The Gestapo (an abbreviation for Geheime Staatspolizei) was Hitler’s secret police force. Its main goal was to find anyone who was perceived as a threat to the Nazi Party. People considered enemy of the state were interrogated, imprisoned, and often eliminated. The Gestapo also targeted so-called “undesirables” and political enemies.  Hence, the Gestapo was an important instrument on the perpetration of the Nazi crimes.

Gestapo headquarters in Berlin (photo: public domain)
Gestapo headquarters in Berlin (photo: public domain)


The Gestapo was overseen by Heinrich Himmler, who controlled all the police forces in Nazi Germany by centralizing them under his command. During the Allied Nuremberg Trials after the war, the Gestapo was labeled a criminal organization.


For more information on the Gestapo:

USHMM: SS and Police