December 9, 2011

Secret Polish Forces of WW2: The "Silent & Dark Ones" PART II: MISSIONS Operation Heads - Operacja Glowki

OPERATION HEADS - Operacja Glowki

During World War II Nazi-occupied Poland was a veritable hunting ground. German troops were constantly on the rampage, rounding up as many Polish civilians as possible. These daily arrests were referrred to by the Poles as lapanka. Hundreds of Polish men, women, and children were arrested and executed en masse. In Warsaw between 1942 and 1944 over 400 Poles fell victim to the lapanka on a daily basis. Many more perished throughout Poland. By the end of the war tens of thousands of Polish civilians had been murdered in mass executions, including an estimated 37,000 Polish inmates in Pawiak prison, run by the Gestapo. Thousands of Polish civilians and resistance fighters were murdered in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. Many of the executions were made a public spectacle in an effort by the Germans at pacification. The Nazis published lists of names of Polish individuals marked for execution. In retaliation, the Polish Underground also published their own lists naming specific Nazi German officials for assassination, and proceeded to systematically carry out their threats.

Lapanka - German soldiers arresting Polish civilians
Polish Civilians Hanged at the Gallows by Nazi Germans

Operation Heads was the Polish answer to Nazi terror. The Polish Underground targeted key Nazi officials for assassination as recompense for the German crimes perpetrated against the Polish people. The assassinations were legally decreed by the Secret Polish Underground State, and by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground. They named the mission Operation Heads in sarcastic reference to the Totenkopf, which was the symbol prominently displayed on SS Nazi German uniforms and headgear.

In response to Nazi brutality,  members of the Polish Home Army planned and carried out ambushes, killing 361 gendarmes in 1943, and another 584 in 1944. In Warsaw 10 Germans were killed on a daily basis. From August to December 1942, the Home Army carried out 87 attacks on the German administration and members of the terror regime.  By 1943 the frequency of attacks increased radically. During the first four months of 1943, the Home Army increased the attacks to 514. The Polish underground targeted key figures of the German administration, police, SS, SA, labor office and Gestapo. All were condemned to death by the Polish Underground Court for crimes against the Polish people. Even Poles who were caught collaborating with the Germans were sentenced to death. Retribution was swift and merciless. 

The following list of names are just a few of the Nazi officials that were targeted by the Armia Krajowa for execution. 


Anton Hergel
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 Gesiowka.
He was executed September 24, 1943.

Stephan Klein SS-Scharfuhrer
member of Pawiak prison. He was killed on 1943 by Kedyw baon Battalion Parasol.

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.

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 Lubbert
worked at the unemployment office and organizedł apanka (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 Koppe – Hohere SS und Polizei Fuhrer
HSSP, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer wounded in "Akcja Koppe" (Action Koppe)
 on 11 July 1944 in Krakow.

Ernst Durrfeld
had shots fired at his car on July 12, 1944, but he escaped.

Willy Leitgeber
was an officer of section Kripo assigned to fight with Polish underground.
He was wounded in one action and killed in second.

Michajlo Poholowko
was a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator from Komitet Ukrainski.
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
worked in the unemployment office and organized lapanka (Polish euphemism for rounding up on the streets of civilians) of Poles to be sent to Nazi labor camps.
 He was executed on 1944.

Karl Freudenthal Kreishauptmann
of powiat Garwolin responsible for murder of Jews and Poles, and for deportation of local Jewish population to the ghettos

PART II MISSIONS:  Operation Burkl

1 comment:

  1. my grandmother her daughter and her husband were arrested by gestapo in praga and taken to pawiak. only my auntie survived the war . she never got over what the gestapo did to her and took it to her death.