Structures of the German order police in Nowy Sącz


Dawid Golik

The German order police (abbreviated Orpo) in the General Government1 had an extensive structure. It was divided into protection police (Schutzpolizei, abbreviated Schupo) and the gendarmerie (Gendarmerie). Regular Schupo units were stationed in larger cities and district capitals, forming battalions, and then police regiments, capable of carrying out immediate operations in several districts. The gendarmerie in turn was grouped in companies and platoons, and stationed in larger towns and district cities.

Nowy Sącz, as the capital of the occupational district, also received its platoon of gendarmerie (Gendarmerie-Zug Neu Sandez), which, along with its twin platoons in Jasło and Tarnów, was subordinate to the gendarmerie company in Tarnów (Gendarmerie-Hauptmannschaft Tarnow), commanded by Gendarmerie Cpt. Theodor Sielaff .[1] In the city there was a platoon headquarters with a commander (Zugführer) titled the Gendarmerie Inspector (Gendarmerie-Inspektor). And in the field, outposts of a dozen-or-so people were created, located in the localities most threatened by the underground resistance activity. That is why the gendarmerie platoon in Nowy Sącz, commanded by Lt. (later Cpt.) Georg Mittelmeier, close to its headquarters had its posts in Nowy Sącz itself and in Limanowa, Krynica, Muszyna and Rożnów.[2] The plutoon size, according to the 1940 guidelines, was to be a total of 55 people. The posts in turn should be manned by a commander and at least 12 gendarmes. Each gendarme was equipped with a rifle and a handgun, additionally each platoon received 4 machine guns and 2 light machine guns.[3]

In the summer of 1944, companies and platoons of gendarmerie evacuated to the Kraków district of the GG from the eastern territories also appeared in the Sącz region. In Nowy Sącz, the command of the Dębica gendarmerie platoon was quartered (2 officers, 17 sub-officers and regular gendarmes). It eventually became part of the special tasks gendarmerie company merged from the former Dębica, Krosno, Jasło, Przemyśl and Sanok gendarmerie platoons (Gendarmerie-Hauptmannschaft z.b.V.; 18 officers, 190 German sub-officers and regular gendarmes, 33 non-German sub-officers and regular gendarmes). It was created in November 1944, and stationed in Ujanowice. Platoons making up this unit were also temporarily stationed in other areas of the Sącz region.[4]

In the district of Krakow there were also independent motorized gendarmerie platoons (Gendarmerie-Zug mot.), which were sent to a specific localization or district when the local order police forces proved to be insufficient to carry out individual tasks. From 1943, such units were also temporarily present in the Sącz region. First to mark their activity in the region were the 64th and the 69th motorized gendarmerie platoons, which took part in operations against the underground resistance in the autumn of 1943.[5] Between August and October 1944 the Sądcz region has become the area of activity of the 54th motorized gendarmerie platoon (1 officer, 39 sub-officers and regular gendarmes). As one of the last, in December 1944, the notorious 63rd motorized gendarmerie platoon arrived in Nowy Sącz.[6] In the last motnh of the war, the German gendarmerie was stationed in the buildings on the Jagiellońska, Kościelna and Naściszowska Strs.

Schupo units also had an important place on the map of the occupying forces. Although during most of the war the gendarmerie forces proved to be sufficient to carry out police activities in the Sącz region, almost all of that time separate units of protection police were present in the district. These were primarily sub-units of the so-called Krakow Police Regiment (Polizei Regiment Krakau), consisting of several reserve battalions of police formed earlier in Germany. In July 1942 the Krakow Police Regiment was renamed as the 23rd Police Regiment, and a year later (in February 1943), in recognition of the Schipo regiments activities, the term “SS Police Regiment” was added to their names. From now on, until the formation was dissolved, it used the name 23rd SS Police Regiment (SS-Polizei Regiment 23).[7]

We find a trace of the presence of the policemen of the Krakow Schupo regiment in Nowy Sącz at the turn of 1940 and 1941, when the 4th and the 6th companies of the 106th reserve police battalion were stationed in the city. Later, in January 1942, when the 111th reserve police battalion became part of the Polizei Regiment Krakau, its individual companies and platoons were sent to Tarnów (the staff and the 1st platoon of the 1st company), Rzeszów (2nd company), Przemyśl (3rd company), Nowy Sącz (2nd platoon of the 1st company), Gorlice (3rd platoon of the 1st company) and to Jasło and Sanok.[8] They took part in numerous operations against the Polish underground and the Jewish population. In May 1942, the battalion was sent to the USSR occupied by the Germans. It was replaced by the 307th reserve police battalion, then commanded by maj. Siegfried Binz[9]. The staff and the 1st company moved to Rzeszów, the 2nd company was sent to Przemyśl, and the 3rd company was divided between Tarnów and Nowy Sącz.[10] The policemen of the Kraków Schupo regiment were barracked in the building of the inactive II Gymnasium and Lyceum in Nowy Sącz at Jagiellońska 63 Str.[11]

The German police also had in its structures guard police battalions (Polizei-Wachbataillone) and protective police battalions (Schutzmannschafts-Bataillone, abbreviated as Schuma), composed primarily of volunteers – former citizens of the USSR and Ukrainians. In August 1944, in the areas of Czchów, Rożnów and Nowy Sącz also the 111th and 206th Schuma battalions were present, which consisted mostly of Cossacks and Ukrainians. The first of them, the 111th “Cossack” protective police battalion was formed at the turn of 1942 and 1943 in Ukraine as a guard battalion. Its commander was Cpt. Werner Bellmann.[12] When it was quartered in Nowy Sącz, it had 9 officers (including 5 Ukrainians), 13 sub-officers and 294 regular policemen (all of them Ukrainians).[13] In December 1944 the battlion left the GG.[14]

The 206th protective police battalion was created in September 1943 from Ukrainians, who were to be part of the Ukrainian 32nd police rifle regiment.[15] It was commanded from 2 March 1944 by SS-Sturmbannführer and major of the protective police Rudolf Maschlanka[16]. In July 1944, after skirmishes with the Soviet front units near Rzeszów, the unit was sent to the Sącz region, where from December 1944 it was the main part of the battle group created here (Kampfgruppe Maschlanka). It consisted of a small staff of German policemen (8 officers, 2 sub-officers, 76 regular policemen officers) and Ukrainians (5 sub-officers, 515 regular policemen).[17]

It should be assumed that both battalions were barracked at Jagiellońska Str. (Using also the building of the II Gymnasiumand Lyceum in Nowy Sącz), while the 206th Schuma supply vehicles were located at Jagiellońska 36 Str.

The order police structures also included the auxiliary police (Hilfspolizei, abbreviated Hipo), consisting of Volksdeutsch and collaborators recruited in the territories occupied by the Germans and German citizens employed in the GG periodically serving in it, and also the uniformed Polish Police of the General Government, i.e. the so-called “blue” police (also called the district police). The latter, despite the separation of the lower-level command structures within it, was directly subject to the German gendarmerie. In the Nowy Sącz district, the “blue” police stations were located in: Nowy Sącz (main police station and suburban outpost), Chełmiec, Mszana Dolna, Niedźwiedź, Limanowa, Męcinie, Szczyrzyc, Skrzydlna, Krasne-Lasocice, Korzenna, Tymbark, Dobra, Ujanowice, Kobyle-Gródek, Łososina Dolna, Łukowica, Łącko, Stary Sącz, Podegrodzie, Grybów, Kamienica, Nawojowa, Piwniczna, Krynica and Muszyna.[18]

In Nowy Sącz there was also a district command of the uniformed police, commanded initially by Cpt. Leon Leśniewski (1940), after whom the commanders were Volksdeutsch Maj. Vinzenz Edler vion Strohe (1941) and Cpt. Adam Kostyrka (1941–1945). Its headquarters was located at Szwedzka 9 Str.[19] The number of the “blue” policemen in the Nowy Sącz district, according to the emploment documents from July 1940 was 2 officers and 150 sub-officers and regular policemen.[20] The district command of the “blue” polic in Nowy Sącz was also closely connected with the  School of the Polish Police of the General Government (Polizeischule der Polnischen Polizei des Generalgouvernements), which operated from 1 October 1941, and for the entire occupation period was commanded by Maj. Edler von Strohe (later promoted to the rank of Schupo Major).[21] ZWZ-AK counterintelligence wrote about him in 1941: Wincenty von Strohe gendarmerie, r[etired] major of the Polish Army, former president [another report names him as the treasurer] of the Nat[ional] Par[ty] in N[owy] S[ącz], MP candidate, now a Volksdeutsch appointed by the Germans as the chief commandant of the BP. His wife, born Migaczówna, is a great supporter of the Germans, and his daughter attends the German gymnasium in Zakopane.[22] At that time von Strohe (before the war he used the name Wincenty Słoma) lived in a private house at Naściszowska 42 Str.

The permanent staff of the school consisted of 11 officers and 24 sub-officers and regular policemen who would train about 250–300 candidates for police service at one course. The premises of the school were located in the building of the inactive I State Gymnasium and Lyceum at Długosza 5 Str. In the spring of 1944, the building was transformed for the needs of the military hospital, and the school was moved to Żegiestów.[23]


[1] See: [accessed on: 20.08.2021].

[2] Amtliches Fernsprechbuch für den Distrikt Krakau, Krakau 1942, pp. 44, 46–47; W. Curilla, Der Judenmord in Polen und die deutsche Ordnungspolizei 1939–1945, Paderborn 2011, pp. 382, 395; A. Krawczyk, Hitlerowski aparat okupacyjny na Sądecczyźnie [in:] Occupation in Sądecczyzna, ed. by J. Berghauzen, Warszawa 1979, p. 74.

[3]Archiwum Głównej Komisji Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej w Warszawie [later as: IPN GK], 196/258, Akta procesu Josefa Bühlera, Organisation der Gendarmerie im Generalgouvernement, Krakau, 17.06.1940, pp 116–117; ibidem, Organisation und Kräftebedarf der Gend. im Generalgouvernement, Berlin, 5.06.1940, pp 118–119; ibidem, Stärke und Ausrüstungsnachweisung für die Gendarmerie des Reiches im Generalgouvernement, pp 120–122

[4] Based on: Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg im Breisgau [later as: BAMA], RH 53-23/47, Militärbefehlshaber im Generalgouvernement, Abteilung Ia, Anlagen zum Kriegstagebuch (1. Jan.–19. Feb. 1945), Stärkemäßige Gliederung der Div.z.b.V. 601, Krakau, 3.01.1945, pp. 10–11; RH 53-23/48 [later as: RH 53-23/48], Militärbefehlshaber im Generalgouvernement, Abteilung Ia, Anlagen zum Kriegstagebuch (1. Jan.–19. Feb. 1945), Karten der vorbereiteten Stellungen mit geplanter Besetzung 1944 – Januar 1945, Division z.b.V. 601 Kraftgliederung, 30.12.1944, p. 1; Einsatz „Ziethen”, Div.z.b.V. 601 [figures for 6.01.1945], p. 2; RH 53-23/71, Militärbefehlshaber im Generalgouvernement Abteilung Ia, Besetzung der vorbereiteten Stellungen (1944–1945) [later as: RH 53-23/71], [Zestawienie sił niemieckich OFK 226/601 Div.z.b.V. figures for the break of October and November 1944]; ibidem, Kampfgruppen der Ordnungspolizei im Raum der A 1 und A 2 Linie, Krakau, 24.12.1944; ibidem, Kampfgruppen der Ordnungspolizei im Raum der A 1 und A 2 Linie, Krakau, 2.01.1945; ibidem, Kampfgruppen der Ordnungspolizei im Raum der A 1 und A 2 Linie, Krakau, 11.01.1945.

[5] IPN GK 107/41, Wnioski odznaczeniowe policji niemieckiej, Vorschlagliste Nr 31 für die Verleihung des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes 2. Klasse mit Schwertern, Krakau, 17.04.1944, pp. 55–60

[6] IPN Kr 075/1, Wywiad i kontrwywiad niemiecki, vol. 24, Tłumaczenie dot. Philippa Riedingera, pp. 69–70. See: Archiwum Oddziałowej Komisji Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu IPN w Krakowie, S 4/75, Kopie wniosków odznaczeniowych żandarmerii niemieckiej w dystrykcie krakowskim; D. Golik, Żandarmi od Kreskego, “Dziennik Polski”, 2.01.2020.

[7] H.J. Neufeldt [J. Huck, G. Tessin], Zur Geschichte der Ordnungspolizei, 1936–1945, Koblenz 1957, p. 29.

[8] W. Curilla, op. cit., p. 359.

[9] Ibidem, p. 346.

[10] Ibidem, pp. 346–356

[11] J. Bieniek, W cieniu swastyki, cz. II. Starostwo powiatowe w Nowym Sączu, “Rocznik Sądecki” 1995, vol. 23, p. 141.

[12] Bundesarchiv Berlin-Lichterfelde [later as: BArch], R 19/326, Chef der Ordnungspolizei [later as: R 19/326], pp. 39, 43; IPN GK 107/11, Wnioski odznaczeniowe policji niemieckiej, Wniosek o nadanie Żelaznego Krzyża 2 klasy Wernerowi Bellmannowi, 6 X 1944 r., p. 185; H.J. Neufeldt [J. Huck, G. Tessin], op. cit., p. 105.

[13] BAMA, RH 53-23/71, [Zestawienie sił niemieckich OFK 226/601 Div.z.b.V. stan na przełom października i listopada 1944 r.].

[14] BArch, R 19/326, p. 43. At that moment the battalion already had 14 officers and 412 sub-officers and regular policemen.

[15] BArch, R 19/333. Chef der Ordnungspolizei, Aufstellung des Schutzmannschaftsbatl. 206 im Generalgouvernement, 25.08.1943, p. 78; H.J. Neufeldt [J. Huck, G. Tessin], op. cit., p. 106.

[16] Barch, R 19/507, Personalakten Rudolf Maschlanka, pp. 58, 65, 68, 70–71; R 9355/739, Wnioski awansowe dla członków SS Polizei Regiment 4.

[17] J. Bieniek, Łącko konspiracją kwitnące, Nowy Sącz 1988, pp. 156–157.

[18] IPN Kr 075/204, Policja Państwowa krypt. „Targowica”, Materiały operacyjne z lat 1949–1953. Doniesienia agenturalne, Spisy policji granatowej z pow. N. Sącz, p. 161; Amtliches Fernsprechbuch…, pp. 38, 40, 42, 44–46, 48, 50, 53, 55.

[19] Cf. L. Zakrzewski, Bierna obrona przeciwlotnicza ludności miasta Nowego Sącza w okresie okupacji [in:] Bierna obrona ludności cywilnej Nowego Sącza – zarys dziejów, ed. by L. Zakrzewski, Nowy Sącz 2017, p. 86.

[20] IPN GK 901/16, Der Höhere SS und Polizeiführer Ost (Wyższy Dowódca SS i Policji Wschód) [later as: IPN GK 901/16], Wykazy stanu liczbowego policji polskiej i ukraińskiej w GG, Sollstärkenachweisung der polnischen und ukrainischen Polizei im Distrikt Krakau vom 1.7.1940, 15.07.1940, p. 3.

[21] Amtliches Fernsprechbuch…, p. 47.

[22] Archiwum Akt Nowych w Warszawie, AAN, Armia Krajowa, 203/XI-9, Agenci i szpicle Gepo i GPU, Akta ZWZ z roku przypuszczalnie 1941, odnalezione i przepisane jesienią 1943 r., „Niedźwiedź”, p. 11.

[23] A. Hempel, Pogrobowcy klęski. Rzecz o policji „granatowej” w Generalnym Gubernatorstwie 1939–1945, Warszawa 1990, pp. 74–75; J. Bieniek, W cieniu swastyki cz. III. Wspomnienia, “Rocznik Sądecki” 1996, vol. 24, pp. 97.