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These dazzlying clear, rare color photographs were taken from the album belonging to 98. Infanterie-Division / IX.Armeekorps / 3.Panzerarmee / Heeresgruppe Mitte when they served in Gzhatsk, a city which also became the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast Gagarinsky District, the Soviet Union.

Range time is the summer of 1942 and winter 1942/43.

[ photos have received minor edits to improve clarity and clean up blemishes ( first photo shown to illustrate this )  ]



abbreviation of Geheime Staatspolizei, “Secret State Police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe

GESTAPO warrant disk

As a citizen of the third reich, if, for whatever reason, there arose questions about you or your conduct, there was one ID that you would have feared being shown above all others:

It is the one shown in above photos:

The silver warrant disk of the GeStaPo 

It was carried as identification by all members of the gestapo.granting that person unlimited rights of access, examination, and arrest

GESTAPO uniform which was not worn

Contrary to EXTREMELY popular belief and over 60 years of misrepresentation in the media, the Gestapo did NOT wear the black SS uniform while on duty!  

Although individual Gestapo officers could and did join the Allgemeine-SS or other Party organizations, those uniforms would not have been worn on duty.”

The uniform which they were reputed to wear was mostly RETIRED, slightly before the outbreak of war in late 1939.

Allgemeine-SS reservists who continued to wear the black uniform after the outbreak of war, were ridiculed by german citizens for remaining safe behind lines doing office work, “…cowards wearing their fine black uniforms, while soldiers of the reich had gone off to fight in the war”.  

As time went on, the black SS uniforms grew more and more unpopular, Himmler in 1942 ordered them all recalled and insignia removed.

The black service uniform of the Allgemeine-SS which was NOT worn by the Gestapo.


The grey SS uniform worn by members of the Gestapo 


Before their 1939 amalgamation into the RSHA, the Gestapo and Kripo were plainclothes police agencies and had no uniforms.

sub-office IV of the RHSA was the Gestapo

Beginning in 1940, the grey SS uniform was worn by Gestapo in occupied countries, even those who were not actually SS members, because agents in civilian clothes had been shot by members of the Wehrmacht thinking that they were partisans.

Unlike the rest of the SS, the right-side collar patch of the RSHA was plain black without insignia, as was the uniform cuffband.

Gestapo agents in uniform did not wear SS shoulderboards, but rather police-pattern shoulderboards piped or underlaid in “poison green” (giftgrün). 


the grey SS uniform as worn by Gestapo agents in occupied countries.

Gestapo agents in uniform did not wear SS shoulderboards, but rather police-pattern shoulderboards piped or underlaid in “poison green” (giftgrün). 



Sicherheitdienst sleeve diamond worn also by Gestapo

A diamond-shaped black patch with “SD” in white was worn on the lower left sleeve even by SiPo men who were not actually in the SD.

Sometimes this Raute was piped in white; there is some debate over whether this may or may not have indicated Gestapo personnel.


Celebration ceremony “Anschluss” Austria into the German Reich and the opening of “Grossdeutscher Reichstag” which was held on 9 April 1938 in the city hall of Vienna.

Burgermeister der Stadt Wien (Vienna Mayor) Dr.Hermann Neubacher (center, back to camera) in his response to Adolf Hitler while surrounded by high Nazi officials.

From left to right: Joseph Goebbels 1.Reichsminister, Arthur Seyss-Inquart 2.Reichsstatthalter (rear Goebbels), 3.Stellvertreter des Führers Rudolf Hess, Josef 4.Gauleiter Bürckel; 5.General der Infanterie Wilhelm List, 6.SA-Brigadeführer Thomas Kozich, 7.SS-Brigadeführer Hans Blaschke, 8.?, 9.?, 10.Reichssendeleiter Hadamowsky Eugen, 11.?, 12.Prinz August Wilhelm von Preußen, 13.SS-Gruppenführer Julius Schaub, Hitler, 14.SS Richard Walther Darre-Obergruppenführer, 15.SS-Gruppenführer Karl Wolff, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, Ernst Kaltenbrunner 16.SS-Brigadeführer, 17.SA-Obergruppenführer Wolf Heinrich Graf von Helldorf, 18.Neubacher (back to camera), 19.SS -Gruppenführer Dr.jur. Hans Heinrich Lammers, 20.jenderal Heer anonymous, 21.Generalleutnant (Luftwaffe) Alexander Löhr, 22.SS-Gruppenführer Wilhelm Keppler, 23.?, 24.? and 25.? In addition, the head of the SS-Standartenführer Dipl.-Ing. Odilo Globocnik bobbed between Von Helldorf and Neubacher