Rabka


In the autumn of 1939, SS-Brigadeführer Bruno Streckenbach founded an intelligence school for personnel from SIPO, SD, and Ukrainian and Polish collaborators. The school was placed in the hotel Stamary on the outskirts of Zakopane about 100 kilometres south of Krakow, near the Slovak border. Head of the school was SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krüger. In July 1940, the school was moved to the small spa town of Rabka about four miles north of Zakopane. The school was first placed in a former Jewish school, but in November it moved to a four-story building in the northern part of the city that previously served as a girls’ school. Shortly after the move, Krüger was transferred to Krakow and the new head of the school became Krüger’s deputy SS-Untersturmführer Wilhelm Rosenbaum.

In connection with the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany in June 1941, the school had cancelled its teaching, but it was resumed in december 1941. The school was now called Befehlshaber de Sicherheitspolizei und des SD im GG (General) Schule des Sicherheitspolizei. The training of senior officers lasted between three to six months and aimed at preparing or supplementing existing training for their duties on the Eastern front. Responsible for the training were a small number of lower SS officers but there were guest lectures by prominent Nazis such as Hans Frank, Governor of GG, Friedrich Krüger, senior SS and Police leader in GG, Odilo Globocnik, head of Operation Reinhardt, Hermann Höfle, Globocnik deputy and Karl Georg Eberhardt of the SS in Krakow.

Around the main building (school), smaller workshops, casinos, barracks for prisoners and a shooting range were established in the forest behind the school. Building materials were retrieved from Jewish cemeteries where tombstones were used for road construction. The workshops, casinos and maintenance of the school were staffed and carried out by Jewish prisoners. In addition to theoretical teaching, the candidates also received practical instruction in killing. This teaching was given at the shooting range where candidates were trained in shooting at moving targets, practicing hanging and other methods that they could benefit from when returning to their workplaces in Eastern Europe. ”The targets” were mainly collected from nearby villages and consisted of Jews who had not yet been evacuated. However, there is evidence that a transport with children from Auschwitz arrived in Rabka to be used as moving targets at the shooting range.

It was not only at the school in Rabka that similar ”teaching” took place, but this also happened elsewhere, albeit more unofficially than at Rabka. The school staff also actively participated in raids and selections of Jews from the region around Rabka. Some Jews were selected for work around the school, others were murdered or sent to other places where there was a need for labor. Rosenbaum was dismissed from the school in the spring of 1943 when he and others at the school were subjected to an internal investigation regarding corruption. In July 1944, the school was moved to Berlin as the Soviet army approached.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2012).

Address: ul. Sloneczna 11, 34-700 Rabka-Zdroj.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The school building remains but the text, Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD im GG Schule des Sicherheitspolizei, which adorned the front of the school and the swag flag that swayed on the roof is of course gone. The building is now a school for blind children. What may be left of the buildings that were built in connection with the school, I am unsure. Behind the school at the shooting range there is a cemetery and monuments but the place is not easy to find as there are no signs showing the way to the place. The easiest way is to ask someone but there are few who speak English and even with a directions it is easy because the paths divide. The shooting range is more or less overgrown but it can be found because it is located right next to the monument. The monument consists of Jewish tombstones that have been put together to form a monument. It was these gravestones that the Nazis used to harden ground surfaces. In addition to this monument, there are several smaller monuments within the same enclosure.

Follow up in books: Höhne, Heinz: The Order of the Death’s Head: The story of Hitler’s SS (1969).