Monday, November 1, 2010

Serbian Gestapo

The 1.Beogradski Specijalni Borben odred (1. Belgrade Special Combat detachment), known as Srpski Gestapo (Serbian Gestapo), was formed by Gestapo on 1 April 1942 without knowledge of Milan Nedić and his Serbian collaborator government. The reason is because SS-Obersturmbannführer Emanuel Schäfer, the newly appointed chief of the German Security Police in Serbia, wanted to create an indigenous Serbian entity through which the Gestapo could exert more control over the Nedić regime.

The commander of the formation was Strahinja Janjić. An ex-member of SDK (Srpski Dobrovoljački Korpus, the main collaborator unit in Serbia), he was thrown-out from the unit because his blackmail and robberies activities in Kragujevac county and was sentenced to death for raped a school teacher. But Gestapo set Janjić free because he was actually a German undercover agent and arrested Simeon Kerečki, the SDK officer who arrested him!

A convicted Nazi, Janjić, who saw himself as replacing Nedić to become the führer of a national-socialist Serbia, promised Germans that he will formed two Serbian SS divisions, one for the Eastern Front and other for North Africa. But he only got 147 men utmost, many of them were criminals. They wore SD uniforms, civilian and even SDK uniforms. Its headquarters was located in Starine Novaka street no. 24, Belgrade.

The Serbian Gestapo was truly a lousy unit. Although the unit was formed to fight against communist partisans, theirs main activities were pointed against theirs former comrades, members of the SDK and other Nedić followers. They also were spying other Serbian collaborators for Gestapo interest.

In late April, 1943, after protests of Milan Nedić and Dimitrije Ljotić, Janjić and 26 member of Serbian Gestapo were sent to Germany by order of the Gestapo, where they were spying Serbian workers and POWs in there. The remaining members of the Serbian Gestapo under Svetoza Nećak, Janjić’s deputy, were moved to Žorža (Georga) Klemensoa street. However, theirs operations were restricted: they were given specific tasks to fulfilled, they were not permitted to wear German uniforms; and they were redirected to undermine the Partisan movement rather than Nedić government. They were served until 29 February 1944 when the unit was disbanded. Gestapo later used former members of this unit individually.

After the war, Strahinja Janjić escaped to Canada and died in his new country.

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