the Secret State Police, that-as far as the preventive fight against the enemies of the state permits-copious guarantees against a misuse of protective custody are provided. While protective arrest of short duration is carried out in Police and court prisons, the concentration camps under the Secret State Police admit those taken into protective custody, who have to be withdrawn from public life for a longer time. The majority of the inmates of the concentration camps is formed by those communist and other Marxist functionaries, who, by previous experiences, would if free immediately resume their struggle against the state. Further Police preventive measures against efforts hostile to the state consist in the dissolution of associations, in the prohibition and dissolution of assemblies and congregations, in the prohibition of publications of all kinds and so on. As the NSDAP and its leaders are also provided with special protection by legal regulations, the prosecution of crimes against these laws and the protection of the party and its leaders are also incumbent upon the Secret State Police.

Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946

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