Jewish Policemen in Nazi Service and Kapos (19 December, 2014, 27 Kislev, 5775)
The Nazis during the Holocaust at times (especially at first) engaged in a program of immediate extermination, rounding up Jews and burning or shooting them. They were usually helped by local GentilesÂ especially those of German descent, and Ukrainians, and Latvians, but all nationalities were involved.
Later the Nazis took a slightly more gradual yet more all-encompassing approach. Jews were concentrated in ghettoes where many died through starvation, privation, and disease. From the ghettoes shipments in closed cattle trains were sent off to concentration camps where most were killed immediately.
The Germans were helped in the ghettoes by Jewish Policemen. In the concentration camps there were some prisoners, known as kapos, who collaborated and helped control their fellow inmates. Some of the Kapos were Jewish.
There may have been exceptions but most of the Jewish Policemen and Jewish kapos were cruel traitors.
They more or less belonged to the same group.
None of them were religious. Most of them belonged to the criminal classes or were intellectuals.
Below are some sources on the subject. If anyone has something to add, objections to make, or suggested corrections please contact us.
Jewish Ghetto Police
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Polish-Jewish historian and the Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians." The fate of the Jewish Policemen was eventually the same as all other ghetto Jews. Upon the liquidation of the ghettos (1942-1943) they were either murdered on site or sent to the extermination camps.
Dr Hilell Zeidman in Orayta, 21, HaShiah, 5771
Zeidman gives first hand evidence: There were no religious Jews amongst the Kapos.
In addition he quotes from:Â
Y. Aproykin "Kiddushah ve-Gevurah Etsel HaYahudim" (Yiddish), Paris, 1949, concerning the Jewish Police Force in the ghettoes of Poland:
"Whence came the thousands of policemen, theÂ sole collaborators with the Germans in the camps and ghettoes?
From what circles emerged a concentration of these criminals?
About this testify all survivors of the Holocaust: They came from the Jewish Underworld and from the Enlightened Cliques [i.e. the rich and intellectual secular assimiliationists].... "
Lucy Davidowiz, "The War Against the Jews" , (1975), reports that most of the Jewish Policemen in the Warsaw Ghetto were Jewish Christians.
Elie Wiesel wrote that no Rabbi was a kapo.
The Wikipedia article on Kapos (extracts below) is also interesting BUT it seems to deals with non-Jewish Kapos more than Jewish ones.
Kapo (concentration camp)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A kapo or prisoner functionary.. was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was assigned by the SS guards to supervise forced labor or carry out administrative tasks in the camp. Also called "prisoner self-administration", the prisoner functionary system minimized costs by allowing camps to function with fewer SS personnel. The system was also designed to turn victim against victim, as the prisoner functionaries were pitted against their fellow prisoners in order to maintain the favor of their SS guards. If they were derelict, they would be returned to the status of ordinary prisoners and be subject to other kapos. Many prisoner functionaries were recruited from the ranks of violent criminal gangs rather than from the more numerous political, religious and racial prisoners; those were known for their brutality toward other prisoners. This brutality was tolerated by the SS and was an integral part of the camp system.
The World of the Camps
The prisoners had a hierarchy of their own.Â Prisoner-supervisors (kapos) were considered an elite that could wield power. The prisoners had different opinions about them: most Jewish supervisors tried to treat their brethren well; some were harsh towards the other inmates.
... According to former prisoners, the criminal functionaries were more apt to be helpful to the SS than political functionaries, who were more apt to be helpful to other prisoners.