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Jewish Ghetto Police in the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland May 1941-Jakub Lejkin, second in command of Jewish Order Service in front

Litzmannastadt (Łódź) Ghetto Police in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Jewish Ghetto Police (German: Jüdische Ghetto-Polizei, Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst), also known as the Jewish Police 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]

Armband worn by the Jewish Ghetto Police in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Members of the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst did not have official uniforms, often wearing just an identifying armband and a badge, 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 Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst were Jews who usually had little prior association 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 Józef Szeryński, a Polish-Jewish police colonel. 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 Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst 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]

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