The SD Insignia of the
In 1939 Heinrich Himmler established the
Central Security Department of the Reich (Reichssicherheitshauptampt-RSHA).
This organization fell under the General-SS (Allgemeine-SS) and was
responsible for security and police related tasks associated with the
political and racial policies of the Protection Groups (Schutztaffeln-SS).
The RSHA encompassed the Secret State Police (Gestapo), Criminal
Police (Kripo) and the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei-SD).
The SD was often referred to as the "Sipo" which was an abbreviated
acronym for this infamous security organization.
As a separate organization the SD was
formed in 1931 as an intelligence service for the SS. Himmler
entrusted Reinhard Heydrich as its leader and he served in this
capacity until his assassination in 1942. The SD was initially a
small organization that grew in power to the point where it had more
than 500 branches which employed nearly 6,000 security personnel.
Members of the SD were charged with tasks related to espionage,
security observation, global research and evaluation, and arresting
and punishing people seen as racial threats to the National Socialist
cause. The SD played an instrumental role in the "Final
Solution" resulting in the death of more than 6 Million Jewish people.
Offices of the SD were also established in
occupied countries where special units known as "Sonderkommandos" and
"Einsatzkommandos" were organized to collect, transport and eventually
eliminate people deemed "unworthy" of the Aryan blood line. Many
of those who served in the SD were in fact young university students
who were idealists regarding the National Socialist ideology. As
volunteers they served in all areas of the SD to include research and
scientific offices that gathered and analyzed material that would
later be used to help support the National Socialist anti-Semitic
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This Information Track provides historical
facts pertaining to steel helmets worn by the
(Security Police) from 1939-1945. Individual links related to this subject are