Jewish Policemen in Ghettos

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mauser1940
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Jewish Policemen in Ghettos

Post by mauser1940 » 27 Apr 2002 14:55

It is not a subject discussed very often in histories of the Holocaust, or the Second World War in general. I am looking for information about the Jewish Police forces established in Polish ghettos (organization, structure, the role they played in deporting their fellow Jews to camps, etc.)

Any tips about good sources - books, films, etc?

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mauser1940
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Post by mauser1940 » 27 Apr 2002 15:05

Does anyone in the forum believe the Jewish Police could be classified as "war criminals", or should be held criminally responsible for their activities in the ghettos?

Dan
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Post by Dan » 27 Apr 2002 15:13

mauser1940 wrote:Does anyone in the forum believe the Jewish Police could be classified as "war criminals", or should be held criminally responsible for their activities in the ghettos?
My views on Jews is radical. I believe they are no better and no worse than other people. They are not the chosen race, and they are not Satan's agents on this earth.

In fact, it was people of my faith that portrayed Justice as a blindfolded woman with scales in her hand.

So, my view is that all people are punished or rewarded without consideration for who their parents were. One would take the individual actions of the specific policeman and judge him the same way a concentration camp guard.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 27 Apr 2002 15:28

Dan wrote:My views on Jews is radical. I believe they are no better and no worse than other people.
I agree completly.

/Marcus

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mauser1940
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Post by mauser1940 » 27 Apr 2002 15:40

Gentlemen, I agree with that statement, as well. The crux of my question was not whether the policemen should be punished, or even judged, based on racial considerations, but on the basis of their own activities. From what I understand of the Jewish Police forces in the ghettos, these men worked to control their fellow Jews. Some have called their behavior "collaboration" with the Germans, and others judge it to have been the simple acts of Jews attempting to keep order, and thereby prevent intervention against the ghetto community by German authorities. What is your assessment of the men who worked as Policemen in the Jewish ghettos? Collaborator guards or guardians looking out for their people's well being?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 27 Apr 2002 15:42

mauser1940,

Welcome to the forum btw.

/Marcus

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HaEn
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Ghetto police

Post by HaEn » 27 Apr 2002 22:27

There is a book called "Judenrat" (forgot the author's name) which gives you an in depth picture of Jewish "Elders" and "Ghetto police" working with the German authorities. HN.

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 29 Apr 2002 22:11

I have finished reading a novel called Mila 18 about the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. Although the writer says the characters are fictious he says that within a framework of basic truth, tempered with a reasonable amount of artistic licence, the places and events described actually happened.


On one of the pages it says "True to early rumour, a Jewish Militia was formed. On paper it was run by the Jewish Civil Authority, a guise in keeping with the German policy of trying to create the illusion that the Jews were imposing this on each other".


According to the book when the 'volutary deportaions' started there were lots of volunteers to get the extra food ration, however when the rumour of death camps arrived nobody appeared. The Jewish militia were each given quotas on how many people they ahd to deliver to the railway center, it was not uncommon to see a militiaman taking a member of his own family to the station because he could not fill the quota. Eventually when the militia could not stop the growing resistance movement the Militia were all rounded off and sent to Treblinka anyway.

These wrethched people caused untold misery to the people of the ghettos (their own people) just for some extra food and power, in the end they met the same fate as their victims.


Sadly and with regards I sign off,

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Post by Laurent » 30 Apr 2002 09:55

Lord Gort wrote:On one of the pages it says "True to early rumour, a Jewish Militia was formed. On paper it was run by the Jewish Civil Authority, a guise in keeping with the German policy of trying to create the illusion that the Jews were imposing this on each other".
Actually it was the first time in Poland that Jew policemen existed and it was at first (in 1940) a pride to be in its rank.
Lord Gort wrote:According to the book when the 'volutary deportaions' started there were lots of volunteers to get the extra food ration, however when the rumour of death camps arrived nobody appeared. The Jewish militia were each given quotas on how many people they ahd to deliver to the railway center, it was not uncommon to see a militiaman taking a member of his own family to the station because he could not fill the quota. Eventually when the militia could not stop the growing resistance movement the Militia were all rounded off and sent to Treblinka anyway.

These wrethched people caused untold misery to the people of the ghettos (their own people) just for some extra food and power, in the end they met the same fate as their victims.
All German methodoly was centered on the survival hope of the Jews they didn't plan to kill/deportate today. The methods were repeated in each ghetto with success, until 1943 when it was obvious to the remaining Jews that they will be killed one day or the another.

Most policemen try to save themselves and their families first, and I think it was very uncommon for a policeman to sent its loved ones to Treblinka as they had the power to send there any of their neighbours.... and so save their children.

It's the same system as in concentration camp and gulags, giving some of the prisonners power to control the others by fear and strenght. Then you only have to control these 'guards', threatening to kill or dismiss them if something went wrong, and in the cases of most Jewish policemen and Judenrat members, to kill their families. The 'basis' prisonner will see most of the times the 'first class' prisonners, will consider them as traitors and hate them first, often more than his distant enemies. And the militiaman will feel more threatened by its fellow prisonners than by the foreign guards.

Don't forget that they are also much cases where Judenrat members give their own names to be the first to be deported. As in any human community, there were bad and good people, the worst lasting longer by following nazi orders. But many people only try to survive.

Regards

Laurent[/quote]

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Post by Oskar » 30 Apr 2002 15:34

Mauser:

There's a very good book on the subject called "seduced by Hitler" I can't remember the author. I recommend you read it.

As for whether they should be punished, that depends. Many of those who joined the ranks of the Jewish police did so in the hopes of being able to help their fellow Jews. When you live under severe conditions, as many in there did, things can get out of hand, people can get a little jumpy, and this would give the SS the opportunity to intervene with extreme force. Many of those who joined the police force tried to avoid these circumstances. If they happen to break out anyway, then they would try to minimize the repercussions. In this case I do not believe they should be punished. They may be branded as collaborators, though that would be unfair since there was nothing else they could do, they were at the mercy of those who "guarded" them. If they chose to do nothing or to be uncooperative, then many more would suffer as a result of repercussions taken against them.

However, there were also those who used their position of authority to primarily benefit themselves, even at the expense of those whom they were supposed to help out. In this case, Yes I believe they should be tried and punished. In fact, after the war, many of these Jews were tried in Israel for their crimes.

Best,

Oskar

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Lord Gort
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Post by Lord Gort » 30 Apr 2002 21:17

Sorry Laurent, I was not clear,
Lord Gort wrote:
According to the book when the 'volutary deportaions' started there were lots of volunteers to get the extra food ration, however when the rumour of death camps arrived nobody appeared. The Jewish militia were each given quotas on how many people they ahd to deliver to the railway center, it was not uncommon to see a militiaman taking a member of his own family to the station because he could not fill the quota. Eventually when the militia could not stop the growing resistance movement the Militia were all rounded off and sent to Treblinka anyway.

These wrethched people caused untold misery to the people of the ghettos (their own people) just for some extra food and power, in the end they met the same fate as their victims.


All German methodoly was centered on the survival hope of the Jews they didn't plan to kill/deportate today. The methods were repeated in each ghetto with success, until 1943 when it was obvious to the remaining Jews that they will be killed one day or the another.

In 1943 as you be the 60k remaining Jews in the Ghetto went underground hiding in bunkers and other prepared hiding places, it became harder and harder for the Militiamen to find people to fill their quota.

Also you are right the militia was formed in 1940, first in the Lublin ghetto>? (not sure) because this was the test ghetto where all of Gestapo section 4b's plans as well as those of the SS's were first trialed.

sincerly, and with sadness, Lord Gort

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