The Geheime Staatspolizei, abbreviated Gestapo, was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe. The force was created by Hermann Göring in 1933 by combining the various security police agencies of Prussia into one organisation. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it passed to the administration of Schutzstaffel national leader Heinrich Himmler, who in 1936 was appointed Chief of German Police by Hitler; the Gestapo at this time became a national rather than a Prussian state agency as a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei. From 27 September 1939 forward, it was administered by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, it became known as Amt 4 of the RSHA and was considered a sister organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst. During World War II, the Gestapo played a key role in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe; as part of the agreement in which Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Hermann Göring—future commander of the Luftwaffe and the number two man in the Nazi Party—was named Interior Minister of Prussia.
This gave Göring command of the largest police force in Germany. Soon afterward, Göring detached the political and intelligence sections from the police and filled their ranks with Nazis. On 26 April 1933, Göring merged the two units as the Geheime Staatspolizei, abbreviated by a post office clerk for a franking stamp and became known as the "Gestapo", he wanted to name it the Secret Police Office, but the German initials, "GPA", were too similar to those of the Soviet Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie or "State Political Directorate", known as the GPU. The first commander of the Gestapo was a protégé of Göring. Diels was appointed with the title of chief of Abteilung Ia of the Political Police of the Prussian Interior Ministry. Diels was best known as the primary interrogator of Marinus van der Lubbe after the Reichstag fire. In late 1933, the Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick wanted to integrate all the police forces of the German states under his control. Göring outflanked him by removing the Prussian political and intelligence departments from the state interior ministry.
Göring took over the Gestapo in 1934 and urged Hitler to extend the agency's authority throughout Germany. This represented a radical departure from German tradition, which held that law enforcement was a Land and local matter. In this, he ran into conflict with Heinrich Himmler, police chief of the second most powerful German state, Bavaria. Frick did not have the political power to take on Göring by himself. With Frick's support, Himmler took over the political police of state after state. Soon only Prussia was left. Concerned that Diels was not ruthless enough to counteract the power of the Sturmabteilung, Göring handed over control of the Gestapo to Himmler on 20 April 1934. On that date, Hitler appointed Himmler chief of all German police outside Prussia. Heydrich, named chief of the Gestapo by Himmler on 22 April 1934 continued as head of the SS Security Service. Himmler and Heydrich both began installing their own personnel in select positions, several of whom were directly from the Bavarian Political Police, such as Heinrich Müller, Franz Josef Huber and Josef Meisinger.
Many of the Gestapo employees in the newly established offices were young and educated in a wide-variety of academic fields and moreover, represented a new generation of National Socialist adherents, who were hard-working and prepared to carry the Nazi state forward through the persecution of their political opponents. By the spring of 1934 Himmler's SS controlled the SD and the Gestapo, but for him, there was still a problem, as technically the SS was subordinated to the SA, under the command of Ernst Röhm. Himmler wanted to free himself from Röhm, whom he viewed as an obstacle. Röhm's position was menacing as more than 4.5 million men fell under his command once the militias and veterans organisations were absorbed by the SA, a fact which fuelled Röhm's aspirations. Several Nazi chieftains, among them Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, Himmler, began a concerted campaign to convince Hitler to take action against Röhm. Both the SD and Gestapo released information concerning an imminent putsch by the SA.
Once persuaded, Hitler acted by setting Himmler's SS into action, who proceeded to murder over 100 of Hitler's identified antagonists. The Gestapo supplied the information which implicated the SA and enabled Himmler and Heydrich to emancipate themselves from the organisation. For the Gestapo, the next two years following the Night of the Long Knives, a term describing the putsch against Röhm and the SA, were characterised by "behind-the-scenes political wrangling over policing". On 17 June 1936, Hitler decreed the unification of all police forces in Germany and named Himmler as Chief of German Police; this action merged the police into the SS and removed it from Frick's control. Himmler was nominally subordinate to Frick as police chief, but as Reichsführer-SS, he answered only to Hitler; this move gave Himmler operational control over Germany's entire detective force. The Gestapo became a national state agency. Himmler gained authority over all of Germany's uniformed law enforcement agencies, which were amalgama
Kuźnia Raciborska is a town in Racibórz County, Silesian Voivodeship, with 5,630 inhabitants. Official town webpage
A death squad is an armed group that conducts extrajudicial killings or forced disappearances of persons for the purposes such as political repression, torture, ethnic cleansing, or revolutionary terror. These killings are conducted in ways meant to ensure the secrecy of the killers' identities. Death squads may have the support of foreign governments, they may comprise a secret police force, paramilitary militia groups, government soldiers, policemen, or combinations thereof. They may be organized as vigilantes; when death squads are not controlled by the state, they may consist of insurgent forces or organized crime, such as the ones used by cartels. Although the term "death squad" did not rise to notoriety until the activities of such groups became known in Central and South America during the 1970s and 80s, death squads have been employed under different guises throughout history; the term was first used by the fascist Iron Guard in Romania. It installed Iron guard death squads in 1936 in order to kill political enemies.
It was used during the Battle of Algiers by Paul Aussaresses. In Latin America, death squads first appeared in Brazil where a group called Esquadrão da Morte emerged in the 1960s. Argentina used extrajudicial killings as a way of crushing the liberal and communist opposition to the military junta during the'Dirty War' of the 1970s. For example, Alianza Anticomunista Argentina was a far-right death squad active during the "Dirty War"; the Chilean military regime of 1973–1990 committed such killings. See Operation Condor for examples. During the Salvadoran civil war, death squads achieved notoriety on March 24, 1980, when a sniper assassinated Archbishop Óscar Romero as he said Mass inside a convent chapel. In December 1980, three American nuns, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clarke, a lay worker, Jean Donovan, were gang raped and murdered by a military unit found to have been acting on specific orders. Death squads were instrumental in killing hundreds of suspected Communists. Priests who were spreading liberation theology, such as Father Rutilio Grande, were targeted as well.
The murderers were found to have been soldiers of the Salvadoran military, receiving U. S. funding and military advisors during the Carter administration. These events prompted outrage in the U. S. and led to a temporary cutoff in military aid at the end of his presidency. Death Squad activity stretched well into the Reagan years as well. Honduras had death squads active through the 1980s, the most notorious of, the army unit Battalion 316. Hundreds of people, teachers and union leaders were assassinated by government-backed forces. Battalion 316 received substantial training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency. In Southeast Asia, extrajudicial killings were conducted by both sides during the Vietnam War. For example, Viet Cong member Nguyễn Văn Lém, famous for being extrajudicially executed on camera by General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan on 1 February 1968 in Saigon, was himself claimed to have commanded a death squad targeting South Vietnamese policemen and their families during the Tet Offensive in Saigon.
As of 2010, death squads have continued to be active in several locations, including Chechnya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Colombia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Pakistan, Myanmar, Philippines among others. Death squads are active in this country; this appears to be difficult to stop. Moreover, there is no proof as to whom is behind the killingsIn an interview with the panafrican magazine "Jeune Afrique", Laurent Gbagbo accused one of the opposition leaders, Alassane Ouattara, to be the main organizer of the media frenzy around his wife's involvement in the killing squads, he successfully sued and won, in French courts, in cases against the French newspapers that made the accusations. In December 2014, Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers confessed to Al-Jazeera that they were responsible for 500 of the extrajudicial killings; the murders totaled several hundred homicides every year. They included the assassination of Abubaker Shariff Ahmed "Makaburi", an Al-Shabaab associate from Kenya, among 21 Muslim radicals murdered by the Kenyan police since 2012.
According to the agents, they resorted to killing after the Kenyan police could not prosecute terror suspects. In doing so, the officers indicated that they were acting on the direct orders of Kenya's National Security Council, which consisted of the Kenyan President, Deputy President, Chief of the Defence Forces, Inspector General of Police, National Security Intelligence Service Director, Cabinet Secretary of Interior, Principal Secretary of Interior. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the National Security Council of Kenya members denied operating an extrajudicial assassination program. Additionally, the officers suggested that Western security agencies provided intelligence for the program, including the whereabouts and activities of government targets, they asserted that Britain supplied further logistics in the form of training. One Kenyan officer within the Council's General Service Unit indicated that Israeli instructors taught them how to kill; the head of the International Bar Association, Mark Ellis, cautioned that any such involvement by foreign nations would constitute a breach of international law.
The United Kingdom and Israel denie
Włoszczowa is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, about 50 kilometres west of Kielce. It is the capital of Włoszczowa County. Population is 10,756. Włoszczowa lies in historic Lesser Poland, from its foundation until 1795, it belonged to Sandomierz Voivodeship; the town has the area of 30 kilometres, is a junction of regional roads nr 786, nr 742, 785. Włoszczowa has two rail stations: PKP Włoszczowa, PKP Włoszczowa Północ. Włoszczowa was first mentioned in 1154, when Prince Henryk Sandomierski handed the village known as Vloszcova to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta monks, it received its town charter in 1539, when King Zygmunt Stary handed the document to the starosta of Chęciny, Hieronim Szafraniec. The town remained the property of the Szafraniec family until the late 18th century. In the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Włoszczowa was part of Lesser Poland’s Sandomierz Voivodeship. After the Partitions of Poland, it belonged to Russian-controlled Congress Poland.
In the Second Polish Republic, Włoszczowa belonged to Kielce Voivodeship. It had a large Jewish population, which made 50% of its population in 1925. All Włoszczowa’s Jews were murdered by the Germans in the Holocaust. Among points of interest there are remains of a 12th-century gord, with traces of a moat, ruins of the Szafraniec family castle. Furthermore, there is a 17th-century parish church, the 16th-century urban layout of the streets. Włoszczowa is twinned with: Illintsi, Ukraine Le Passage, Lot-et-Garonne, France Official town webpage Twin towns - Sister cities IllintsiUkraine
Jędrzejów is a town in Poland, located in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, about 35 kilometres southwest of Kielce. It is the capital of Jędrzejów County, it has 16,139 inhabitants. The origin of the name of the town is unknown, it was named after a man named Andrzej, a member of the noble Lis family, which resided in this area. The town lies in historic province of Lesser Poland, 38 kilometres from Kielce, 78 km from Kraków. Jędrzejów is located on two local rivers, the Jasionka and the Brzeznica; the area is hilly, with highest point being a hill called Gaj. On December 31, 2010, the area of the town was 11.37 km2, population density 1419 per km2. Jędrzejów lies next to European route E77, as well as National Road nr. 78, two local roads, the 728th and the 768th. The town lies on an important rail route from Kraków to Lublin and Warsaw. Close to Jędrzejów train station is a historic narrow-gauge station where a 750mm-gauge line runs to Pińczów. There used to be an interchange with the standard-gauge line, there are still remains of a turning triangle in the yards of both stations.
In the early years of the Kingdom of Poland, a settlement of Brzeznica existed in the location of Jędrzejów. It was first mentioned in a document issued by Archbishop of Gniezno, Janik. In the document, foundation of a Cistercian monastery known today as the Blessed Wincenty Kadlubek Church; the monastery was founded by French Cistercians, who came to Jędrzejów from Morimond Abbey between 1143 and 1153. The location of the monastery, the village of Brzeznica, was spelled Brysinch. In the 12th century, the name of the village was changed into Jędrzejów, but one of the local rivers still bears the name Brzeznica. In 1166, a council of the Piast dynasty princes and bishops was organized at Jędrzejów, to honor the blessing of the parish church of Saint Adalbert of Prague, remodelled by the Cistercians. In a document mentioning this event, the names Andrzeiow and Andreow appear. Jędrzejów was located on the boundary between two provinces of Lesser Poland – Land of Kraków and Land of Sandomierz; the boundary was marked by the Nida river.
In 1195, during the period known as Fragmentation of Poland, a battle took place here between two Piast dynasty princes, Leszek I the White and Mieszko III the Old took place here. In 1218, Bishop Wincenty Kadlubek resigned from his post and settled in the Jędrzejów Monastery, where he died in 1223. In the course of the time, pilgrims began to visit his tomb, among those who prayed here, was King John III Sobieski on the way to the Battle of Vienna; the village was granted Magdeburg rights on February 1271, by Prince Bolesław V the Chaste. The town charter was confirmed by several Polish kings, including Sigismund I the Old, who in 1510 allowed for weekly fairs and three markets a year. Jędrzejów prospered, with a town hall and other public buildings constructed here in the 15th and 16th century, during the Polish Golden Age. In 1581, the town had 77 artisans, including 10 bakers and 5 butchers. Jędrzejów traded with the city of Kraków, where it sold local products, such as bee wax and tar. In January 1576, supporters of Stephen Báthory called a council at Jędrzejów, as the town was an important administrative centers, where sejmiks took place.
Jędrzejów was captured and destroyed by Swedish army of King Charles XII, during the Great Northern War. Furthermore, in the mid-18th century, large parts of the monastery burned down, to be rebuilt in Baroque style. In the 1790s, during the Kościuszko Uprising, Tadeusz Kościuszko stationed here before the Battle of Szczekociny, meeting Józef Poniatowski. Following the Partitions of Poland, Jędrzejów belonged to Austrian West Galicia, from 1815–1915, it was part of Russian-controlled Congress Poland. In 1819, the abbey was closed, but monks dwelled in the complex until 1855, when last Cistercian monk, Wilhelm Ulawski, died. In 1858, Franciscans moved in, but Russians kicked them out in 1870, opening a teachers college in the monastery; the Cistercians did not return until 1945. Residents of Jędrzejów supported November Uprising, in the cellars of the monastery a Polish military hospital was opened, with 400 beds; the area of the town was one of centers of the January Uprising, with more than 30 battles and skirmishes with the Russians taking place here.
In 1867 Jędrzejów became the seat of a county, but in 1870 Russian government stripped it of the town charter, turning Jędrzejów into a village. On March 3, 1915, Jędrzejów was visited by Józef Piłsudski, this event is commemorated by a marble tablet. In the Second Polish Republic, the town belonged to Kielce Voivodeship. During the Invasion of Poland, Jędrzejów was not destroyed, but in the Holocaust, Jewish minority was murdered by the Germans. Jędrzejów was an important center of the Home Army. Red Army units entered the town on January 14, 1945. Jędrzejów is a local center of services and cement industry; the town has a brewery, whose traditions date back to the late 18th century. Jędrzejów is known for its Przypkowscy Clock Museum, opened in 1962, it has one hotel. The town has two historic churches, with parish church of Wincenty Kadlubek dating back to the 12th century; the monastery was founded by the Gryfita family in the mid-12th century. It was rebuilt several tim
The Holocaust known as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews—around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe—between 1941 and 1945. Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, in which Germany and its collaborators persecuted and murdered other groups, including Slavs, the Roma, the "incurably sick", political and religious dissenters such as communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, gay men. Taking into account all the victims of Nazi persecution, the death toll rises to over 17 million. Germany implemented the persecution of the Jews in stages. Following Adolf Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed "undesirable", starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933. After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society, which included a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935.
On 9–10 November 1938, during Kristallnacht, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria, which Germany had annexed in March that year. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews. Thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe; the deportation of Jews to the ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942. As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe, across all territories controlled by the Axis powers. Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with Wehrmacht police battalions and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings between 1941 and 1945.
By mid-1942, victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945; the term holocaust, first used in 1895 to describe the massacre of Armenians, comes from the Greek: ὁλόκαυστος, translit. Holókaustos; the Century Dictionary defined it in 1904 as "a sacrifice or offering consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations". The biblical term shoah, meaning "destruction", became the standard Hebrew term for the murder of the European Jews, first used in a pamphlet in 1940, Sho'at Yehudei Polin, published by the United Aid Committee for the Jews in Poland. On 3 October 1941 the cover of the magazine The American Hebrew used the phrase "before the Holocaust" to refer to the situation in France, in May 1943 The New York Times, discussing the Bermuda Conference, referred to the "hundreds of thousands of European Jews still surviving the Nazi Holocaust".
In 1968 the Library of Congress created a new category, "Holocaust, Jewish". The term was popularized in the United States by the NBC mini-series Holocaust, about a fictional family of German Jews, in November 1978 the President's Commission on the Holocaust was established; as non-Jewish groups began to include themselves as Holocaust victims too, many Jews chose to use the terms Shoah or Churban instead. The Nazis used the phrase "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Most Holocaust historians define the Holocaust as the enactment, between 1941 and 1945, of the German state policy to exterminate the European Jews. In Teaching the Holocaust, Michael Gray, a specialist in Holocaust education, offers three definitions: "the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945", which views the events of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938 as an early phase of the Holocaust; the third definition fails, Gray writes, to acknowledge that only the Jewish people were singled out for annihilation.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum defines the Holocaust as the "systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators", distinguishing between the Holocaust and the targeting of other groups during "the era of the Holocaust". According to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, most historians regard the start of the "Holocaust era" as January 1933, when Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. Other victims of the Holocaust era include. Hitler came to see the Jews as "uniquely dangerous to Germany", according to Peter Hayes, "and therefore uniquely destined t