Political Department (KZ)

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The Political Department , also known as the Camp Gestapo , was one of the five departments (Department I: Kommandantur-Staff , Department II: Political Department, Department III: Protective Custody Camp , Department IV: Location Management , Department V: Sanitary ) that had different camp-related issues in the Nazi concentration camps Performing tasks. As Department II , it had been a compulsory part of the command staff in the concentration camps since the summer of 1936.

Unlike the other departments Political Affairs Division was not under the inspection of the concentration camps , but the competent Gestapo control center and the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), Office IV (there is usually the Unit C 2 - protective custody matters). The head and deputy head of this camp department were usually officials of the Gestapo or the criminal police (or members of the SS security service ). Other members of the political department, as members of the Waffen-SS, were also subject to the Gestapo officials, but as SS members they belonged to the camp's staff company and were therefore subject to the disciplinary authority of the camp adjutant or the camp commandant.

The tasks of the political department included the registration of prisoners in concentration camps when they were assigned, released, transferred, escaped or died. For this purpose, prisoner files were created that contained portraits, descriptions of people, résumés and fingerprints. In addition to the registration and administration of the "prisoner stock", this department was also responsible for questioning the prisoners, combating the camp resistance movement, preventing escapes and contact with the outside world as well as correspondence with the Gestapo, the criminal police and the RSHA. Members of the Political Department of the prisoners were feared for their interrogation methods, mistreatment and also executions.

The political section usually consisted of five to six subsections. In Auschwitz, for example, the political department was structured as follows: