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Armed HIPO policeman
|Role||Helping the Gestapo fighting the Danish resistance movement|
The HIPO Corps (Danish: HIPO-korpset) was a Danish auxiliary police corps, established in 1944 by the German Gestapo when the Danish police was disbanded and most of the regular policemen on September 19, 1944 were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps in Germany. Most members were recruited among Danish collaborators. The word HIPO is an abbreviation of the German word Hilfspolizei.
The purpose of HIPO was to help the Gestapo as an auxiliary police unit. HIPO was organized under, and quite similar to, the Gestapo. Some men were uniformed to be visible and some dressed as civilians and worked in secrecy. The uniformed men wore a black uniform with the Danish police insignia. HIPO, as well as the Gestapo, had their own informers. The major difference was that most of the Gestapo were Germans working in an occupied country, while the HIPO Corps consisted entirely of Danes working for the German occupiers.
During the last winter of the war HIPO members killed and tortured. In retaliation and as a warning, the corps terrorized the civil population and blew up houses, factories and even the Tivoli Gardens.
After the war, service in the HIPO corps was one of those crimes of collaborationism that retroactively became capital offenses. Some two to three hundred HIPO members were prosecuted under these laws. About a dozen were executed between 1946 and 1950. A somewhat larger number received death sentences that were later reduced to long prison terms or paroled.
- Haaest, Erik (2007). Hipofolk. Documentas.
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