Chief of Civil Administration (German: 'Chef der Zivilverwaltung, CdZ') was an office introduced in Nazi Germany, operational during World War II. Its task was to administer civil issues according to occupation law, with the primary purpose being the support of the military command in the operational areas of the German Army. CdZ would pass his authority to a corresponding civil government after the territory in question became in the rear of the operating armed forces.
According to German law, all executive powers in the deployment areas passed to the Wehrmacht armed forces. Overstrained and incapable to construct a civil administration, the German Army High Command willingly put these tasks to the CdZ. In the capacity as Reichsstatthalter governor, the office was under the authority of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, but operationally CdZ was under the commander-in-chief of the German Army and ultimately of Adolf Hitler as supreme commander. Hitler generally interfered in the domestic policies of the occupied territories, giving unrestricted powers to Sicherheitsdienst and SS squadrons under the command of Heinrich Himmler.
Further CdZ assumed office upon the 1941 Balkan Campaign:
After the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, a CdZ-Gebiet Bialystok under Erich Koch, Gauleiter of East Prussia, was established on Polish territory previously occupied by the Soviet Union, converted into Bezirk Bialystok on 1 August 1941.