It can thus be seen that from a functional point of view both the Gestapo and the SD were important and closely related groups within the organization of the Security Police and the SD. The Security Police and SD was under a single command, that of Heydrich and later Kaltenbrunner, as Chief of the Security Police and SD; it had a single headquarters, the RSHA; it had its own command channels and worked as one organization both in Germany, in occupied territories, and in the areas immediately behind the front lines. During the period with which the Tribunal is primarily concerned, applicants for positions in the Security Police and SD received training in all its components, the Gestapo, Criminal Police, and SD. Some confusion has been caused by the fact that part of the organization was technically a formation of the Nazi Party while another part of the organization was an office in the Government, but this is of no particular significance in view of the law of 1 December 1933, declaring the unity of the Nazi Party and the German State.

The Security Police and SD was a voluntary organization. It is true that many civil servants and administrative officials were transferred into the Security Police. The claim that this transfer was compulsory amounts to nothing more than the claim that they had to accept the transfer or resign their positions, with a possibility of having incurred official disfavor. During the war a member of the Security Police and SD did not have a free choice of assignments within that organization and the refusal to accept a particular position, especially when serving in occupied territory, might have led to serious punishment. The fact remains, however that all members of the Security Police and SD joined the organization voluntarily under no other sanction than the desire to retain their positions as officials.

The organization of the Security Police and SD also included three special units which must be dealt with separately. The first of these was the Frontier Police or Grenzpolizei which came under the control of the Gestapo in 1937. Their duties consisted in the control of passage over the borders of Germany. They arrested persons who crossed illegally. It is also clear from the evidence presented that they received directives from the Gestapo to transfer foreign workers whom they apprehended to concentration camps. They could also request the local office of the Gestapo for permission to commit persons arrested to concentration camps. The Tribunal is of the opinion that the Frontier Police must be included in the charge of criminality against the Gestapo.

The border and customs protection or Zollgrenzschutz became part of the Gestapo in the summer of 1944. The functions of this organization were similar to the Frontier Police in enforcing border regulations with particular respect to the prevention of smuggling.