29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Russian)

Division Leaders:

  • SS-Brigadeführer Bratislav (Mieczeyslav) Kaminski
  • SS-Standartenführer Christoph Diem

Brigade Kaminski, which consisted of 4,000 Poles, Russians and Ukrainians, took part in destroying the partisans in the Army Group Mitte's homefront and cleared the Lokatin area of partisans in 1942. The staff was made up of anti-Communists, murderers, deserters and men who battled according to their own principles. The German military leaders distrusted the brigade and they were given only the small-arms received from the Red Army. Himmler's favorite, Kaminski's, brigade was only used in anti-partisan operations, where the unit showed great cruelty towards the partisans and the civilians. Thanks to receiving more respect, the brigade was given some Red Army's armored cars and cannons. Many men from the concentration camps' groups joined the brigade – the "trustmen".

The brigade retreated to Poland with the German units, where in August 1944 the 7,000-men renamed SS-Sturmbrigade RONA was sent to the Wola district in Warsaw to suppress the Polish Home Army's revolt. Due to their gruesome and frightening behavior the brigade was called away. Even other SS commanders demanded this. According to some data the division's subunits murdered 10,000 Polish civilians on August 5, 1944.

Some time later Kaminski was shot and the division dismissed. Some men went to the Vlasov army, the others to the 30th SS Division.


A Maltese cross symbol with crossed swords on the collar patches; they wore German and Russian Salvation Army uniforms; POHA (RONA) emblem on the sleeve.