Monday, May 12, 2014

Nazi Policy Timeline July 1941

This timeline is a work-in-progress and will be regularly updated and revised. Comments and suggested additions are welcome.

July 2: Heydrich passes on a summary of his instructions to the four HSSPF. He explicitly lists “Jews in party and state positions” as a group to be executed, and also called for the incitement of pogroms, euphemistically dubbed "self-cleansing attempts", but "without trace" of German involvement (Klein, pp.323-328).

July 7th: Fritzsche depicts Barbarossa as a war in which "culture, civilization, and human decency make a stand against the diabolical principle of a sub-human world" and thus infers that "It was only the Fuehrer's decision to strike in time that saved our homeland from the fate of being overrun by those sub-human creatures, and our men, women, and children from the unspeakable horror of being their prey." (Official B.B.C. translation of radio speeches of Hans Fritzsche, monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation, p.2069 and p.2070, 3064-PS, NCA, vol. V, p.879).

July 8th: Hitler states that Leningrad and Moscow should be leveled so that the population would not have to be fed (Halder's diary; cf. Aly, p.189). Ergo there would be no food for millions of Jews sent east.

July 13th: Einsatzgruppe B summarizes its activities: 
A civilian prison camp was built in Minsk by the first troops passing through. Almost all the male inhabitants of the town were placed into it. The Einsatzgruppe was asked to screen the camp together with the Secret Field Police. Only persons were set free who were able to clear themselves beyond reproach and who were neither politically nor criminally implicated. The remainder, left behind in the camp, will be subjected to careful investigation. 1050 Jews were subsequently liquidated. Others are executed daily. With regard to non-Jews left in the camp, liquidation of the criminals, the officials, the Asiatics, etc. was started. A Jewish committee was also formed, a ghetto was set up, and the identification of Jews on outer garments started. The Bolsheviks set free the inmates of the Minsk prison except the political ones. These were shot by the Bolsheviks before their retreat. A search has been started for the criminal prisoners who had been set free.

In Vilnius by July 8th the local Einsatzkommando liquidated 321 Jews. The Lithuanian Ordnungsdienst which was placed under the Einsatzkommando after the Lithuanian political police had been dissolved was instructed to take part in the liquidation of he Jews. 150 Lithuanian officials were assigned to this task. They arrested the Jews and put them into concentration camps where they were subjected the same day to Special Treatment. This work has now begun, and thus about 500 Jews, saboteurs amongst them, are liquidated daily. About 460,000 rubles in cash, as well as many valuables belonging to Jews who were subject to Special Treatment, were confiscated as property belonging to enemies of the Reich (Source: EM 21).
July 16th, a): Hitler reveals his real aims:
Nobody shall be able to recognize that it initiates a final settlement. This need not prevent our taking all necessary measures-shooting, resettling, etc.-and we shall take them.

But we do not want to make any people 'into enemies prematurely and unnecessarily. Therefore we shall act as though we wanted to exercise a mandate only. At the same time we must know clearly that we shall never leave those countries (source: Vermerk über die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94, here p.87; English translation NCA VII, pp.1086-1093, here pp.1086-1087).
July 16th, b) Höppner to Eichmann:
4. This winter there is a danger that not all of the Jews can be fed anymore. One should weigh honestly, if the most humane solution might not be to finish off those of the Jews who are not employable by means of some quickworking device. At any rate, that would be more pleasant than to let them starve to death.

5. For the rest, the proposal was made that in this camp all the Jewish women, from whom one could still expect children, should be sterilized so that the Jewish problem may actually be solved completely with this generation (T/219, also published in VEJ 4, pp.680-681; English translation in Hilberg, 1971, pp.87-88)
July 16th, c) Einsatzgruppe A reports that "The arrested Jewish men are shot without ceremony and interred in previously prepared graves. Until now the EK 1b has shot 1150 Jews in Daugavpils." Einsatzgruppe C states that, in Lvov, "Approximately 7,000 Jews were rounded up and shot by the Security Police in retaliation for inhuman atrocities." (Source: EM 24).

July 17th: Heydrich's Einsatzbefehl Nr. 8, on executions in POW camps, states that "when making any decisions the racial origin has to be taken into consideration." (NMT, IV, pp.123-132, here p.130).

July 19th: Ribbentrop states that "one day all the Jews in America will be beaten to death" (source: Documents on German Foreign Policy, series D, volume XIII, p.201)

July 22nd: Hitler tells Kvaternik that, as paraphrased by Burrin, "‘asocials’ and criminals must be exterminated; when a country sends its best to risk their lives at the front, it need not spare the scum" (cited by Burrin, p.139). Hitler believed Jews were a "race of criminals" (source) so it follows that they, too, had to be exterminated. Consequently although Hitler mentioned Siberia and Madagascar to Kvaternik, his aim could only have been to kill them. Indeed, he states to Kvaternik that no Jewish family should remain in any country because they would be "the germ center for fresh sedition" (cited by Fest, p.651; and Wistrich, p.122) an idea repeated by Heydrich at Wannsee.

July 24th: Goebbels begins a loud and prolonged propaganda campaign that exploits Kaufman's book "Germany Must Perish" (source)

July 27th: Himmler informs the Kommandostab on July 27 that people who were "racially and humanly inferior" were to be shot if they were suspected of supporting the partisans; their villages were to be burned down and the women and children removed. (Source: Henning Herbert Pieper, 'The SS Cavalry Brigade and its operations in the Soviet Union, 1941-1942', PhD dissertation, University of Sheffield, June 2012, p.128, citing Kommandosonderbefehl. Richtlinien für die Durchkämmung und Durchstreifung von Sumpfgebieten durch Reitereinheiten, 28.7.41, in Unsere Ehre heisst Treue. Kriegstagebuch des Kommandostabes Reichsführer SS. Tätigkeitsberichte der 1 und 2. SS-Infanterie-Brigade, der 1. SS-Kavallerie-Brigade und von Sonderkommandos der SS, Vienna, 1965, pp.210-213; cf. Martin Cüppers, Wegbereiter der Shoa. Die Waffen-SS, der Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS und die Judenvernichtung 1939-1945, Darmstadt, 2005, pp. 138-139; Yitzhak Arad, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union, Lincoln, 2009, p.167. Excellent article by Hilberg here).

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