Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) – one of police organisations in the Nazi Germany and the occupied areas. In 1936 a reform of police structures was introduced in Germany. The reform divided the police into two segments: the order police (Ordnungspolizei, Orpo) commanded by Kurt Daulege and the security police (Sicherheitspolizei, Sipo) commanded by Reinhard Heydrich. The latter consisted of Gestapo, the official secret police, and Kripo, the criminal police. When the Reich Security Head Office was founded in September 1939 Kripo became its 5th department. Oberfuhrer Artur Nebe was appointed the head of Kripo. Theoretically, Kripo was created to fight common crimes. In a totalitarian country, however, the difference between common crimes and political crimes is not clear. Therefore in the wartime Kripo often carried out tasks given by Gestapo which were a part of the Nazi terror in the occupied areas.
The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.