World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

 Schutzmannschaft

From Wikipedia

Schutzmannschaft (abbr. Schuma) or Hilfspolizei (abbr. Hipo) were the collaborationist auxiliary police battalions of native policemen in occupied countries in the East, which were created to fight the resistance during World War II mostly in the Eastern European countries occupied by Nazi Germany. Hilfspolizei refers also to German auxiliary police units. There was also a HIPO Corps in occupied Denmark.

The term is mostly historical; it has been also applied to some units created in 1933 by the early Nazi government (mostly from members of SA and SS) and disbanded the same year due to international protests. Within the territories seized from the Soviet Union, the Germans utilised local police auxiliaries much more freely. These volunteers were called Hilfswillige (Auxiliaries) by the Germans, often abbreviated to "Hiwis". Those augmenting the Orpo/Ordnungspolizei (Order Police) were designated Schutzmannschaft (Protective Detachment) and eventually numbered some hundreds of thousands.
Ordnungspolizei officers visiting the Schutzmannschaft unit in Zarig, near Kiev.December 1942
The Schutzmannschaft battalions, organized by nationality, Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians and Tatars. Each battalion had an authorized strength of about 500. Everywhere, local police far outnumbered the equivalent German personnel. For example, in the Brześć Litewski area, there were 26 German gendarmerie as opposed to 308 Belorussians. In the district of Baranowicze, there were 73 German gendarmerie and 816 native auxiliaries. By 1 July 1942, 18½ Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft battalions had been formed, with a further three battalions set up in Belarus mainly staffed by Ukrainians.

Local police units were moved freely around the occupied countries to engage with partisans or to kill Jews.
Subsequently, as German casualties on the Eastern front mounted many Schutzmannschaft battalions in Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and elsewhere were joined in SS raised military divisions.
Participation in the Holocaust
The Schutzmannschaft became an indispensable component in the destruction of the Jews. In places such as Zhitomir, Korosten, Kherson, Kakhovka, Uman and many others throughout Ukraine, local militia formed part of the killing squads. The militia were paid by the German authorities, often with funds confiscated from the Jews. Ukrainians were frequently used in the shooting of the families of Jewish men[citation needed], so that in Radomyshl for example, Einsatzkommando IVa could restrict itself to the killing of adult men and women.

The Einsatzgruppen Operational Report USSR No.88 records that on 6 September 1941, 1,107 Jewish adults were shot in Radomyśl while the Ukrainian militia unit assisted by liquidating 561 Jewish children and youths. SS-Gruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski established a special department in charge of foreign Schutzmannschaften that dealt with recruitment and deployment of units for security tasks, guard duties, and labour commando units. Although numerically fewer, Belarusian Auxiliary Police were used just as intensively as were the Ukrainians, even if, as Einsatzgruppe B noted, the general Belarusian population was "incapable" of acting on its own against the Jews.