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Glossary

  • Geheime Staatspolizei

    Abbreviation: Gestapo

    The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) was the political police of the Nazi state and as such a central instrument of Nazi terror. Evolved from the political police of the Weimar Republic as of 1933, the Gestapo came to be integrated within the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Main Office for Reich Security) as its Department IV in 1939. The Gestapo was responsible for the systematic combat of any actual or apparent political opponents of the Nazi regime, for the persecution and deportation of the Jews and for the supervision of foreign forced laborers. The Gestapo had far-reaching executive power, e.g. it could impose on virtually anyone "Schutzhaft" (protective custody) in prisons and concentration camps without prior examination of the underlying offence by a judge.

  • General Documents

    As opposed to the personal documents in the ITS archives, general documents normally do not contain information about individual fates. Rather, they provide information about the organization and structure of Nazi persecution, for instance about the camp system or measures of persecution.

  • General Government

    The Polish regions, which were not directly incorporated into Reich territory, were called Generalgouvernement (General Government, districts of Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, Lviv and Krakow). They were under a special administration.

  • General requests

    The ITS considers as general requests all inquiries that are not placed by researchers or family members, such as requests for information on the institution, on the service given to visitors, or on publications.

  • Generalbauinspektor für die Reichshauptstadt / General Building Inspector for the Capital

    Abbreviation: GBI

    The Generalbauinspektor für die Reichshauptstadt (GBI) (Construction Inspector General for the Reich's Capital) was set up as an office directly answerable to Hitler in 1937. The GBI's mandate consisted of architecturally re-shaping the Reich's Capital to be a reflection and representation of National Socialist power. The architect Albert Speer was appointed as (head of the) Construction Inspector General. Accomplishing its tasks, the GBI was involved in the expulsion of Jews from their homes, their deportation and the employment of forced laborers.

  • Germanization

    Germanization was the forceful spread of German language, population, and culture. The policy of Germanization in the Nazi period carried an explicitly ethno-racial meaning for the spread of a "biologically superior" Aryan race rather than that of the German nation. Germans settled in the in the occupied territories (following the ideology of a new "Lebensraum"), minorities were expelled, imprisoned or murdered and the local language and culture suppressed.

  • Gestapa Berlin / Office of the Secret State Police

    The Geheime Staatspolizeiamt (Gestapa) Berlin (Office of the Secret State Police) were the general headquarters of the Gestapo.

  • Ghetto

    The residential areas in which Jews were forced to live separated from the rest of the population. The Nazi ghettos served as interim solutions to concentrate and exploit the Jews prior to systematically killing them in the so-called “Final Solution.” Daily life in the ghettos was marked by fear, hunger, disease, pestilence, and death. Most ghettoes were established after the start of World War II in Poland, the Baltic countries, and occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The largest ghettos were located in Warsaw, Lodz, and Lemberg (Lviv).

  • Gleichschaltung

    Describes the elimination of all and any opposition through the total assimilation of all social and cultural fields to the ideology of National Socialism that started upon Hitler’s seizure of power in spring 1933.

  • Grave Search

    The International Tracing Service’s grave search (Grabermittlung) occurred primarily in the 1950s and brought together various pieces of information and details from documents about graves and unidentified dead. The information used included the location of tombs, identifying prisoner numbers on clothing, and death march routes.

  • Group P.P.

    The abbreviation P.P. stands for "Prisons and Persecution" and relates to a collection in the ITS archives that mainly contains information on the imprisonment and persecution of persons outside concentration camps.

  • Gypsies

    Since before the Nazi era, the term "Zigeuner" (Gypsies) was applied to ethnic and social groups of individuals - often accompanied by various, mostly pejorative, attributes. The consequences this had, i.e. the individuals' stigmatization and negative connotation with racially-ideologically motivated persecution and annihilation ("Porajmos") in Nazism, have caused the term to recede more and more in a variety of European languages and be replaced by self-image terms, e.g. terms created by the social group for itself, like Sinti and Romanies.