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Alternative title:

Denunciation in procedures before the Special Court in Katowice (1939–1945)

Subject and Keywords:

denunciation   Third Reich   occupational activity   Upper Silesia   special court


The study was devoted to the issue of reporting in criminal proceedings conducted by the Sondergericht Kattowitz, i.e., the Special Court in Katowice. The Sondergericht was a German criminal court operating in Upper Silesia incorporated into the Reich during World War II. The study attempts to answer questions about the nature and extent of reporting in criminal proceedings before the title special court, as well as the motivations of denunciators. The study adopts the understanding of denunciations as a report on someone for personal, low motives, and characterizes its scope and size during the Third Reich. Using the statistical method, the basis for initiating the proceedings selected on the basis of proportionality constituted 10% of the total legacy of Sondergericht Kattowitz (240 cases out of 2394 were examined) were analyzed. Reports constituted the basis for initiating 20% of proceedings. This percentage is lower than in the case of other special courts, which resulted from the predominance of criminal acts among the cases heard by the Sondergericht Kattowitz. Reports in the overwhelming majority of cases were personal, and less frequently anonymous. 64% of reports concerned acts of a political nature (usually so-called anti-state statements), 27.5% — criminal, and 8.5% — economic. Then, the focus was on the analysis of identified denunciations. As far as possible, attempts were made to characterize their authors and the circumstances of their preparation. The principles and attempts to bring criminal denunciators to criminal liability were also discussed. As a result of the circumstances of individual cases and evidentiary difficulties, no alleged denunciator during the occupation was sentenced in any of the identified cases.

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ISSN 2300-7249   ISSN 0239-6661




PAd P 101182 II



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