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Task and Means of a Political Police.
a. The Task
The task of a political police in the sense of the National Socialist conception of this institution has been formulated best so far in Section 1 of the Prussian law concerning the Secret State Police of 10 February 1936 (Prussian law collection, 1936, p. 21): "The Secret State Police has the task of investigating and fighting all attempts dangerous to the State, of collecting and evaluating the result of the inquiries, of informing the State Government and of keeping the other authorities currently informed on important facts pertaining to them and of supplying them with suggestions." This formulation also outlines the task of Political Police Systems in other German countries for which this task assignment is to be concluded from the National Socialist conception of a Political Police, since a legal formulation is mostly missing.
b. All attempts dangerous to the State are subject to the activity of the Political Police. "Dangerous to the State" is more than "hostile to the State" and includes not only undertakings with programs hostile to the State but also all attempts-no matter what their aim-which in their effects endanger the State.
Not the State in its outward organic appearance but the tasks of the leadership in the sense of the National-Socialist idea is the object of protection. It is the task of the National Socialist leadership to preserve and to develop all national values. These being endangered, the Political Police is called upon for protection against the endangering attempts, e.g. if there is any danger:
to the State leadership and structure of the State by intentions of terror and revolutionary plans,
to the Armed Forces and the forces of defense by espionage and (intellectual and technical) sabotage,
to the people's community and the state principles by disintegration and instigation,
to the people's health and blood purity by moral corruption (e.g. offenses according to Section 175 of the Reich penal code) and racial disgrace,
to the ideological unity of the people by intellectual poisoning and distortion (e.g. by "Jehovah's Witnesses" and other sects).
A complete catalogue of "attempts dangerous to the State" can never be drawn up because it can never be foreseen what may endanger leadership and people sometime in the future. National Socialist recognition of threatening danger and National Socialist knowledge of responsibility will understand and fulfill the duties of the Political Police according to the real necessities in any political situation.
b. The lawful means for preventive police measures of the Political Police have not been regulated legally. They cannot be regulated, for the preventive police duties of the Political Police-and the means necessary for their performance-cannot be described and standardized for all time.
The duties of the Political Police and the necessary means for their performance are not chosen freely but are prescribed by the foe. Just as the operations of an army against the outward enemy and the means to fight this enemy cannot be prescribed, so the Political Police also must have free hand in the choice of the means necessary at times to fight attempts dangerous to the State.
Since the National Socialist revolution, the powers of the Political Police in a legally positive respect are derived immediately from the new conception of the State and the resulting conception of the duties of a police force. According to this conception the duty of the Political Police, due to its nature, is to fight all attempts dangerous to the State. And it thus has the right to take all necessary measures for this fight as long as there are not any expressly contrary regulations. This conception is confirmed by the decree of the Reichspresident for the Protection of People and State of 28 February 1933 (RGBI I, P. 83) by which the so-called basic rights of the Weimar Constitution have been abrogated. This means that ever since, every State institution-particularly the Political Police-may take measures in the performance of its duties which were barred before by those basic rights.
"The decree for the Protection of People and State of 28 February 1933 has eliminated the negative law barriers of the State power. The positive competence of the police to restrict liberty of any kind, especially to order protective custody, results already from the character of the function which the Police in the National-Socialist State has to perform." (Dr. Walter Hamel: "The Police in the National-Socialist State," German lawyers' newspaper of 15 March 1935, col. 326.)
According to kind and purpose the measures taken by the Political Police can logically be subject to a check only by their own channels of administrative supervision. This is recognized for instance in Section 7 of the Prussian law concerning the Secret State Police of 10 February 1936 by the stipulation: "Orders in matters of the Secret State Police are not subject to the check of the administrative courts." IN its decision of 2 May 1935 (III C 43/35) the Prussian High Court of Administration had already come to the same conclusion, before the decree of 10 February 1936 was issued, by reason of the legal situation in Prussia. Also for the other German countries-if not expressly settled to the contrary-and for a future Reich regulation the principle has to be maintained that measures of the Political Police can be checked only by their own channels of administrative supervision. In view of the tasks and means of the Political Police which cannot be standardized individually, there can be no legal backing for a court decision. Any agency outside of the Political Police must lack the necessary expert knowledge for a decision by way of administrative supervision.
f. The Secret State Police administers the State Concentration Camps through the Inspector of the Concentration Camps who is affiliated with the Office of 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