Bronislaw Vladislavovich Kaminskiy (1899-1944) was a Russian (Soviet) traitor and Nazi sympathiser who founded (and Commanded) the 29th SS Grenadier Division RONA (1st Russian) – originally known as the ‘Russian National Liberation Army (Russkaya Osvoboditelnaya Narodnaya Armiya, RONA)’ – which started as an anti-Soviet Partisan group of 1400 men – and who held the Nazi German rank (and post) of SS Brigadeführer and Major-General. He died in 1944 in unclear circumstances. He was born in Vitebsk – within a Polish-German family (his father was Polish – his mother was German). In 1917, he entered the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, but soon after enrolled as a volunteer in the Red Army. Due to his military service in defence of the Revolution he was accepted as a Member of the Russian Communist Workers’ Party – Bolsheviks (RKKP (b). After the Russian Civil War (1918-1922), he returned to the institute, after which he worked at the Republika chemical plant. In 1935, as a punishment for his outspoken criticism of the Collectivization process (which progressed the USSR), he was expelled from the RKKP (b), and in 1937 he was arrested and convicted of belonging to the Chayanov Counter-Revolutionary Group. His punishment was ‘light’ compared to others who collaborated with Trotskyite insurgencies – with most being shot. He served his sentence working as a distillery technologist in a factory near Shadrinsk. At the beginning of 1941 he was released and exiled to the village of Lokot.
After the (illegal) formation of the Lokot Republic (by traitorous Russians) he became Deputy Mayor to Konstantin Pavlovich Voskoboynik, and from January 1942, (after the death of K. Voskoboynik – who was killed by Partisans) he became the de facto Head of the Republic (Autonomous Lokot District). In the autumn of 1942, he formed the First Brigade of the 29th SS-RONA Grenadier Division (1st Russian) – which he intended to use in defence of the Lokot District from the attacks of highly-motivated and highly-trained groups of Partisans and marauding NKVD Units. There were about forty to sixty such attacks each month. He held this area in the grip of terror with many ordinary people fearing for their lives. Many locals hid their opposition to his support of Nazi Germans – occupiers who were daily killings hundreds of Russians!
In 1943, as a result of a large-scale offensive by the Red Army, the Lokot District was ‘Liberated’ and these so-called SS-RONA Units withdrew to Belarus, where Kaminski distinguished himself in heavy fighting. The Nazi Germans awarded him the Iron Cross – First Class. Later, the 29th SS-RONA Grenadier Division was transformed into the 29th SS Grenadier Division, (and together with the retreating German troops), withdrew to the West. By order of Heinrich Himmler, this SS Unit of traitorous Russians participated in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising (Ohta region). As a typical SS Unit – it behaved with extreme cruelty. During the suppression, the Kaminski Brigades, (set up on August 5th), killed about 15,000 Polish civilians in the capital. The Kaminski Brigades carried-on looting, raping and pillaging after the uprising was suppressed. Although the Nazi Germans systematically killed millions both before and during WWII – Hitler had forbidden ‘looting’ by the German Armed Forces against populations not directly subject to the Nazi pogroms of mass-murder. As many of the Poles targeted by Kaminski’s (Russian) SS Troops were ethnic German – Kaminski was arrested.
According to numerous sources, Kaminski was recalled to Lodz (Litzmannstadt), where he was placed before an SS Tribunal (Court Martial) – where he was found ‘Guilty’ of arbitrary tactics, unnecessary and brutal treatment of the civilian population of Warsaw and inappropriate looting. As a consequence, he was Sentenced to Death by shooting.
Other versions of Kaminski’s death:
Shot by order of Himmler.
Killed by Slovenian guerrillas in the Carpathians while trying to transfer to Western Ukraine to join the UPA.
Killed as a result of a Special Operation by the NKVD.
Killed by Polish Partisans.
Russian Language Reference:
English Language Reference:
Earl F Ziemke: Moscow to Stalingrad – Decision in the East, Military Heritage Press, (1988)