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Normative, organization and legal support for the local civil and criminal courts in Reichcommissariat “Ukraine” (1941-1943)

Alina Ivanenko

Abstract: World War II and the period of Nazi occupation of Ukraine became the period of severe Nazi social experimentation, the transformation of local society into the subject of pumping of raw materials and human resources. At the same time, in order to achieve the goal and objectives of the occupation, humiliation and neutralization of the resistance movement participants, the German administration had to create a certain appearance of law and order. An important role in this segment of occupation policy was played by the system of local civil and criminal courts that arose in mid-1942. The central government of the Reichcommissariat “Ukraine” succeeded in issuing several completed legal acts that regulated this sphere of functioning of the local society. Occupation topic has already become the central subject of research of contemporary Ukrainian historians. Thus, some aspects of local judicial institutions functioning in the RCU are covered in publications of O. Goncharenko, M. Kunitsky, and Y. Levchenko. But the legal lawmaking of the regional administrative units of the RCU, represented by the general commissariats, has actually remained out of their scientific attention. This is the subject of following study. The lawmaking process of the occupation administration of the RCU in the field of creating a system of civil and criminal justice envisaged the creation of normative acts of primary and regional (local) levels. The normative acts, adopted by the central department of the RCU, received the highest legal status. Normative acts adopted by the general commissariats received the status of sub-legal acts. With a few exceptions, the regulations of the general commissioners did not detail competently the specific provisions of the articles of the Reichcommissioner. Mainly, normative acts of the general commissioners contained technical details to the regulations of the Reichcommissioner. Other prescriptions of the Reichcommissar normative acts were simply repeated. The peculiarity of the normative acts of all levels, and especially of the heads of the general districts of “Zhytomyr”, “Volyn and Podillya”, was their extremely unsatisfactory translation from German into Ukrainian. Some specific legal instructions of normative acts, even those published in the official collections of documents, are difficult to understand. Therefore, one of the tasks of those representatives of the central and regional occupation administration of the RCU, who were responsible for creating the system of local justice, was to interpret the texts of the necessary normative acts.
Keywords: German / normative / occupation administration / legal acts / justice / creating a system / Ukrainian / system of local / functioning

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