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VOLKSDEUTSCHER SELBSTSCHUTZ (German : ethnic self-defense or self-protection), also known as the Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
battalions, were a paramilitary organisation consisting of ethnic German Volksdeutsche mobilized from among the German minority in Poland . Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
operated before and during the opening stages of World War II in the western half of the Second Polish Republic .

CONTENTS

* 1 Background * 2 History * 3 Ethnic cleansing * 4 After the conquest of Poland * 5 References * 6 Bibliography

BACKGROUND

Throughout the interwar period the Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
battalions were deployed by the German intelligence not only in newly reborn Poland but also in Czechoslovakia. Armed with weapons and ammunition smuggled from Germany, they fought on the German side of the Polish/German conflict already in 1921. Both Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
and Freikorps mercenaries were sent to fight Polish partisans in the Third Silesian Uprising for political control of Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
. The Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
fifth column worked to indoctrinate ethnic Germans locally, while preparations were under way elsewhere, especially in the late 1930s. The Selbstschutz commandos committed acts of terrorism in the summer of 1938 against the Czech administration of the Sudetenland . In the interwar period, the German minority organizations in Poland included Jungdeutsche Partei (Young German party), Deutsche Vereinigung (United German), Deutscher Volksbund (German peoples Union) and Deutscher Volksverband (German peoples United). All of them actively cooperated with Nazi Germany in anti-Polish espionage, sabotage, provocations, and political indoctrination. They maintained close contact with and were directed by the NSDAP
NSDAP
(Nazi Party), Auslandsorganisation (Foreign Affairs Organization), Gestapo
Gestapo
(Secret Police), SD (Security Service) and Abwehr (Defense). It is estimated that 25% of the German minority in Poland were members of these organisations. Nazi Mayor of Bydgoszcz
Bydgoszcz
Werner Kampe, with Josef Meier and Ludolf von Alvensleben
Ludolf von Alvensleben
- leader of Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Pomerania during inspection of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in 1939. Main article: Special Prosecution Book-Poland

By October 1938, the SD agents from Germany have organized the Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
formations in Poland. The ethnic Germans with Polish citizenship have been trained in the Third Reich in various sabotage methods and guerilla tactics. Before the war began, Selbstschutz activists from Poland compiled lists of Poles who were to be removed or executed in Operation Tannenberg . The list was distributed among Nazi death squads as the Special Prosecution Book-Poland (germ.Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen).

HISTORY

Main articles: Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche
and Hauptamt Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche
Mittelstelle

Immediately after the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
engaged in attacks against the Polish population and the army, and performed sabotage operations helping the German advance across the Polish state. In mid-September, the chaotic and largely spontaneous activities of this organization were coordinated by SS officers. Himmler
Himmler
's protégé Gustav Berger was placed in charge of the organization. District commanders from the army in occupied zones were put in charge at West Prussia , Upper Silesia and Warthegau . Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche
Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
from Łobżenica Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
shooters escorting Polish teachers to the Valley of Death , Bydgoszcz
Bydgoszcz
Execution of Polish intelligentsia during the mass murders in Piaśnica

While the SS leadership was limited to overseeing the operations, local units remained under the control of ethnic Germans who had proven their commitment at the beginning of the war. Selbstschutz organized concentration camps for the Poles. They were founded in places where the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
and German police units established camps. There were 19 such camps in the following places: Bydgoszcz (Bromberg), Brodnica
Brodnica
(Strasburg), Chełmno (Kulm), Dorposz Szlachecki , Kamień Krajeński , Karolewo , Lipno (Lippe), Łobżenica , Nakło (Nakel), Nowy Wiec (near Skarszewy ), Nowe
Nowe
(over Vistula ), Piastoszyn , Płutowo , Sępólno Krajeńskie , Solec Kujawski
Solec Kujawski
(Schulitz), Tuchola (Tuchel), Wąbrzeźno (Briesen), Wolental (near Skórcz ), Wyrzysk (Wirsitz). The majority of the Poles imprisoned in those camps (consisting of men, women and youth) were brutally murdered.

ETHNIC CLEANSING

Main articles: Mass murders in Piaśnica and Valley of Death (Bydgoszcz)

After German invasion of Poland
German invasion of Poland
, Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
worked together with the Einsatzgruppen to massacre Poles. Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
took part in the first action of elimination of Polish intelligentsia, the mass murders in Piaśnica , during which 12,000 to 16,000 civilians were murdered. An Intelligenzaktion
Intelligenzaktion
was a plan to eliminate all Polish intelligentsia and Poland's leadership class in the country. These operations took place soon after the fall of Poland, lasting from the fall of 1939 until the spring of 1940. As the result in 10 regional actions 60,000 landowners, teachers, Polish entrepreneurs, social workers, military veterans, members of national organisations, priests, judges and political activists were killed. The Intelligenzaktions were continued by the German AB-Aktion operation in Poland .

By 5 October 1939, in West Prussia alone, Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
under the command of Ludolf von Alvensleben
Ludolf von Alvensleben
was 17,667 men strong, and had already executed 4,247 Poles, while Alvensleben complained to Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
officers that too few Poles had been shot. (German officers had reported that only a fraction of Poles had been "destroyed" in the region with the total number of those executed in West Prussia during this action being about 20,000. One Selbstschutz commander, Wilhelm Richardt, said in Karolewo (Karlhof) camp that he did not want to build big camps for Poles and feed them, and that it was an honour for Poles to fertilize the German soil with their corpses There was little opposition or lack of enthusiasm for activities of the Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
among those involved in the action. There was even a case where a Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
commander was relieved after he failed to account for all the Poles that were required, and it was found that he executed "only" 300 Poles.

AFTER THE CONQUEST OF POLAND

Ludolf von Alvensleben
Ludolf von Alvensleben
as führer of Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz in 1939

The organization was ordered to be dissolved on 26 November 1939, but the changeover continued until the spring of 1940. Among the reasons were instances of extreme corruption, disorderly behaviour and conflicts with other organizations. Members were instructed to join Schutzstaffel and Gestapo
Gestapo
instead. In the summer of 1940, the new Sonderdienst
Sonderdienst
battalions were formed in place of Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
and assigned to the head of the civil administration in the new Gau . The existence of a large paramilitary organization of ethnic Germans with Polish citizenship that engaged in widespread massacres of Poles and helped in the German attack on Poland later served as one of the reasons for the expulsion of Germans after the war . According to German researcher Dieter Schenk, some 1,701 former members of Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
who committed mass atrocities were identified in postwar Germany. However, there were only 258 cases of judicial investigations, and 233 of them were cancelled. Only ten Selbstschutz members were ever sentenced by the German courts. This situation was described by Schenk as a "disgrace for the German court system".

MEMBER OF THE SELBSTSCHUTZ EXECUTED AFTER THE WAR IN POLAND:

Alfred Zilz (04.04.1911 – executed 10.04.1947 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Białochow

Otto Bunn (21.10.1914 in Chelm - executed 04.06.1947 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Kulm

Fritz Kühn (24.06.1903 in Grudziadz – executed 20.02.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziądz

Bernard Radtke (18.01.1916 in Budach - executed 20.02.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziądz

Friedrich Thiemann (18.08.1905 in Podwiesk – executed 20.02.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziadz

Hermann Mendel (19.06.1908 in Grabin - executed 28.10.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziadz

Erich Papke (25.01.1919 in Stara Rzeka - executed 17.06.1947 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Bruno Gustav Pipke (15.12.1906 in Rusnowice - executed 17.03.1947 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Erich Pollatz (28.11.1906 in Pedzewo – executed 16.08.1946 in Inowroclaw) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Bydgoszczy

Alfred Peplau (07.06.1915 – executed 08.10.1948 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziadz

Willi Weber (11.06.1914 – executed 19.09.1947 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Konojady

Emil Heyn (18.06.1895 in Wymysław – executed 12.09.1945 in Rogozno) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Zacharzyn

Gottfried Kühn (24.01.1876 - executed 19.11.1946 in Siedlce) Selbschutz Józefów

Gerhard Kusch (28.09.1906 in Grudziadz – executed 18.08.1947 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Terespola

Friedrich Freiheit (15.02.1891 in Wloclawek – executed 14.06.1946 in Wloclawek) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Włocławek

Otto Grudzinski (12.10.1907 in Tomaszow – executed 21.09.1946 in Lodz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Tomaszow Mazowiecki

Erwin Deiter (03.08.1905 in Lodz – executed 05.10.1945 in Lodz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Lodz

Wieslaw Rüger (25.10.1899 in Warschau – executed 03.10.1945 in Lublin) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Lublin

Alfons Schlitkus (25.05.1909 in Grudziadz – executed 20.02.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Grudziądz

Wilhelm Zinn (29.09.1906 - executed 01.03.1948 in Inowroclaw) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Friedrich Bendt (26.11.1890 in Owczarkach – executed 20.02.1946) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Heinrich Felmet (31.10.1902 in Zapustku – executed 04.05.1946 in Inowroclaw) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Oskar Folke (10.05.1898 - executed 28.10.1947 in Lodz) Selbstschutz Lodz

Alfred Abraham (26.05.1900 Zgierzu - executed 21.09.1945 in Lodz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
Lodz

Wilhelm Maschner (23.04.1901 - executed 21.11.1945 in Krakow) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Walter Becker (16.05.1909 - executed 02.11.1946 in Poland) member Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Starogard

Friedrich Berendt(08.10.1921 - executed 20.08.1946 in Grudziadz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Bratijany(district Lubawa)

Heinz Wilhelm Borrmann (21.04.1903 in Rellingen – executed 15.09.1949 in Torun) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
commander in Kowalewo

Josef Dlubak (18.03.1902 - executed 26.09.1949 in Czestochow) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Radom

Erich Duks (10.07.1906 - executed 10.05.1947 in Wloclawek) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Grabowiec

Ewald Kickel (13.09.1908 in Bobrowiec - executed 05.10.1946 in Starogard) member Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Starogard

Friedrich Krüger (30.11.1901 in Tomaszewie – executed 16.07.1945 in Lodz) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Lodz

Gottfried Kühn (24.01.1876 - executed 19.11.1946 in Siedlce) Selbschutz in Józefów

Karl Mallon (20.12.1899 in Unisław - executed 16.10.1945 in Chelm) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Chelm

Richard Medoch (13.11.1879 - executed 24.08.1946 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Raciaz

Herbert Nitz (10.08.1908 in Topolno - executed 07.07.1947 in Swiecie) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Topolno

Jan Ross (04.05.1905 - executed 15.11.1946 in Wrzesnia) Selbstschutz in Zakrzowska

Adolf Schlag (08.07.1912 - executed 22.11.1949 in Warsaw) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz

Jan Schulz (05.03.1913 in Sypniewo – executed 13.10.1946 in Chojnice) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Sepolin

Jan Semrau (18.11.1889 – executed in Poland) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Tczew

Kuno Stiller (15.11.1919 in Rychnow- executed 15.02.1946) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Briesen

Reinhold Thimm (07.04.1887 in Wirzchy – executed in Poland) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Niewiascin

Jan Wojke (27.12.1908 – executed 22.08.1947) Selbstschutz
Selbstschutz
in Rippin

REFERENCES

* ^ Christian Jansen, Arno Weckbecker: Der “Volksdeutsche Selbstschutz” in Polen 1939/40. München: R. Oldenbourg, 1992. ISBN 3-486-64564-1 * ^ A B C D Redakcja (2009). "Piąta kolumna". Kampania Wrześniowa 1939.pl. Mapa serwisu – via Internet Archive. Na wielką skalę działała hitlerowska piąta kolumna w Polsce opierająca się na organizacjach hitlerowskich: Jungdeutsche Partei (na terenie całej Polski), Deutsche Vereinigung (Pomorze Poznańskie), Deutscher Volksbund (Śląsk), Deutscher Volksverbarid (Łódzkie), oraz ich filialnych stowarzyszeniach i związkach (wszystkie zrzeszały 25% mniejszości niem.). Organizacje te bezpośrednio lub pośrednio utrzymywały tajne kontakty z partyjnymi i państwowymi centralami berlińskimi: NSDAP, Auslandsorganisation, Gestapo, SD, Abwehrą i in., prowadząc wg ich instrukcji wrogą działalność dywersyjną (szpiegowską, sabotażową, prowokacyjną, polityczno-destrukcyjną).

* ^ Sidney S. Alderman (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States). "Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 3 - Eleventh Day". The Avalon Project. In both Austria and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
the Nazi conspirators planned to undermine the will to resist by propaganda and by Fifth Column activities, while the actual military preparations were being developed. * ^ Digital version of "Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen" in Śląska Biblioteka Cyfrowa "Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen", hrsg. vom Reichskriminalpolizeiamt, Berlin 1939. * ^ A B C Konrad Ciechanowski, Monografia. KL Stutthof (Auffangslager, Zivilgefangenenlager) (in Polish) * ^ Meier, Anna "Die Intelligenzaktion: Die Vernichtung Der Polnischen Oberschicht Im Gau Danzig-Westpreusen" VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, ISBN 3-639-04721-4 ISBN 978-3639047219 * ^ Encyklopedia PWN * ^ A B *Maria Wardzyńska "Był rok 1939 Operacja niemieckiej policji bezpieczeństwa w Polsce. Intelligenzaktion" IPN Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2009 ISBN 978-83-7629-063-8 * ^ Meier, Anna "Die Intelligenzaktion: Die Vernichtung Der Polnischen Oberschicht Im Gau Danzig-Westpreusen" VDM Verlag Dr. Müller , ISBN 3-639-04721-4 ISBN 978-3-639-04721-9 * ^ A B C The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 Christopher R. Browning University of Nebraska Press 2007 page 33 * ^ Browning, Christopher R. (1998) . "Arrival in Poland" (PDF file, direct download 7.91 MB complete). Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Penguin Books. pp. 51, 98, 109, 124. Retrieved May 1, 2013. Also: PDF cache archived by WebCite. * ^ Biuletyn IPN 2003-2004 Nr 12-1(35-36) page 23 Paweł Kosiński, Barbara Polak: "Nie zamierzam podejmować żadnej polemiki – wywiad z prof. Witoldem Kuleszą". * ^ (IPN in Warsaw) * ^ https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=16067&p=1703124;background:#c3c3c3;">

* v * t * e

Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos

PEOPLE

DIRECTOR

* Reinhard Heydrich * Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Commanders of Einsatzgruppen

* Humbert Achamer-Pifrader * Walther Bierkamp * Horst Böhme * Erich Ehrlinger * Wilhelm Fuchs
Wilhelm Fuchs
* Heinz Jost * Erich Naumann
Erich Naumann
* Arthur Nebe * Otto Ohlendorf
Otto Ohlendorf
* Friedrich Panzinger * Otto Rasch * Heinrich Seetzen * Franz Walter Stahlecker
Franz Walter Stahlecker
* Bruno Streckenbach

Commanders of Einsatzkommandos, Sonderkommandos

* Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski
Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski
* Rudolf Batz * Ernst Biberstein
Ernst Biberstein
* Wolfgang Birkner
Wolfgang Birkner
* Helmut Bischoff * Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
* Walter Blume * Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock * Otto Bradfisch * Werner Braune * Friedrich Buchardt * Fritz Dietrich * Karl Jäger
Karl Jäger
* Friedrich Jeckeln
Friedrich Jeckeln
* Waldemar Klingelhöfer * Wolfgang Kügler * Walter Kutschmann * Rudolf Lange * Gustav Adolf Nosske
Gustav Adolf Nosske
* Hans-Adolf Prützmann
Hans-Adolf Prützmann
* Walter Rauff
Walter Rauff
* Martin Sandberger
Martin Sandberger
* Hermann Schaper * Karl Eberhard Schöngarth * Erwin Schulz * Franz Six * Eugen Steimle
Eugen Steimle
* Eduard Strauch
Eduard Strauch
* Martin Weiss * Udo von Woyrsch

OTHER MEMBERS

* August Becker
August Becker
* Lothar Fendler * Joachim Hamann * Emil Haussmann
Emil Haussmann
* Felix Landau * Albert Widmann

COLLABORATORS

* Viktors Arājs * Herberts Cukurs * Antanas Impulevičius * Konrāds Kalējs * Algirdas Klimaitis

GROUPS

GERMAN

* SS * RSHA * SD * Orpo * 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer * Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz * Sonderdienst
Sonderdienst

NON-GERMAN

* Schutzmannschaft (Belarusian , Estonian , Latvian , Lithuanian , Ukrainian ) * Arajs Kommando * Lithuanian Security Police * Rollkommando Hamann * TDA * Ypatingasis būrys

CRIMES

BELARUS

* Łachwa Ghetto
Łachwa Ghetto
* Minsk Ghetto * Slutsk Affair

ESTONIA

* Kalevi-Liiva

LATVIA

* Burning of the Riga synagogues
Burning of the Riga synagogues
* Dünamünde Action * Jelgava * Pogulianski * Rumbula * Liepāja (Šķēde)

LITHUANIA

* Ninth Fort
Ninth Fort
* Kaunas June 1941 * Kaunas 29 October 1941 * Ninth Fort
Ninth Fort
November 1941 * Ponary

POLAND

* Operation Tannenberg * Intelligenzaktion
Intelligenzaktion
* AB-Aktion * Operation Reinhard

RUSSIA

* Gully of Petrushino * Zmievskaya Balka
Zmievskaya Balka
* Lokot Autonomy
Lokot Autonomy

UKRAINE

* Babi Yar * Drobytsky Yar
Drobytsky Yar
* Drohobycz * Kamianets-Podilskyi * Lviv pogroms * Mizocz Ghetto * Odessa

RECORDS

*