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Schutzstaffel Abzeichen.svg
The SiPo was an agency of the SS.
Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-027-1475-38, Marseille, deutsch-französische Besprechung.jpg
Sicherheitspolizei officers in Marseilles during WWII.
Agency overview
Formed 26 June 1936
Preceding agency
Dissolved 22 September 1939
Superseding agency
Type State Security Police
Jurisdiction Germany Germany
Occupied Europe
Headquarters Prinz-Albrecht-Straße, Berlin
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Employees 4,500[1]
Ministers responsible
Agency executive

The Sicherheitspolizei (English: Security Police), often abbreviated as SiPo, was a term used in Germany for their security police. In the Nazi era, it was used to describe the state political and criminal investigation security agencies. It was made up by the combined forces of the Gestapo (secret state police) and the Kripo (criminal police) between 1936 and 1939. As a formal agency, the SiPo was folded into the RSHA in 1939, but the term continued to be used informally until the end of World War II in Europe.


The term originated in August 1919 when the Reichswehr Ministry set up the Sicherheitswehr as a militarised police force to take action during times of riots or strikes. However owing to limitations in army numbers, it was renamed the Sicherheitspolizei to avoid attention. They wore a green uniform, and were sometimes called the Green Police. However it was a military body, recruiting largely from the Freikorps, with NCOs and officers from the old German Imperial Army.[2]

Nazi Era

When the Nazis came to power, Germany, as a federal state, had myriad local and centralised police agencies, which often were un-coordinated and had overlapping jurisdictions. Himmler and Heydrich's grand plan was to fully absorb all the police and security apparatus into the structure of the Schutzstaffel (SS). To this end, Himmler took command first of the Gestapo (itself developed from the Prussian Secret Police) and later of all the regular and criminal investigation police, assuming the title Chef der Deutschen Polizei (Chief of the German Police). As such he was nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, but in practice Himmler answered to no-one but Hitler.[3]

In 1936, the state security police were consolidated and placed under the central command of Reinhard Heydrich, already chief of the party Sicherheitsdienst (SD), and named Sicherheitspolizei.[3] The idea was to fully identify the party agency (SD) with the state agency (SiPo). Most of the SiPo members were encouraged or volunteered to become members of the SS and many held a rank in both organisations. In practice, however, the SiPo and the SD frequently came into jurisdictional and operational conflict with each other, due in large part to the fact that the Gestapo and Kripo had many experienced, professional policemen and investigators, that considered the SD as an organisation of amateurs and often thought the SD a rather incompetent agency.

Furthermore in 1936, the state police agencies in Germany were statutorily divided into the Ordnungspolizei (regular or order police) and the Sicherheitspolizei (state security police). The two police branches were commonly known as the Orpo and SiPo (Kripo and Gestapo combined), respectively.[3] The Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei was founded by Himmler, in order to create a centralized main office under Heydrich's overall command of the SiPo.[4]


In September 1939, with the founding of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), the Sicherheitspolizei as a functioning state agency ceased to exist as the department was merged into the RSHA.[5] The term SiPo was also used to describe security police force officials (but not the SD members of the RSHA).

Grades and pay 1938-1945

Officials of the Sicherheitspolizei belonged to Kripo and Gestapo which both had the same grade structure and pay grades as civil servants.

Pay Grade[6] Annual Pay in Reichsmark | [6] Grades in the junior executive service ( einfachen Vollzugsdienst der Sicherheitspolizei)
Grades in the senior executive service (leitenden Vollzugsdienst der Sicherheitspolizei)
Corresponding rank in SS
(in Wehrmacht-Heer) [6] [7]
A8c2 2 160 - 2 340 Kriminalassistent SS-Oberscharführer
2 000-3 000 Kriminaloberassistent SS-Hauptscharführer
A7a 2 350-3 500 Kriminalsekretär SS-Untersturmführer
A5b 2 300-4 200 Kriminalobersekretär SS-Untersturmführer
A4c2 2 800-5000 Kriminalinspektor SS-Obersturmführer
A4c1 2 800-5 300 Kriminalkommissar
< three years in grade
A4c1 2 800-5 300 Kriminalkommissar
> three years in grade
A3b 4 800-7 000 Kriminalrat
< three years in grade
A3b 4 800-7 000 Kriminalrat
> three years in grade
A2d 4 800-7 800 Kriminaldirektor SS-Sturmbannführer
A2c2 4 800-8 400 Regierungs-und Kriminalrat SS-Sturmbannführer
A2b 7 000-9 700 Oberregierungs-und Kriminalrat SS-Obersturmbannführer
A1b 6 200-10 600 Regierungs- und Kriminaldirektor SS-Standartenführer
A1b 6 200-10 600 Reichskriminaldirektor SS-Standartenführer

Mean annual pay for an industrial worker was 1,459 Reichsmark 1939, and for a privately employed white-collar worker 2,772 Reichsmark. [8]

Cold War

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.

See also


  1. Robert Gellately. "The Gestapo and German Society". Retrieved 2009-06-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Edmonds, James (1987). The Occupation of the Rhineland. London: HMSO. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-11-290454-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Williams 2001, p. 77.
  4. Weale 2010, pp. 134, 135.
  5. Lumsden 2002, pp. 83, 84.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Siegfried Beer, "Die Gestapostelle Linz, 1938–1945. Eine dokumentarische Rekonstruktion auf Basis der Recherchen des amerikanischen Militärgeheimdienstes CIC/MIS aus dem Jahre 1946." Klaus Luger/Johann Mayr (red.), Stadtgesellschaft. Werte und Positionen. Bürgermeister Franz Dobusch zum 60. Geburtstag gewidmet (Linz 2011): 315–356.
  7. Andrew Mollo, Uniforms of the SS, vol. 5: "Sicherheitsdienst und Sicherheitspolizei 1931-1945" (London 1971).
  8. Die Besoldung eines Soldaten der Wehrmacht Retrieved 2013-11-26


  • Lumsden, Robin (2002). A Collector's Guide To: The Allgemeine–SS. Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-2905-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Weale, Adrian (2010). The SS: A New History. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1408703045.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Williams, Max (2001). Reinhard Heydrich: The Biography, Volume 1—Road To War. Church Stretton: Ulric Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9537577-5-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>