Military Wiki
Advertisement

Operation Heads (Polish language: Operacja Główki ) was the code name of a series of assassinations of Nazi officials by the Polish Resistance during World War II. Those targeted for assassination had been sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground for crimes against Polish citizens during the World War II occupation of Poland. The name of the operation, "Operation Heads", was a sarcastic reference to the Totenkopf (Gr. 'skull') 'Death's Head' symbol from SS Nazi Germany uniforms and headgear.

Background

SS cap with Totenkopf inspiration of "Operation heads" name.

Announcement of the execution 100 Polish hostages as revenge for assassination members of German police and SS by Polish "terrorist organization in English service".. Warsaw, 2 October 1943

Operation Heads was the answer of Polish Resistance fighters from Home Army to Nazi terror in Poland. On streets of Polish cities, the gentile population was targeted by the łapanka policy, in which Nazi forces indiscriminately rounded up and murdered civilians.[1] In Warsaw, between 1942 and 1944, there were approximately 400 daily victims of łapanka. Tens of thousands of these victims were killed in mass executions, including an estimated 37,000 people at the Pawiak prison complex run by the Gestapo and thousands of others killed in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. Nazi also held public executions of hostages. Daily lists of Poles to be executed in the event of any attack upon Nazi troopers were published. In retribution for these acts of terrorism, the Polish Underground leadership prepared lists of Nazi leaders who should be eliminated for the said crimes against civilian non-combatants.

Operation

The targets of this operation were members of German administration, police, SS, SA, labor office and Gestapo agents[2] who had been sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground for crimes against Polish citizens. Because of the particular brutality of the police, the Home Army killed 361 gendarmes in 1943, and in 1944 another 584. In Warsaw alone 10 Germans were killed daily. From August to December 1942, the Home Army carried out 87 attacks on the German administration and members of the terror apparatus. In 1943 this number grew radically. During the first four months of 1943, the Home Army increased the attacks to 514.[3]

Operation Heads 1943–1944

  • Anton Hergel was a Nazi commissioner of printers who controlled press and publishers in General Government. The Polish Resistance fighters wounded him twice, in two separate actions 1943.
  • Franz Bürkl was an SS-Oberscharführer, Gestapo officer, and commandant of Pawiak. He was killed in Operation Bürkl on September 7, 1943.
  • August Kretschmann was an SS-Hauptscharfuhrer and commandant of prison camp Gęsiówka. He was executed September 24, 1943.
  • Stephan Klein SS-Scharführer member of Pawiak prison. He was killed on 1943 by Kedyw baon Battalion Parasol.
  • Herbert Schultz SS-Obersturmführer assassinated on 6 V 1943 during Operation Schultz,
  • Ewald Lange SS-Rottenführer, Gestapo assassinated on 22 V 1943 during Operation Lange by Kedyw baon Battalion Zośka,
  • Franz Kutschera was an SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of Polizei, SS and Police Leader of the Warsaw District. He was killed in Operation Kutschera on February 1, 1944.[4]
  • Ernst Weffels was an SS-Sturmmann member of Nazi personnel of Pawiak. He was executed on October 1, 1943 for cruelty and executions in the Women's Prison in Pawiak,
  • Ludwig Fischer was Governor of the Warsaw District during the occupation General Government. Shots were fired at his car in Operation Hunting in 1944, but he survived. After war, he was caught, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging in Poland.
  • Albrecht Eitner was a secret agent working to Abwehr. He was executed on July 1, 1944
  • Willi Lübbert worked at the unemployment office and organized łapanka (Polish euphemism for rounding up of non-combatants) of Poles to be sent to Nazi labor camps. He was executed on July 1, 1944.
  • Wilhelm KoppeHöhere SS und Polizei Führer, HSSP, SS-Obergruppenführer wounded in "Akcja Koppe" (Action Koppe) on 11 July 1944 in Kraków.[5]
  • Ernst Dürrfeld had shots fired at his car on July 12, 1944, but he escaped.
  • Willy Leitgeber was an officer of section Kripo signed to fight with Polish underground. He was wounded in one action and killed in second.
  • Michajło Pohołowko was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator from Komitet Ukraiński. He was killed on March 31, 1944.
  • Walter Stamm was an SS-Sturmbannführer, IV Department Gestapo, director in Warsaw Sicherheitsdienst. He escaped from Operation Stamm on May 5, 1944.
  • Eugen Bollodino the unemployment office and organized łapanka (Polish euphemism for rounding up on the streets of civilians) of Poles to be sent to Nazi labor camps. He was killed in 1944.
  • Karl Freudenthal Kreishauptmann of powiat Garwolin responsible for murder of Jews and Poles, and for deportation of local Jewish population to the ghetto.

Bibliography

  • Richard C. Lukas "Forgotten holocaust - The Poles under German Occupation 1939-1944" Hippocrene Books 1997 ISBN 0-7818-0901-0
  • Tomasz Strzembosz, Akcje zbrojne podziemnej Warszawy 1939-1944, Warszawa, 1978, p. 401-406, ISBN 8306007174.
  • Stachiewicz Piotr, Akcja "Kutschera", Książka i Wiedza, 1987, ISBN 83-05-11024-9.
  • Henryk Witkowski, Kedyw okręgu Warszawskiego Armii Krajowej w latach 1943- 1944, Fakty i Dokumenty, 1984.

References

  1. "With military demands draining its industrial labour force, where better had Germany to procure replacements, than from the defeated and occupied countries. Round ups, or lapankas,* the Polish name they were known under, became an essential feature of life in Warsaw and precipitated much wider ferocity on both sides. Abroad in public I had survived numerous German security checks, shielded from unpleasant developments by Nazi Labour department registration and other efficient false documents. The round ups of Poles, created an additional threat for me as well as all Poles. Whole streets were sealed off by police and soldiers and most trapped men and women were carted off to concentration camps or sent as slave labour to the Reich. Tram and trainloads of people, regardless of work documents, were herded like cattle into trucks, many never to see home or family again. Being Polish was sufficient to qualify for such treatment.", Ron Jeffery, "Red Runs the Vistula", Nevron Associates Publ.,Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand 1985
  2. Tomasz Strzembosz, Akcje zbrojne podziemnej Warszawy 1939-1944, Warszawa, 1978, p.401-406, ISBN 8306007174.
  3. EUGENIUSZ DURACZYŃSKI "WOJNA I OKUPACJA", Wiedza Powszechna 1974
  4. Richard C. Lukas "Forgotten holocaust - The Poles under German Occupation 1939-1944" Hippocrene Books 1997 ISBN 0-7818-0901-0
  5. (Polish) Piotr Stachiewicz "Akcja Koppe : Krakowska akcja Parasola" Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej, Warsaw, 1982, ISBN 831106752

Internet

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement