3 Jan. 46

after the seizure of power by Hitler, the Gestapo was created in Prussia; but before that time there had already existed in Prussia an organization with similar tasks, for instance at the Police headquarters in Berlin with Department IA, with the difference that this organization was opposed to National Socialism, whereas now the contrary is true. But its task was likewise to keep political opponents under observation and if need be, to arrest them, and thus to protect the State from these political opponents.


DR. STAHMER: You said further that in 1933, after the seizure of power, a political police with identical tasks was also instituted in all the other Lander.

OHLENDORF: Yes, in the year 1933-1934.

DR. STAHMER: This political police, which existed in the various Lander, was then centralized in 1934 and its direction handed over to Himmler?

OHLENDORF: It was not at first centralized, but Himmler did become Chief of Police of all the Lander.

DR. STAHMER: Now one more question. Did the Prussian Gestapo play a leading role, as far as the other Länder were concerned, as early as 1933 or only after Himmler took over the leadership in 1934?

OHLENDORF: I do not believe that the Prussian State Police, which after all was under the leadership of Reich Marshal Göring, became, at that time, the competent authority for the other Länder as well.

FLOTTENRICHTER OTTO KRANZBUEHLER (Counsel for Defendant Dönitz): I am speaking as the representative of the counsel for Defendant Grossadmiral Raeder.

[Turning to the witness.] Witness, you just mentioned a speech of the Führer before the army commanders, in which the Führer is supposed to have given instructions to the commanders regarding the liquidation of Jews. Which conference do you mean?

OHLENDORF: A conference which must have taken place shortly before the Russian campaign with the commanders of the army groups and the armies at the Führer's quarters.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were the comanders <sic>of the various branches of the Armed Forces absent?

OHLENDORF: I do not know that.

FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Were you yourself present at this conference?