Omorrow pedigree series: Part 2, Cameo.

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

    The Landespolizei (The German Police Service) can trace its origins to 19th century Germany when the various prinicipalities maintained their own police forces. 

After World War II, massive numbers of refugees and displaced persons, hunger and poverty characterised everyday life in Germany. Attacks by armed gangs, robbery, looting and black-marketing were commonplace and the military police could not cope with this troubling security situation. So each of the Western Allies quickly permitted the formation of civilian police forces in Western Germany under terms that reflected their own police structures and traditions. In all three Western zones, the emphasis was to decentralise, demilitarise and democratise the police. Some restrictions were lifted as Cold War tensions grew and certain police functions necessitated central rather than local direction. The Landespolizei became the police force for the federal states in the West.  One of the tools used by this(post WWII) now NON-paramilitary service were the trained canines we know as German shepherds, as well as a scattering of Doberman Pinschers.

The Volkspolizei (German for the “people’s police”), or VP, were the national police of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Volkspolizei were responsible for most law enforcement in East Germany, but its organisation and structure were such that it could be considered a paramilitary force as well.  These units utilized specially bred canines as well.

These Police K-9’s were trained at the   “Spezialschule des MdI für Diensthundewesen”  or Special School for Service Dogs.  Several locations were sprinkled about Germany, as each town and city was responsible to acquire and manage their own dogs.  Trainers/Handlers were selected semi-voluntarily from among volunteers and known trainers of the 1940’s and ’50’s.  This is probably the route taken by Cameo’s ancestor, VA1 Axel von der Deininghauserheide.  


Spezialschule des MdI für Diensthundewesen — Special School for service dogs


These dogs were well trained, and cared for by their Handlers, although we would probably be shocked by the methods of training used.  These were not pets, but really weapons of war and control.  The “Don’t Pet Me” signs were important!

German K-9 UnitRailroad Sentry dog, 1944

Finding a German Police Service dog in the Omorrow History was very interesting.  If you have further interest in War Dogs, Google “War Dog Memorial” and you will find hours of reading!   Next in our Cameo Pedigree, we will move to a different type of German Shepherd…A real life-saving hero, an Omorrow ancestor that was a Red-Cross Messenger/Recovery dog!  Thanks for reading!

German Railway Police Canine and Handler 1942


Medal of Completion of Police Dog Training worn by dogs.


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