Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Sicherheitspolizei was a term used in Nazi Germany to described the combined forces of the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst (the SD) between 1934 and 1939. The term originated after the SS absorbed the Prussian Secret Police (predecessor of the Gestapo) and the Gestapo and SD were placed under the central command of Reinhard Heydrich. In practice, however, the Gestapo and SD frequently came into jurisdictional conflict with each other, due in large part that Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo, found the SD an incompetent agency.
In 1936, with the creation of the Ordnungspolizei and the Kriminalpolizei, the Sicherheitspolizei became the top tier of a three level state police force. The three branches were commonly known as the Sipo, Kripo, and Orpo.
In 1939, with the founding of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), the Sicherheitspolizei as a functioning office ceased to exist. The term survived in common usage, however, and was most often used by local security force commanders who adopted the title Inspektor des Sicherheitspolizei und SD. Such personnel typically had command over all SD, Gestapo, Kripo, and Orpo units in their area of responsibility and performed duties befitting a modern day Chief of Police. The Inspectors of the Security Police answered to both the RSHA and to local SS and Police Leaders.
Following the end of the Second World War, the phrase Sicherheitspolizei appeared in East Germany as a title for some components of the East German secret police forces. These forces were considered by many to be direct successors to Nazi agencies such as the Gestapo and SD.
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