Table of Contents


Aktion Reinhardt: The coded name used for the Nazi programme in their Jewish Genocidal policies.

T4: The centre for state sponsored murder of so-called 'incurables': T4 is a shortened title taken from the address of the central office in Berlin, Tiergartenstrasse 4.

BDC: Berlin Document Centre - Personnel files of members of the SS.[1]

BdO: Befehshaber der Ordnungspolizei (Commander of Orpo – Order Police).

BdS: Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Commander-in-Chief of the Sipo-SD).

DAW: Deutsche Ausrstüngs-Werke (German Arms Factories).

Einsatz/Einsatzgruppen: Groups/Security Police and SD.[2]

GDG: Gouverneur des Distrikts Galizien (Governor of Galicia).

GDL: Ibid (Governor of Lublin District).

GedOb: Generaldirektion der Ostbahn (Director of Eastern Rail).

Gestapo: Secret State Police.[3]

GG: General Government. Main part of occupied Poland made up of four districts (later five including Galicia).

GPK: Grenzpolizei - Kommissariat: A regional frontier HQ of the Grenzpolizei-controlled Grenzposten (outposts).

Gauleiter: The supreme territorial or regional Nazi Party authority, employed in Germany and some annexed territories. The geographical units were termed Gaue, headed by Gauleiter (the term is singular and plural).

Gestapo: Secret State Police.

Hilfspolizei: Auxiliary Police, recruited from Nazi Party formations that assisted the regular police and security services in various functions but were not part of the Ordnungspolizei (Orpo).

HHE: Used to identify the main protagonists of genocide: Himmler-Heydrich-Executive within the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office).

HSSPF: Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer (Senior SS and Police Commander): Himmler's personal representative in each district and liaison officer with the military district commander and regional authorities (Nominally the commander of all SS and police units in the occupied territories).

KdF: Hitler's Chancellery.

KdO: Kommandeur der Ordnungspolizei (See Ordnungspolizei).

KdS: Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (See Sipo-SD). Hans Krüger was the KdS Regional Commander in Stanis³awów. Krüger's immediate superior was Dr Schöngarth, the KdS commander of the SD in Kraków. The KdS were the cadre responsible for mass executions and resettlement. The KdO (units) were on the periphery of events and only utilised when requested by the KdS commanders.

KdSch: Kommandeur der Shutzpolizei (Commander of the city police).

Kreishauptleute/Kreishauptman: City Governors during the occupation in Galicia. Many were with the SD and were very active in the Jewish resettlement programme.

Kriminalassistent: Lowest grade of criminal police (Criminal Investigation Department).

Kriminalkommissar: The lowest rank in the upper officer class of the CID (= Obersturmführer). Promotion to Kriminalrat (=Hauptsturmführer). For the outsider, the rank alignment is very complicated: An officer can hold the rank of Kriminalkommissar but also hold a higher rank of the SS as SS-Hauptsturmführer. In many of the Security offices, the lower grade CID officer can out-rank his boss with SS rank, and although this situation should not present any problems, sometimes it led to an awkward awareness within the office.

Kripo: Kriminalpolizei (CID).

NSDAP: Nazi Party.[4]

OT: Organisation Todt was a semi-military-government agency established in 1933. Its main function was the construction of strategic highways, armament factories and military installations.

Orpo: Ordnungspolizei (Order Police): Separate from the Gestapo and Criminal police. The Orpo within Germany handled civilian matters such as traffic patrols and routine police business. However, in the occupied territories or regions – notably Poland and Russia – Orpo often had Einsatzgruppen roles, including carrying out mass killings. Since 1933, the Ordnungspolizei and Shutzpolizei had become the foot soldiers of the Nazi Security Service.

Reichsleiter Member (s) of an executive board of the Nazi Party.

RFSS: Reichsführer-SS (Chief of all the police cadres - Himmler).

RSHA: Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Main Office), formed in 1939 under Reinhardt Heydrich. The department included the Gestapo, the Criminal Police and the SD.[5]

SA: Sturmabteilung (Brown Shirts, Storm Troopers).[6]

Schupo: Shutzpolizei. Auxiliary police recruited in the eastern occupied territories from the local population.

Sipo-SD: SD Sicherheitsdienst:(+Sicherheitspolizei=Sipo-SD of the RSHA).

Selbstschutz: A militia as used by Globocnik in the early stages of Jewish oppression in the Lublin area.

Sonderdienst: A militia that replaced the Selbstschutz in name only.[7]

SS-Schutzstaffel: (Lit. 'Defence echelon').

SSPF: SS- und Polizeiführer (commander of a police district—for example., Globocnik in Lublin).

Volksdeutsche: ethnic Germans, that is, people of German origin whose families had lived outside Germany for generations. Reichsdeutsche referred to German nationals living within the pre - 1939 boundaries of the Third Reich.

WVHA: Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt der SS: Economic Division RSHA, which administered and supervised the vast web of concentration camps (but not including the 'Reinhardt' camps).

YVA: Yad Vashem Archives.

ZAL: Zwangsarbeitslager (Labor Camps - Janowska etc.).

zbV: Einsatzgruppen zur besonderen Verwendung (Einsatzkommando, zbV for special purposes).


  1. Berlin Document Centre (jetzt: Bundesarchiv, Aussenstelle Zehlendorf) is the central archival for research concerning former members of the SS. In this thesis, the author has referred to copies held in Yad Vashem, Israel. Further references have also relied on the comprehensive bibliography as shown in the publications of Dieter Pohl (Ostgalizien) and Thomas Sandkühlrer (Endlösung).. Return

  2. The Einsatz groups – and it is important that the full title be held in mind at all times – were the Offices of Sipo-SD operating in the field behind the armies (Einsatzgruppen). When police control had been established in the newly occupied territory, the mobile Einsatz Groups were disbanded and became regional offices under the commanders of Sipo-SD in the occupied territories. Return

  3. Gestapo (State) and SD (Party) are inextricably linked due to the fact of their indistinguishable criminal enterprises. Return

  4. No one was compelled to join the Nazi Party much less to become one of the leaders. Many joined for business, social, or selfish reasons. There was no legal compulsion to join. Return

  5. R.S.H.A. A department of the SS and substantially all of its personnel belonged to the SS. It was under the command of Heydrich (later Kaltenbrünner). In addition to the SD, which was always an SS formation, it included the Gestapo and the Reich Criminal Police both of which were State agencies. For this reason the R.S.H.A. Also recognised as a department of the Reich Minister of the Interior. Return

  6. The SA should not be underestimated as to their contribution to the Nazi war effort, particularly as a combat unit for defence of the Party. They were used extensively as guards in Danzig, Posen, Silesia and Baltic Provinces. Particular attention is drawn to their actions in the Kovno and Vilna ghettos in guarding of Jews when digging up and burning corpses: See IMT Speeches, 45. Affidavit of Szloma Gol: International Military Tribunal: “Speeches of the Prosecutors”: The Trials of German Major War Criminals (London, 1946), 45. Hereafter IMT Speeches. Return

  7. See for formation and daily duties of the Sonderdienst: Zygmunt Klukowski, Diary from the Years of Occupation 1939-1944 (translated from the Polish by George Klukowski, ed. Andrew Klukowski and Helen Klukowski May, Chicago, 1993. Return

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Thompson, Larry Vern, Nazi Administrative Conflict: The Struggle for Executive Power in the General Government of Poland 1939-1943 (Doctoral Thesis), University of Wisconsin 1967.

Tory, Avraham; Gilbert, Martin (eds.), Surving the Holocaust. The Kovno Ghetto Diary, Cambridge (Mass.) 1990.

Trunk, Isaiah, Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation, New York 1972.

Vern, Thomas Larry, 'Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger: Höherer SS-und Polizeifuehrer Ost', in: Smelser, Ronald; Syring, Enrico (eds.), Die SS: Elite unter dem Totenkopf: 30 Lebensläufe, Paderborn 2000.

Wiernik, Yankiel, A Year in Treblinka, New York 1945.

Weindling, Paul, Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism 1870-1945, London, 1989.

Willenberg, Samuel, Revolt at Treblinka, Warsaw 1992.

Wistrich, Robert S., Who's Who in Nazi Germany, London 1982.

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Zygmunt, Albert, The Murder of the Lwów Professors - July 1941, Wroclaw 1989.


Miscellaneous papers presented at the Action Reinhardt Conference held in Lublin, Poland, 7-9 November 2002.

The Beginning of Action Reinhardt; Liquidations of the First Ghetto in the Lublin District.
Peter Witte, Functioning of the Death Camps in Belzec and Sobibór.
Tomasz Kranz, The Role of KZ Majdanek in Action Reinhard.;
Robert Kuwalek, The Transit Ghettos in the Lublin District.
Janina Kielbón, Deportations of Jews to the Lublin District from outside the General Government.
Andrzej Zbikowski, Katzmann's Report and Extermination of Galician Jews.
Felicja Karay, Work Camps for Jews during Action Reinhardt.
Thomas Sandkühler, Economical Exploitations: Nazi Planning and Direct Implementations.
Wolfgang Scheffler, German Perpetrators and Postwar Trials.
Helga Grabitz, Trials of the Perpetrators in Germany.
Witold Kulesza, Prosecuting the Perpetratord in Poland - The Polish Administration of Justice.
Peter Black, Trawnikimänner, Non-German Auxiliary Staff during Action Reinhard.
Patricia Heberer, Continuity in Killing Operations: 'T4' Perpetrators and Action Reinhardt.
Klaus Michael Mallmann; Security Police in the Krakow District.
Shmuel Krakowski, Jewish Resistance in the General Government.

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