Ukrainian Auxiliary Police

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Ukrainische Hilfspolizei
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1982-161-01A, Ukrainische Wachmannschaft eines Torfwerks.jpg
Active 27 July 1941
Country  Ukraine
Allegiance  Germany
Role Auxiliary police

The Ukrainische Hilfspolizei or the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (Ukrainian: Українська поліція допоміжна, Ukrains’ka politsiia dopomizhna) was the official title of the local police force established by Nazi Germany during World War II on the Nazi-occupied portion of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; shortly after the German conquest in Operation Barbarossa, it was renamed Reichskommissariat Ukraine.[1]

The Ukrainian Auxiliary Police was created by Heinrich Himmler in mid-August 1941 under the control of German Ordnungspolizei in General Government.[1] The actual Reichskommissariat Ukraine was formed officially on 20 August 1941.[2] The uniformed force was composed in large part of the former members of the Ukrainian People's Militia created by OUN in June.[3] There were two categories of German-controlled Ukrainian armed organisations. The first comprised mobile police units most often called Schutzmannschaft,[1] or Schuma, organized on the battalion level and which engaged in anti-Jewish and anti-partisan operations in most areas of Ukraine. It was subordinated directly to the German Commander of the Order Police for the area.[4]

The second category was the local police force (approximately, a constabulary), called simply the Ukrainian Police (UP) by the German administration, which the SS raised most successfully in the District of Galicia (formed 1 August 1941) extending south-east from the General Government. Notably, the District of Galicia – although considered by some to be part of the occupied Ukraine of today – was a separate administrative unit from the actual Reichskommissariat Ukraine. They were not connected with each other politically.[4]

The UP formations appeared as well further east in German occupied Soviet Ukraine in significant towns and cities such as Kyiv. The urban based forces were subordinated to the city's German Commander of State protection police (Schutzpolizei or Schupo); the rural police posts were subordinated to the area German Commander of Gendarmerie. The Schupo and Gendarmerie structures were themselves subordinated to the area Commander of Order Police.[5]


Map of the German Distrikt Galizien as of 1 September 1941

The local municipal police force (UP) in the occupied Ukrainian SSR came into existence right after the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. It was the result of an order issued on 27 July 1941 by the German commander in chief of the Order Police in occupied Kraków. The Ukrainian auxiliary police in the new District of Galicia fell under the command of the German office for the General Government.[6]

An actual ethnic Ukrainian command centre did not exist. The top Ukrainian police officer, Vladimir Pitulay, rose to the rank of major and became the district commandant (Major der Ukrainische Polizei und Kommandeur) in Lemberg (now Lviv). A police school was established in Lviv by the district SS-and-Police Leader in order to meet plans for growth. The school director was Ivan Kozak.[7] The total number of enlisted men in the new politically independent Distrikt Galizien amounted to some 6,000 volunteers including 120 low-level officers who served there.[7] The units were used primarily to keep order and carry out constabulary duties.[8] Their actions were restricted by other police groups such as the Sonderdienst, made up of Volksdeutsche; the Kripo (Criminal police); Bahnschutz (railroad and transport police); and the Werkschutz, who kept order and guarded industrial plants. They were supported by the Ukrainian Protection Police and the Ukrainian Order Police.[8]

Map of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine following Operation Barbarossa

In the newly formed Reichskommissariat Ukraine the auxiliary police forces were named Schutzmannschaft battalions,[9][10] and amounted to more than 35,000 men.[11] The name of the formations reflected their geographic jurisdiction.[6] The make-up of the officer corps were often representative of various local nationalities. Professor Wendy Lower from Towson University writes that although Ukrainians greatly outnumbered other non-Germans in the auxiliary police, only the Volksdeutsche Germans from Ukraine were given leadership roles.[12] Many of those who joined the ranks of the police had served as militiamen under Soviet rule since 1939.[13] Tadeusz Piotrowski wrote that the majority of Ukrainische Hilfspolizei came from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-B,[14] confirmed by John-Paul Himka,[15] although Ivan Patryljak argued that the German authorities expressly forbade drafting known nationalists.[citation needed] According to Andrew Gregorovich (Ukrainian Review), the ethnic composition of Auxiliary Police reflected the demographics of the land and included Russians, Poles, and German Volksdeutsche drafted from the local population and Soviet POWs,[16] but Browning (Ordinary Men) and Lower both insist that, for the German administration, nobody but the "Ukrainians and local ethnic Germans could be relied upon to assist with the killing".[17][18] Also, according to Aleksandr Prusin most members were ethnic Ukrainians, hence the name or the force.[19] The auxiliary police were directly under the command of the Germanic-SS, Einsatzgruppen, and military administration.[20]

Participation in Holocaust and Nazi atrocities

Professor Alexander Statiev of the Canadian University of Waterloo writes that Ukrainian Auxiliary Police were the major perpetrator of the Holocaust on Soviet territories based on native origins, and those police units participated in the extermination of 150,000 Jews in the area of Volhynia alone.[21] German historian Dieter Pohl in The Shoah in Ukraine writes that the auxiliary police was active during killing operations by the Germans already in the first phases of the German occupation.[22] The auxiliary police registered the Jews, conducted raids and guarded ghettos, loaded convoys to execution sites and cordoned them off. Some 300 auxiliary policemen from Kiev helped organize the massacre in Babi Yar.[22] They also took part in the massacre in Dnipropetrovsk, where the field command noted that the cooperation ran "smoothly in every way". Cases where local commandants ordered murder of Jews using police force are known.[22] In killings of Jews in Kryvy Rih the "entire Ukrainian auxiliary police" was put to use.[22]

Persecution of Poles

Defining nationality of Ukrainian policemen using present-day classifications is problematic, because in German occupied eastern Poland (see: District of Galicia) there was no perception of de jure Ukrainian independent statehood. Some Ukrainian Hilfspolizei who harbored a pathological hatred for Poles and Jews – resulting in acts of mass murder – remained formally and legally Polish from the time before the invasion until much later. Thirty years after the war ended, one former Ukrainian policeman, Jan Masłowski (a.k.a. Ivan Maslij), was recognized in Rakłowice near Wrocław by Polish survivors of massacres committed by Ukrainische Hilfspolizei in the towns of Szczepiatyn, Dyniska, Tarnoszyn, Niemstów, and Korczów. He was sentenced to death in Poland in 1978.[23]

On 13 November 1942, members of the Ukrainische Hilfspolizei robbed and executed 32 Poles and 1 Jew in the village of Obórki (pl), located in prewar Wołyń Voivodeship. After the crime the village was burned down.[24] On 16 December 1942, the Ukrainian policemen, led by Germans, killed 360 Poles in Jezierce (former powiat Rivne).[24][25]

In Lviv, in late February and March 1944, the Ukrainische Hilfspolizei arrested a number of young men of Polish nationality. Many of them were later found dead and their Identity documents stolen. The Government Delegation for Poland started negotiations with the OUN-B. When they failed, Kedyw began an action called "Nieszpory" (Vespers) where 11 policemen were shot in retaliation and the murders of young Poles in Lviv stopped.[26]

Role in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army formation

For many who joined the police force, enlistment served as an opportunity to receive military training and direct access to weapons. Bandera's OUN leadership on 20 March 1943 issued secret instructions ordering their members who had joined the German auxiliary police to desert with their weapons and join with the military detachment of OUN (SD) units in Volyn. The number of trained and armed policemen who in spring 1943 joined the ranks of the future Ukrainian Insurgent Army were estimated to be 10,000. This process in some places involved engaging in armed conflict with German forces as they tried to prevent desertion.[27]


By 1942, after the military administration was replaced with the regular Gendarmerie in occupied East, the strength of the Schutzmannschaft had increased tenfold. However, the new recruits were mostly not in the battalions. Instead, they took up the individual post duty as militias in place of former local Ordnungsdienst. The actual Security Battalions (or Schumas, German: Schutzmannschaft Bataillone) comprised only one-third of the overall strength of the formation.[28] As a matter of course, the static police wore black uniforms from the pre-war German stock which was no longer used and kept in storage. The black uniforms of the former Allgemeine-SS including their characteristic field caps were simply stripped of German insignia and given to Schutzmannschaft to use with the new patches. Gradually, the mobile units were issued field-grey uniforms (pictured).[29] The desired size of each battalion was about 500 soldiers divided into three companies of 140-150 men each, with 50 staff members.[30][31]

Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft battalion photographed in 1942

Most battalions were assigned block numbers based on ethnic and national makeup for ease of recognition. Those in Russia South and the heart of Ukraine were numbered from 101 to 200. The ones operating in Russia Center and in Byelorussia were numbered from 51 to 100.[31] An exception was Battalion 201, which was formed not in Galicia but in Frankfurt an der Oder in October 1941, from members of the disbanded Nachtigall Battalion, formed originally by OUN-B.[32]

  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 51 (ukrainische), disbanded in May 1943
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 53 (ukrainische), formed in August 1942
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 54 (ukrainische), formed in September 1942
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 55 (ukrainische), formed in August 1942
  • Schutzmannschaft Wacht Bataillon 57 (ukrainische), since July 1944 as Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling, in August, 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.[30][33]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 61 (ukrainische), since July 1944 as Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling, in August, 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.[30][33]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 62 (ukrainische), since July 1944 as Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling, in August, 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.[30][33]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 63 (ukrainische), since July 1944 as Schutzmannschaft-Brigade Siegling, in August, 30th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS.[30][33]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 101, 102, 103, 104 (ukrainische) formed in July 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 105, 106, 107 (ukrainische) formed in November 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 108, 109, 110, 111, 113, 114 (ukrainische) formed in July 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 115 (ukrainische) formed in July 1942 and transferred to Belarus right away.[34]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 116, 117 (ukrainische) formed in July 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118, formed in July 1942 with Soviet officers at the helm who were dispatched in Kiev to form other battalions. In December 1942 transferred to Minsk.[34]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 119, 120, 121 (ukrainische), formed in November 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Battalions 122, 123, 124 (ukrainische), formed in July 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 125 (ukrainische), formed in November 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 129, 130, 131 (ukrainische), formed in July 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 134, 136 (ukrainische), formed in November 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 137, 138, 139, 140 (ukrainische), formed in October 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 143, 144, 145, 146 (ukrainische), formed in August 1942.[30]
  • Schutzmannschaft Bataillons 155, 156, 157, 158 (ukrainische), formed in November 1942.[30]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Symposium Presentations (September 2005). "The Holocaust and [German] Colonialism in Ukraine: A Case Study" (PDF file, direct download 1.63 MB). The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 15, 18–19, 20 in current document of 1/154. Retrieved 15 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Jürgen Matthäus, Jewish Responses to Persecution: 1941–1942. AltaMira Press, p. 524.
  3. Dr. Frank Grelka (2005). Ukrainischen Miliz. Die ukrainische Nationalbewegung unter deutscher Besatzungsherrschaft 1918 und 1941/42. Viadrina European University: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 283–284. ISBN 3447052597. Retrieved 17 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Arne Bewersdorf. "Hans-Adolf Asbach. Eine Nachkriegskarriere" (PDF). Band 19 Essay 5 (in German). Demokratische Geschichte. pp. 1–42. Retrieved 26 June 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. See the treatment in Dieter Pohl, Nationalsocialistische Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien 1941-1944: Organisation und Durchführung eines staatlichen Massenverbrechens (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997), Section II.2: "Der Besatzungsapparat im Distrikt Galizien"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto Press. pp. 631, 633.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Василь Офіцинський, Дистрикт Галичина (1941—1944). Історико-політичний нарис. — Ужгород, 2001 (Vasil Oficinskiy, "District Galicia 1941–1944." The historical and political essay. Uzhgorod, 2001.) Citation: Комендантом Львівської поліції був Володимир Пітулай (Vladimir Pitulay), його заступником Лев Огоновський (Leo Ohonovskyi). Особовий склад Української допоміжної поліції формувався з молодих людей, які закінчили курси Поліційної школи у Львові. У кінці січня такі курси закінчили 186 українських поліцаїв. А 15 травня 1942 р. закінчився другий вишкільний курс, який підготував 192 поліцаїв... Українську міліцію 15 серпня 1941 р. було переорганізовано в Українську допоміжну поліцію, яка на осінь 1941 р. нараховувала 6000 чол.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Abbott, Peter (2004). Ukrainian Armies 1914-55. Osprey Publishing. pp. 38–. ISBN 1-84176-668-2.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Czesław Madajczyk, Faszyzm i okupacje 1938-1945, Poznań 1983, ISBN 83-210-0335-4, Vol.2, p. 359.
  10. Schutzmannschaft battalions were formed by orders of Reichsführer-SS between 25 July and 31 August 1941.
  11. В. Дзьобак, Порівняльна характеристика колаборації населення Росії й України в роки радянсько-німецької війни (PDF file, direct download 242 KB) Сторінки воєнної історії України Випуск 11. - Київ: Інститут історії України НАН України, 2009; №11. (V. Dzobak Comparison of collaboration population of Russia and Ukraine during the Soviet-German War in Military History of Ukraine Vol 11. Kyiv: Institute of History of Ukraine, 2009. № 11, page 267 (252–276).)
  12. Prof. Wendy Lower, Towson University. Local Participation in the Crimes of the Holocaust in Ukraine: Forms and Consequences LMU Muenchen / Towson Univ MD.
  13. Timothy Snyder, The Reconstruction of Nations, pg. 159.
  14. Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947, 1997, page 221.
  15. John‐Paul Himka (20 October 2011), The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Ukrainian Police, and the Holocaust. Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine.
  16. Andrew Gregorovich (Spring 1995). "World War II in Ukraine". FORUM Ukrainian Review (92): 25. Retrieved 13 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Chapter: Jewish Holocaust in Ukraine
  17. Wendy Morgan Lower, Towson University. "From Berlin to Babi Yar" (PDF file, direct download 3.4 MB complete). Volume 9 (2007) ISSN 1522-5658. Journal of Society, The Kripke Center. p. 6 / 9(2007). Retrieved 24 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Browning, Christopher R. (1992–1998). "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. 135–142. Retrieved 24 April 2014. Also: PDF cache archived by WebCite.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Александр Прусин (Aleksandr Prusin), Украинская полиция и Холокост в генеральном округе Киев, 1941–1943: действия и мотивации. at the Wayback Machine (archived 13 January 2012) ГОЛОКОСТ І СУЧАСНІСТЬ *№ 1, 2007. Національна бібліотека України. Retrieved from the Internet Archive on 11 June 2013. (Russian)
  20. Spector, Robert Melvin (2005). World without civilization: mass murder and the Holocaust. University Press of America. pp. 678–.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands Statiev Alexander Cambridge University Press 2010 page 69
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Ray Brandon, Wendy Lower (28 May 2008). "Ukrainian Society, Soviet Officialdom, and the West". The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization. Indiana University Press. p. 55. ISBN 0253001595. Retrieved 22 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Robert Horbaczewski (16 February 2005). "Ostatnia kara śmierci (The last case of capital punishment)". Region - Gospodarka i polityka. Kronika Tygodnia (reprint: Retrieved 22 June 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. 24.0 24.1 Grzegorz Motyka, Ukraińska partyzantka 1942-1960[page needed]
  25. Czesław Partacz, Krzysztof Łada, Polska wobec ukraińskich dążeń niepodległościowych w czasie II wojny światowej, (Toruń: Centrum Edukacji Europejskiej, 2003)
  26. Grzegorz Motyka, Rafał Wnuk, Pany i rezuny, 1997, p. 63
  27. (Ukrainian) Організація українських націоналістів і Українська повстанська армія. "Двофронтова" боротьба УПА, p.165. at the Wayback Machine (archived 28 September 2011)
  28. Martin Dean (2003). Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 60. ISBN 1403963711.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Gordon Williamson (2012). German Security and Police Soldier 1939-45. Osprey Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 1782000070.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. 30.00 30.01 30.02 30.03 30.04 30.05 30.06 30.07 30.08 30.09 30.10 30.11 30.12 30.13 30.14 30.15 30.16 Marcus Wendel (19 January 2014). "Schutzmannschaft Bataillone" (Internet Archive 6 January 1914 capture). Axis History. Retrieved 1 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. 31.0 31.1 Christoph Schiessl (2009). The Search for Nazi Collaborators in the United States (Google Books). Wayne State University. ProQuest. p. 40. ISBN 1109090072. Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Per Anders Rudling (2015). "Schutzmannschaft Battalion 201 and Hauptmann Roman Shukhevych in Belarus 1942" (Available in RTF). Schooling in Murder.; Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald. Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 GFN (1992). "Organizational History of the German SS Formations 1939-1945" (PDF file, direct download). Command and General Staff College (CGSC), US Army Combined Arms Center. p. 24. Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. 34.0 34.1 Natalia Petrouchkevitch (2015). Wartime experiences of the Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118. Victims and criminals. Wilfrid Laurier University. pp. 71–78. Retrieved 23 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>