The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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4. The Jewish Question in the Gestapo and the SD before the War

The Jewish question did not immediately occupy an important place in the two police bureaus of Himmler and Heydrich, that is to say in the SD for what concerns the SS and in the Gestapo for what concerns the State.

Let us first sketch the situation in the Gestapo. Political police units were developed in all the German countries immediately after Hitler's rise to power. The two most important centers were those of Bavaria and Prussia. In Bavaria the political police was presided over by Himmler and directed by Heydrich. Goering presided over that of Prussia, which he baptized "Geheime Staatspolizei": Gestapo. Its direction was confided to Diels. As of April 1933 its judicial section was endowed with a service for matters concerning Jews, Free-Masons and anti-Nazi emigration. This service was directed by Hasselbacher.

Between 1933 and 1934, Himmler managed progressively to obtain the direction of the political police for all the regions of Germany. In April 1934, he first of all received from Goering, as his assistant, responsibility for the Gestapo, the direction of which he entrusted to Heydrich. Under Heydrich, the service of Hasselbacher was transferred from the judicial section to that of "Enemies", main section of the Gestapo, which had already distinguished itself under Diels by the hunt for Communists and other representatives of the left. But Hasselbacher's activity in the Jewish question remained rather unimportant. However, Himmler and Heydrich rapidly transformed the Gestapo (Prussia) into a central authority which surveyed the political police of all the regions of Germany. We shall note that the Service for Jewish Questions in the Gestapo was attributed the index IIB4.

Although directed by the Reichsführer-SS and by his close collaborator, Heydrich, the Gestapo was not confounded with the SD. When Heydrich moved into the Gestapo in Berlin, he brought with him professional policemen from Munich all while keeping on certain men, such as Hasselbacher, who had worked for Diels. The men of the SS were integrated into the Gestapo, but it was the professional policemen who were to organize the work. The section which contained Hasselbacher's office was at first directed by Flesch, who in addition personally handled Jewish matters (CDXXXVII-20). He was replaced in September 1937 for Jewish matters by Freytag. The latter remained in this post until June 1938, to be finally replaced by Kurt Lischka (CDXXXVII-23,25). (14) The SD, intelligence service of the SS, was created by Heydrich on Himmler's orders in 1931. It developed a very considerable activity before Hitler's rise to power (intelligence concerning political parties,
 


   
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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