Blue Police


Blue Police
Polish Auxiliary Police
Active from July 1941
Country  Nazi Germany
Role Auxiliary police
Engagements Anti-partisan operations in Belarus, Holocaust in Belarus, Holocaust in Poland, Holocaust in Ukraine,
A "Blue policeman" of General Government in uniform

The Blue Police, more correctly translated as The Navy-Blue Police (Polish: Granatowa policja) was the popular name of the collaborationist police in the German occupied area of the Second Polish Republic, known as General Government during the Second World War. The official name of the organization was Polish Police of the General Government (German: Polnische Polizei im Generalgouvernement, Polish: Policja Polska Generalnego Gubernatorstwa).

It was created by Nazi Germany as an auxiliary paramilitary police force in order to keep law and order in the General Government part of occupied Poland. Similar police organizations existed in all of the occupied countries (see Hilfspolizei). Initially used to deal with purely criminal activities, the Blue Police was later used to also prevent smuggling, and to police the Jewish population in the ghettos. The ethnic composition of the police was not composed exclusively out of Polish people, but rather simply out of volunteers of the local population. It was liquidated and declared officially disbanded by the Polish Committee of National Liberation on August 27, 1944.[1][2]

Contents

Organization

German Ordnungspolizei and Blue Police at Kraków in 1941

In October 1939, General Governor Hans Frank ordered the mobilization of the pre-war Polish police into the service of the Germans. The policemen were to report for duty or face the death penalty.[3]

According to the German plan, the police force was to consist of approximately 12,000 officers, but the actual number of its cadre was much lower.[4][5] However, some sources put the numbers as high as 14,300.[6] The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust reports its manpower as 8,700 in February 1940 and states that it reached its peak in 1943 with 16,000 members.[7] The Blue Police consisted primarily of Poles and Polish speaking Ukrainians from the eastern parts of the General Government.[8]

The Blue Police had little autonomy, and all of its high ranking officers came from the ranks of the German police (Kriminalpolizei). It served in the capacity of an auxiliary force, along with the police forces guarding seats of administration (Schutzpolizei), Railway Police (Bahnschutz), Forest Police (Forstschutz) and Border Police (Grenzschutz).[9] The Blue Police was subordinate to German Ordnungspolizei.[10]

From the German perspective, the primary role of the Blue Police was to maintain law and order on the territories of occupied Poland, as to free the German police for other duties. As Heinrich Himmler stated in his order from May 5, 1940: "providing general police service in the General Government is the role of the Polish police. German police will intervene only if it is required by the German interests and will monitor the Polish police."[10]

As the force was primarily a continuation of the pre-war Polish police force, it also relied largely on pre-war regulations and laws, a situation that was accepted as a provisional necessity both by the Germans and by the exiled Polish government.[8] While the Polish Underground State had its own police force and judiciary (see National Security Corps and Directorate of Civil Resistance), it was unable to provide basic police services for the entire population of the former Second Polish Republic in the conditions of German occupation.

Assessment

Blue Police contolling passports at the Kraków Ghetto

The role of the Blue Police in its collaboration and resistance towards the Germans is difficult to assess as a whole, and is often a matter of dispute.[11]

Scholars disagree about the degree of involvement of the Blue Police in the rounding up of Jews.[12][13] Warsaw Ghetto historian Emmanuel Ringelblum and another eyewitness described Polish policemen carrying out extortions and beatings in the Ghetto.[14]

A significant part of the police personnel belonged to the Polish underground resistance organization Armia Krajowa,[15] mostly in the counter-intelligence of the Home Army and the National Security Corps.[16] Some estimates are as high of 50%.[17] Blue Police followed German orders reluctantly[11][not in citation given][18] and that the officers had little choice but to obey their orders or face death.[8][contradiction] The Blue Police often disobeyed German orders or even acted against them,[11] and some of its officers were ultimately awarded the Righteous Among the Nations award[19] (for example, Wacław Nowiński[20]).

On the other hand the police did take part in street roundups [6] as well as in numerous killings of Jews.[11] Forceful draft among members of the police was needed to create the Polnisches Schutzmannschaftsbataillon 202.

Personalities

Warsaw was the biggest city, so the commander of Warsaw police was the most important post available for ethnic Poles. The first commander was Marian Kozielewski (brother of Jan Karski), imprisoned by Germans and send to Auschwitz concentration camp. The next commander Aleksander Reszczyński was murdered in 1943 by the Communists. 1977 research confirmed that Reszczyński cooperated with the Armia Krajowa. [21]

See also

References

  1. ^ (English) Abraham J. Edelheit; Hershel Edelheit (1991). A World in Turmoil: An Integrated Chronology of the Holocaust and World War II. Greenwood Press. p. 311. ISBN 0313282188. http://books.google.com/books?id=94NvHsiyn38C&pg=RA1-PA311&lpg=RA1-PA311&ots=7oc5IN9yHG&sig=OO-LTgyG6lQGmlBamPOvEEFnseU. 
  2. ^ (Polish) Burda, Andrzej (1976). Polskie prawo państwowe. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. p. 127. http://books.google.com/books?id=EbYeAAAAMAAJ&q=granatowa+policja&pgis=1. 
  3. ^ (Polish) Hempel, Adam (1987). Policja granatowa w okupacyjnym systemie administracyjnym Generalnego Gubernatorstwa: 1939-1945. Warsaw: Instytut Wydawniczy Związków Zawodowych. p. 83. 
  4. ^ (Polish) Wroński, Tadeusz (1974). Kronika okupowanego Krakowa. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. pp. 235–240. http://books.google.com/books?id=JcYhAAAAMAAJ&pgis=1. 
  5. ^ (English) Paczkowski, Andrzej; Jane Cave (transl.) (2003). The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom. Penn State Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-271-02308-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=WoKQWem2yl4C&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&sig=vajOBIBsbx6RYJ24eRN86w_21CY. 
  6. ^ a b (English) Ringelblum, Emanuel (1992). Joseph Kermish. ed. Polish-Jewish Relations During the Second World War. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press. p. 133. ISBN 0810109638. http://books.google.com/books?id=42sz6MifjMEC&pg=RA1-PA133&lpg=RA1-PA133&ots=fFokpLj_Qm&sig=uwy6EpOCuo0FwkRVEmnIrzdhSek. 
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of the Holocaust entry on the Blue Police, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York NY, 1990. ISBN 0028645278.
  8. ^ a b c (Polish) Hempel, Adam (1990). Pogrobowcy klęski: rzecz o policji "granatowej" w Generalnym Gubernatorstwie 1939-1945. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. p. 435. ISBN 8301092912. http://books.google.com/books?id=sy0iAAAAMAAJ&q=&pgis=1#search. 
  9. ^ (Polish) Daszkiewicz, Andrzej. Ruch oporu w regionie Beskidu Niskiego: 1939-1944. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa MON. pp. 9–10. http://books.google.com/books?id=nGcNAAAAIAAJ&pgis=1. 
  10. ^ a b (Polish) POLACY W ORGANACH POLICYJNYCH NIEMIEC HITLEROWSKICH on the pages of Wyższa Szkoła Policji w Szczecinie. 14.05.2007.
  11. ^ a b c d (English) Piotrowski, Tadeusz (1997). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide.... McFarland & Company. pp. 108–110. ISBN 0-7864-0371-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=A4FlatJCro4C&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&ots=0IkRP4SH2_&sig=Z7PTKUbBMbkEFTbfZexAGgetjgE#PPA110,M1.  See also review
  12. ^ Robert Cherry, Annamaria Orla-Bukowska, Rethinking Poles and Jews: Troubled Past, Brighter Future, Rowman & Littlefield 2007, ISBN 0742546667
  13. ^ Raul Hilberg. The Destruction of the European Jews: Third Edition. Yale University Press, 2003.
  14. ^ Itamar Levin, Rachel Neiman Walls Around: The Plunder of Warsaw Jewry During World War II and Its Aftermath. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003.
  15. ^ Paczkowski (op.cit., p.60) cites 10% of policemen and 20% of officers
  16. ^ (Polish) "Policja Polska Generalnego Gubernatorstwa". Encyklopedia Internetowa PWN. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. 2005. http://encyklopedia.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=3959423. 
  17. ^ John Connelly, Slavic Review, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Winter, 2005), pp. 771-781
  18. ^ (English) Gunnar S. Paulsson (2004). "The Demography of Jews in Hiding in Warsaw". The Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies. London: Routledge. p. 118. ISBN 0415275091. http://books.google.com/books?id=7xC5wNo0edoC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&sig=BcLlPy6seaz_N6t708FM_4bOStg#PPA118,M1. 
  19. ^ (Polish) IAR (corporate author) (2005-07-24). "Sprawiedliwy Wśród Narodów Świata 2005" (in Polish). Forum Żydzi - Chrześcijanie - Muzułmanie (Fundacja Kultury Chrześcijańskiej Znak). http://www.forum-znak.org.pl/index.php?t=wydarzenia&id=3139. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  20. ^ Polish rescuer [[Waclaw Nowinski
  21. ^ Polacy w organach policyjnych Niemiec hitlerowskich

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