Saturday, June 03, 2017

Ernst Jünger's March 1942 Diary Entry on Shootings in Lithuania

Author: Jonathan Harrison
On March 30, 1942, a German war hero, Ernst Jünger, wrote in his diary that he had heard about shootings in Lithuania in which the victims had to dig their own graves and lie down in them in layers before being shot. 
Claus Valentiner kehrte aus Berlin zurück. Er erzählte von einem schauerlichen Burschen, früherem Zeichenlehrer, der sich gerühmt hatte, in Litauen und anderen Randgebieten ein Mordkommando geführt zu haben, das zahllose Menschen schlachtete. Man läßt die Opfer, nachdem sie zusammengetrieben sind, zuerst die Massengräber ausheben, dann sich hineinlegen und schießt sie von oben in Schichten tot. Zuvor beraubt man sie des Letzten, der Lumpen, die sie am Leibe tragen, bis auf das Hemd.

Claus Valentiner returned from Berlin. He reported about a horrible fellow, a former art master, who bragged about having commanded a murder detachment in Lithuania and other peripheral areas, which slaughtered countless people. After rounding up the victims they first have them dig mass graves, then lie down inside them, and then they shoot them dead in layers from above. Before they rob them of the last they have, the rags they wear, up to the last shirt.

Germans in Jünger's position were therefore hearing, not just about executions, but also their method.

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