Monday, March 06, 2017

Evidence on the Babi Yar Massacre 29 & 30 September 1941: Contemporary Sources

Author: Hans Metzner
The killing of more than 30,000 Jews on 29 and 30 September 1941 in the ravine Babi Yar in Kiev is known as the largest individual Nazi massacre. This posting continues and extends the collection of evidence in That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part III: Deniers and Babiy Yar massacre (1). Numerous contemporary German sources cover the preparation and planning of the mass shooting (fabrication of wall posters by a Wehrmacht propaganda unit, delivery of 100,000 rounds of ammunition to the police forces of the Higher SS and Police Leader South-Russia and intention of Sonderkommando 4a to execute "at least 50,000 Jews"), its implementation (reports of Einsatzgruppen, Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South, Wehrmacht, Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, German Foreign Office) and its clean up (Wehrmacht photographs). The mass killing was also echoed in contemporary diaries of the local population, contemporary Swiss, Soviet, Polish and US sources. A seperate posting will compile some of the testimonies of German paramilitary personnel, German civilians, local population and prisoners on the mass shooting and the later body disposal in 1943.

Part I: Contemporary Sources
German Sources (20 documents + 13 photographs)
Diaries of Local Population (2)
Swiss (3), Soviet (6), Polish (1), US Sources (1)

Testimonies of German Paramilitary Forces & Nazi Collaborateur
Testimonies of German Civilians
Testimonies of Local Population and Prisoners

Contemporary German Sources


1.) Report of Propagandakompanie 637 to Armee-Oberkommando Ic of 27 September 1941 that "about 2000 wall posters requesting the Jews to collect at a certain place" were printed for use in Kiev.

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION
"In der Druckerei der "Ost-Front" wurden 2000 Maueranschläge für Kiew mit der Aufforderung für  die Juden, sich an einem bestimmten Ort zu melden, angefertigt."
TRANSLATION
"About 2000 wall posters requesting the the Jews to collect at a certain place were produced for Kiev by the printing office of "Eastern front".
(Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung, Verbrechen der Wehrmacht, p. 162; my translation)


2.) Aussenstelle Süd/OKH.-Gen.Qu. Kdeur Vers.Bez. Abt. Qu, Besondere Anordnungen für den Versorgungsbezirk Nr. 132 of 27 September 1941 on "100,000 pistol rounds 08 for machine pistols" delivered to the Higher SS and Police Leader.

TRANSCRIPTION
"HML Berditschew an Berück Süd
...
c) HSSPF
100 000 Pist. Patr. 08 f. M.P.
5 000 Pist. Patr. 7,65mm"
TRANSLATION
"Army Ammunition Depot Berditschew to Commander of the Army Rear Area South
...
c) Higher SS and Police Leader
100,000 pistol rounds 08 for machine pistols
5,000 pistol rounds 7,65mm"
(NARA T311/263/1147, courtesy of Nick Terry; also in Pohl, Die Herrschaft der Wehrmacht, p. 260, citing BA-MA RH 3/v.174; my translation)


3.) Wall poster that "all Jews of the city of Kiev and its vicinity are to arrive by 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th, 1941, to the corner of Mel'nikova and Dokterivskaja streets (near the cemeteries)".

DOCUMENT
GERMAN TRANSCRIPTION
"Sämtliche Juden der Stadt Kiew und Umgebung haben sich am Montag, dem 29. September 1941 bis 8 Uhr Ecke der Melnik und Dokteriwski-Strasse (an den Friedhöfen) einzufinden.
Mitzunehmen sind Dokumente, Geld- und Wertsachen, sowie warme Bekleidung, Wäsche usw.
Wer dieser Aufforderung nicht nachkommt und anderweitig angetroffen wird, wird erschossen.
Wer in verlassene Wohnungen von Juden eindringt oder sich Gegenstände daraus aneignet, wird erschossen."
TRANSLATION
"All Jews of the city of Kiev and its vicinity are to arrive by 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th, 1941, to the corner of Mel'nikova and Dokterivskaja streets (near the cemeteries).
They are to take with them documents, money, valuables, as well as warm clothes, underwear, etc.
Any Jew not carrying out this instruction and who is found elsewhere will be shot.
Any citizen entering flats abandoned by the Jews and stealing property will be shot."


4.) Activity report USSR no. 97 of the RSHA of 28 September 1941 that "execution of at least 50,000 Jews is planned" in Kiev.

DOCUMENT


TRANSCRIPTION
"Nachgewiesenermaßen Juden an den Brandstiftungen maßgeblich beteiligt. Angeblich 150000 Juden vorhanden. Überprüfung dieser Angaben noch nicht möglich. Bei erster Aktion 1600 Festnahmen. Maßnahmen eingeleitet zur Erfassung des gesamten Judentums. Exekution von mindestens 50000 Juden vorgesehen. Wehrmacht begrüßt Maßnahmen und erbittet radikales Vorgehen."
TRANSLATION
"As has been proven, Jews were significantly involved in the arsons. Allegedly 150,000 Jews here. Confirmation of these figures has not been possible yet. 1,600 arrests were made in the course of the first action. Measures were started to register the entire Jewish population. Execution of at least 50,000 Jews is planned. Wehrmacht welcomes measures and demands radical action."
(NARA T-175/R233/1362; my translation)


5.) Report of the Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South to the Kommandostab RFSS of 28 September 1941 on "cleaning action and cordon service in Kiev".

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION
"Pol.Rgt. Süd Säuberungsaktion und Absperrdienst in Kiew."
TRANSLATION
"Police Regiment South cleaning action and cordon service in Kiev."
(USHMM RG-48.004M reel 1 FN 100569, courtesy of Nick Terry; my translation)


6.)  Report of the Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South to the Kommandostab RFSS of 30 September 1941 on "security duties in Kiev and carrying out actions according to usage of war".

DOCUMENT
TRANSCRIPTION
"Pol.Rgt.Sued weiterhin Sicherungsdienste in Kiew und Durchführung von Aktionen nach Kriegsbrauch."
TRANSLATION
"Police Regiment South still security duties in Kiev and carrying out actions according to usage of war."
(USHMM RG-48.004M reel 1 FN 100584, courtesy of Nick Terry; also in Schneider, Auswärts eingesetzt. Bremer Polizeibataillone und der Holocaust, p. 460; my translation; on the meaning of "usage of war" as killing of Jews see this intercepted radio signal of 11 September 1941 on "actions according to usage of war....liquidated 1548 Jews" by Police Regiment South)


7.) Activity report USSR no. 101 of the RSHA of 2 October 1941 that "on 29 and 30 September 1941, 33,771 Jews were executed in Kiev"

DOCUMENT

TRANSCRIPTION
"Das Sonderkommando 4a hat in Zusammenarbeit mit Gruppenstab und zwei Kommandos des Polizei-Regiments Süd am 29. und 30.9.41 in Kiew 33771 exekutiert."
TRANSLATION

"On 29 and 30 September 1941, 33,771 Jews were executed in Kiev by Sonderkommando 4a in collaboration with the group staff and two commandos of  Police Regiment South."
(YVA O.51/164.101, p. 3; my translation)


8.) Report of the 454th Security Division of 2 October 1941 on "34,000 showed up, including women and children. All were killed...".

TRANSCRIPTION
Betr.: Besuch bei FK 195 (Kiew) am 1. 10. 1941.
[...]
Die Lage in Kiew ist äußerst schwierig, und zwar vornehmlich durch den Brand, bei demrd. 1 qkm, dicht bebaut, abgebrannt ist und rd. 10 000 Personen obdachlos wurden...
[...]
Die Obdachlosen sollen größtenteils in freigewordenen Judenwohnungen untergebrachtworden sein. Der Rest konnte am 1.10. gegen Abend nach Aufhebung der im weiteren Umkreise des Brandherdes durchgeführten Absperrung in seine Wohnungen zurückkehren, soweit diese noch brauchbar waren.Die Einwohnerzahl wird auf etwa die Hälfte des Normalstandes, also auf rund 400 000, geschätzt. Die Juden der Stadt waren aufgefordert worden, sich zwecks zahlenmäßiger Erfassung und zur Unterbringung in einem Lager an bestimmter Stelle einzufinden. Es meldeten sich etwa 34 000, einschließlich der Frauen und Kinder. Alle wurden, nachdem sie ihre Wertsachen und Kleidungsstücke hatten abgeben müssen, getötet, was mehrere Tage in Anspruch nahm."
TRANSLATION
"Subject: Visit to FK 195 (Kiev) on 1 October 1941.

     [...]

The situation in Kiev is extremely difficult, mainly because of the fire. 1 km², densely built, burnt down and approx. 10 000 people have been homeless ...

     [...]
 

The homeless were for the  most part to be accommodated in free Jewish apartments. The rest could return to their dwellings, as far as far as these were still usable, on the evening of 1 October after the barrier in the surrounding of the source of fire had been lifted. The population is estimated to be about half than the normal figure, that is to say about 400,000. The Jews of the city had been ordered to gather in a certain place for the purpose of their registration and accommodation in a camp. 34,000 showed up, including women and children. All were killed after they turned over their valuables and garments, which took several days. "
(Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p.305ff.; my translation)


9.) Report of Hans Koch, liaison officer of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, to the Army Group South of 5 October 1941 on "the Jews of the city were liquidated  on 29th and 30th September, a total of 35,000 people (according to the SS commandos), half of whom were women".

DOCUMENT

TRANSCRIPTION
"Der Brand von Kiew (24.-29. September 1941) hat genau die Mitte, d.h.den schönsten und repräsentativsten Teil der Stadt mit den beiden größten Hotels, der Hauptpost, dem Funkhaus, dem Telegrafenamt und einigen Warenhäusern zerstört. Betroffen ist ein Areal von  rund 2 qkm, obdachlos sind etwa 50 000 Menschen; sie wurden notdürftig in verlassene Quartiere untergebracht. Als Sühne für die  offensichtliche Sabotage wurden am 29.und 30. September die Juden der Stadt liquidiert, insgesamt (nach Angabe der SS-Einsatzkommanden) rund  35 000 Menschen, zur Hälfte Frauen. Die Bevölkerung nahm - soweit sie davon überhaupt erfuhr - die Füsilierungen ruhig,  vielfach mit Genugtuung hin; die  freigewordenen Judenwohnungen wurden zentral zur Linderung des Wohnungselends  verwendet."
TRANSLATION
"The fire of Kiev (September 24-29 1941) has destroyed exactly the center, i.e. the most beautiful and representative part of the city, with the two largest hotels, the main post office, radio station, telegraph office and some department stores. An area of about 2 square kilometers is affected, about 50,000 people are homeless; They were sheltered in abandoned quarters. As expiation for the obvious sabotage, the Jews of the city were liquidated on 29th and 30th September, a total of 35,000 people (according to the SS commandos), half of whom were women. As far as they knew about it all, the population calmly accepted the liquidations, often with satisfaction. The free Jewish homes were used reduce the dwelling misery."
(YVA O.18/197; also in Pohl, Die Herrschaft der Wehrmacht, p. 261, citing USHMM RG-22.002M, reel 27 [GARF 7445-2-138]; my translation)


10.) Activity report USSR no. 106 of the RSHA of 7 October 1941 on "an adequate number of apartments has been evacuated through the liquidation of approximately 35,000 Jews on 29 and 30 September 1941" and "In collaboration with the group  staff and 2 Kommandos of the Police Regiment South, the Sonderkommando 4a executed on 29 and 30 September 33,771 Jews"

DOCUMENT




TRANSCRIPTION
"Durch die Zerstörungen insbesondere von Häusern und die zwangsweise angeordnete Räumung von gefährdeten Strassenzügen waren ungefähr 25000 Personen obdachlos geworden und mußten die ersten Tage der Besetzung unter freiem Himmel verbringen. Die damit verbundenen Unbequemlichkeiten wurden seitens der Betroffenen durchaus mit Ruhe aufgenommen. Zu irgendwelchen ernstlichen Zwischenfällen oder Panikstimmung ist es nicht gekommen. Inzwischen sind einmal die gesperrten und geräumten Wohnungen,soweit sie nicht den Bränden oder Sprengungen zum Opfer gefallen sind, für die Bevölkerung wieder freigegeben. Zum anderen sind durch die Liquidation von zunächst ca. 35000 Juden am 29. und 30.9.41 entsprechende Wohnungen freigeworden, so daß die Unterbringung der Obdachlosen nunmehr gesichert ist und zwischenzeitlich auch erfolgte.

[...]

II. Exekutionen und sonstige Maßnahmen:

Einmal auf Grund der wirtschaftlichen Besserstellung der Juden unter bolschewistischer Herrschaft und ihrer Zuträger- und Agentendienste für das NKWD, zum anderen wegen der in Kiew erfolgten Spannungen und der daraus entstandenen Grossfeuer, war die Erregung der Bevölkerung gegen die Juden ausserordentlich groß. Hinzu kommt, dass Juden sich nachweislich an der Brandlegung beteiligt hatten. Die Bevölkerung erwartete deshalb von den deutschen Behörden entsprechende Vergeltungsmaßnahmen. Aus diesem Grunde wurden in Vereinbarung mit dem Stadtkommandanten sämtliche Juden Kiews aufgefordert, sich am Montag, dem 29.9., bis 8.00 Uhr an einem bestimmten Platz einzufinden. Diese Aufrufe wurden durch die Angehörigen der aufgestellten ukrainischen Miliz in der ganzen Stadt angeschlagen. Gleichzeitig wurde mündlich bekanntgegeben, dass sämtliche Juden Kiews umgesiedelt würden. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Gruppenstabe und 2 Kommandos des Polizeiregiments Süd hat das Sonderkommando 4a am 29. und 30.9. 33771 Juden exekutiert. Geld, Wertsachen. Wäsche und Kleidungsstücke wurden sichergestellt und zum Teil der NSV zur Ausrüstung der Volksdeutschen, zum Teil der kommissarischen Stadtverwaltung zur Überlassung an bedürftige Bevölkerung übergeben. Die Aktion selbst ist reibungslos verlaufen. Irgendwelche Zwischenfälle haben sich nicht ergeben. Die gegen die Juden durchgeführte „Umsiedlungsmaßnahme“ hat durchaus die Zustimmung der Bevölkerung gefunden. Dass die Juden tatsächlich liquidiert wurden, ist bisher kaum bekanntgeworden, würde auch nach den bisherigen Erfahrungen kaum auf Ablehnung stossen. Von der Wehrmacht wurden die durchgeführten Maßnahmen ebenfalls gutgeheissen.3 Die noch nicht erfassten bzw. nach und nach in die Stadt zurückkehrenden geflüchteten Juden werden von Fall zu Fall entsprechend behandelt. Gleichzeitig konnten eine Reihe NKWD-Beamter, politischer Kommissare und Partisanenführer erfasst und erledigt werden."
TRANSLATION
"As a result of the destruction of buildings in particular and of the evacuation of the endangered districts ordered by the authorities, approximately 25,000 persons were deprived of shelter and had to spend the first few days of the occupation outdoors. The inconveniences resulting from this were accepted by the population with calm. No serious incidents or panic occurred. Meanwhile the evacuated apartments, as far as they were not destroyed by fires or explosions, have again been put at the disposal of the population. Besides an adequate number of apartments has been evacuated through the liquidation of approximately 35,000 Jews on 29 and 30 September 1941, so that now shelter for the homeless is secured and has meanwhile also been allocated.

[...]

II Executions and Other Measures

Partly because of the better economic situation of the Jews under the Bolshevist regime and their activities as informers and agents of the NKVD, partly because of the explosions and the resulting fires, the public feeling against the Jews was very strong. As an added factor it was proved that the Jews participated in the arson. The population expected adequate retaliatory measures by the German authorities. Consequently all Jews of Kiev were requested, in agreement with the city commander, to appear on Monday, 29 September by 8 o'clock at a designated place. These announcements were posted by members of the Ukrainian militia in the entire city. Simultaneously it was announced orally that all Jews were to be moved. In collaboration with the group  staff and 2 Kommandos of the Police Regiment South, the Sonderkommando 4a executed on 29 and 30 September 33,771 Jews. Money, valuables, underwear and clothing were secured and placed partly at the disposal of the NSV Nazi Party Public Welfare Organization for use of the racial Germans, partly given to the city administration authorities for use of the needy population. The transaction was carried out without friction. No incidents occurred. The "Resettlement measure" against the Jews was approved throughout by the population. The fact that in reality the Jews were liquidated was hardly known until now, according to up-to-date experiences it would, however, hardly have been objected to. The measures were also approved by the Wehrmacht. The Jews who were not yet apprehended as well as those who gradually returned from their flight to the city were in each case treated accordingly."
(YVA O.51/164.106; translation from here)


11.) Activity report USSR no. 111 of the RSHA of 12 October 1941 on "Sonderkommando 4a has reached the total number of 51,000 executions. With the exception of the special action on 28 and 29 September in Kiev, which was supported by two commandos of Police Regiment South, the executions were carried out by the SK without any other help".

DOCUMENT

TRANSCRIPTION
"Einsatzgruppe C: Standort Kiew, meldet:

Sicherheitspolizeiliche Maßnahmen: Das Sonderkommando 4a hat nunmehr die Gesamtzahl von über 51000 Exekutionen erreicht. Die bisher durchgeführten Exekutionen wurden von diesem SK, abgesehen von der am 28. und 29.9. in Kiew stattgefundenen Sonderaktion, zu der 2 Kommandos des Polizeiregimentes Süd abgestellt waren, ohne jede fremde Hilfe erledigt. Bei den Exekutierten handelt es sich in der Hauptsache um Juden und zum kleineren Teil um politische Funktionäre sowie Saboteure und Plünderer."
TRANSLATION
"Einsatzgruppe C: Location Kiev, reports:

Security police measures: Sonderkommando 4a has reached the total number of 51,000 executions. With the exception of the special action on 28 and 29 September in Kiev, which was supported by two commandos of Police Regiment South, the executions were carried out by the SK without any other help. Those executed were mostly Jews, a smaller part were political functionaries, saboteurs and plunderers."
(YVA O.51/164.111; my translation)


12.) Report of Ic 113th Infantry Division from 13 October 1941 on "the Jewish action carried out by Police Regiment 'South'".
27/09/41 beginning of the Jewish action carried out by Police Regiment "South"
...
Jewish action temporarily held until 03/10/41.
(Kruglov, Tragediya Bab'yego Yara, p. 60, citing BA-MA, RH 26-113/8)


13.) Report of Paul Dargel (Reichskommissariat Ukraine) of 18 October 1941 that "nearly 40,000 Jews were shot" in Kiev.

TRANSLATION
"In Kiev, nearly 40,000 Jews were shot..."
(Kruglov, Tragediya Bab'yego Yara, p. 70, citing BArch B 162/5668, p. 55)


14.) Report of Abwehr officer Erwin Stolze of 23 October 1941 on "it is ordered that the Jews are to be "resettled"...They are taken off side the street and liquidated".

TRANSCRIPTION
"Auf Befehl werden die Juden „umgesiedelt“. Es geschieht dies in der Weise, daß die Juden ganz kurzfristig den Befehl bekommen, sich in der folgenden Nacht mit ihren besten Kleidungsstücken und ihrem Schmuck an festgesetzten Sammelorten einzufinden. Es wird zwischen Ständen, Geschlecht und Alter keinerlei Unterschied gemacht. Von dem Sammelplatz werden sie dann an einen außerhalb des betreffenden Ortes liegenden, vorher ausgesuchten und vorbereiteten Platz gebracht. Hier müssen sie unter dem Vorwand, daß gewisse Formalitäten noch zu erfüllen seien, ihren Schmuck und ihre Kleidungsstücke ablegen. Sie werden abseits der Straße geführt und liquidiert. Die sich hierbei entwickelnden Situationen sind so erschütternd, daß sie nicht beschrieben werden können. Die Folgen auf die deutschen Kommandos sind unausbleiblich. Im allgemeinen kann die Exekution nur unter Betäubung durch Alkohol durchgeführt werden. Ein als Zuschauer befohlener SD-Offizier hatte nach seiner Schilderung in der folgenden Nacht Angstträume fürchterlichster Art durchzustehen."
TRANSLATION
"It is ordered that the Jews are to be "resettled". This is done in such a way that the Jews are ordered to gather in the following night with their best clothes and jewlry at collection places. No difference is made between classes, sex and age. They are then brought to a previously selected site outside the town. On the pretext that certain formalities are still to be fulfilled, they have to put aside their jewlry and clothes. They are taken off side the street and liquidated. The resulting situations are so shocking that they can not be described. The consequences for the German commandos are inevitable. In general, the execution can only be carried out under numbness with alcohol. A SD officer ordered to watch had to endure a nightmare of the most dreadful kind the following night according to his description."
(Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p. 322ff.; my translation)


15.) Activity report USSR no. 128 of the RSHA of 3 November 1941 on "more than 30,000 Jews showed up, who still believed into their resettlement until shortly before the execution thanks to an extremely clever organization".

DOCUMENT


TRANSCRIPTION
"Mehrere Vergeltungsmaßnahmen wurden im Rahmen von Grossaktionen durchgeführt. Die grösste dieser Aktionen fand unmittelbar nach der Einnahme Kiews statt; es wurden hierzu ausschliesslich Juden mit ihrer gesamten Familie verwandt. Die sich bei Durchführung einer solchen Grossaktion ergebenden Schwierigkeiten - vor allem hinsichtlich der Erfassung - wurden in Kiew dadurch überwunden, dass durch Maueranschlag die jüdische Bevölkerung zur Umsiedlung aufgefordert worden war. Obwohl man zunächst nur mit einer Beteiligung von etwa 5000 bis 6000 Juden gerechnet hatte, fanden sich über 30000 Juden ein, die infolge einer überaus geschickten Organisation bis unmittelbar vor der Exekution noch an ihre Umsiedlung glaubten. Wenn auch bis jetzt auf diese Weise insgesamt etwa 75000 Juden liquidiert worden sind, so besteht doch schon heute Klarheit darüber, dass damit eine Lösung des Judenproblems nicht möglich sein wird. Es ist zwar gelungen, vor allem in kleineren Städten und auch in den Dörfern eine restlose Bereinigung des Judenproblems herbeizuführen; in grösseren Städten dagegen wird immer die Beobachtung gemacht, dass nach einer solchen Exekution zwar sämtliche Juden verschwunden sind, kehrt aber alsdann nach einer bestimmten Frist ein Kommando nochmals zurück, so wird immer wieder eine Anzahl von Juden festgestellt, die ganz erheblich die Zahl der exekutierten Juden übersteigt. "
TRANSLATION
"Several retaliatory measures were carried out during large scale actions. The largest action took place in Kiev after the capture; Jews and their entire families were exclusively used for this. The difficulties which are encountered from such a large scale action - espescially with regards to the gathering -  were overcome by using using wall posters requesting the Jewish population to the resettlement. Although it was  expected that about 5,000 to 6,000 Jews would participate, more than 30,000 Jews showed up, who still believed into their resettlement until shortly before the execution thanks to an extremely clever organization. Even if about 75,000 Jews have liquidated so far, it is clear that the solution of the Jewish question is not possible in this way." 
(YVA, O.51/165.128; my translation)


16.) Operational and Situation report of  the Einsatzgruppen in the USSR no.  6 for the period 1 to 31 October 1941 on "as a measure of retaliation for the arson at Kiev, all Jews were arrested and altogether 33,771 Jews were executed on 29 and 30 September".

TRANSCRIPTION
"Die Erbitterung der ukrainischen Bevölkerung gegen die Juden ist außerordentlich groß, da man ihnen die Schuld an den Sprengungen in Kiew zuschreibt. Auch sieht man in ihnen die Zuträger und Agenten des NKWD, die den Terror gegen das ukrainische Volk heraufbeschwören haben. Als Vergeltungsmaßnahme für die Brandstiftung in Kiew wurden sämtliche Juden verhaftet und am 20. und 30.9 insgesamt 33771 Juden exekutiert."
TRANSLATION
"The embitterment of the Ukrainian population against the Jews is extremely great because they are thought responsible for the explosions in Kiev. They are also regarded as informers and agents of the NKVD who started the terror against the Ukrainian people. As a measure of retaliation for the arson at Kiev, all Jews were arrested and altogether 33,771 Jews were executed on 29 and 30 September."
(Klein et al., Die Einsatzgruppen in der besetzten Sowjetunion 1941/42,  p. 232; translation based on here)


17.) Entry in the police service pass of Pol. Bat. 303 member Erich Karrasch of 27 November 1941 on performing "security and cleaning tasks in Kiev" between 23 September - 14 October 1941.
DOCUMENT


TRANSCRIPTION
"Lfd.         Einsatz                                                     von     bis
Nummer
5             Sicherungs- u. Säuberungsaufgaben          9.8      22.9.41
               im Raume Polonne, Berditsch,
               Skwira, Roszyn

6             Sicherungs- u. Säuberungsaufgaben          23.9    14.10.41
               in Kiew

7             Säuberungsaufgaben gegen versprengte    15.10        27.11.41
               russ. Truppenteile und Partisanen im
               Raume Peresjaslawl, Chorol,
               Solotonoscha

O.U.,  27. November 1941
[Unterschrift]
[Stempel Oberleutnant d. Sch.]
[Stempel Feldpostnummer 38101]"
TRANSLATION

"Number  Operation                                                   from         until

5             Security and cleaning tasks in the area       9.8           22.9.41
               Polonne, Berditsch, Skwira, Roszyn

6             Security and cleaning tasks in Kiev           23.9         14.10.41

7             Cleaning tasks against isolated                  15.10        27.11.41
               Russian troops and partisans  in the
               area Peresjaslawl, Chorol, Solotonoscha

In the field,  27 November 1941
[signature]
[stamp Oberleutnant d. Sch.]
[stamp Feldpostnummer 38101]"
(handwritten and typed sheets in the police service pass of Pol. Bat. 303 member Erich Karrasch of 27 November 1941; posted by user hucks216 on 26 August 2010 at warrelics.eu; my translation)


18.) Entry in the police service pass of Pol. Bat. 303 member Erich S. on performing "security and cleaning tasks in Kiev" between 23 September - 14 October 1941.

TRANSCRIPTION
Sicherungs- und Säuberungsaufgaben in Kiew          23.9    14.10.41
TRANSLATION
Security and cleaning tasks in Kiev                            23.9         14.10.41            
(Schneider, Auswärts eingesetzt.  Bremer Polizeibataillone und der Holocaust, p. 461; my translation)


19.) Report of Abwehr officer E. Kumming of 9 December 1941 that "in Kiev, about 42,000 - 48,000...were sent to the surroundings under the pretext of a resettlement and...were shot in a big depression".

TRANSCRIPTION
"Nach Aussagen der zum Oflag XI a in  Wladzimierez gehörenden Offiziere und Wehrmachsbeamten (Oberlt. Duval und oberlt. Lössenhop - beide Abwehr -, Zahlmeister Schwarting, die K.V.I. Jahns, Telthörster, Bittins, Sieben und Böttel) wird zur Zeit die ganze jüdische Bevölkerung der Ukraine liquidiert. Aus Kiew sollen 42000 - 48000 (die Angaben schwanken) in die Umgebung unter dem Vorwand einer Umsiedelung herausgeführt und nach Abnahme der Kleidungsstücke in einer grossen Mulde erschossen worden sein."
TRANSLATION
"According to officers and Wehrmacht officials from Oflag XI a in Wladzmierez [...], the entire Jewish population of the Ukraine is currently liquidated. In Kiev, about 42,000 - 48,000 (the figures vary) were sent to the surroundings under the pretext of a  resettlement and after removing their clothes were shot in a big depression."
(NARA RG242/338/18/404, courtesy of Nick Terry; my translation)


20.) Report of Martin Luther (German Foreign Office) of 10 December 1941 on "more than 33,000 Jews were executed".

TRANSCRIPTION
"In der Ukraine wurden als Vergeltungsmaßnahmen für die Brandstiftung in Kiew dortselbst sämtliche Juden verhaftet und Ende September d.J. insgesamt mehr als 33 000 Juden hingerichtet."
TRANSLATION
"In Ukraine, all Jews were arrested in Kiev as retaliation for the arson there and at end of September of this year more than 33,000 Jews were executed."
(Abel, Kunstraub – Ostforschung – Hochschulkarriere, p. 38; my translation)


21.- 33.) 13 contemporary photographs of Johannes Hähle of Propagandakompanie 637.


 

 



 

 


(Nakhmanovich, Babiy Yar: chelovek, vlast', istoriya. Dokumenty i materialy)


Contemporary Diaries of Civilian Population


34.) Diary of L. Nartova on "they fill the whole street and sidewalks. There are women, men, young girls, children, old people, whole families".

GERMAN TRANSLATION
"26. 9. 41

[...]
Um die kürzlich ausgehängten Befehle haben sich viele Leute versammelt. Alle sind aufgeregt. Ich gehe auf die Straße und lese: „Alle Juden haben auf dem Friedhof zu erscheinen und alle Wertsachen, Pelze und warme Sachen usw. mitzubringen.“ Was bedeutet das?

28. 9. 41

Morgens klopft mein Nachbar an die Tür: „Schaut, was sich auf der Straße tut.“ Ich renne auf den Balkon hinaus und sehe Menschen, die in einer schier endlosen Kolonne vorüberziehen; sie füllen die ganze Straße und die Bürgersteige aus. Es gehen Frauen, Männer, junge Mädchen, Kinder, Greise, ganze Familien. Viele führen ihr Hab und Gut auf Schubkarren mit sich, aber die meisten tragen ihre Sachen auf den Schultern. Sie gehen schweigend, leise. Es ist unheimlich. So hat sich das lange hingezogen, den ganzen Tag über, und erst gegen Abend begann die Menschenmenge weniger zu werden. Aber zum Morgen hin gingen sie wieder und so einige Tage lang..."
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
"26. 9. 41[...]
Many people have gathered around the recently published orders.
Everyone is excited. I go on the street and read: "All Jews have to appear at the cemetery and bring all valuables, furs and warm things, etc." What does that mean?


28. 9. 41

In the morning, my neighbour knocks at the door: "Look what's going on in the street." I run out onto the balcony and see people passing by in an almost endless column;
They fill the whole street and sidewalks. There are women, men, young girls, children, old people, whole families. Many carry their belongings on wheelbarrows, but most carry their things on their shoulders. They walk in silence, quietly. It's scary. So it went for a long time, all day long, and it was not until evening that the number of people began to diminish. But on the morning they walked again and so it was for a few days ..."
(Central’nyj Deržavnyj Archiv Hromads’kych Ob’ednan’ Ukraïny, 1/22/347, Bl. 1 – 3, cf. Yad Vashem Archives, M.37/43, cited in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p. 296; my translation)


35.) Diary of Irina A. Chorošunova on "Then they are driven to Babij Jar" and "Everyone says that the Jews are murdered".

GERMAN TRANSLATION
"30. September 1941

Wir wissen noch immer nicht, was sie mit den Juden gemacht haben. Von Leuten, die auf dem Luk’janovskoe-Friedhof waren, werden grausige Gerüchte verbreitet. Aber bislang ist es unmöglich, diesen Gerüchten Glauben zu schenken. Man erzählt, dass die Juden erschossen werden. Diejenigen, die sie bis zu dem Ort begleiteten, wo sie laut Befehl erscheinen sollten, sahen, dass alle Juden durch eine Formation deutscher Soldaten gehen, alle Sachen fallen lassen. Ihre Begleiter wurden von den Deutschen fort gejagt.

Die einen sagen, dass sie die Juden mit Maschinengewehren erschießen, dass sie alle ohne Ausnahme erschießen. Die anderen sagen, dass sechzehn Eisenbahnzüge für sie vorbereitet worden sind und sie wegbringen sollen. Aber wohin? Darauf weiß niemand eine Antwort. Man weiß nur eins: Alle Papiere, Habseligkeiten und Lebensmittel werden ihnen weggenommen. Dann werden sie nach Babij Jar getriebenund dort… Ich weiß nicht, was dort ist. Ich weiß nur eins, da geht etwas Schreckliches, Grauenhaftes vor sich, etwas Unfassbares, das man nicht verstehen, begreifen oder erklären kann.

2. Oktober 1941

Schon sagen alle, dass die Juden ermordet werden. Nein, nicht ermordet werden, sondern schon ermordet worden sind. Alle, ohne Ausnahme – Greise, Frauen und Kinder. Jene, die am Montag nach Hause zurückgekehrt waren, sind auch schon erschossen worden .Das ist noch Gerede, aber es kann keinen Zweifel daran geben, dass es den Tatsachenentspricht. Es sind keine Züge von Lukjanovka abgefahren. Leute haben gesehen, wie Autos warme Kleider und andere Sachen vom Friedhof abtransportiert haben. Die deutsche „Sorgfalt“. Sie haben sogar schon die Trophäen sortiert! Ein russisches Mädchen hat seine Freundin auf den Friedhof begleitet und sich von der anderen Seite durch die Umzäunung geschlichen. Sie hat gesehen, wie entkleidete Menschen in die Richtung von Babij Jar geführt wurden, und Gewehrschüsse gehört. Es gibt immer mehr von diesen Gerüchten und Berichten. Ihre Ungeheuerlichkeit will nicht in unsere Köpfe hineingehen. Aber wir sind gezwungen, sie zu glauben, denn die Erschießung der Juden ist eine Tatsache. Eine Tatsache, die anfängt, uns allen den Verstand zu rauben. Es ist unmöglich, diese Tatsache anzuerkennen und einfach weiterzuleben. Die Frauen um uns herum weinen. Und wir? Wir haben auch geweint am 29. September, als wir dachten, dass sie ins Konzentrationslager transportiert werden. Aber jetzt? Ist es etwa möglich zu weinen?"
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
"September 30, 1941

We still do not know what they did with the Jews.
People who have been in Luk'janovskoe cemetery are spreading horrible rumors. But so far it is impossible to believe these rumors. It is said that the Jews are being shot. Those who accompanied them to the place where they were supposed to appear, saw that the Jews go through a formation of German soldiers, dropping all things. Their companions were chased away by the Germans.Some say they shoot the Jews with machine guns, that they shoot all of them without exception. The others say that sixteen railroad trains have been prepared for them to take them away. But where? Nobody knows any answer. One knows only one thing: all papers, belongings and food are taken from them. Then they are driven to Babij Jar and there ... I do not know what is there. I know only one thing, there is something terrible, horrible going on, something incomprehensible that can not be understood or explained.


October 2, 1941

Everyone says that the Jews are murdered.
No, not are murdered, but have already been murdered. All, without exception - old people, women and children. Those who have returned home on Monday have been shot, too. This is still what is said, but there can be no doubt that it is true. There were no trains leaving Lukjanovka. People have seen cars transporting warm clothes and other things from the cemetery. The German "diligence". They have already sorted the trophies! A Russian girl has escorted his girlfriend to the cemetery and sneaked from the other side through the fence. She has seen how undressed people were led in direction of Babij Jar and heard shots of guns. There are more and more of these rumors and reports. Their enormity does not want to enter our heads. But we are compelled to believe them, for the shooting of the Jews is a fact. A fact that is beginning to rob us all of our minds. It is impossible to recognize this fact and simply live on. The women around us cry. And we? We also cried on September 29, when we thought they were being transported to the concentration camp. But now? Is it possible to cry?"
(Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p.311ff.; my translation)

Contemporary Swiss Sources


36.) Report from Germany of November 1941 on "in the hinterland of Kiev, thousands of Jews of every sex and age have been shot".

TRANSCRIPTION
"Im Hinterland von Kiev sind tausende von Juden jedes Geschlechtes und Alters erschossen worden. Sie wurden in Massengräbern beigesetzt, die sie vorher zumeist vor ihrer Erschiessung teilweise selbst und zum Teil mit Schaufeln, welche Kinder als Spielzeuge verwenden, ausschaufeln mussten. Die Erschiessungen wurden durch Formationen der S.S., durch Soldaten der regulären Armee und durch Arbeitsdienstler, die in einem Alter von 16-18 Jahren stunden, durchgeführt. Bei den Soldaten sollen ausgesprochene Minderwertigkeitsgefühle in Erscheinung treten, wenn sie derartige Exekutionen vornehmen müssen. Die Arbeitsdienstler sollen seelisch vollkommen kaput gewesen sein, als sie diese Erschiessungen hätten vollziehen müssen."
TRANSLATION
"In the hinterland of Kiev, thousands of Jews of every sex and age have been shot. They have been buried in mass graves, which they mostly had to dig before their shooting, partly with shovels used by children as toys. The shootings are carried out by formations of the SS, by soldiers of the regular army and labour service men between the age 16 and 18 years. The soldiers showed marked inferiority feelings when they had to carry out such executions. The labour service men were totally done when they did these executions."
(BAr, Akten der Bundesanwaltschaft, E 4320 (B) 1968/195, C.2.8, cited in Haas, Wenn man gewusst hätte, was sich drüben im Reich abspielt, p. 107; my translation)



37.) Statement of a Wehrmacht deflector towards Swiss intelligence of 28 February 1942 "In Kiev (mainly Jewish population), about 120,000 people are supposed to have been killed".

TRANSCRIPTION
"In Kiew (hauptsächlich jüdische Bevölkerung) sollen ca. 120 000 Menschen umgebracht worden sein (nur gehört). An beiden Orten geschah dies angeblich als Vergeltungsmaßnahme wegen der unzähligen Zeitbomben-Sprengungen usw. der Russen."
TRANSLATION
"In Kiev (mainly Jewish population), about 120,000 people are supposed to have been killed (only heard about it).  At both places, this allegedly happened as retaliation measure because of countless time bomb explosions etc. by the Russians."
(Eidgenössisches Militärdepartement, E27, Dossier 8430, cited in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7,  p. 443; my translation)


38.) Report of a Luftwaffe deserter escaped in March 1942 on "40,000 Jews (men, women and children shot)"

TRANSCRIPTION
"Kiew: Anfangs Oktober 1941: 40 000 Juden (Männer, Frauen und Kinder erschossen). Die Juden wurden aufgefordert, mit 50kg. Gepäck anzutreten. Abmarsch in die Sandgruben: Erschossen. Wände der Sandgruben gesprengt, sodass Massengräber entstanden"
TRANSLATION
"Kiev: At the beginning of October 1941: 40,000 Jews (men, women and children shot). The Jews were ordered to line up with 50kg baggage. March into the sandpits: shot. Walls of the sand pits blown up so that mass graves were formed"
(Bestand EMD, E 27, 9928, Bd. 3, Bericht 8584/d. 4444, cited in Haas, Wenn man gewusst hätte, was sich drüben im Reich abspielt, p. 141; my translation)


Contemporary Soviet Sources


39.) Report of Aleksei Popov of 4 December 1941 on "eighty thousand Jews have been killed in Kiev".
"At the end of the month of September or the beginning of October, the Germans brought in at least five hundred Jews from Kiev, beaten up and naked—the men only in shorts, the women in underclothes. All the Jews were bloodied from wounds to the head and body. The Jews were brought in on a Saturday and placed on the bare earth near the fence of the damp camp. They lay there for one night. But the second day was Sunday, the Germans did not work, and only on the third day did the Germans take the Jews out for execution by shooting.
...
...eighty thousand Jews have been killed in Kiev.
...
In late September, throughout the city of Kiev the Germans posted orders that said: All Jews must come to the Jewish cemetery with their valuables and money. The Jews assumed that the Germans would evict them, and the families came to the cemetery with their belongings. Some Jews were accompanied by Russians. At the cemetery the Germans seized all the Jews and the Russians who accompanied Jewish acquaintances, herded them into a ravine, and shot them all
...
In late September, I don’t remember what date, at noon, at least two hundred of us prisoners were taken to work under heavy guard. Leaving the city, we saw [arrayed] on the road over a distance of one hundred meters piles of outer clothing and various small pieces of furniture between the clothing, and also food, and a little farther along the road a heap of at least a thousand passports. Beyond the city, we were herded toward a deep ravine, on the side of which lay just as much clothing as on the road and there lay scattered identity papers and identity cards with glued photos of Jews. We were forced into the ravine, on the bottom of which lay the corpses of at least a thousand people, thinly covered with sand. The hands and feet of some of them were still visible. The clothing in the ravine was that of men, women, and children, from which one could conclude that the corpses in the ravine were women, men, and children.
...
I have forgotten the name of the ravine where I, with prisoners and others, buried Jews - it was Babii or Tetkin."
(Berkhoff, 'The Corpses in the Ravine Were Women, Men and Children': Written Testimonies from 1941 on the Babi Yar Massacre, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 29. No. 3, Winter 2015, p. 256ff.)


40.) Communique of People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs Viacheslav Molotov to Ambassadors of Foreign Countries of 6 January 1942 on "In only a few days the German bandits killed and tortured 52,000 men, women, old men [i.e. people], and children".
"Horrible slaughter and pogroms were committed by the German invaders in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. In only a few days the German bandits killed and tortured 52,000 men, women, old men [i.e. people], and children, mercilessly dealing with all Ukrainians, Russians, and Jews who in any manner displayed their loyalty to the Soviet government. Soviet civilians who have escaped from Kiev describe the astounding picture of these mass executions. : . A large number of Jews, including women and children, were assembled together in the Jewish cemetery. Before [the] shooting, all of them were stripped naked and beaten up. The first group selected for shooting were made to lie down at the bottom of a ditch [ravine?], face to the ground, and were shot with automatic rifles. The Germans slighted with earth covered over the victims and then the second party of Jews were made to lie down and were shot with automatic rifles…."
(Yad Vashem site, citing The Molotov Notes on German Atrocities, London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1942, p. 14.)


41.) Report of the Political Administration of the 18th army to the Political Administration of the Southern Front of 15 January 1942 on the testimony of the secret agents "Klimenko" and "Romanchuk" that "the German bandits undressed and executed all the Jews who appeared at the cemetery" and "blew up the square where the mountains of corpses were lying"

TRANSLATION
"The people’s avengers went into action. On September 24, 1941 the Children’s World shop was blown up. The German municipal commandant’s office had been established in this building. For four days one building after another was blown up on the Khreshchatyk and adjacent streets. The Germans suffered great losses here, for the most part in senior officers.

In response to the partisans’ actions the Hitlerite swine began carrying out bestial reprisals against the peaceful population. On September 28, 1941 the German commandant of the city issued an order. It said approximately: “All Jews in Kyiv are to report by 8.00 on September 28, 1941 to the Baikove cemetery. Every Jew must bring warm clothing and valuables. Failure to obey the order will mean execution on the spot.” The German bandits undressed and executed all the Jews who appeared at the cemetery. Some Jews went into hiding when they learned about this violent reprisal. Then the city commandant issued orders that “All building managers are immediately to carry out searches and immediately report any Jews they discover to the police.” On September 29 and 30 Hitlerite bandits assisted by members of the Black Hundred and Ukrainian nationalists carried out monstrous pogroms. A round-up of the Jewish population was carried out. All who were ill, elderly or crippled were dragged from their flats, placed in vehicles and driven to the cemetery. There they were mocked and executed..

“Klimenko” and “Romanchuk” were on Shevchenko Boulevard on September 29, 1941 and saw a staggering scene. A cart was moving along the roadway. An ill elderly woman was lying in the cart. Elderly men and women who were barely able to move their feet were walking behind the cart. They were being escorted by Hitlerite rogues from the Gestapo. When the elderly people stumbled and fell, they were beaten with butt-stocks and forced to go on by bayonets. A mountain of corpses had been piled up at the cemetery. There were also children of those who had been executed, amongst them infants. The Hitlerite scoundrels pierced them with bayonets with monstrous bestial sang-froid or simply picked them up by their feet and threw them into the pit.

Having completed their monstrous crime against innocent people in Kyiv, the Hitlerite cutthroats blew up the square where the mountains of corpses were lying. But the Hitlerite gang was not satisfied with this. Using their favourite method of provocation, the Hitlerite bandits from the Gestapo found a pretext to set on fire all the markets in Kyiv. Afterwards came an order from the city commandant about the execution of a hundred and later three hundred persons."
(Central State Archive of Public Organizations of Ukraine, 4620/3/378/58, cited here, cf. German translation in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p.417f.)


42.) Report of the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement of 16 October 1942 that the "the Germans shot 40,000 Jews" in Kiev.
"During the first days of the occupation in Kiev at the Jewish cemetery the Germans shot 40,000 Jews. The adults were shot with machine-guns, while the children and elderly were thrown alive into the 'Babi Yar' [Ravine]"
(Yad Vashem site, citing TsGAOOU 62-1-210, copy YVA M.37/422)


43.) Report of D.I. Volevich to the organization department of the Kiev city committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, 1942/1943 on "they [the Jews] were shot near pits that had been dug there...All that day, indeed, machine-gun fire was heard".
On September 28 [1941] the Jews were allowed to enter their apartments to prepare [supposedly, for their resettlement]. On September 29, 1941 from about 7-8 a.m. the Jews started to pass through the Jewish market along Dmitrievskaya Street. They were going individually, in families, and in crowds. They carried their belongings with them. They were going with their small children. They were accompanied by many Russians [and] Ukrainians, who helped them to carry their belongings. I was told by many people about the procession to the cemetery. I got the impression that very many of them scarecly imagined that they were going to be shot. Generally, in my opinion, the [non-Jewish] population [also] did not believe that the Jews would be shot. I personally was sure they were going to be sent across the frontlines…Almost all the Jews to whom I spoke responded positively, without animosity, asking me…to help them to carry [their belongings]. There were also people who looked at me with hatred and did not reply. Crowds of people were standing on Dmitrievskaya Street and watching this sad procession. Germans in brown uniforms stood with the people, in front of them. There were few of them. It was said that many Ukrainian relatives and acquaintances accompanied [the Jews] to the cemetery: there was one place which once you passed it you could not go back. People said that many Ukrainians and Russians who accompanied [the Jews] perished at the cemetery. For example, it was said that about 25 Ukrainian girls who had their passports taken from them were among the first to be shot. It was [also] said that [first] people were forced to strip and, after their clothes and the belongings were put aside, they [the Jews] were shot near pits that had been dug there. Their passports were taken away and their belongings were sorted right there on the spot. Their gold and valuables were put into washtubs. All that day, indeed, machine-gun fire was heard...
(TsGAOOU 1-22-297, copy YVA M.37/36, cited on Yad Vashem website)


44.) Note of Vyacheslav Molotov from December 1942 on "the Germans...shot all of them - more than 30 000 people, mostly the elderly, women and children."

TRANSCRIPTION
"Только за один день 29 сентября немцы, вызвав на Лукьяновское кладбище евреев, которым было приказано взять с собой ценные вещи и теплое белье, ограбили и раздели их, а затем расстреляли всех явившихся — свыше 30 000 человек, в большинстве своем стариков, женщин и детей."
TRANSLATION
"Only in one day, 29 September, the Germans called the Jews, who were ordered to take valuables and warm clothes with them, to Lukyanovka cemetery, robbed and stripped them and then shot all of them - more than 30 000 people, mostly the elderly, women and children."
(Byezymyenskii, Budapeshtskiy messiya. Raul' Vallenberg, p. 42)


Contemporary Polish Sources


45.) Report of Armia Krajowa to the Polish exile goverment in London for the period 16 - 28 February 1942 on "All Jews, there were still about 70,000 in Kiev, especially women, the elderly and children, were shot with machine guns in pits that they had to dig themselves."

GERMAN TRANSLATION
"Während unseres Aufenthalts in Kiew verübten SS-Abteilungen blutige Massaker an Juden. Alle Juden, und es waren noch etwa 70 000 in Kiew, vor allem Frauen, Alte und Kinder, wurden mit Maschinengewehren in Gruben erschossen, die sie selbst ausgehoben hatten."
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
"During our stay in Kiev, the SS carried out bloody massacres of Jews. All Jews, there were still about 70,000 in Kiev, especially women, the elderly and children, were shot with machine guns in pits that they had to dig themselves."
(Institute for Jewish Research, New York, RG 493/1/75 (S/X/597 f.), cited in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume  8, p. 227; my translation)

Contemporary US Sources


46.) Report of a Swiss informant to OSS New York of 7 November 1942 on the Soviet Government "estimated the number of murdered persons in Kiev at 52.000".

BACK TRANSLATION FROM GERMAN
"The official memorandum of the Soviet Government on atrocities of the Germans of 6 January 1942 estimated the number of murdered persons in Kiev at 52.000; it can be assumed that the majority were Jews."
(NARA, RG 226/16/257, Dok. 27275, cited in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945, volume 7, p. 688; my translation)

28 comments:

Statistical Mechanic said...

Awesome Hans, very good to have all this collected and stepped out as you've done.

J Kelly said...

Thanks for all of your hard work. You are an invaluable resource.

Geoff said...

Thanks for this,absolutely wonderful to have it all together!

Reactionary said...

Thanks Hans.

Have the massgraves been found? Have they found physical evidence (lots of ash, bones, bullets etc.) that complement the evidence of documents, diaries, witness statements, etc.?

That is, for example, what revisionists like Friedrich Berg, are asking to be shown.

Hans said...

Reactionary, the burial site was cleared by the Germans in 1943. Any lack of residues only says something about how thorough this activity was (plus how thorough post-war investigations were) but it says nothing about that more than 30,000 Jews had not been shot there.

Sergey Romanov said...

Reactionary, the mass graves were destroyed by Sonderkommando 1005 in 1943. The process was described by numerous witnesses, incl. the Jews that were burning the bodies (and were able to escape, though most of them were shot during the escape attempt) and the members of SK 1005. The traces (ashes) were there also after the liberation. Anatoly Kuznetsov, for example, describes how he found a lump of ashes in the ravine, took it with him and still had it when writing his famous BY book.

Nicholas Terry said...

Reactionary:

"Have the massgraves been found?"

What the fuck does this denier cliche even mean? Do you think that nobody ever looked at the Babi Yar ravine (or any other killing site) after the war, or is "have the massgraves been found" a goalpost-moving exercise for deniers?

Reactionary said...

So the bodies were dug up and burned. Revisionists would argue that there still today would be much ash to be found, and bone fragments, hundreds of thousands of teeth (28*30000 = about 840.000 only at Babij Jar. And teeth are not easy to burn away, virtually impossible.) and other human traces after so many 30.000 peolpe, even if the bodies where burned. And ground disturbance would still been seen today.

So how would you answer that?

"What the fuck does this denier cliche even mean? Do you think that nobody ever looked at the Babi Yar ravine (or any other killing site) after the war, or is "have the massgraves been found" a goalpost-moving exercise for deniers?"

I do not know the answer to your question, because I am not a "revisionist" you should ask them instead. However, I am interested about knowing how you would respond to the arguments that I read that they use.

Nicholas Terry said...

No, I'd like you to answer my question since you asked 'have massgraves been found?' What do you think?

You could find out the answer yourself, instead you ask us. There has been some discussion of the Bab Yar site on the blog before, look at the tags - so a basic answer to your query (you've had several informal responses) means repeating ourselves, which becomes very tedious. A more detailed answer is wasted below the line in a comments thread - we're likely to put up a blog post about the physical site in the future, don't know when.

Part 2 of this series by Hans will concern testimonies, so we're nowhere near done.

Nathan said...

Given the Antisemitic content of the German documents Hans shared- namely the fantasy of Jews "collaborating" with the NKVD as well as the implicit justifications for the killings and victim blaming, we can completely rule out any claims of "forgery" whether by the Western Allies or Jews.

Statistical Mechanic said...

Karel Berkhoff has researched the postwar history of the ravine, following the 1943 destruction of the mass graves and burning of corpses described by Sergey Romanov above. Berkhoff says that in late 1943 Soviet journalists were brought to Babi Yar, one later recalling that, despite the SK1005 work at the site, parts of corpses were visible were earlier detonations had exposed them. Later regional NKVD organized excavation at Babi Yar found human remains (this excavation also included Syrets camp and was carried out by 823 German prisoners, one of whom later stated that 160 of the 823 chosen to excavate 5 graves had discovered burnt corpses and body parts). During the following years, locals, much as did locals at Treblnka (as Jan Gross has documented) dug for gold and treasure among the remains in the ravine. Babi Yar during these years began to used as an illegal dumping ground. Students at the School of Military Medicine made use of the walls of the ravine as a firing range.

In 1950, authorities decided to flood and fill the ravine. Water was pumped in - however, in 1961 the dam constructed to hold the muddy water back failed - and a large mudslide into the outskirts of Kiev ensue: “a mass of heavy dirt, built up over years, thirteen feet (four meters) high, streamed out and pushed into the city.” Berkhoff describes this lake water/mud mix as foul smelling and said that bones and other remains from the ravine were washed out of it. At least 145 residents died in this event, known as the Kurenivka Tragedy.

When the poet Yevtushenko visited the site in August 1961, he witnessed trucks dumping garbage into the still-flooded ravine. Even after the mudslide, during 1962, Berkhoff says, human remains including bones were still being turned up by locals in the area. Mid-decade saw children with sharp sticks digging up skulls. In summer of 1971 three American students visiting the USSR found human bones scattered over large area at site.

Today, over the now-filled-in ravine there is an arterial road (Novo-Okruzhna Street), completed in 1969. By the end of the 1970s the rest of the surface area had been made a “Park of Culture and Recreation” which includes, if my notes are correct, a football stadium.

The revisionists that would say that today there should be x,y or z on or near the surface would seem to be ignorant of the postwar history of the site which Berkhoff has researched.

Nathan said...

-Babi Yar during these years began to used as an illegal dumping ground. Students at the School of Military Medicine made use of the walls of the ravine as a firing range.

In 1950, authorities decided to flood and fill the ravine. Water was pumped in - however, in 1961 the dam constructed to hold the muddy water back failed - and a large mudslide into the outskirts of Kiev ensue: “a mass of heavy dirt, built up over years, thirteen feet (four meters) high, streamed out and pushed into the city.” Berkhoff describes this lake water/mud mix as foul smelling and said that bones and other remains from the ravine were washed out of it. At least 145 residents died in this event, known as the Kurenivka Tragedy-

Nothing proves "Judeo Bolshevism" like the Bolshevik authorities' revolting disregard for the bodies and resting place of Innocent Jewish Civilians. ;)

Reactionary said...

" - we're likely to put up a blog post about the physical site in the future, don't know when. "

Ok, great.

"Given the Antisemitic content of the German documents Hans shared- namely the fantasy of Jews "collaborating" with the NKVD as well as the implicit justifications for the killings and victim blaming, we can completely rule out any claims of "forgery" whether by the Western Allies or Jews."

So the allied and jews can not make fake documents with antisemitic content to make it look authentic?

It would be theoretically possible, for argument's sake.

Nathan said...

-So the allied and jews can not make fake documents with antisemitic content to make it look authentic?-

No. Not if their aim is to "elicit sympathy" and gain support for Zionism, as the deniers say.

These documents are geniune. Fuck off and deal with it, bullshitter.

Reactionary said...

To gain support for Zionism, it would be perfect to show documents of masskillings of jews, real or false document.

I'm going to ignore rude comments. I don't understand why some of you guys can't answer without it. ( Nicholas Terry, Nathan etc)

Nathan said...

There's nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade, or trash, trash.

-To gain support for Zionism, it would be perfect to show documents of masskillings of jews, real or false document.-

I'm not going to derail this discussion about 100% authentic and reliable wartime documents by arguing whether or not the Holocaust justifies the existence and policies of Israel.

Taken in isolation, the German situation reports make it look like the Jews brought ruin on themselves, because they allegedly collaborated with the NKVD or participated in sabotage. They do not help the case for Zionism, which assumes that Antisemites attacked and/or killed Jews for no reason. Therefore, they are not forgeries, and they were not "forged" with the intent of promoting a narrative. Their authors were lying assholes, just like the Bullshitter to whom this response is directed to.

Sergey Romanov said...

The reason you are getting some rude replies is very simple: you are asking questions not so much from a position of curiosity but rather from a position of lazy ignorance. Basically you expect us to spoon-feed you the basics which you are obliged to learn yourself. For example you claim that ground disturbance should be seen even today, blissfully unaware that the ravine hasn't existed for over half a century.

Nicholas Terry said...

Reactionary, I've not insulted you in my replies. By asking you what the hell 'have the massgraves been found?' even means, I invited you to think through what is being asked here.

You know that we know this is a standard denier question. We've answered it in the past! We'll answer it again - and it can be answered independently by reading open-access sources such as Karel Berkhoff's lecture for USHMM that Statistical Mechanic summarised
https://www.ushmm.org/m/pdfs/Publication_OP_2011-02.pdf
The mudslide is in the Wiki page after discussing 1005 and memorials
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babi_Yar#Concealment_of_the_crimes

I wanted you to think through what this question means also from the perspective of Friedrich Berg or another denier. You asked this 'on behalf of' the deniers, expecting that we have some snappy answer. The snappy answer to those deniers is that they should fuck off to the archives and demonstrate they know the sources and literature about the Babi Yar site.

If they don't know this evidence then they don't have any claim to be taken seriously in any discussion about the site. Some of the evidence is touched on in Berkhoff's lecture, other aspects require knowing about things like the Extraordinary Commission, and they all certainly require a knowledge of Russian. This isn't stuff that can be summarised below the line in a blog comments thread.

If you want to ask general-knowledge queries then please express them in a sensible *non-denierish* way, that doesn't offload the burden of looking things up entirely onto others and doesn't expect them to start writing reams of stuff in a comments thread.

In this case: what is a good source about the Babi Yar ravine and mass graves after the war? Or: has anything been written about the Babi Yar mass graves? Answer: some HC blog posts and Berkhoff's lecture are good starting points.

Statistical Mechanic said...

>> So the allied and jews can not make fake documents with antisemitic content to make it look authentic?

It would be theoretically possible, for argument's sake.

Many things are possible, some are more far-fetched than others of course. In this case, given the diversity of corroborating sources, the variety of documents you want to be fake, and the complete lack of evidence for forgery, your hope is practically equivalent to impossible.

Historians have studied these documents and have not found indications of forgery or fabrication. Have you? What makes you think that they might be inauthentic other than the outcome you wish to arrive at?

Sergey Romanov said...

The issue of ashes, bones and teeth is extremely banal. Teeth may not burn away but they become extremely fragile in fire. In virtually every case of body disposal known to us the unburned remains were destroyed with special "hammers". This means that the fragile teeth were simply destroyed together with bones.

The ashes mixed with bone and teeth fragments were then dispersed over large areas near the body disposal sites (when rivers or lakes were available, they would have been dumped there). So again, while we would expect to see traces of ashes, because you can't clean up everything, there is never an expectation of finding the whole ash contents concentrated in some small area and amenable to quantification.

What was found at the murder and body disposal sites is thus * compatible* with the witness testimonies, or, to put it in a slightly different way, it cannot be shown to be incompatible with them.
The conclusive evidence comes from the documents and the testimonies.

Sergey Romanov said...

> So the allied and jews can not make fake documents with antisemitic content to make it look authentic?

Since anything can be faked, it is hardly a useful question to ask when there is no actual indication of fakery.

Statistical Mechanic said...

>> Since anything can be faked, it is hardly a useful question to ask when there is no actual indication of fakery.

From reactionary's comments here, it appears that his basis for raising the issue of faked documents is his desire, rather than any evidence or indications of fakery he has seen. Of course, he has yet to make clear what he has seen and studied. But what he seems to be doing is hunting for shreds of, er, anything that might support his desire rather than using the voluminous available evidence to understand the events. This is the epitome of a biased approach.

If reactionary has indications of forgery or manipulation of the large number of sources for Babi Yar, why doesn't he provide such indications and ask specific questions about them? Again, he seems to prefer sweeping statements based on something in his own head.

Reactionary said...

Im not a denier. I just listen to the Eric Hunt Vs Fredrich Berg debate, and what Berg said about Babi Yar. I just bring it up here, and as a possible tip for you, to might pick it up and write about, if it would be interesting. Sorry that I asked.

Statistical Mechanic said...

Reactionary - perhaps FP Berg said something about forgery that you wanted to latch onto. You should be aware that FP Berg tried to show Einsatzgruppen report nr 101 to be fabricated due to what he perceived as unusual formatting. (That's but one report out of many, of course.) Hans has shown that the supposedly unusual formatting to be anything but unusual. Even one of Berg's defenders has had to agree that the evidence presented by Berg is "not good." I don't know what Berg's response will be, but his claims don't even convince his denier allies.

Reactionary said...

Interesting Statistical Mechanic. Thanks for the info.

Who is that defender of Berg?

Statistical Mechanic said...

Reactionary, I know only his name on discussion boards. He calls himself Monstrous.

Ernst Kurz said...

Great, piling up the mess. But the most important "legal" document (used to convict lots of people) is missing: IMT 7, Page 556, telling a tale of about 100 000. Where did they get this official number from? Just have a look at this document of Kumming: Shootings of 17 000 on 29.10.41 in Rowne. I have learned in my Wikipedia about shootings in Riwne / Rowno / Rowne of 23 000 on 8. and 9.10.41, account based on witnesses, of course. Jeffrey Burds tells you in http://www1.jewishgen.org/yizkor/rovno2/files/Rovno_Burds.pdf even higher numbers and the 6. and 7.9.41 or no dates at all. But were there any forensic activities at this gruesome place afterwards? I don't know of any. Oh wait, there is a photo on page 82 in the Burds-book. But ... is this snow? Are they lying flatly on earth, not in a pit? Compare it with Kumming. So many questions - and some answers are not allowed.

Revisionism is just about getting out of this heap of communist shit. The most honest approach would be to set the counter of victims to 0 and to begin counting again, based primarily on physical evidence. That's all about revisionism. I assume, that nearly all honest historians tried something like this after 1990, to some degree at least. And interestingly, for some reason no one wants to believe the documents and witnesses of the Soviets anymore, so the credibility of the "barbarian" Germans seems to be far higher now. This is ironic, at least. - No, I am not an expert in anything, just thinking. Yes, you may call me names. Yes, maybe the 3XXXX are correct. - Enjoy the peace.

Sergey Romanov said...

> But the most important "legal" document (used to convict lots of people) is missing: IMT 7, Page 556

You may want to re-read the name of the posting.

> IMT 7, Page 556, telling a tale of about 100 000. Where did they get this official number from?

A rough estimate based on summing up the real as well as imagined victims together. The estimate the contemporary historiography has no use for and which is hardly relevant to any serious discussion of the well-documented massacre.

As for the origin, those victims would be: the Jews, the Soviet POWs, the people executed in the ravine for two years.

Of those we have some info only on the first two categories. The minimum number of the Jewish victims is ~34000 (probably there were more since smaller actions continued).

According to the Jewish inmates burning the bodies at BY, there were 20-25000 bodies of the Soviet POWs in a separate grave. Knowing how the Soviet POWs were treated by the Germans this is not far-fetched. Of course, being a crude estimate, it should give the big picture but should not be taken as a Holy Writ. And estimating the numbers of those executed in the BY for the rest of the two years would be near to impossible. But then, the Soviet estimates are notorious for their crudeness.

All in all it is plausible that there were around 60K victims there, give or take some, at least half of them Jews. The minimum *documented* number you will see in the document above.

> But were there any forensic activities at this gruesome place afterwards? I don't know of any.

So you mean you have gone to the ChGK files and made sure that no investigations were done on the site? Oh wait, you probably expected to find everything in wikipedia :D

But of course, if we were to cite the Soviet investigations of the mass graves you would just dismiss them as, well, Soviet. Nice, totally invincible position, LOL.

> Revisionism is just about getting out of this heap of communist shit.

Denial is 99,9% about Nazi apologia and 0,1% about delusion (I mean those 0,1% of deniers who are not antisemitic, like our own Jason, who once upon a time was a denier before he grew out of it).

Denial aka "revisionism" has, of course, no connection to any quest for the historical truth. Indeed, your comment is a good illustration. The Babiy Yar massacre is extremely well-documented, so anyone who does care about the historical truth simply accepts it as fact. You don't, therefore you don't care about the historical truth.

> The most honest approach would be to set the counter of victims to 0 and to begin counting again, based primarily on physical evidence.

If by "honest" you mean "braindead" and "completely unjustified". A proposal to count the number of victims based on the bodies long gone (most of them burned by the Nazis specifically to cover up the crimes) is not even a clever troll provocation. It's just boring dimness. (And of course it would bring the unintended consequences with itself, like wiping the slate of Stalin's crimes clean. Right, it's not like the forensic evidence of Stalin's crimes is different from that of Hitler's.)

> And interestingly, for some reason no one wants to believe the documents and witnesses of the Soviets anymore,

The voices in your head do not equal everyone, so "no one" is a bit of an exaggeration.

But whatever one might think of the Soviets, one doesn't have to listen to them, the German documents speak for themselves.