Military Administration in Poland

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Military Administration in Poland

Militärverwaltung in Polen
Location of German-occupied Poland
Location of German-occupied Poland
StatusTerritory under German military administration
Military Commander 
Historical eraWorld War II
• Military occupation
• Civil occupation established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Second Polish Republic
General Government
Nazi Germany

The Military Administration in Poland (German: Militärverwaltung in Polen) refers to the military occupation authority established in the brief period during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the German invasion of Poland (September–October 1939), in which the occupied Polish territories were administered by the Wehrmacht, as opposed to the later civil administration of the Generalgouvernement.

Military administration[edit]

Most occupied places had some Polish administration, often ad hoc, created after the evacuation of official personnel.[1] Those would be quickly dissolved by the Germans, and the temporary control over those territories was given to military commanders of the rear (Korück, Kommandant des rückwärtigen Armeegebiets).[1] Civilian officials (landrats) were quickly assigned to governance of Polish powiats or groups of thereof; in Western cities and villages, Germans were appointed as mayors and vogts, in the central and eastern ones, Polish ones were accepted.[1]

Hitler issued first directions on the occupation administration on 8 September.[1] On 8 and 13 September 1939, the German military district in the area of Poznań was called "Posen", commanded by general Alfred von Vollard-Bockelberg, and "Westpreußen" (West Prussia), commanded by general Walter Heitz, were established in conquered Greater Poland and Pomerelia, respectively.[2] Based on laws of 21 May 1935 and 1 June 1938, the German military, the Wehrmacht, delegated civil administrative powers to "Chiefs of Civil Administration" (Chefs der Zivilverwaltung, CdZ).[3] German dictator Adolf Hitler appointed Arthur Greiser to become the CdZ of the Posen military district, and Danzig's Gauleiter Albert Forster to become the CdZ of the West Prussian military district.[2] On 3 October 1939, the military districts "Lodz" and "Krakau" (centered on Łódź and Kraków, respectively) were set up under command of major generals Gerd von Rundstedt and Wilhelm List, and Hitler appointed Hans Frank and Arthur Seyß-Inquart as civil heads, respectively.[2] Thus the entirety of occupied Poland was divided into four military districts (West Prussia, Posen, Lodz, Krakau).[1] Frank was at the same time appointed "supreme chief administrator" for all occupied territories.[2]


Under the terms of two decrees by Hitler (8 October and 12 October 1939), large areas of western Poland were annexed to Germany. The remaining block of territory was placed under a German administration called the General Government.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Leszek Moczulski. Wojna Polska 1939. Bellona. pp. 883–884. ISBN 978-83-11-11584-2. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Andreas Toppe, Militär und Kriegsvölkerrecht: Rechtsnorm, Fachdiskurs und Kriegspraxis in Deutschland 1899-1940, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2008, p.398, ISBN 3-486-58206-2
  3. ^ Andreas Toppe, Militär und Kriegsvölkerrecht: Rechtsnorm, Fachdiskurs und Kriegspraxis in Deutschland 1899-1940, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2008, p.397, ISBN 3-486-58206-2

Further reading[edit]

  • Berenstein Tatiana, Rutkowski Adam: Niemiecka administracja wojskowa na okupowanych ziemiach polskich (1 września — 25 października 1939 r.). in: Najnowsze Dziejke Polski. Materiały i studia z okresu II wojny światowej. Bd. VI. Warszawa 1962. S. 45-57