Any info about Sonderdienst & Baudienst in GG

Discussions on the foreigners (volunteers as well as conscripts) fighting in the German Wehrmacht, those collaborating with the Axis and other period Far Right organizations. Hosted by George Lepre.
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Semenov
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Any info about Sonderdienst & Baudienst in GG

Post by Semenov » 13 Dec 2005 00:27

Hi,
I search any info about Sonderdienst & Baudienst in GG.

Regards!

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Semenov
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Post by Semenov » 27 Feb 2007 19:46

Hi,
I have some foto officiers from Baudienst. Do you have any foto or other infos about this organisation?
Regards!
source D. Littlejohn
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Askold
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Post by Askold » 01 Mar 2007 19:38

Hello Semenov, the pic are of Polish members of Baudienst. The Ukrainian Baudienst called Ukrains'ka Sluzhba Bat'kivschyni (USB) Here is info from my site:

Following the German example, such organizations were created in Hungary and Croatia. Ukrainian section of RAD - Ukrainska Sluzhba Bat'kivschyni (USB, Ukrainischer Heimatdienst) was created as early as September 1941. The main tasks of USB were construction and repair of roads, drying out the marshes, preparing the wheat and helping out the farmers. The work in USB was for volunteers, which were supposed to rebuild the land after the war. The members were outfitted in RAD uniforms, feed, provided with medical care and payed 50 zl. a day. Workers were divided into groups of 150 people and were commanded by an German instructor with local traynees selected from the volunteers. After the work the kids engaged in various physical games, sports and cultural activities. After the service for 7 months, the volunteer was awarded a diploma which granted him secured job of his choosing.

Besides serving in USB, a lot of Ukrainians actually choose to serve in Germany and joined RAD.

Organisation Todt (OT) also had its officers in Ukraine, especially in Lviv. In March 1944 the organization was recruiting skilled technicians and workers to work on Dalmatian coast in Italy. Couple of hundreds Ukrainians volunteered, after they were outfitted with full OT uniforms and sent to Italy. They were stationed in Trieste, Fiume, Kralevitz and Tsrkvenitsy. Of interesting note is that UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) used this connection, to establish their coonections with the Italian royal partisans.


Here's a rare broshure for USB:
Image

http://axis.ssgalicia.com/usb/index.html

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BAUDIENST in GG

Post by Aswan_Raafat » 11 Mar 2007 16:47

Here I made a quick translation from some of my friend Jan Rutkiewicz's work about Baudienst (sorry for the mistakes & imperfect English). I will post later some pictures of Baudienst too, but first I will have to learn how to do it (posting pictures)...

[...] On October 2, 1939 already, defining the role of the future General Government inside the “New European Order”, Adolf Hitler declared: “…The General Government will be a reserve of Poles, a huge work camp […]. The Pole, contrary to the German workman, is made for the low work.
The General Government is officially proclaimed on October 26, 1939. Placed at his head, the governor Hans Frank indicates the objectives of his mission: “…This territory was designed in order to constitute a reserve of labour and anything else. We have here a gigantic work camp, where any authority and autonomy are in the hands of the Germans. […] The Pole must realize that we are not here to build a state of right to him, and that he has only one and single obligation - to work, and to work with zeal.
One of the first measurements taken by Hans Frank was the introduction of the obligation of work for any male Pole from 18 to 60 years old, extended soon to the young people from 14 years old. In April 1940, the governor of the Cracow district, SS-Brigadeführer doctor Otto Wächter presents to Frank the project of institutionalizing the obligation of work for indigenous youth, by creating a work service, which goals would be: “…to proceed to work of general interest and other tasks useful for the state, while accustoming the Polish workman to operate under the German direction.
The concept, which corresponds to the official vision of the role of Polish population, is approved by the governor Frank. The practical organization of Polnischer Baudienst im Generalgouvernement (Polish Service of Construction in the General Government - after a few months however, for political reasons, the “Polish” adjective is abandoned), created on May 6, 1940, is ensured by the German RAD. The RAD delegates to Cracow a group of senior officials with, at their head, Oberarbeitsführer H. Hinkel. The German authorities justify the creation of Baudienst as well by economic as political reasons. The occupant considers, not without reasons, that the weak rural development, the bad condition of the transportation routes and the impracticability of the waterways, threaten safety of the country and require to undertake a whole series of work on a large scale. That would have as a merit to solve on the one hand the problem of unemployment, and on the other hand, as it was formulated by the authorities, “to remove people from the street”, which means rather “diverting the youth from politics and conspiracy, while placing it under a strict control of the authority”.
It was underlined nevertheless that the objectives of Baudienst were not in any case educational: above all, it was a question of obtaining a labour force, as devoted as possible to the service of the Third Reich.
At the beginning, on an experimental basis, Baudienst was created only in the district of Cracow (this city was considered by the Germans the capital of the General Government; Hans Frank resided with his “government” at the Polish royal castle of Wawel). In December of the same year, Baudienst was also creates in the districts of Lublin and Radom, while the district of Warsaw, for reasons known only by Germans, until the end of the occupation will not have this “honour”.
The obligatory work period in Baudienst was initially fixed at 3 months, but shortly after it was spread up to 7 months of work during the spring-summer period. The executives remained in service during the winter period. The young workmen, confined in hutments, were entitled theoretically to be nourished, to receive exit and working clothes, to receive medical care when necessary and to perceive an allowance of 1 Zloty/day. This sum will remain unchanged during the four years of existence of Baudienst, and that in spite of a constant devaluation of the bank money of occupation. As example, at the beginning of 1940, one kilo of bacon or meat - crucial food for those who carried out painful manual work - reached at the black market approximately 30 Zlotys; and at the end of 1943, approximately 300 Zlotys! For the sum of 1 Zloty, the young person could buy a “rag” (newspaper of Polish language published by Germans).
Hans Frank kept on specifying his vision of “Polish slaves”: “…There must be a difference marked between the standard of living of the nation of lords and their subjects. The Poles must become aware of the limit of their development. A Pole can not pretend to any more important position that a foreman.”
This directive was scrupulously respected: the Poles occupied within Baudienst at most only subordinate leading functions: from Vorarbeiter (semi-skilled worker) to Werkmeister (foreman). The Germans offered these jobs only to the blindly obeying people, or straightforwardly to Volksdeutsche (those which had signed the “German national list”). The legislation specified that the obligation of service in Baudienst concerned all the non-German inhabitants of the General Government, except for the foreigners, of the Jews and the Gypsies. Actually this obligation concerned not only the Poles, but also the Ukrainians living the Eastern part of the General Government, and also… the Mountain dwellers of the mounts Tatra (Gorale). In their will to disintegrate the Polish nation, the Germans decided, according to “scientific” studies, that these Mountain dwellers were not Poles and set up an autonomous ethnic group, with the Germanic roots! Thus, according to the precept “divide et impera”, the Germans started as at the end of 1940 to set up “ethnic” services of construction: Ukrainische Heimatdienst (Ukrainian National Service) and Goralische Heimatdienst. This last, in practice, was born-dead, because the immense majority of the inhabitants of the Polish slope of the Tatra Mountains boycotted the German idea of the creation of the “Goralenvolk”.
At the same time, “Ukrainische Heimatdienst”, based on volunteering, succeeded initially in attracting only so small number of young men, that Germans were forced to give up the idea of autonomous formations and to spread Ukrainians between the existing already “Polish” formations. The Ukrainians will have to exert functions of monitoring there, while after 1941, whereas the majority of armed Germans used to supervise the camps of Baudienst are sent to the front, the “maintenance of law and order” will be also entrusted to the armed guards of Ukrainian nationality. A greater number of Ukrainians will sign up to Baudienst after July 1941, when the Germans seize the pre-war Polish territories of south-east (with the cities of Lwow, Tarnopol and Stanislawow), occupied by the USSR, founding on these grounds the fifth district of the General Government - Galicia. Hans Frank noted then in his “Dairy”: “…It is the great interest of the German policy to maintain the tension in the relations between Poles and Ukrainians. The 4.5 or 5 million Ukrainians who live in this country are an important counterweight for the Polish culture. This is why I try to maintain a good mood among the Ukrainians, in order to prevent them from linking up with the Poles.” Unfortunately, it should be said that Hans Frank fully succeeded in this…
The work accomplished by the young people of Baudienst was not in any case intended to make the “natives” of the General Government happy. At the time of the creation of this service, “the German peace and order” was still in force in the country. Wild repressions of the Gestapo against the enemies of the Third Reich - real or potentials - continued, but Konzentrationlager Auschwitz and the ghettos were only in their first phase of installation, while the war, remote, was held then beyond the Rhine, at the edge of the English Channel. But “peace” on the bank of the Vistula was only apparent. Convoys of men and military material in great number started to arrive in the General Government, heading towards the Eastern border. The barracks filled at sight of eye, as well as the deposits and the training grounds. The units of Baudienst were charged to prepare the transportation routes opening towards the East. It was necessary to prepare the railways, the roadways, the bridges… “The eternal friendship” between Stalin and Hitler directed itself unrelentingly towards his dramatic outcome… For the moment however, on the face of their work, the young people of Baudienst frequently continued the unfinished building sites, left a year or two before by the young volunteers of the Work Units of the Republic of Poland of pre-war period. Work of regulations of rivers, improvement of infrastructures was not intended to improve the way of life of rural Polish, but to ensure the Germans the more consequent food deliveries for the front and the underfed population of Reich.
With the development of the military activity on the East front, and as the position of the Germans worsens there, the situation of Baudienst becomes month in month more complicated. The difficulties of provisioning of the year 1940, which could have been explained by a “progressive installation” of the service, made place to a real shortage. Attributions of foodstuffs for the Baudienst are reduced and become less and less nutritive. Clothing and the shoes miss. The young people walk in wood shoes, and frequently work in their civil clothes, while the “comfortable hutments in the regional style” promised in 1940, remain a dream. Only the requirements in work increase unceasingly. Thus, it is not astonishing to note that the desertions from the young people are growing, although the abandonment of work is severely punished: disciplinary camp, prison or even the capital punishment. The increasing activity of the units of partisans conditions also the desertions. Individually or groups, the more and more young people “go to the forest”.
At the top of its development, Baudienst counts only 45.000 pairs of arms instead of 150.000 previewed by Germans. The military authorities point nevertheless the potential danger represented by these organized units of Polish youth, which could become very well a true fish pond for armed resistance. These fears appear founded, as it seems that the 32 attacks of the Polish “bandits” of the “interior Army” against the camps of Baudienst were all carried out thanks to interior complicities.
There was also, sometimes, some less glorious actions implying - constrained and forced - the young people of Baudienst. At the summer 1942, on the territory of the General Government, began “the final solution from the Jewish question”. In a certain number of villages of province, the SD and the German police force requisitioned the units of Baudienst to dig ditches intended for the executions, then to bury the bodies of the victims. Sometimes it was also necessary to excavate the bodies or to recover clothing and possible valuable articles. There, it was however not question of volunteering and, although the use of the young people of Baudienst was sporadic there, the refusal could cost life.
In the summer 1944, when the great offensive of the Red Army was going in direction of the Vistula, came time for the Baudienst to carry out an important work, which was also the last one… It was a question of building with haste, in the area of Cracow, a system of defensive ditches and anti-tank obstacles. In the “Dairy” of Hans Frank, under the date of July 26, 1944, we find a communication with the authorities of the General Government consigned as follows: “…Growing uncertainty is reflected in the behaviour of Baudienst: it almost entirely vanished. This organization, so gracefully set-up by us, disaggregated entirely in only one and single night. If some people did not evaporate in nature, it is because they forgot to wake up so early. But in any case, these also will go away…”


UNIFORMS of the BAUDIENST
They can be divided into three distinct categories:
1. For the executives of German nationality
2. For the supervisory staff of Polish nationality
3. for the young workers

N°1 category
The uniform of the German executives was of course the most characteristic. It was an ordinary army officer cut, of colour identical to that of the uniforms of RAD (Reichsarbeitdienst). The marks of rank were related to the black collar tabs, decorated with the emblem of Baudienst (the head of a stylized axe), or, sometimes, also on the shoulder tabs. The iconography suggests that the shoulder tabs, as well as the eagle model 1940 for the civil servants of the Reich with crown and rosette, were carried only by those of the top executives of Baudienst which had a rank of officer in the Army or the RAD. To the left sleeve of the jacket, the German national eagle was sewn, and below, the emblem of Baudienst embroidered out of silver plated braid. Those which did not have a rank - and thus not of shoulder boards - also carried on their caps the eagle model 1940 for the civil servant of the Reich, except that their rosette did not have a crown.

N°2 category
The Polish supervisory staff was entitled to a much more modest uniform. He was composed of:
- Flexible Cap with visor, round, out of cloth, of old model of Hitlerjugend (first model).
- Straight jacket out of cloth or lattice, dark or brown-grey greenish, with the granulated buttons of German model.
- Long trousers.

N°3 category
The uniform of the young people was rather rudimentary. Theoretically, the treatment was to be composed of two complete: work clothes and walking-out dress. However, because of the constant difficulties of provisioning, the second complete one was seldom allotted. The basic clothing of the young worker was cut in a khaki lattice, which faded quickly and lost its colour through successive washings. This clothing was composed of:
- Beret, replaced soon by a forage cap of Polish cut.
- Wind-breaker blouse or, since 1942, shirt with two pockets on the chest, put inside the long trousers, supported with a belt or a cord.
- Shoes (“trepy”) on sole out of wooden; much more rarely - leather laced boots. The iconography attests only seldom wearing the jackets “of exit” by the young workers.
The data for a possible clothes for the autumn-winter period is missing.

BADGES of the Baudienst:
There were two types of badges of Baudienst:
- First type - in the shape of head of stylized axe, carried on the collar tabs, was embroidered out of braid silver plated on black bottom (for the German executives), or painted in black on fabric (for the Poles).
- Second type - carried on the left sleeve, the shape of a triangle with the letter “G” (Generalgouvernement) above two cross hatchets. For the Germans, this badge was embroidered. The foremen and the young Polish workers carried it in version painted - as well on the sleeve, as on the cap, beret or forage cap.

Marks of rank of the Polish supervisory staff, in the shape of clear horizontal bars on black bottom of the round cap, in an adequate number with the rank, while the bars of rank carried as well by the executives as by the workers were black and painted on a piece of fabrics, in the same way that the triangular sleeve badge.

MARKS of RANK for “native” workers:
3 bars - Werkmeister
2 bars - Vorwerker
1 bar - Vorarbeiter
Without bars - young basic workers

One another “early” project of the badge of Baudienst existed. This very first version was abandoned because considered too complicated to reproduce. Thus, the new version will have a graphics simplified in order to facilitate its reproduction with the “stencil key set”. Moreover, the Polish “P”, considered to be “politically incorrect” was replaced by “G” of the General Government. Lastly, one reduced the number of hatchets: three in this first version, there remained only two of them in the “final” version.

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Post by Semenov » 11 Mar 2007 18:56

Great info! Thanks for help!
I don't know about this article J. Rutkevicz (it year, name mag or book, please).
Regards!

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Post by Aswan_Raafat » 11 Mar 2007 22:25

Hello Semenov, I am so glad if the info helps you. It comes from Jan Rutkiewicz's article for the French revue called Militaria Magazine, n°248 from March 2006.
Jan Rutkiewicz wrote it in Polish and I translated it into French (I work with him and translate most of his articles to French); Mr Rutkiewicz wrote also books about NKVD (with colonel Kulikov, now passed away), Lithuanian army 1918-1944, Latvian army 1918-1944...

Pictures (from J.R. collection): Cracow 1944, Baudienst workers in photo studio (will my attachments work?)
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Post by Aswan_Raafat » 11 Mar 2007 22:40

- Baudiensthauptman, decorated with the Military Cross of Merit (Kriegsverdienstkreutz). He was undoubtedly delegated to the General Government as a specialist.

- Baudienstoberinspektor who did not serve on the frontline in the army. At the present time, we are unaware of what means the silver plated button on his collar tab.

- First "pattern" of the Baudienst badge - with the "P" (for "Polish") letter, soon abandoned...
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Post by Aswan_Raafat » 11 Mar 2007 22:57

- Cracow, summer 1940. Pay-day. The young workers of the first wave of recruitment receive their poor wages weekly. It is just enough to buy a package of poor cigarettes made of “hay of the edges of the Vistula”.

- Lwow (Lemberg), 1942. Courses for the best elements of Ukrainische Heimatdienst. On two sides of the portrait of Führer: gold lions on azure field - historical symbol of Galicia, become under the German occupation the fifth district of the General Government. The national symbolic system is supposed to strike the patriotic cord of the listeners. Under the Hitler's picture, the "definitive" logo of Baudienst: triangle with 2 axes and "G" letter - for "Generalgouvernement".

- Cracow, July 1944. Today it seems that this Vorwerker (2 bars above the triangle badge on his left sleeve) have a particular reason to cheer and play guitar. Their units have moreover dug a few hundred meters of anti-tank ditches? In any case, these are the last days of unconcern. Mow tanks of the Red Army are not any more but to 300 km of Cracow.
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Post by Semenov » 12 Mar 2007 20:58

Hi, Aswan_Raafat!
Thanks for your help!!!

Regards from Russia!

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Askold
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Post by Askold » 13 Mar 2007 05:16

Fantastic Photos Raafat! Would it be possible to see a larger scan of the Ukrainian baundienst? Of interesting note, is that later they replaced letter G in the emblem with the Trident.

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BAUDIENST in GG

Post by Aswan_Raafat » 13 Mar 2007 23:45

Hi Askold,

I am very glad if you are interested. Maybe, if you want that, if you give me your e-mail (by PM if you want) with pleasure I will send you a high-resolution big scan of the UH photo. By the way, it sounds very interesting to me that the "G" int the logo was replaced by a "Tryzub", do you have any pictures/drawings of that logo to show?
Friendly,
Nico

Some other pictures of Baudienst:

- Cracow, summer 1940. Extract of a photo report published in a German magazine in Polish language (Nowy Kurier Warszawski). The young workers are smiling, excellent food… Very quickly, reality will became nevertheless much less "shiny".

- "Logistic service" of one Bauabteilung. Their everyday-life is somewhat better than that of the others: more consequent rations, new shoes (made of wood)…

- Cracow, May 25, 1944. The General Governor Hans Frank (1st on right of the 3 men) and Generalarbeitsführer (since already a year) Heinrich Hinkel (in the middle of the 3 men) in front of a gathering of the units of Baudienst. It is a last last-ditch parade... On the second plan, above the sky-line, a monument characteristic of Cracow cuts out - "Kopiec Kosciuszki" (I suppose that this is it... maybe someone from Cracow will correct me...) - monument out of ground to the glory of the hero of freedom of Poland and the United States, Tadeusz Kosciuszko.
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