Ukrainian Police

  1. The Issue of the Ukrainian Police Under the Nazi German Occupation of Ukraine during World War II


There were TWO police organizations:  The Ukrainian National Militia (UNM) formed by the Ukrainian National Government (also known as the Ukrainian State Administration) established by the Act of Restoration of Ukrainian Statehood (ARUS) on 30 June 1941 in Lviv (western Ukraine), and the so-called Ukrainian Auxiliary police (UAP) formed by the Germans.  Nevertheless, frequently these two forces are lumped together.


The UNM  was tasked to secure law and order and facilitate Ukrainian nation-building.  The UAP, which along with Ukrainians was also staffed with members of other ethnic backgrounds, was forced to assist the German occupational regime in its repressive activities in Ukraine.  To be sure, the membership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) led by Stepan Bandera (which initiated the ARUS) were under strict orders NOT to join the German controlled UAP.


After the suppression of the Ukrainian National Government and incarceration of its leading members in concentration camps in the beginning of July 1941, the UNM was also slated for liquidation by the German security forces.  Its members were arrested or went underground to join the resistance.  Numerous German field reports from Nazi-occupied Ukraine attest to these facts.


  1. Berlin, 3 July 1941:

       — “On July 2 and 3, 1941, Einsatzgruppe  B reported on the attempts of the Ukrainians headed by Bandera to confront the Germans with a fait accompli to proclaim a Ukrainian republic and organize a Ukrainian national militia”.


  1. Berlin, 31 July 1941:

      — “Presently, the Einsatzkommandos are engaged in the dissolution of the so- called public services created by the OUN, and the formation of a NEW MILITIA [UAP]”.


  1. Berlin, 22 August 1941:

   — “The underground activity is continuing.  A leaflet urging the dissolved militia not to hand in its arms is presently being circulated […] ‘Down with foreign rule!  Long live Stepan Bandera!’”.


  1. Berlin, 28 August 1941:

    –“The dissolution of the Ukrainian militia is now taking place everywhere […]”.


  1. Berlin, Report, 1-15 September 1941:

   — “The activity of the western Ukrainian Bandera group has an increasingly detrimental effect on the remaining Ukrainian regions […]. They present an acute danger to German interests both in the present time and in the future”.


  1. Berlin, 8 December 1941:

    –“The assignments of the arrested OUN members correspond exactly to the recently reported attempts of this political group:  The formation of a Ukrainian militia, the appointment of mayors and commanders of the militia, the dismissal of officials not authorized by the Bandera group […]”.


  1. Berlin, 3 July 1942:

     –“It was also established that the Bandera organization has ordered its members not to join the [Ukrainian Auxiliary] police.  A member of the Bandera movement is automatically excluded from the movement if he joins the police”.


( Sources:  Bundesarchiv.  Federal Archives. Koblenz, Germany; Auswartiges Amt. 

Foreign Ministry Archives, Bonn, Germany)