Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
RSHA, or the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, was a subsidiary organization of the S.S. created by Heinrich Himmler on September 22, 1939, through the merger of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Gestapo and the Kriminalpolizei. The organization's stated duty was to fight all "enemies of the Reich" within and outside Germany's borders, and included within the rubric of "enemies" were communists, freemasons, Jews, Gypsies and other "racial undesirables."
The first head of RSHA was Reinhard Heydrich, who led the organization until his assassination in 1942, at which point Ernst Kaltenbrunner took over the running of RSHA on till the end of the war. The head of the RSHA was the direct head of the Einsatzgruppen. For the rest, the RSHA was organized into seven departments (or Ämter):
- Amt I, Personnel and Organization, headed by SS-Brigadeführer Bruno Streckenbach
- Amt II, Administration, Law, and Finance, headed by SS Colonel Dr. Nockemann .
- Amt III, Inland-SD, headed by Otto Ohlendorf , which dealt with ethnic Germans outside of Germany's prewar borders and matters of culture.
- Amt IV, Geheime Staats Polizei, headed by Heinrich Müller. Adolf Eichmann who was one of the main executioners of the Holocaust was head of section 4 of this Amt.
- Amt V, Kriminalpolizei, under Arthur Nebe. This was the "Criminal Police", which dealt with non-political serious crimes, such as rape, murder, and arson.
- Amt VI, Ausland-SD, led first by Heinz Jost , and later by Walter Schellenberg. This was the foreign intelligence service of the SS.
- Amt VII, Written Records, overseen by Professor Franz Six . This was responsible for "ideological" tasks, by which was meant the creation of anti-semitic and anti-masonic propaganda.
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