Political Police (Germany)

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The political police in Germany was an institution with intelligence and police powers to fight politically motivated crimes. It was used as an instrument of repression against political opponents during the German Empire and, to an even greater extent, during the Nazi era .

There was and is no comparable institution in the Federal Republic of Germany ; According to the Basic Law, the police are a matter for the federal states (for details see State Police (Germany) ).


The political police was until 1934 in most German states an institution of the police , dedicated to the education and prevention of crime with politically radical dealt background. She worked with intelligence (e.g. intelligence from sources, informants) and police measures (e.g. house searches ).

In 1933/34 the Prussian Political Police was dissolved and transferred to the Secret State Police (Gestapo). So-called “politically unreliable” officials were either removed from duty entirely or initially assigned to other police stations and mostly dismissed later. The police in the other German states were gradually organized according to the Prussian system, such as the Bavarian Political Police . In 1936 the Gestapo, which was now active throughout the Reich, was combined with the criminal police in the Security Police and in 1939 was absorbed into the Reich Security Main Office .

In a letter to the Parliamentary Council of April 14, 1949 ( police letter ), the military governors of the West German zones of occupation formulated the requirement to separate the police and intelligence services .

The intelligence service tasks of the political police are performed today by the authorities of the constitution protection , the police tasks by the police state security ( Staatsschutz ). However, neither of the two institutions alone has the full power of the political police.

For regional development in the individual countries


  • Helmut Schlierbach, The Political Police in Prussia, 1938
  • Ingrid Bauz, Sigrid Brüggemann, Roland Maier (eds.): The Secret State Police in Württemberg and Hohenzollern. Butterfly publishing house, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-89657-138-0 .
  • Christoph Graf : Political police between democracy and dictatorship. The development of the Prussian political police from the state security organ to the secret state police office of the Third Reich (= individual publications of the Historical Commission of Berlin, Volume 36). Colloquium-Verlag, Berlin 1983. (Bern, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 1980)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. z. B. Michael Bollmann: The German Police in National Socialism - A History of Development
  2. Quote: The Federal Government is also allowed to set up a body for the collection and dissemination of information about subversive activities directed against the Federal Government. This body should not have police authority . ( Full text )