The Politische Abteilung ("Political Department"), also called the "concentration camp Gestapo," was one of the five departments of a Nazi concentration camp set up by the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) to operate the camps. An outpost of both the Gestapo and the criminal police (Kripo), the political department evolved into the most important of the five.
Theodor Eicke was assigned by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler to establish a system to run the concentration camps. Eicke drew up regulations for guards and for prisoners and set up five departments to oversee the camp.
The five departments were:
As of summer 1936, the Politische Abteilung (Political department) was a compulsory part of the concentration camp command structure. Unlike the other departments, it was not under the Concentration Camps Inspectorate, but rather the local Gestapo office or after September 1939, Amt IV (Gestapo) of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). The department head and deputy were usually officers of the Gestapo or Kripo, or were members of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). The other employees of the department were members of the Waffen-SS, technically also Gestapo officers, but as SS members, belonged to the Stabskompanie, the company attached to the command headquarters and thus to the disciplinary authority of the commandant and adjutant.
The Politische Abteilung was sub-divided into other five or six departments, which handled specific tasks. At Auschwitz, for example, the Politische Abteilung consisted of:
The camp registrar handled the registration of prisoners when they were admitted and when they left, whether by release, transfer, escape or death. Inmate files were created, portrait photos made, physical description noted, brief details about the prisoner's life and fingerprints were filed.
The Politische Abteilung also handled the police work of the camps, again dividing up this work into specific subdivisions. The monitoring service prepared prisoner identification papers, another handled investigations and interrogations and a third handled prisoner surveillance. This included the fight against clandestine camp resistance groups, the prevention of escape. The department was known for its harsh interrogations, torture and executions and SS members of this department were feared by prisoners.
The department also handled correspondence with the Gestapo, Kripo and RSHA. For a prisoner, the political department could mean, within the grim world of a concentration camp, a relatively pleasant place to work, or it could mean torture and execution.
Arbeitsdorf ("work-village") was a concentration camp established by the Nazis in Wolfsburg 1942.Budapest Ghetto
The Budapest Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto set up in Budapest, Hungary, where Jews were forced to relocate by a decree of the Hungarian Government during the final stages of World War II. The ghetto existed only from November 29, 1944 - January
17, 1945.Central Committee of the Liberated Jews
The Central Committee of the Liberated Jews (ZK) was an organization which represented Jewish displaced persons in the American Zone of the post-World War II Germany, during 1945-1950.Originated on July 1, 1945 through the efforts of Dr. Zalman Grinberg, former director of the Kovno ghetto hospital, rabbi Abraham Klausner, a chaplain of the US Army, and others, on September 7, 1946 the Committee was recognized as "the legal and democratic representation of the liberated Jews in the American zone" by the American military government in Germany.The first Chairman was Zalman Gringberg, succeeded by David Treger (in 1946) after Grinberg's emigration to Palestine and then by Abraham Treger. Abraham Treger served as the Committee's chairman between 1946 to 1948 and then emigrated with his wife Ida to Haifa, Israel.Concentration Camps Inspectorate
The Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) or in German, IKL (Inspektion der Konzentrationslager) was the central SS administrative and managerial authority for the concentration camps of the Third Reich. Created by Theodor Eicke, it was originally known as the "General Inspection of the Enhanced SS-Totenkopfstandarten", after Eicke's position in the SS. It was later integrated into the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office as "Amt D".Hans Hoffmann
Hans Hoffmann (born December 2, 1919) was an SS-Rottenführer and member of staff at Auschwitz concentration camp. He was prosecuted at the Auschwitz Trial.
Born in India, Hoffmann was a German national with Yugoslavian citizenship. He worked as a locksmith. Following the invasion by Nazi forces, Hoffmann was drafted into the Yugloslavian army, and was taken prisoner by Germany. He joined the SS on October 21, 1942 and was deployed to Auschwitz, where he initially worked as a guard. Later he was assigned to the Politische Abteilung (camp Gestapo) in the main camp. In October 1944, he was deployed to Birkenau, where he worked as an interrogator.
Hoffmann was tried by the Supreme National Tribunal at the Auschwitz Trial in Kraków for his role at the camp, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Due to an amnesty, he was released on July 14, 1956.Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations
The Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations was a statement issued on December 17, 1942, by the American and British governments on behalf of the Allied Powers. In it, they describe the ongoing events of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe.
The statement was read to British House of Commons in a floor speech by Foreign secretary Anthony Eden, and published on the front page of the New York Times and many other newspapers. It was made in response to a 16-page note addressed to the Allied governments on December 10 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Polish government-in-exile, Count Edward Raczynski, titled The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland and his official Raczyński's Note addressed to western governments.Lale Sokolov
Ludwig "Lale" Sokolov (né Eisenberg; 28 October 1916 – 31 October 2006) was an Austro-Hungarian-born Slovak-Australian businessman and a Holocaust survivor. He was Jewish, and having been sent to Auschwitz in 1942, served as the concentration camp's tatowierer (tattooist) until the camp was liberated near the end of World War II. He did not speak publicly about his wartime experiences until after the death of his wife in 2003 due to fears of being perceived as a Nazi collaborator.List of Nazi ghettos
This article is a partial list of selected Jewish ghettos created by the Nazis for the purpose of isolating, exploiting and finally, eradicating Jewish population (and sometimes Gypsies) on territories they controlled. Most of the prominent ghettos listed here were set up by the Third Reich and its allies in the course of World War II. In total, according to USHMM archives, "The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone." Therefore, the examples are intended only to illustrate their scope across Eastern and Western Europe.Mass murders in Tykocin
The Mass murders in Tykocin occurred in August 25, 1941, during World War II, where the local Jewish population of Tykocin (Poland) was killed by German Einsatzkommando.Perry Broad
Perry Broad, also Pery Broad (25 April 1921 – 28 November 1993) was a Brazilian non-commissioned officer SS-Unterscharführer, active at Auschwitz from April 1942 to 1945 as a translator and stenographer at the Auschwitz headquarters.Sanitätswesen
The Sanitätswesen ("medical corps") was one of the five divisions of a Nazi concentration and extermination camp organization during the Holocaust. The other divisions were the command center, the administration department, the Politische Abteilung and the protective detention camp.Szczuczyn pogrom
Szczuczyn pogrom was the massacre of some 300 Jews in the community of Szczuczyn carried out by its Polish inhabitants in June 1941 after the town was bypassed by the invading German soldiers in the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. The June massacre was stopped by German soldiers.
A subsequent massacre by Poles in July killed some 100 Jews, and following the German Gestapo takeover in August 1941 some 600 Jews were killed by the Germans, the remaining Jews placed in a ghetto, and subsequently sent to Treblinka extermination camp.The Holocaust in Luxembourg
The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the persecution and near-annihilation of the 3,500-strong Jewish population of Luxembourg begun shortly after the start of the German occupation during World War II, when the country was officially incorporated into Nazi Germany. The persecution lasted until October 1941, when the Germans declared the territory to be free of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.The Holocaust in the USSR
The Holocaust in the Soviet Union (USSR) refers to the German persecution of Jews, Roma and homosexuals as part of The Holocaust in World War II.
It may refer to:
The Holocaust in Russia
The Holocaust in Belarus
The Holocaust in UkraineIt may also refer to The Holocaust in the Baltic states, annexed by the Soviet Union before the war:
The Holocaust in Latvia
The Holocaust in Lithuania
The Holocaust in EstoniaUckermark concentration camp
The Uckermark concentration camp was a small German concentration camp for girls near the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Fürstenberg/Havel, Germany and then an "emergency" extermination camp.Walter Quakernack
Walter Konrad Quakernack (July 9, 1907 – October 11, 1946) was an Oberscharführer in the SS during the Nazi era. His SS membership number was 125266. He was tried for war crimes at the second Belsen Trial and executed.Wąsosz pogrom
The Wąsosz pogrom was the World War II mass murder of Jewish residents of Wąsosz in German-occupied Poland, on 5 July 1941.Yizkor books
Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community destroyed during the Holocaust. The books are published by former residents or landsmanshaft societies as remembrances of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Yizkor books usually focus on a town but may include sections on neighboring smaller communities. Most of these books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, some also include sections in English or other languages, depending on where they were published. Since the 1990s, many of these books, or sections of them have been translated into English.