Landjäger (police)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In parts of the German-speaking area from the late 18th century until well into the 1930s, Landjäger was the official name for special police forces who were specifically entrusted with regulatory tasks in rural areas. Landjäger corps comprised both mounted units and those on foot . Alternative names were gendarmerie and police dragons .

Landjägerkorps existed for example in Anhalt , Braunschweig (after 1920), Mecklenburg-Strelitz , in Württemberg and in Switzerland . Usually they were - comparable to the gendarmerie - organized militarily, but subordinate to the civil authorities. Only very few of these "police officers" were members of the soldier class . Accordingly, independent uniforms were worn, which differed from those of the military. The district hussars in Mecklenburg-Strelitz wore red uniform skirts until 1905, the cut and decoration based on the uniforms of the hussars , and red shakos as headgear . After 1905 it was transformed into a rural gendarmerie based on the Prussian model. The associated and occasionally cited renaming to Landjäger is unsecured in terms of sources.

In Switzerland today, Landjäger is an outdated term for a canton police officer .

Prussia until the end of the Weimar Republic

In 1719, under Friedrich Wilhelm I in Prussia, the military and police were separated from the judiciary. So-called "Polizeyausreuther" (police riders) were introduced as security and administrative police (welfare police). These tasks were often taken over by former military personnel who were no longer available for normal military service due to physical disabilities. But when there were significant deficiencies here over time, the riders were replaced by the “Landjäger”.

In Prussia, during the Napoleonic occupation, attention was drawn to the successes of the militarily organized French gens d'armerie in enforcing the will of the authorities, and so, following the Napoleonic model, in July 1812, Hardenberg's "Gendarmerie Edict" was the military-style Prussian rural gendarmerie which was to last for over a century as part of the army.

After the First World War, in November / December 1918 the Royal Prussian Landgendarmerie , whose members had been part of the military and thus soldiers , was subordinated to the Prussian Ministry of the Interior. As a result, the gendarmes were only organized militarily and no longer soldiers. In terms of international law, this meant the change from combatant to non-combatant. In the course of this demilitarization , in June 1920 the Landgendarmerie was renamed to Landjägerei. For example, the Gendarmerie Corps became the Landjägerkorps and the Landgendarm became the Landjäger. Police chief was the respective district administrator.

Reintroduction of the gendarmerie in the Third Reich

During the Weimar Republic , police sovereignty was in the hands of the individual countries.

Immediately after the National Socialists came to power in 1933, plans were developed to transfer police sovereignty to the Reich . With the so-called “New Construction Act” of January 30, 1934, police sovereignty was formally transferred from the states to the Reich. But that initially had no further consequences. The goal of creating a unified Reich Police was achieved in 1936 with Hitler’s Fuehrer 's Decree of June 17, which made Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler head of the German police, who in turn was directly subordinate to the Reich and Prussian Interior Ministers. Himmler thus got control of the main office of the Ordnungspolizei and the main office of the security police . Protection police, gendarmerie and community police were subordinated to the main office of the Ordnungspolizei.

Land hunting was thus abolished and replaced by the gendarmerie. This became the "executive body in the country". In contrast to the country hunt, a gendarme was not subordinate to the district administrator as a person but only in the matter. The actual superior was now a commander of the gendarmerie who was part of the higher administrative authority.

As part of the Ordnungspolizei , the gendarmerie in National Socialist Germany was an order force in the countryside and in places with less than 2,000 inhabitants. It was divided into gendarmerie posts, often with only a few teams, whereby the gendarmerie individual posts (gendarmerie of individual service) gave up the typical village police officers.

In contrast, the "Motorized Gendarmerie" set up from June 1937 on were barracked units. Initially 42 units (gendarmerie readiness) were set up, which were organized into independent platoons (1 officer, 36 men) or companies (2-3 platoons). There were also two gendarmerie divisions with 4 trains. Entrusted with traffic monitoring, the motorized gendarmerie was stationed at the junctions of the Reichsstrasse and Reichsautobahn . After the start of the war in 1939, the motorized gendarmerie was constantly increased and also used in the occupied territories.

From 1939 the gendarmerie also acted as a force for order in the German-occupied territories. In some cases, the gendarmes were attached to so-called main gendarmerie teams or grouped together as larger gendarmerie operations commandos with higher SS and police leaders (HSSPF).

See also


  • Werner Blankenstein: The Prussian country hunting through the ages. Self-published, Erfurt 1931.
  • Walter Wannenwetsch: The Württemberg Landjägerkorps and the uniform gendarmerie in Württemberg. With a look back at the beginnings of the state police. Stuttgart ( police union , Baden-Württemberg district) 1986.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Schweizerisches Idiotikon , Volume III, Column 20, according to which at the end of the 19th century still testified for the cantons of Aargau, Appenzell, Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Solothurn, Thurgau and Zurich; see article Land-Jäger Meaning 1 ( digitized version ); Kurt Meyer : Swiss Dictionary. That's what we say in Switzerland. Huber, Frauenfeld / Stuttgart / Vienna 2006, p. 172, with documents a. a. from the work of Friedrich Glauser and Meinrad Inglin .
  2. Under the guild obligation in Prussia during the 18th century ,
  3. ^ The uniform of the police - 2nd development in Prussia ,
  4. History of the criminal investigation department ,
  5. ^ Police , Pierer's Universal Lexicon from 1857,
  6. ^ The uniform of the police - 2nd development in Prussia ,
  7. ^ The uniform of the police - 2nd development in Prussia ,
  8. ^ Robert Nebinger: Reich Police Law . W. Kohlhammer, Leipzig. 1942, page 97.
  9. ^ Robert Nebinger: Reich Police Law . W. Kohlhammer, Leipzig. 1942, page 100.
  10. ^ Robert Nebinger: Reich Police Law . W. Kohlhammer, Leipzig. 1942, page 105.