The title of
SS and police leader
SS and police leader ( SS- und Polizeiführer) was used
to designate a senior Nazi official who commanded large units of the
Gestapo and the German uniformed police (Ordnungspolizei), prior
to and during World War II.
Three levels of subordination were established for bearers of this
Police Leader (SS- und Polizeiführer), SSPF
Higher SS and
Police Leader (Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer, HSSPF,
Supreme SS and
Police Leader (Höchster SS- und Polizeiführer,
2 Crimes against humanity
3 List of SS and police leaders
4 See also
7 Further reading
The first Higher SS and
Police Leaders were appointed in 1937 from
SS-Oberabschnitt Führer (leaders of the main districts).
The purpose of the Higher SS and
Police Leader was to be a direct
command authority for every SS and police unit in a given geographical
region with such authority answering only to
Himmler and Adolf Hitler. They were to act as the highest liaison
under Himmler and "unifier" for command of the SS and police in a
Inside the Reich the man named as HSSPF was usually also
SS-Oberabschnitt Führer for that region. In the occupied territories,
there was no Oberabschnitt, so the HSSPF existed on their own.
However, they had something the Reich HSSPFs did not - several SS- und
Polizeiführer (SSPF) reporting to them. There were two Höchster
SS- und Polizeiführer (Supreme SS and
Police Leader) posts. These
were Italien (1943–1945) and Ukraine (1943–1944), both of which
had various HSSPF and SSPF reporting to them.
The SS and police leaders directly commanded a headquarters staff with
representatives from almost every branch of the SS and the uniformed
police. This typically included the
Ordnungspolizei (Orpo; regular
Gestapo (secret police),
Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; Nazi
concentration camps), SD (intelligence service), and certain units of
Waffen-SS (combat units). Most of these SS and
normally held the rank of SS-
Gruppenführer or above and answered
directly to Himmler in all matters pertaining to the SS within their
area of responsibility. Their role was to be part of the SS control
mechanism within the state policing the German population and
overseeing the activities of the SS men within each respective
district. The men in these positions could bypass the main chain of
command of the administrative offices in their district for the SS,
SD, SiPo, SS-TV and Orpo under the "guise of an emergency situation"
thereby gaining direct operational control of these groups.
The grand dream of
Heinrich Himmler was to evolve the SS and police
leader into an SS ruler of the Lebensraum, which the SS would rule and
control after Germany had won World War II. Himmler’s dream
envisioned twenty-eight SS states (SS- und Polizeistützpunkte,
literally SS- and police strongholds), spread throughout the East,
each one of which would be ruled by an SS and police leader,
militarily controlled by the Waffen-SS, and settled by SS warriors of
In 1944 and 1945, many HSSPF were promoted to general's rank in the
Waffen-SS by Himmler. This was apparently an attempt to provide
potential protection under the Hague Convention rules of warfare.
Crimes against humanity
decrypted wireless telegram from "HSSPF Russland Mitte" (middle
Russia) in 1942, reporting to Himmler the 'liquidation' of a village
Belarus (from NSA report)
Another decrypt, 1941, HSSPF Russland Sud (south Russia), reporting to
Himmler the 'liquidation' of Jewish people (from NSA report)
The SS and
Police Leaders served as commanding SS generals for any
Einsatzgruppen (death squads) operating in their areas. This entailed
ordering the deaths of tens of thousands of persons and, following the
end of World War II, most SS and
Police Leaders who had served in
Poland and the
Soviet Union were charged with war crimes and crimes
against humanity. A large number of the SS and police leaders who had
been involved with such crimes committed suicide before capture.
The SS and
Police Leaders were the overseeing authority of the Jewish
ghettos in Poland and, as such, directly coordinated deportations to
Nazi extermination camps with the administrative help of the RSHA.
They had direct command over Orpo police battalions and SD regiments
that were assigned to guard the ghettos.
List of SS and police leaders
Main article: List of SS and police commands
Note – Men were often transferred and promoted as the war went on.
The HSSPF areas themselves might change, be absorbed, cease to exist,
etc. This list is by no means exhaustive.[Note 1]
Karl Wolff – "Italien"
Hans-Adolf Prützmann – "Ukraine"
August Meyszner – Serbia and Montenegro
Hermann Behrends – Serbia and Montenegro
Udo von Woyrsch
Udo von Woyrsch – "Elbe"
Carl Oberg – France
Ernst Kaltenbrunner – Donau
Karl Hermann Frank
Karl Hermann Frank – Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Friedrich Jeckeln – Northern Russia
Richard Hildebrandt – Black Sea
Erwin Rösener – Alpenland
Odilo "Globus" Globocnik – Adriatic Coast
Hanns Albin Rauter
Hanns Albin Rauter – Netherlands
Erich von dem Bach
Erich von dem Bach – Central Russia
Wilhelm Rediess – Norway
Günther Pancke – Denmark
Jürgen Stroop, then Walter Schimana, then
Hermann Franz – Greece
Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger, then
Wilhelm Koppe – General Government
Karl von Eberstein
Karl von Eberstein – Munich area of Germany
Franz Walter Stahlecker
Franz Walter Stahlecker –
Reichskommissariat Ostland (Estonia,
Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus)
Jürgen Stroop – Warsaw
Franz Kutschera –
Mogilev & Warsaw
Julian Scherner – Kraków
Odilo "Globus" Globocnik – Lublin
Glossary of Nazi Germany
List of Nazi Party leaders and officials
List of SS personnel
^ Yerger lists about 37 separate HSSPF posts, most of which had
several different commanders over the lifetime of the post. He also
lists over 50 SSPF posts, many of which had several commanders.
^ a b Yerger, p. 22.
^ Yerger, pp. 22, 52.
^ Yerger, pp. 22–25.
^ Koehl 2004, pp. 144, 148, 169, 176–177.
^ McNab 2009, p. 165.
^ a b Ingrao, Charles W.; Szabo, Franz A. J. (2008). The Germans and
the East. Purdue University Press, p. 288. 
^ "Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 20 day 195". Avalon Project,
Yale Law School. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
^ Robert J. Hanyok, CENTER FOR CRYPTOLOGIC HISTORY NATIONAL SECURITY
AGENCY (2005). "Eavesdropping on Hell: Historical Guide to Western
Communications Intelligence and the Holocaust, 1939-1945" (PDF)
(Second ed.). National Security Agency, United States Government.
Retrieved 2011-03-20. UNITED STATES CRYPTOLOGIC HISTORY, Series
IV, Volume 9 The message is on page 52 "Decrypt of
[National Archives and Records Administration] (NARA), RG 457, HCC,
^ Hanyok, NSA, eavesdropping.pdf, Page 61, "German
ZIP/G.P.D.353/14.9.41. Decrypt No.1 is from the Senior Commander of
the SS and
Police in Southern Russia to Heinrich Himmler, the Chiefs
of the Order and Secret
Police and the Himmler’s staff. (Source:
[National Archives and Records Administration] (NARA), RG 457, Box
Koehl, Robert (2004). The SS: A History 1919–45. Stroud: Tempus.
McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. London: Amber Books.
Yerger, Mark C. (1997). Allgemeine-SS: The Commands, Units and Leaders
of the General SS. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Höhne, Heinz (2001) . The Order of the Death's Head: The Story
of Hitler’s SS. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14139-012-3.
SS and police leader
Personal Staff Reichsführer-SS
SS Main Office
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Reich Main Security Office
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Das Schwarze Korps
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Police and security services
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Police Regiment Centre
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SS Sword of Honour
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Ranks, uniforms and insignia
Uniforms and insignia of the SS
Ranks and insignia of the Waffen-SS
Ranks and insignia of the Orpo