ID: 100

The Jewish Order Service (ger. Judischer Ordnungsdienst, JOD) was a series of police units that operated in General Government territory. German occupation authorities established the JOD to carry out their commands and maintain order in Jewish residential districts.


German and local authorities began establishing these units in Lviv after its incorporation into the General Government in August 1941; however, these units did not begin operating in the city until early November. The JOD branch in Lviv was organized under the personal supervision of Józef Szeryński, who was previously the head of the Jewish Police in Warsaw. Szeryński organized the branch similarly to other police units operating in General Government territory.

Like other auxiliary police units in the General Government, The JOD in Lviv were assigned to a specific territory. The Jewish residential district in Lviv was divided into separate areas and assigned to four commissariats. The JOD in Lviv used the Judenrat building on Starotandetna (now Muliarska) street 2a (5th floor) for management and recruitment of new members. However, they conducted the majority of their operations out of a building previously used by the First Commissariat of the Jewish Police. This location significantly exceeded the rest of the district commissariats in terms of number of policemen. In addition to the ones listed above, the JOD in Lviv had a number of other divisions in this building:

  • Jewish Criminal Police: a small department formed of those who had some experience of working in the police and investigating criminal cases (primarily cases involving only Jews).
  • Special service (ger. Spezialabteilung or Sonderdienst): created to fight and counter clandestine activity and "Bolshevik elements" among Jews. This specific department was closely linked to the Gestapo and even replicated the group's structure, style, and methods. The special service played a crucial and integral role in dismantling any coordinated underground in the Lviv ghetto.
  • Sanitary unit and prison: where detained Jews were brought.

Of all the indicated parts of the Jewish police, only the JOD was partially subordinate to the Judenrat — all others directly complied with orders of the local Security Police.


The backbone of the JOD comprised a relatively small group of individuals who had previous experience in either police or military service. Because of this experience, this group received positions as officers and in departments where professional skills were needed (ex. criminal police). In general, virtually all segments of the population were represented in the JOD. A significant part of the staff — especially during the first few months — came from intellectual circles. This group had a difficult time getting jobs in the Judenrat or elsewhere, so many looked to police service as an appealing alternative. After all, ghetto residents viewed the Jewish police as their only means of protection against both German authorities and local gangsters. Therefore — at least initially — JOD service was perceived by Jews not only as an opportunity to protect themselves and their families but as a way to support their community, as well. Over time, the police contingent evolved and changed, but not for the better.

The number of JOD personnel was in constant flux due to its high level of turnover caused by the complicated conditions of service and repression by German occupational authorities. From November 1941 to autumn 1942, the JOD consisted of 500 persons, even reaching 750 by August 1942. With the reduction of ghetto territory, and — by extension — the number of its inhabitants, the JOD also experienced a reduction. After another "staff reduction" in February 1943, only about 200 persons remained in the service. These 200 were later killed when the Julag was eliminated in May-June 1943.

Everyday Activities

The regular work of the JOD policemen replicated that of the primary level patrol service. Therefore, the order and nature of their tasks were largely similar to those of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police.

The JOD's work routine comprised of 24-hour shifts in which half of the staff was on duty and the other half rested. The working day started at 13:00 and ended at the same time on the following day. Moreover, JOD policemen spent half of this time (12 hours) patrolling the streets. Each commissariat's district was divided into separate patrolling routes.

The main tasks of the patrols were to control street traffic and trade, overlook street conditions, enforce blackout and curfew routines, and make sure inhabitants were wearing arm bands with the star of David. When a crime was detected in the ghetto, the offender would be fined on the spot. If the violation involved criminal prosecution, the suspect would be sent to a JOD commissariat. However, the JOD's power and authority exclusively applied to Jewish inhabitants. Its policemen could only detain Aryan offenders with the participation of the UAP or Kripo officers and with the appropriate transportation, which would take them to the nearest UAP commissariat or the Criminal Police Directorate.

In addition to patrolling, the JOD actively cooperated with other police authorities in tracing suspects and searching for missing persons and things. Additionally, JOD policemen were regularly used for a variety of everyday tasks given by German police officers which had no relation to usual police duties.

Work in the JOD was not paid, but servicemen and members of their families could count on food rations. Apart from that, the police service offered many opportunities for additional earnings through illegal trade with the inhabitants of the Aryan side (JOD officials were among the few who could legally move on the Aryan side after the ghetto was closed), as well as bribery (in particular, detaining persons and extorting bribes for their release).

JOD policemen were not paid, but servicemen and their family members were given food rations for their service. Aside from rations, JOD policemen accrued additional earnings from illegally trading with inhabitants on the Aryan side of the ghetto (JOD officials were among the only Jews who could legally move from one side to another after authorities closed the ghetto). JOD policemen also made money through bribery (in particular, detaining persons and extorting bribes for their release).

The JOD's Role in the Shoah

From the very beginning, JOD was considered by German occupational authorities not only as a law enforcement body established to maintain the rule of law and peace in the Jewish district but, above all else, as an effective tool of their policy toward the Jewish inhabitants of the city.

As a policing branch of the Judenrat, the JOD was actively used in the expropriation of various property and belongings, including but not limited to furniture, fur clothes, and jewelry. In addition, JOD policemen were tasked with collecting monetary indemnities imposed by occupational authorities.

As German occupational authorities developed a system of forced labor camps, the Judenrat and — by extension — the JOD were obligated to find and gather contingents of "workers." In addition, JOD commissariats regularly deployed servicemen to help convoy and guard the Janowska camp — the largest camp in the city. After the completion of this camp, a regular unit of Camp Policemen (ger. Lagerpolizei) was formed and became a separate division of the Jewish police in spring 1942. Their main tasks included law enforcement during working hours and the transportation of prisoners. After December 1942 the Camp Policemen were separated from the rest of the JOD and permanently assigned to work at the camp barracks. Shortly after this, their families, who lived in the police district of the Julag (Zamarstynivska and Kresowa streets), were killed. A few months later, the Camp Policemen suffered the same fate.

In addition to the patrol and convoy service, the JOD participated in a number of police operations against Jews ("Aktions"), most notably during the so-called March and August Aktions of 1942. JOD policemen were used as an auxiliary force for carrying out various tasks, which included combing areas in mixed patrols, searching for Jews in hiding and transporting them to concentration camps, and collecting the remains of those killed during the Aktions. It should also be noted that policemen in the JOD were often killed themselves during these Aktions, both as a result of "underperforming their duties" and of the whims of German police authorities.

JOD policemen regularly combed the ghetto area and later the Julag in search of so-called "illegals" both during police operations and not. If the detained had no money to redeem themselves, they were taken to the JOD jail and later "to the sands". This activity was virtually prevailing in the last months of the JOD's time in Lviv.

Related Stories

Related Places


Vul. Muliarska, 2а – former "Jewish association asylum for homeless" building

Show full description






1. Державний архів Львівської області, Р.12/1/36: 1-2.
2. ДАЛО Р.23/3/1: 100-102 – Накази по команді охоронної поліції у Львові 26 вересня 1941 – 7 квітня 1942 рр.
3. ДАЛО Р.35/6/250: 5 – Інформація по темі "Єврейське питання у Львові" з додатком газети Єврейської громади у Львові.
4. ДАЛО, Р.37/4/140: 17, 77.
5. ДАЛО Р.183/1, 90: 17 – Справа по звинуваченню Гарфункеля Самуеля в дрібній крадіжці.
6. ДАЛО Р.183/1/374: 5-7 – Справа по звинуваченню Самуеля Шмайока у крадіжці.
7. Yad Vashem Archives, О.3/1823:10-11, 14.
8. YVA, O.6/28: 178-180.
9. YVA, O.6/28: 233-234.
10. YVA, O.33/1101: 56.
11. Maurycy Allerhand, Leszek Allerhand, Zapiskiztamtego świataZagładaweLwowiewdziennikuprofesoraiwspomnieniachjegownuka (Kraków, 2011), 99-100.
12. Philip Friedman, "The Destruction of the Jews of Lwow, 1941-44", The Nazi Holocaust ed. Michael M. Marrus (Westport/London, 1989), vol. IV, 669.
13. Eliyahu Jones, Żydzi Lwowa w okresie okupacji 1939-1945 (Łódź: Oficyna Bibliofilów, 1999), 77.
14. Jones, Op. cit.,78.
15. Jones, Op. cit.,81.
16. Aharon Weiss, haMishtarahaJehuditbaGeneralGuwernemanubeShlesiyahailitbiTkufathaShoa (Yerushalayim, 1973), 247.
17. Ben Zion Redner, AJewishPolicemaninLwów, Jerzy Michałowicz, trans. (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2015), 96.
18. Redner, Op. cit., 99-100.
19. Redner, Op. cit., 142
20. Redner, Op. cit., 153-167, 183-184, 231.
21. Redner, Op. cit., 174-175.
22. Redner, Op. cit., 184.
23. Redner, Op. cit., 260-261.
24. Redner, Op. cit., 276-277, 280-281.
25. Tadeusz Zaderecki, Gdy swastyka Lwowem władała... (Wycinek z dziejów okupacji hitlerowskiej), Yad Vashem Archives, 06/28.
Author: Taras Martynenko
Editors: Olha Zarechnyuk, Taras Nazaruk