Reserve Police Battalion 33

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Reserve Police Battalion 33
Polizei Front-Bataillon 33 "Ostland"
Active August 1941 – 1943
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Ordnungspolizei
Role Anti-partisan operations in World War II, The Holocaust in Poland, The Holocaust in Belarus, The Holocaust in Ukraine
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Herberts Brašnevics (Herbert Braschnewitz)
Henn Sarmiste (Heinrich Stunde)
Paul Laamann
SS-Obersturmführer Rudolf Steinpick
Hugo Siim

Reserve Police Battalion 33,[1][2] "Ostland", (German: Polizei-Bataillon 33, also: Polizei-Bataillon "Ostland") was a militarised unit of the German Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) in World War II. For the first three months between August and October 1941 – according to Latvian Museum of Occupation – its official name was Police Reserve Battalion "Ostland" (Polizei-Reserve-Bataillon "Ostland") and, from October 1941, the 33rd Reserve Police Battalion (Reserve-Polizei-Bataillon 33).[3] The 1st Company of Battalion 33 was known as Ostlandkompanie. It was composed largely of Estonian Volksdeutsche.[2]

The battalion originated in Stahnsdorf, and was formed up at Frankfurt an der Oder in August 1941.[4] It carried out so-called anti-partisan operations and mass shootings.[5] According to historians referring to the SS-Hauptamt's document No. 8699/42, the Polizei-Bataillon 33 resided in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine in 1941-1942 and took part of the executions of the Jews. As reported in May, 1942 to Berlin, 1,000 Jews were executed in Minsk; as reported on July 15, 1942 another thousand Jews were executed in the same place; as reported on June 27, 1942, 4,000 Jews of the Słonim Ghetto were executed on the outskirts of Słonim; as reported on July 28, 1942, another 6,000 Jews were executed in Minsk.

History[edit]

Also known as the Police Front-Battalion "Ostland" or Polizei Front-Bataillon "Ostland", Polizei-Bataillon 33; Field Post Number: 47769 and 47797) or the Ostland special SS-battalion was an Ordnungspolizei unit that served in World War II under the command of the Schutzstaffel (SS). The battalion was established either in August or October 1941.[5] According to the researcher Rolf Michaelis referring to the SS-Hauptamt's document No. 8699/42, the Police Front-Battalion "Ostland" resided in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine in 1941-1942 and took part in the mass shooting of Jews. On June 28, 1941 a Polish town of Równe was captured by Nazi Germany, which later established the city as the administrative centre of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine. July 1941: The 1st company was in Frankfurt. The rest of the battalion was in Równe, Poland. October 1941: sent to Lwów, Poland. At the time, roughly half of Równe's inhabitants were Jewish. About 23,000 of these people were taken to a pine grove in Sosenki and slaughtered by the 1st company of the Police Front-Battalion "Ostland" between the November 6, and 8, 1941 (1st company). A ghetto was established for the remaining ca 5,000 Jews.[6][7][8]

As reported on May 11, 1942, ca 1,000 Jews were executed in Minsk.[9][10] On July 13–14, 1942, the remaining population of the Równe ghetto - about 5,000 Jews - was sent by train some 70 kilometres north to Kostopol where they were murdered by the 1st company of the Police Front-Battalion "Ostland" in a quarry near woods outside the town. The Równe ghetto was subsequently liquidated.[7][8][9] As reported on July 14, 1942: The battalion or elements of it provided security along with the Ukrainische Hilfspolizei for a transport of the Jews from the Riga Ghetto to the Riga Central Station using the wagons (1st company). July 15, 1942 another thousand Jews were executed in the same place.[9][10] As reported on June 27, 1942, ca 8,000 Jews of the Słonim Ghetto were executed on the outskirts of Słonim.[10][11] As reported on July 28, 1942, ca 6,000 Jews were executed in Minsk.[9][10][12] In November 1942 the Police Battalion Ostland together with an artillery regiment, and three other German Ordnungspolizei battalions under the command of Befehlshaber der Ordnungspolizei im Reichskommissariat Ukraine and SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei Otto von Oelhafen, took part in a joint anti-partisan operation near Owrucz with over 50 villages burnt down and over 1,500 people executed. In a village 40 people were burnt alive for revenge for the killing of the SS-Untersturmführer Türnpu(u).[10] February 1943: In Revel, Estonia with Polizei Füsilier Bataillon 293. By March 31, 1943, the Estnische Legion had 37 officers, 175 noncoms and 62 privates of the Ostland special battalion.[8][13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. Burds (2013). Holocaust in Rovno: The Massacre at Sosenki Forest, November 1941. Springer. p. 60. ISBN 1137388404. The 1st Company of Reserve Police Battalion 33, also known as Ostlandkompanie, was composed largely of Estonian Volksdeutsche, who had fled the Soviet occupation in 1940–41. 
  2. ^ a b Ray Brandon & Wendy Lower (2008). The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization. Indiana University Press. p. 373. ISBN 0253001595. Reserve Police Battalion 33 (pp. 48, 277); 1st Company: Ostlandkompanie (p. 43). November 1941: After consultations with Beer, the police—Orpo Battalions 69, 315, and 320 (together with Ostlandkompanie) and the detachment from Ek 5—murdered some 17,000 Jews near the village of Sosenki. 
  3. ^ Arūns Bubnis, Tomass Hīo (2005). Latvijas Okupācijas muzeja Gadagrāmata 2004 : Cīņa par Baltiju. Rīgā, Latvia: Latvijas okupācijas muzejs. p. 36. Index of Articles. 
  4. ^ Massimo Arico, POLIZEI-BATAILLON 33 (Polizei-Bataillon "Ostland")
  5. ^ a b Massimo Arico, Ordnungspolizei - Encyclopedia of the German police battalions September 1939 - July 1942, p. 144-145.
  6. ^ Rolf Michaelis, Der Einsatz der Ordnungspolizei 1939-1945. Polizei-Bataillone, SS-Polizei-Regimenter. Michaelis Verlag - Berlin, 2008. ISBN 9783938392560,
  7. ^ a b POLIZEI-BATAILLON 33 (Polizei-Bataillon "Ostland")
  8. ^ a b c Stefan Klemp: Nicht ermittelt. Polizeibataillone und die Nachkriegsjustiz. Ein Handbuch. 2. Aufl., Klartext, Essen 2011, S. 296–301.
  9. ^ a b c d Rolf Michaelis, Der Einsatz der Ordnungspolizei 1939-1945. Polizei-Bataillone, SS-Polizei-Regimenter. Michaelis Verlag - Berlin, 2008. ISBN 9783938392560
  10. ^ a b c d e Wolfgang Curilla: Die deutsche Ordnungspolizei und der Holocaust im Baltikum und in Weissrussland, 1941-1944. F. Schöningh, Paderborn 2006, ISBN 3506717871.
  11. ^ Gilbert, Martin (1986). The Holocaust. London: Fontana Press. p. 403. ISBN 0-00-637194-9. 
  12. ^ Rolf Michaelis, Eestlased Waffen-SS-is 20. SS relvagrenaderidiviis. Tallinn: Olion, 2001. p. 32.
  13. ^ Massimo Arico, Ordnungspolizei - Encyclopedia of the German police battalions September 1939 - July 1942, p. 249-258.

Further reading[edit]