Founded in 1919 by the Weimar
Government, the Technical Emergency Corps (Technische
Nothilfe-TeNo) was initially created for security against
striking labor unions that controlled critical public services
and utilities. Later the organization was utilized as a
reserve group of technically trained specialists that
responded to emergencies as a result of natural catastrophe.
The TeNo became a National organization in 1933 and after 1937
it was integrated into the overall Order Police (Ordnungspolizei).
In this role TeNo members were charged with the responsibility
to respond to public dangers that might result from war or
other threats. Principle emphasis was placed on
maintaining public services during attack. This included
responding to gas leaks in damaged buildings, controlling
exposure to chemical warfare agents, air defense response, the
maintenance of public water systems, repairing electrical
power outages, and similar problems that might result from
In addition to maintaining
civilian utilities, special TeNo units known as TeNo Kommandos
were assigned to the German Armed Forces (Deutsche Wehrmacht)
for the purpose of construction and repair work on military
installations, buildings, and fortifications. In this
role members of the TeNo Kommandos were charged with
reestablishing or repairing damaged utilities in occupied
areas where water and power services were crucially needed.
This often included repairing damaged facilities related to
shipping, inland transportation, and air fields. Many of
the TeNo Kommando units were eventually incorporated directly
into the German Army (Heer) and Air Force (Luftwaffe) because
of their technical proficiency.
Members of the
Technische Nothilfe were required to pass through a training
school where the fundamentals of their jobs were taught.
As an organization, the TeNo was divided into four different
branches which included the Air Raid Protection Service, the
Technical Service, the Emergency Service, and General Service.
Oversight for all tasks and assignments in civilian controlled
areas were directed at the highest level by members of the