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Jewish Ghetto Police in the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland
Litzmannstadt Ghetto-Police in Poland

Jewish Ghetto Police (German: Jüdische Ghetto-Polizei, Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst), also known as the Jewish Order Service and referred to by the Jews as the Jewish Police, were the auxiliary police units organized in the Jewish ghettos of Europe by local Judenrat councils under orders of occupying German Nazis.[1]

Members of the Judendienstordnung did not have official uniforms, often wearing just an identifying armband, and were not allowed to carry firearms. They were used by the Germans primarily for securing the deportation of other Jews to the concentration camps.

The Judendienstordnung were Jews who usually had little prior association (for example the alleged Karaite Judendienstordnung of Lutsk) with the communities they oversaw (especially after the roundups and deportations to extermination camps began), and who could be relied upon to follow German orders.[1] The first commander of the Warsaw ghetto was Josef Szerynski, a Polish-Jewish police colonel who had converted to Christianity. He changed his name from Szenkman and developed an anti-Semitic attitude.[2]. Szerynski survived an assassination attempt carried out by a member of the Jewish police, Yisrael Kanal, who was working on behalf of the underground Jewish Combat Organization. In ghettos where the Judenrat was resistant to German orders, the Jewish police were often used (as reportedly in Lutsk) to control or replace the council.[1]

One of the largest police units was to be found in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Judendienstordnung numbered about 2500. The Łódź Ghetto had about 1200, and the Lviv Ghetto 500.[3]

The Polish-Jewish historian and the Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians."[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Judischer Ordnungsdienst". Museum of Tolerance. Simon Wiesenthal Center. Retrieved 2008-01-14.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Raul Hilberg: The Destruction of the European Jews, Quadrangle Books, Chicago 1961, p. 310.
  4. ^ Collins, Jeanna R.. "Am I a Murderer?: Testament of a Jewish Ghetto Policeman (review)". Mandel Fellowship Book Reviews. Kellogg Community College. Retrieved 2008-01-13.  

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