The Generalgouvernment was an administrative unit that consisted of the central part of Poland, occupied by Germany but not annexed directly to the Reich. Established in October 1939, the Generalgouvernment was a German colony with only minimal rights for the local population. After the German invasion of the USSR Galicia was annexed to the Generalgouvernment – its population thus increased to 18 million people. Nearly 4 million of the inhabitants were Ukrainian.

Hans Frank was the governor of Generalgouvernment – Frank was accountable only to Hitler. Germans staffed all high positions in the administration; Poles and Ukrainians were allowed only minor administrative roles. Limited local self-rule was allowed; thus, the German occupation in the Generalgouvernment was somewhat less brutal than in Reichkommissariat Ukraine. The Ukrainian Central Committee in particular had an influence on assisting in the social welfare situation in the Generalgouvernment.