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Published by Josef Wäges

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Josef Wäges on Nov 05, 2010
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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ArchivesFinding AidRG-15Poland
Records of the RSHA - Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Office of the High Command of Security Service pursuing the racial objectives of the SS through Race and Resettlement Office).
78 microfilm rolls
After Polish military units captured the records in 1945, they were held by theMinistry of Security (after 1956, Ministry of the Interior) as a closed collection until 1985.Polish security agencies did not keep accurate records relating to these files. Some itemsintended to assist security activities were subsequently added from Soviet and other repositories.The Institute of National Memory, Main Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Againstthe Polish Nation now holds the collection as fond 362.
Restrictions on Access:
 No restriction on access.
Restriction on Use:
Restrictions apply for reproduction and publication. Consult Article VIII of the cooperative agreement with the Main Commission located at the USHMM Archivesreference desk.
Organization and Arrangement:
Arrangement of the 78 microfilm rolls and the folders withinthem are thematic. Folder-level description; Polish-language index on roll number one.
Primarily in German with some Polish and English.
Preferred Citation:
Standard citation for the United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumCollections Division, Archives Branch
.Scope and Content:
This collection contains reports, correspondence, case files, and the likefrom the archives of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Amt VII. Included is information about themonitoring of religious groups, churches, political organizations, and other Masonicorganizations, as well as of members of the clergy, police, journalists, scholars, and individuals by the Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS. In its totality, thecollection reveals much about the interests of Franz A. Six, head of theReichssicherheitshauptamt, Amt VII. Also included are periodic, special, and situation reportsrelating to administration of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. The majority of the records date
 RG-15.007M  Records of the RSHA – Reichssicherheitshauptamt.
from ca. 1940 to ca. 1945; however, background materials used in RSHA investigations of someorganizations and institutions date as early as 1811.
This material, labeled files of the RSHA, was microfilmed in Poland with thecooperation of the Main Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation,Institute of National Memory, Warsaw, which holds them. Filming was arranged andcoordinated by Jerzy Halberzstadt.Unfortunately the exact origin of this material cannot be determined, but the bulk isclearly part of the RSHA, Amt VII Archive, which served as both an archival repository for all branches of Sipo und SD (Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrers SS) and aresearch archive. The research archive housed among other resources a massive collection of allmaterial seized by Party and state agencies as they raided enemy organizations and closed the presses, archives, libraries and museums of suspected individuals and organizations. It alsoassembled a wider range of "legitimate" publications in pursuit of its mission to monitor andshape ideological trends in German society and culture. Since Amt VII of the RSHA served as acultural research institute, much of the material of the collection covers a wide range of Germancultural history, going back into the 19th century. In its totality, it reveals a great deal about theinterests and SD career of Franz Six, earlier the head of SD Inland (SD-Hauptamt II), then headof Amt VII of the RSHA.From time of capture until 1985, the files were held by the Ministry of Security (after 1956 Ministry of the Interior) as a closed archive. Polish security agencies did not keep accuraterecords relating to these files which were probably found by Polish military units. It is unlikelythat Soviet units turned such material over to the Poles since they so diligently assembled allRSHA records that they captured in the former Osoby Archive Moscow. Of course, some itemswere subsequently added from Soviet and other contributions intended to assist securityactivities. This was obviously the case with the documents translated into Russian, but perhapsalso some of the German language originals
According to RSHA directives for the disbursal of archives in December 1944, severalrepositories were located in Reich territories later occupied and absorbed by Poland, as well asareas in the Sudetenland bordering on Poland. These may well be the main source of thecaptured documents. Others could have come from files of Sipo and SD field posts in occupiedPoland. Unfortunately, the captured RSHA materials, except for some items pertaining to Polishhistory, were not turned over to Polish archives which might have done a better job of authenticating their history. Although rumors of significant RSHA holdings in Poland hadspread in the scholarly community by the mid-1960s, no one, including Polish scholars, couldget information or access. This was consistent with the policy established by the Soviets for their captured German documents, but also was standard practice for all archival material under the Ministry of Interior.Efforts to identify the exact provenance of many of these folders have been frustrating.As with all "RSHA" archives, many folders were inherited from predecessor organizations or seized and became part of the files of different Ämter of the RSHA, sometimes ending in the
 RG-15.007M  Records of the RSHA – Reichssicherheitshauptamt.
archives of Amt VII. The majority of the folders seem to be materials assembled for the AmtVII Archive. Others were working files from other Ämter that were old enough to have beenretired to an archive. Some, however, date from so late in the war that they must have beenactive working files at the time of capture. Except where the original folder covers survive, the parent office or branch within the RSHA that created the folder often cannot be identified.Consequently the provenance indicated for a folder is often an educated guess, or it refers to theagency from which the contents apparently originated, even outside the RSHA umbrella
The files are of mixed character. Some seem to be original archival files, although it isimpossible to tell if the contents have been disturbed by removals. Only in cases where materialhas been removed after Polish pagination is such a disturbance of context obvious. Other filesmay have been assembled from other contexts by the Polish security agencies. The verymiscellaneous content of some files, which is not unusual in any of the
captured documentcollections, east or west, may have resulted from loose documents being cobbled together bythose who collected material in the field, or even by the Nazis themselves who scooped up muchof their material in raids on suspect organizations. The original labeling and indexing was done by the Security Ministry. The folder numbers missing from the collection were already removed before it was turned over to the Commission.Based on my own experience from working extensively in the surviving records of Nazi police and security agencies, I find these documents consistent in content and style with allothers. I have yet to find any thing that would suggest tampering. As a matter of fact, the natureof the bulk of the material is such that it would be ludicrous to suggest any purpose behindfalsification or that false content could be so accurately generated. Unfortunately, given theuncertain history of the collection, the possibility does remain that an individual item may not beauthentic. -George C. Browder (Note on contents of files: users must understand that many files, especially those markedmiscellaneous, cannot be thoroughly summarized. Every effort has been made to give somesense of the scope of a file's content, but users must review every folder possibly relevant toone’s research to avoid missing obscure but relevant material.)(Note on pagination: microfilming was done without frame numbering. Most folders were paginated by the original Polish custodians, but not all. Frequently the backsides of pages wentunpaginated, so pagination does not always equate with an exact document page count for afolder.
Reel 1
Reel 1 contains the finding aid for the collection, the original Polish language index.
Reel 2
FileTitle - Description1Daily reports for Poland. HA Sipo, Berlin, Sonderreferat "Unternehmen Tannenberg"Tagesbericht of Einsatzgruppen. 6-19 September 1939. 122 pages.
 RG-15.007M  Records of the RSHA – Reichssicherheitshauptamt.

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