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Studying the work of Nazi special services among the Protestant denominations of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine during World War II is an under-explored aspect of modern historical science. The article attempts to fill this gap by covering the work of the Nazi secret services, Gestapo1 and Sicherheitsdienst (SD),2 among Evangelical Christians (EC), Baptists (B), and Christians of the Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals, CEF) of the RKU. The basis of this study is the recently declassified documents and archival materials of the KGB of the USSR. The article first provides a brief analysis of the activities of the Soviet intelligence services (NKVD3) in this area in the pre-war period, as well as consideration for the work of the Nazi special services in the religious spheres of the Reich and the General Government for the occupied Polish lands (GG).4 The main purpose of the Nazi special services in the religious sphere of the RKU was to intensify religious life, revive Protestant councils liquidated by the Bolsheviks and unite them into a single Council for the purpose of directing its activities to combat Bolshevism.
The results of the study will help in the research practices of historians and other humanities. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the fact that it contains concrete historical processes examined through the prism of the work of the Nazi special services; their place and role in these processes are determined. Type of article: theoretically analytical.
1 Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei) – was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and in German-occupied Europe.
2 SD (Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS) – was the Nazi Germany's internal (Inland-SD) and foreign (Ausland-SD) intelligence service (III and VI departments of the RSHA, respectively), which was responsible for gathering intelligence and passing it on to the Gestapo.
3 NKVD (НКВД) – Народный комиссариат внутренних дел (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) – the name of the Soviet state security bodies in 1934 – April 1943.
4 Consideration of the work of the Nazi special services in GG was due to the fact that until 1939 Poland included Western Ukrainian lands, such as Galicia, Kholmshchyna, Podlaschie, Volyn, Polesie, Posiannya, Lemkivshchyna. As a result, the Western Ukrainian religious councils of EC, B and Pentecostals were forced to become members of similar Polish religious councils, whose leading centers were located, until 1939, in Warsaw, Lodz, and Gdansk, respectively. After the occupation of Poland by the Wehrmacht, this circumstance allowed the Nazi special services to quickly take control of the Western Ukrainian Protestant councils and create, with the help of their leaders (Gestapo agents), in the /RKU/ the Union of Free Evangelical Churches of Ukraine (Germ. Bund Evangelisch Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in der Ukraine, hereinafter BEFGU), which was controlled by Gestapo.
"The Work of the Nazi Special Services Among the Protestants of the Reichkomissariat Ukraine (According to the Top-secret Materials of the NKVD-NKGB),"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 41
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol41/iss8/2