Technische Nothilfe

German auxiliary organizations 1919-1945.
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John Kilmartin
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Technische Nothilfe

Post by John Kilmartin » Fri May 04, 2007 12:26 pm

Hi All,
I had never heard of this sub group of the Technische Hilfspolizei before this afternoon. I found a little information at and Any other websites in English or published works would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
John K
' Strip war of the mantle of its glories and excitement, and it will disclose a gibbering ghost of pain , grief, dissappointment and despair'

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Paulus II
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Post by Paulus II » Sun May 06, 2007 6:48 am

Hi John,

The following is composed from some snippets of information I’ve gathered over time, mostly from German websites. Not very complete but maybe it can help you along in your research.

Under command of Pionier Leutnant Otto Lummitzsch the Technische Anstalt of the Garden Kavallerie Schützen Division in Berlin was formed shortly after the end of WW I. It was in effect a technical Freikorps and was meant to protect vital services like railroads, postal services, food production, storage and distribution centres, gasproduction, powerstations and waterservices against sabotage and strikes in the unruly early Weimar Republic. Other cities took over this initiative and the name Technische Nothilfe began to be applied to all such units and was made formal by the Reichswehrminister Gustav Noske on 30 September 1919.
Though it started as a (para)military organisation the Treaty of Versailles soon made it necessary to change the TeNO to a voluntary service and it became part of the Ministery of the Interior. Most volunteers were either conservative middleclass or students and by 1924 the organisation reached almost half a million members. Most labourers viewed them as ‘The Enemy’ since they were regularly used to break strikes and many pitched battles were fought.
During the late twenties when the German economic situation was more stable and there were hardly any strikes or sabotage acts to deal with the TeNo was mostly used as a resource for technical personnel by police and firebrigades and as a unit to help combat the effects of natural disasters. Membership went down to some 186.000 people in 1930
In the early thirties the TeNo was reduced to the level of the Freiwillige Arbeitsdienst
After the Nazi’s came to power the TeNo started to grow again and was mostly responsible for the protection of civilians and vital services against air-raids and gasattacks. Starting in 1936/7 the TeNo became a part of the Ordnungs Polizei and was led from the Reichsamt TN in Berlin-Steglitz. Landes- Bezirks- and Ortsgruppen were the smaller subordinated units.
In 1934 the original commander Lummitszch was removed from his post because he was married to a half-jewess. Later commanders were Hans Weinreich from June-37 to July-43 and Willi Schmelcher from July-43 to the German capitulation.
During the war the TeNo was active in Germany as well as in the occupied territories. In Holland and Norway local versions were formed. The TeNo was still mostly used to defend against air-raids by building shelters and Flakemplacements and by cleaning up the rubble after the raids. Also the logistics concerned with these matters seem to have been part of their work.
The ranks used by the TeNo:

Reichsführer der TeNo
Stellv. Reichsführer der TeNo
Landesführer der TeNo
Oberabteilungsführer der TeNo
Abteilungsführer der TeNo
Bereitschaftsführer der TeNo
Oberzugführer der TeNo
Zugführer der TeNo
Meister der TeNo
Bereitschaftsleiter der TeNo
Hauptwachtmeister der TeNo
Zugwachtmeister der TeNo
Oberwachtmeister der TeNo
Wachtmeister der TeNo
Rottwachtmeister der TeNo
Unterwachtmeister der TeNo
Anwärter der TeNo

Apart from the TeNo corps there were also TeNo Kommandos that were integrated into the Wehrheer and Luftwaffe where they were mostly employed to assist in large construction and repair programmes. They became the Technische Truppen of the Army.

Two short biographies of the TeNo commanders taken from this site:

(1896 - 19 )
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei / M.d.R.:
Born: 5. 09. 1896 in Merseberg
NSDAP-Nr: 5 920
SS-Nr: 278 160
Gen.Lt.d.Pol.: 1.12.42; char. Gen.Lt.d.Pol.: 12.41; Gen.Maj.d.Pol.: 1.01.41; Ehrenhalber SS-Gruppenführer: 1.03.33; SA-Gruf.: 1932
In retirement: 1.07.1944 - 1945
Chef des Amtes TN, HA-ORPO: 12.1941 - 07.1943
Chef der TN (RATN): 06.1937 - 06.1943
Reichsführer der Technischen Nothilfe (TeNo/TN; Technical Emergency Corps): 10.1934 - 06.1937
Mitglied der Reichstages (Wahlkreis Merseburg): 12.11.1933 -
Stabsführer beim Insp. der SA: 1933 -
Mitglied der Preuß.Landtages: 1932 -
SA-Gruppenführer z.b.V. der Obersten-SA-Führung: 1932 -
1919/1920: Polizei Offizier in Berlin. World War I Service:
Commissioned Leutnant d.R.: 1917
Landwirtschftliches Studium Verwalter, Kaufmännischer Angestellter im Leunawerk.
Decorations & Awards:
1914 EK I
1914 EK II
Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Silber
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Goldenes Parteiabzeichen
Ehrendegen des RF SS / Totenkopfring

(1894 - 1974)
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei / Chef der TeNo / M.d.R.:
Born: 25.Oct. 1894.
Died: 15. Feb. 1974 in Saarbrücken.
NSDAP-Nr.: 90 783/SS-Nr.: 2 648
SS-Gruf.u.Gen.Lt.d.Pol.: 9. Nov. 1943; SS-Brigf.u.Gen.Maj.d.Pol.: 16. Sep. 1942; SS-Oberf.: 15. Sep. 1935; SS-Staf.: 20. Apr. 1933; SS-Stubaf.: 10. Sep. 1932; SS-Sturmhauptfuhrer: 0. Sep. 1932; SS-Sturmfuhrer: 30. Jan. 1931; SA-Staf.: ;
Chef der Technische Nothilfe (TeNo/Technical Emergency corps) in Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei: 15. Oct. 1943-May 1945.
SSPF "Shitomir" (Zhitomir): May 1943 - Sep. 1943
SSPF "Tschernigow": Nov. 1941 - Jul. 1942.
Chief, Civil Administration, area of Armeeoberkommando I: 1940 - 1941.
Polizeiprasident in Metz: Dec. 1942 - Oct. 1943.
Polizeiprasident in Saarbrucken: Mar. 1935 - Oct. 1942.
Leutnant d.R. in Infanterieregiment 70, Western Campaign: 1940. Decorations & Awards:
1939 Spange zum 1914 EK I
1939 Spange zum 1914 EK II
1914 EK I: 5.03.1918
1914 EK II: 21.01.1916
KVK I m. Schw.
KVK II m. Schw.
Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Silber
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
Goldenes Parteiabzeichen
Dienstauszeichnung der NSDAP in Silber
Reichssportabzeichen in Gold
Ehrendegen des RF SS / Totenkopfring der SS

Some sites with various pictures of the Technische Nothilfe

I haven't found any books in English about the Techische Nothilfe but there are some in German. Run it through Google and maybe you can find some translations. I stopped after viewing the first 50 links.

Best regards,


John Kilmartin
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Post by John Kilmartin » Sun May 06, 2007 10:10 am

Hi Paulus,
Thanks for your posting. I had garnered some of the information you distilled, but it is much clearer in my mind after reading your post. I suppose I still don't understand the way the Nazis combined different parts of the government into the police.
John K
' Strip war of the mantle of its glories and excitement, and it will disclose a gibbering ghost of pain , grief, dissappointment and despair'

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teno are the utility workers

Post by mightythor99 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:10 pm

they do technical kinds of jobs. i have two teno photo albums, one is a guy who was an electrician, and he went into occupied territories, and built/repaired phone lines, electrical lines, towers, etc.
the other one was an officer, in posen, who's group blew up ice in the rivers around bridges in the district, and built concrete bunkers as the russians advanced.
I am interested in buying / trading for photo albums, photo groupings, diaries, feldpost groupings,etc, from any country in the world, any army/navy, etc, mostly 20th century!!

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Post by psaltria » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:20 pm


this is my very first night at and just after opening the first thread I saw the topic of my doctoral thesis: the Technische Nothilfe :)

B.t.w. sorry for my poor school English in advance...

My honest respect to Paulus II! There are just some minor errors in your good summary:

- The military predecessor of the TN was not named "Technische Anstalt" but "Technische Abteilung" (TA). It has been established during the Spartakus uprising in January 1919 as a part of the "Gardekavallerieschützendivision", a joint strike force composed of a variety of separate Freikorps units in and around Berlin. The TA existed nearly one and a half year alongside the TN, before it was finally disbanded on December 31, 1920.

- The TN, originally established on September 30, 1919 as part of the Reichswehr organisation, became just two months later a rather autonomous civil organisation "beim Reichsministerium des Innern" ("associated with the ministry of the interior"). In short words it is not easy to describe, but because of some judicial reasons the TN became not an official institution of the Reich before the "Gesetz über die Technische Nothilfe" of 1939.

- "In the early thirties the TeNo was reduced to the level of the Freiwillige Arbeitsdienst" - well, this is a misunderstanding. The TN was one of some organisations which were involved to engage and qualify young unemployed people for some weeks or months in labor camps of the so-called "Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst" ("Voluntary Labour Service"). This is incidentally not identical with the "Reichsarbeitsdienst" which were established later in the Third Reich! After 1930 the TN had approximately 100.000 to 130.000 men and women in its raws.

For those of you which are able to understand German I would like to recommend a visit of my homepage and to read the chapter "Technische Nothilfe".

Kind regards,


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Paulus II
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Post by Paulus II » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:44 pm

Hi Andreas,

Thank you for your show of respect :D !

And even more: thank you for posting the corrections!
I had searched the internet for anything on the TeNo and came up with very little and often contradictory information. Also been looking for a good book on the TeNo and never found that.
Well.....I have now, a doctoral thesis no less, and will buy it in the near future!

Best regards,


BTW: your English is fine....

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Books- on the Technische Nothilfe • TeNo • TN

Post by dblmed1 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:57 am

Since the time of the last Posting, 4 books with a Dedicated TeNo • TN • Technische Nothilfe Chapter (or Basis), have been published. Information about this very important, but previously overlooked organization, is finally coming forward from a number of Scholars, Historians and Historical Writers.

(1) As noted, Yes, Andreas Linhardt has published "The Technische Nothilfe in der Weimar Republic" in 2005/2006, and it takes us from 1918-1933, with a nice mini-chapter on the TR at the end. Only problem (for me) is that it is in German, but I purchased it anyway, and I am slowly translating it. (Yes, it is that good!) I feel that there is no one who KNOWS more about the Technische Nothilfe in this 1919-1933 time frame that does Andreas Linhardt. (He is the source person whom the THW uses as its educational basis, for their own organizational history!) Enough said! :up:

(2) Phil Nix / Georges Jerome published "The Uniformed Police Forces of the Third Reich" in 2006, by a Swedish publisher. Excellent TeNo information, background and history, especially at the TeNo related to the Polizei. Also an excellent breakdown of the RATN and the various Landesgruppen, as well as their leaders, with subgrouping. Great reference for general overview and organizational specifics. :up:

(3) Littlejohn's "Defending the Reich" - 2007- (Bender) has an excellent 70+ page chapter on the TeNo, which brought forth a great deal of completly new information, and clarification of Uniforms and Ranks, etc. (This book opened the door for a number of Collectors and Historians who has an interest in the TeNo, but who lacked vital information). It was also a verrrrrrrrrrrrrry big step up from the prior TeNo information source of 3 pages in Davis' "TR Insignia" and a few others :up:

(4) Jack Angolia / Hugh Page Taylor's "Police, Volume 2" :up: (Bender) is due out in the 1st quarter of 2009, and has > 250 dedicated TeNo / TN pages (+ 2 TN Appendices, which ID's previously unknown OG's (Ortsgruppen) and the Order of Battle for TN units posted outside of the Reich.) This book is destined to become the "Standard" for both Collectors & Historians, by which "TeNo / Technische Nothilfe" books are measured, I honestly believe. It kind of starts from where Littlejohn left off (but expending upon all area), and then it just rockets us into the TeNo Stratosphere with superb writing & outstanding TN examples (many of which have never previously been seen)! I have read a prepublication copy - and I found that the breadth of TN information is staggering! ALL information is documented and footnote referenced for accuracy. The TeNo bi-monthly magazine, "Die Räder", as well as the "DDP-Taschenbuch für die TN", both the 1942 and 1945 editions are referred to frequently, as well as other TR period references regarding the TN. This quite outstanding book has:

Information & Photos regarding the previously 'unidentified' 1932 TN Embroidered Visor Oval, the 1932 Sleeve Patch; and uniform;
Information & Photos about the then 'new' 1933 TN Armscheibe (Lt. Shoulder Patch with Hakenkruz); 1st Metal Visor Logo and TN White Armband;
Information & Photos regarding the 1935 TN 2nd metal Visor assemblage, and TN lt. sleeve Eagle Diamond patch;
Information & Photos regarding the various TN Side Caps and Visors, throughout the time frame;
Information & Photos (and TR period color charts) of the 1936 Rank changes - the 1940 Rank changes - and the exceptional 1942/43 Rank changes - ALL with examples;
A previously unknown letter from Chef der TN and SS Gruppenführer W. Schmelcher confirming his 1943 date of taking command of the TN;
Information about & Photos of the NOT previously seen Gold Landesführer Dress Belt Buckle;
Information about & Photos of the NOT previously seen TN Vehicle Flag Finial (topper);
Information about & Photos of the NOT previously seen White TN Tunic - actually 2 models; and a TN Mantle coat;
Information about & Photos of 3 models of TN Drillich - Blue, White and Red-Green;
Information about & Photos NOT previously seen materials regarding the TN in Holland and Norway;
Information about & Photos NOT previously of the TN in service with the Heer, Luftwaffe and a Kriegsmarine reference;
Information & Photos of ALL of the TN Zivil and Membership pins, including the NOT previously seen Gold Honor Pin mit Kranz (in fine enamel);
Information & Photos regarding ALL of the 5 years of the TN Honor Badge (Ehrenzeichen der TN) (1919-1923, along with the award Urkunde for Landesführer Walther Junecke, 1920 HB #201;
And......more and more 'rare' TN Photos and Examples..... so much more, that it makes my head spin!

"IF" you have an interest in filling the prior void of written and documented TeNo / TN knowledge - then this is the book for your Reference Shelf, but you won't be able to put it down, :[] once you start reading it, IMO. ....... Txs, Dave/dblmed1

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