Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst in Occupied Kraków during the Years 1940-1945
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The purpose of this article is to present the activities of the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst [hereafter: OD] in Nazi-occupied Kraków during the years 1940-1945. This period includes OD organizations in Kraków’s Jewish district, Kazimierz, in 1940, in the Kraków ghetto in 1941- 1943 and in the German concentration camp at Płaszów in 1942-1945. Rounding off these topics is a paragraph touching on the post-war fate of OD officers under Polish law. Trials of OD members were held before the Special Criminal Court [hereafter: SCC] in Kraków in 1945-1947. In discussing the issue, the author has sought to explain the reasons for which Jews joined the OD in light of the moral dilemmas facing OD members. The problems raised in this article are also an attempt to understand the role of the OD in the implementation of the German government’s policy towards the Jews in the years 1940-1945, i.e. for the duration of the Jewish formation’s existence. Holocaust studies lacks sufficient research on the history of the OD in Krakow, and it is therefore very important to fill this gap in the literature.2 In German-occupied Poland, several terms referring to the Jewish police were used interchangeably. In printed and archival sources, the organization is often called Ordnungsdienst, OD, Jewish Order Service (literal translation from German), Order Service, or, simply, the Jewish police. Its members are commonly called odemani [translation: OD-men] or Jewish policemen.
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