3 Jan. 46

political decisions and has perhaps been an essential contributor to the suggestions and proposals from which the decisions evolved. On the other hand, Minister Speer was known or believed not to be purely a politician.

DR. RUDOLF MERKEL (Counsel for the Gestapo): Witness, do you know that in April 1933 the Gestapo was created in Prussia?

OHLENDORF: I do not know the month, but I do know the year.

DR. MERKEL: Do you know what was the purpose of creating this institution?

OHLENDORF: To fight political opponents potentially dangerous to the State.

DR. MERKEL: Do you know how this institution, which was intended originally for Prussia only, was extended to the rest of the Reich?

OHLENDORF: Either in 1933 or in 1934 the institution of the Political Police was created in all of the Länder. These Political Police agencies were officially subordinated in 1934, as far as I remember, to the Reichsführer SS as Political Police Chief of the Länder The Prussian Secret State Police Office represented the first central headquarters. After the creation of the Main Office of the Security Police the command tasks were delegated by Himmler to Heydrich who carried them out through the Main Office of the Security Police.

DR. MERKEL: Who created and instituted the Gestapo in the individual Länder?

OHLENDORF: I cannot give you an answer to this question.

DR. MERKEL: Do you know whether before 1933, in the area which then constituted the Reich, there had existed a similar institution, a political police force?

OHLENDORF: Yes, that existed, as far as I remember, at Police headquarters in Berlin, for instance; and I believe it was Department IA. At any rate political police organizations did exist.

DR. MERKEL: Do you know anything about the sphere of activities of this organization which existed before 1933?

OHLENDORF: Yes. They were the same; at any rate their activities were fundamentally the same.

DR. MERKEL: Do you know anything about the personnel of the Gestapo, which on the whole, was a new institution and consequently not constituted merely by a transfer of personnel already in existence.

OHLENDORF: When I became acquainted with the State Police it was certainly true that the nucleus of expert personnel had been