The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

Administrative structure of General Government and the Lublin district (organization and responsibilities)

Lands under the German occupation - territorial dissection

On 1st September 1939 the Nazi Germany attacked Poland, and several days after that (17th September) also Soviet Union invaded Poland. In result the territory of Poland became occupied. According to the Ribbentrop-Mołotow Pact, signed on 23rd August 1939, occupied lands were divided between both aggressors.

On the occupied territory Germans created four new administrative units, three of them: Reichsgau Wartheland (initially Reichsgau Posen), Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreussen (initially Reichsgau Westpreussen) and Province of Upper Silesia were directly annexed and became parts of the Reich. In addition on 12th October 1939 Hitler issued a decree establishing the fourth unit – General Government (GG) with the Governor-General Dr. Hans Frank to administer it.

The territory of General Government was divided into four districts: Cracow, Lublin, Radom and Warsaw, and after German attack on the USSR in August 1941, the fifth one - district Galicia was created. Every district was administered by one governor, who supervised civil administration in the district.
 

Government in GG - structures of power

Until the middle of October all the lands occupied by German army were under the military administration of Wehrmacht. When the GG was established the power was given to the Governor-General and the subordinated government (central level) and the governors of each district (local level). Very particular position in the government was held by the Higher SS and Police Leader of General Government, who was at the same time also Secretary of the State. Officially he was subordinated to the Governor-General, but in fact he had very big autonomy, what was reflected in his decisions. This position was occupied first by: Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger and then by Wilhelm Koppe. All the district commanders of Police and SS were subordinated to this authority.

The bureaucratic and police apparatus created in the GG was very elaborated. Actions of civil, police and military administration were often intermingled and their competences were not clear. Superior central authorities supported definite actions of certain organs and their plans.

Organs of civil administration were responsible for the maintenance of order in the GG, creation of the ghettos, overtaking Jewish properties, issuing legal acts concerning the Jewish population (for example introducing marking of Jewish people with armband, the obligation of forced work, prohibition of staying at the indicated place of accommodation, prohibition of performing certain professions etc.). Until 1941 it was rather civil administration than the SS and police head officers to decide how much to exploit Jews as forced workers. Later, when indirect solution of Jewish question started to be excluded, and replaced by the conception of biological extermination, police and SS role in this process was steady increasing.

Structures of power in the Lublin district

Administrative structure in the Lublin district was very similar to the one in the General Government. The chief organ was a governor to whom all offices and local administration units were subordinated. The basis for action was fulfilling the decisions of the supreme powers of the Third Reich, although both civil and police administration, repeatedly undertook actions on their own. Authorities in the Lublin district were formally subordinated to the authorities of the GG and realized their orders, but this dependency didn’t exclude taking the bottom up initiative.

Collaboration between central civil authorities of the GG and civil administration in Lublin district was shaped in a correct manner. Similar relations were between Higher Police and SS Leader and Police and SS leader in the Lublin district Odilo Globocnik. He had a particularly privileged position among authority representatives in the GG. It resulted from his ambitious projects and close friendship with Heinrich Himmler.

Globocnik’s ambitious ideas assumed germanization of the Lublin district, and with time they expanded and concerned whole area of General Government. Police and SS Leader of the Lublin district had a full support of Himmler. In order to put his ideas into practice, Globocnik had to his disposition adequate means, as well as steady increasing competences on the executive level.

Because of the wide spectrum of implemented actions Globocnik’s position became stronger and started to single out from the Police and SS Leaders in other districts. It became a source of conflict with the civil administration, represented by the district governor. Conflicts between the Police and SS Leader in the district and civil authorities of the GG on central and local (district) level were occurring.

Tasks of different authority units within the implementation of the final solution of Jewish question

The situation on the eastern front, changing to the detriment of Third Reich, deportation of Jews from occupied states, and in consequence – population density and deterioration of living conditions in the GG, were important factors, that influenced the decision to exterminate the Jews. Introduction of this project required perfect cooperation of different authorities – police formations, civil administration and all the authorities on lower levels.

Within the borders of the GG three extermination camps were created: Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka II. Over a dozen SS functionaries and 130 members of the Hiwis auxiliary formations were put in each one of them. There was also KL Majdanek – very particular camp, where apart from Jewish inmates also prisoners from other nationalities were kept.

The process of extermination of Jewish population of Lublin was planned, implemented and controlled by functionaries subordinated to Odilo Globocnik. They formed a headquarters of Operation Reinhardt on Spokojna Street (currently the Law Department of the Catholic University of Lublin). Its head was Herman Höfle.

Both civil and police authorities were involved in fulfilling the plan of the "final solution of Jewish question", at the same time competing for Jewish population as workforce.

The process of extermination of Jewish population was divided into stages. Responsibility for every stage lied on a chain of people connected by a net of various dependencies, starting from Nazi authorities functionaries, through the engine drivers of the trains, which final destination was a death camp, and finally – the victims of extermination policy.

During the deportation to the death camps, units of Security Service, Security Police, Order Police, Waffen-SS and prisoners of war trained in the Trawniki camp, called Hiwis, took part in the machine of extermination. The Hiwis units members were also trained to perform guard duty in the extermination camps. Their direct supervisors were Germans, specially selected for this task.

The perpetrators included also the victims into the process of extermination. In the ghettos it was the Judenrats that were obliged to prepare lists of names of people destined to the deportation, and in the extermination camps selected Jewish inmates were forced to participate in unloading the transports, taking and segregating Jewish belongings, shaving off and cutting hair, and in the end – emptying the gas chambers and burying the corpses. It was often related to a possibility of survival, at least for some time.

ORGANIZATION OF CIVIL, SS AND POLICE ADMINISTRATION IN THE GG

GOVERNOR-GENERAL
Dr Hans Frank, minister of Third Reich, Reichsleiter of Law Office of the Reich, president of the Academy for German Law, MdR Mitglied des Reichstags (deputy to Reichstag)
seat: Cracow - Wawel Castle.


ASSISTANTS
Arthur Seyß-Inquart, Secretary of the State (until 24.05.1940, after that commissioner of the Reich in Holland)
dr Josef Bühler, Secretary of the State
seat: Cracow, government building Außenring 46
Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger and Wilhelm Koppe, Secretaries of the State, Assistants in the SS and Police matters


GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S ATTORNEY IN BERLIN
Wilhelm Heuber
seat: Berlin W35, Standartenstr. 14


GENERAL GOVERNMENT
dr Josef Bühler, Secretary of the State
dr Ernst Boepple, deputy, Secretary of the State (starting from 1.09.1941)


SECRETARIAT OF THE STATE


a) office of the Governor-General
dr Franz Keith
dr Max Meidinger (from 19.02.1943)

b) office of the Government
Ferdinand Wolsegger
Emil Gassner, Government Spokesman
departments: government affairs, education and training, statistics etc.

c) the offices of the secretariat of state
Dr. Albert Weh, legislation
furthermore: pricing, spatial planning, human resources department, roads, archives, foreign trade


MAIN DEPARTMENTS AND THEIR PRESIDENTS

a) internal administration
Eberhart Westerkamp
Dr. Ludwig Siebert (SS-Oberführer, 1944 Gauleiter’s assistant)
Dr. Ludwig Losacker (SS-Obersturmbannführer)
Harry Georg von Crausshaar (SS-Brigadeführer)

Healthcare Department (counteracting the typhus in ghettos)
dr Jost Walbaum

other departments such as police affairs, Sonderdienst, construction service budowlana
Agenda: Jewish affairs

b) finances
Dr. Alfred Spindler
Dr. Hermann Senkowsky (SS-Oberführer)
General Directorate of monopolies

c) justice
Kurt Wille
Departments such as: penology, special courts

d) economy
Dr Walter Emmerich
Departments such as: fiduciary administration

e) food supply and agriculture
Karl Naumann (SS-Standartenführer)
Hellmut Körner (SS-Brigadeführer)

f) forestry
Dr. Kurt Eissfeldt

g) work
Dr. Max Frauendorf (SS-Obersturmbannführer)
Alexander Rhetz (manager)
Wilhelm Struve (SA-Oberführer)

h) propaganda
Dr. Max Du Prel (SS-Sturmführer)
Wilhelm Ohlenbusch
departments such as: race, propaganda, culture, film, radio

i) science and education
Dr. Kajetan Mühlmann (SS-Oberführer)
Dr. Adolf Watzke
Dr. Ludwig Eichholz (SS-Obersturmbannführer)

k) construction
Theodor Bauder
Directorate of Construction of Governor-General

l) railways
Adolf Gerteis

m) post (Deutsche Post Osten)
Dr. Richard Lauxmann


HIGHER POLICE AND SS LEADER IN THE GG
Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger, Secretary of the State (starting from May 1942), SS-Obersgruppenführer, General of the Police
Wilhelm Koppe, Secretary of the State (starting from 10.11.1943), SS-Obersgruppenführer, General of the Police
seat: Cracow, government building Außenring 46


LEADERS OF THE ORDER POLICE – BdO (Generals of the Police)
Herbert Becker
Karl Riege
Rudolf Friedrich Müller
Gerhard Winkler
Hans Dietrich Grünwald
Emil Höring


LEADERS OF THE SECURITY POLICE AND SECURITY SERVICE – BdS
SS-Brigadeführer Bruno Streckenbach
Dr. Eberhard Schöngarth
Walter Bierkamp

 

ORGANIZATION OF GENERAL GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL, SS AND POLICE ADMINISTRATION STAFF IN THE LUBLIN DISTRICT

GOVERNORS
Friedrich Schmidt (until 20.02.1940)
Ernst Zörner (until 10.04.1943)
dr Richard Wendler (from 26.05.1943)


HEADS OF OFFICES
Dr. Wilhelm Engler
Dr. Fritz Schmiege


LEADERS OF THE SS AND POLICE
Odilo Globocnik (09.11.1939 – 1943)
Jakob Sporrenberg (1943 – 1944)


LEADER OF THE ORDER POLICE
Karsemann, lieutenant colonel of Police


LEADERS OF THE SECURITY POLICE AND SD
Dr. Alfred Hasselberg
Johannes Müller
Walter Huppenkothen


“OPERATION REINHARDT” HEADQUARTERS (consisted of over a dozen employees)
Herman Höfle, Chief of Staff
Georg Wippern, in charge of the storehouse of jewelries
Georg Michalsen, in charge of stolen properties
Christian Wirth, inspector of “Operation Reinhardt” camps


“OPERATION REINHARDT” CAMPS – COMMANDANTS

BEŁŻEC
Christian Wirth (November 1941 – August 1942)
Gottlieb Hering (August 1942 – June 1943)


SOBIBÓR
Franz Stangl (April 1942 – August 1942)
Franz Reichleitner (August 1942 – October 1943)
Karl Frenzel – (in charge of Lager I)


TREBLINKA
Dr Irmfried Eberl (July 1942 – August 1942)
Franz Stangl (August 1942 – October 1943)


MAJDANEK
Karl Otto Koch (September 1941 – August 1942)
Max Koegel (August 1942 – October 1942)
Herman Florstedt (November 1942 – September 1943)
Martin Weiss ( November 1943 – May 1944)
Arthur Liebehenschel (May 1944 – July 1944)


Compiled by Jakub Chmielewski
Translated by Magdalena Dziaczkowska

Photos

Keywords