Gestapo, a contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei, ("secret state police"), the political police of the German Third Reich. By March 1938, the Gestapo had already begun to operate in Austria and set up headquarters at the Metropol Hotel at Morzinplatz square in Vienna (today the site of the monument for the victims of Fascism) and arrested numerous opponents of the Nazi regime. The Gestapo had authority to give instructions to the regular police and to send people to concentration camps. During World War II, the Gestapo increased its rule of terror; which was kept up until the very last days of the war. At the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946), the Gestapo was declared a "criminal organisation".
Literature#E. Kogon, Der SS-Staat, 1986