Saturday, August 18, 2018

Mattogno takes on the Jäger Report (well, he tries) – Part 1

Author: Roberto Muehlenkamp
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 (1)

Part 5 (2)

Introduction

The report dated 1.12.1941 by SS-Standartenführer Karl Jäger, commander of Einsatzkommando (EK) 3 of Einsatzgruppe (EG) A (the 2nd Jäger Report) [1] is the most explicit surviving German document related to Nazi Germany’s largely successful endeavor to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe. It details the killing, between 4 July and 25 November 1941, of a total of 137,447 people mainly on the territory of Lithuania, of which 135,391 (98.50%) were Jews and 2,056 (1.50%) were non-Jews (communists, partisans, prisoners of war, mentally disabled people and others). [2]



If this flagrant imbalance between Jewish and non-Jewish victims were not enough to show that the Nazis pursued a policy of extermination against the Jews, this would follow from the fact that, around the middle of August 1941, the entries show the wiping out of entire Jewish communities; men, women and children (listed separately). Rarely is there a pretense that the mass killing of Jews was retaliation for acts of resistance, and even on those occasions the reprisal claim is a preposterous pseudo-justification given the enormous disproportion between harm supposedly suffered and harm inflicted. [3] The term "partisans", where it appears in the report, refers mostly to Lithuanian insurgents who had taken up arms against the Soviet occupation[4] and later, as we shall see, played a major role in the mass killing of Jews in which members of EK3 and/or their Lithuanian auxiliaries participated, besides slaughtering Jews on their own initiative. [5]

The above features hinder any attempt to explain away the massacres listed by Jäger as having been carried out in an occupational/military context, namely as reprisal actions to suppress resistance. Thus it is no surprise that "Revisionists" turn to claiming that the 2nd Jäger Report is a forgery and/or that it contains widely exaggerated numbers and other inaccuracies (in other words, that Jäger cheated his superiors by inflating his accomplishments and his superiors were so gullible and incompetent as to take Jäger’s claims at face value instead of cross-checking them with other available information). The movement’s "scholarly" champion Carlo Mattogno is no exception to this rule. In fact, he undertakes the lengthiest attempt to discredit the 2nd Jäger Report that I know of. [6]

Before addressing that attempt, I’d like to provide a little background information about Lithuania under Nazi rule and the activities of Jäger’s EK3.

Between 1941 and 1944, following a brief period of military rule, the Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, together with a part of Soviet Belorussia, were part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland (abbreviated RKO, translated Reich Commissariat [of the] Eastern Territories), which is shown in the map below. [7] The head of the RKO was Reichskommissar (Reich Commissioner) Hinrich Lohse, whose headquarters was in Riga, Latvia. The RKO was an administrative subdivision of the Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete (Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories), headed by Alfred Rosenberg.



Lithuania was one of the four Generalbezirke into which the RKO was subdivided, the other three being Latvia, "White Ruthenia" (Weißruthenien) and Estonia. The head of each Generalbezirk was a Generalkommissar. The Generalkommissar for the Generalbezirk Litauen had his head-office in Kaunas. The Generalbezirk Litauen was divided into six Kreisgebiete (District Regions): the Gebietskommissariate (Regional Commissariats) Schaulen (German name of Šiauliai), Ponewesch (German name of Panevėžys), Kauen-Land (Kaunas rural area) and Wilna-Land (Vilnius rural area), and the Stadtkommissariate (City Commissariats) Kauen-Stadt (Kaunas city) and Wilna-Stadt (Vilnius city). [8] Each of the rural Kreisgebiete or Gebietskommissariate was subdivided into several Kreise (counties or districts), roughly corresponding to prewar Lithuanian administrative districts. The map below shows the Generalbezirk Litauen as subdivided in 1942. [9]



The following four maps are close-ups of the Gebietskommissariate Ponewesch/Panevėžys, Schaulen/Šiauliai, Kauen-Land/Kaunas rural area and Wilna-Land/Vilnius rural area, with the names of the principal killing sites in the extermination of Lithuania’s Jews.[10]









If the administrative organization of EK3’s area of operations may seem complicated, the organization to which EK3 belonged was even more so.

EK3, commanded by Jäger and with headquarters in Kaunas, was one of the subunits of Einsatzgruppe A, commanded until his death on 23 March 1942 by SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Franz Walter Stahlecker. In his capacity as Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (abbreviated KdS, meaning Commander of Security Police and Security Service), Jäger was subordinated to the Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (abbreviated BdS, meaning [High] Commanding Officer of Security Police and Security Service). The post of BdS for the Reichskommissariat Ostland, with headquarters in Riga, was held by the same Stahlecker until his death in March 1942. The BdS received his instructions from the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office), the central administrative entity for matters of the Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police) and Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service), created by the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler and headed at the time by Reinhard Heydrich. For special matters within the competence of the Reichsführer SS, such as the fight against partisans and the extermination of the Jews, the Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer (abbreviated HSSPF, meaning Higher SS and Police Leader(s)), who were directly subordinated to Himmler, could use all units of SS and police within their area of competence and accordingly issue orders to the BdS. The HSSPF for Northern Russia (Russland Nord), with headquarters in Riga, was SS-Obergruppenführer Prützmann between June and October 1941, thereafter SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, who held the post from 1.11.1941 until early 1945.

In this series the following abbreviations for administrative entities will be used, as the context requires:
• BdS = a Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD or his agency.
• GBK = a Gebietskommissariat or the respective Gebietskommissar.
• HSSPF = a Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer or his agency.
• KdS = a Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD or his agency.
• RKO = the Reichskommissariat Ostland or the Reichskommissar Ostland.

Jäger’s EK3 with its Lithuanian auxiliaries and collaborators was the main but not the only actor in the extermination of Lithuania’s Jews in 1941. The Vilnius area was taken over from EK9 on 9 August 1941, the Schaulen/Šiauliai area from EK2 on 2 October 1941, according to the 2nd Jäger Report. [11] EK2 was also the predominant German killing unit in the parts of the GBK Ponewesch/Panevėžys close to the Latvian territory of the Generalbezirk Lettland.[12] In the GBK Schaulen/Šiauliai districts Kretinga/Krottingen and Tauragė/Tauroggen near the German border, state police (Gestapo) units from border regions were in charge of the killing. And in a number of places Lithuanian local authorities and "partisans", who throughout the country assisted the Germans as best as they could, also murdered Jews entirely on their own. [13] On the other hand, detachments of EK3 also killed Jews and other undesirables in the Dünaburg/Daugavpils area of Latvia and in the Minsk area of Belorussia. Of its 137,447 victims, 124,031 (thereof 123,134 Jews) were killed on territory of the Generalbezirk Litauen, 10,366 (thereof 9,226 Jews) in the Generalbezirk Lettland[14] and 3,050 (thereof 3,031 Jews) in the Generalbezirk Weißruthenien.

EK3 was subdivided into five detachments according to the 2nd Jäger Report: the Kommando in Kauen (KK), the Rollkommando Hamann (RKH), the Teilkommando in Wilna (TKW), the Teilkommando in Dünaburg (TKD) and the Teilkommando in Minsk (TKM). The KK killed a total of 23,203 people, thereof 23,175 Jews. [15] The TKW accounted for 34,757 killed, thereof 34,718 Jews, in the city of Vilnius (at the Paneriai/Ponary killing site[16]) and in surrounding communities of the GBK Wilna-Land: Nemencing (Nemenčinė), Novo-Wilejka (Naujoji Vilnia), Riesa (Riešė), Jahiunai (Jašiūnai), Eysisky (Eišiškės), Trakai, Semiliski (Semeliškės) and Svenciany (Švenčionys). The lion’s share of EK3’s killing was accounted for by the RKH, which will be addressed in more detail further on: 62,071 deaths, thereof 61,241 Jews. RKH did its killing in the GBK Kauen-Land (43 killing sites, 23,040 victims, thereof 22,815 Jews), the GBK Ponewesch/Panevėžys (19 killing sites, 29,730 victims, thereof 29,128 Jews), the GBK Schaulen/Šiauliai (8 killing sites, 6,606 victims, thereof 6,603 Jews), and the GBK Wilna-Land (Kaisiadorys/Kaišiadorys, Rumsiskis/ Rumšiškės and Ziezmariai/Žiežmariai, 2,695 victims, all Jews). [17]

Now to Mattogno’s attempts to discredit the Jäger Report.

Forgery Claims

In his biography of Karl Jäger, German historian Wolfram Wette renders the history of how the 2nd Jäger Report became available to western criminal justice authorities and historians. The document wasn’t yet available to the Nuremberg Military Tribunals that judged German war criminals in the years 1945 to 1949. A copy of the report, namely the fourth of a total of five copies, had already during the war, when the Red Army re-conquered Lithuania in 1944, fallen into the hands of the Soviet Union, who at first kept quiet about it. Only in 1963 the Soviet foreign ministry made this unique document available to authorities of the German Federal Republic, namely the Central Bureau of the Federal States’ Judicial Administrations for the Investigation of NS Crimes (Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen für die Aufklärung von NS-Verbrechen) in Ludwigsburg. There the source was thoroughly examined and declared authentic. [18]

Mattogno complains that Wette doesn’t "even" raise the question why the Soviet authorities "behaved in this manner", then adds that "someone" ventured the "bizarre" explanation that the Soviets’ delay and reluctance in handing over the document may have had something to do with a Soviet party line to "not divide the dead", whereby Jews are supposed to have suffered no differently from Nazi occupation and mass murder than members of other Soviet nationalities. That "someone" is obviously this writer, and it’s not like I plucked my explanation out of thin air as Mattogno seems to suggest. [19] Several references to the mass killing of Jews in the Soviet prosecution case at the Nuremberg Trial of Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal are quoted by Mattogno in support of his argument that no such "ecumenical" Soviet party line existed. [20] However, as I have demonstrated elsewhere, the Soviets stuck with that approach to Nazi crimes against Jews (yes, they had been mass-murdered, but so had other "Soviet citizens" or "peaceful civilians") even in Counsellor Smirnov’s presentation of the Soviet case on Crimes against Humanity, which was the high water mark of Soviet interest in what had happened specifically to Jews under Nazi rule. [21]

As to why the Soviets made the 2nd Jäger Report available to West German judicial authorities, Mattogno speculates that this might have had something to do with a controversy about Soviet attempts to suppress the memory of the Babi Yar massacre, including a plan to build a new sports stadium at the place. This plan was opposed by Soviet writer Viktor Nekrassov and by Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who in September 1961 published his famous poem Babi Yar (Бабий Яр). [22] Yevtushenko was harshly criticized for this by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1963. Mattogno reasons that in the context of Soviet accusations of "cosmopolitanism" against whoever demanded a memorial at Babi Yar making available the Jäger Report to West German judicial authorities would make no sense, and that from a purely theoretical point of view the Soviet attitude may seem suspicious. This is hardly a strong argument as it assumes that Soviet foreign and domestic policies were necessarily aligned and coordinated with each other and the Soviets wanted the document to be pronounced unauthentic in the west in order to weaken demands at memorializing the Nazi genocide of Soviet Jews. As to the West German Central Bureau’s having examined the document and found it authentic as mentioned by Wette, this is supposed to be taken "with a grain of salt" because Wette doesn’t exhibit the expertise on the document’s examination. [23]

The latter claim is not wholly accurate as Wette refers to a letter he received from the Central Bureau in 1989, with a 1963 file note of the Central Bureau about a number of original documents made available by the Soviet foreign ministry attached. [24] Moreover Mattogno doesn’t explain why, in his short biography of Jäger, Wette should have shown proof of something that historians and judicial authorities never professed any doubt about, namely the report’s authenticity.

That German judicial authorities examined the document’s authenticity not only stands to reason (given that the document might be used as evidence in indictments and challenged by defense attorneys, especially on grounds of its having been provided by the Soviets), but is also borne out by the means available to do such examination, which beside the context of other evidence (including without limitation Jäger’s deposition that will be addressed in the next article of this series) included at least three documents handwritten and hand-signed by Jäger that could be compared with each other and with the 2nd Jäger Report. One is a report that Jäger submitted on 9 February 1942 in response to Order Nr. 1331 from the BdS in Riga, instructing the commanders of EK 1 A in Reval, EK 1 B in Minsk and EK 3 in Kaunas to immediately submit information about executions carried out, broken down into A) Jews, B) communists, C) partisans, D) mental patients and E) others (to be specified), furthermore information about how many of the total were men, women and children. [25] The other two documents are farewell letters that Jäger wrote (before his suicide while imprisoned on remand) to the family of his son-in-law and to his interrogator Aedtner, in which he claimed that he had committed no crimes and heaped no guilt on himself, furthermore lamenting the "terrible fate" he had met. [26] It would be easy for a handwriting expert to establish that the handwriting and signature on these documents and the signature on the 2nd Jäger Report had been made by one and the same person.

With little to offer by way of arguments against the 2nd Jäger Report’s authenticity, [27] Mattogno turns to the "no less important" question of the report’s veracity. Mattogno’s arguments in this sense will be examined in the next articles of this series.

Notes

[1] Gesamtaufstellung der im Bereich des EK. 3 bis zum 1. Dez. 1941 durchgeführten Exekutionen (Yad Vashem Archives, Record Group O.53 - Ludwigsburg, USSR Collection, File Number 3, pp. 87-95). The former The Holocaust History Project website featured a transcription and a translation (links to respective first page, from where the following pages can be accessed). This was the second report written by Jäger, following an earlier report dated 10.9.1941 (YVA O.53 - 3, pp. 82-85).
[2] The total number of victims stated on page 6 of the report is 137,346. However, there are several adding mistakes on page 2 ("13.8.41 Alytus" – sum should be 718 instead of 719; "19.8.41 Ukmerge" – sum should be 643 instead of 645) and on page 6 ("12.9.41 Wilna-Stadt" - sum should be 3,434 instead of 3,334; "17.9.41 Wilna Stadt" – 4 executed Lithuanian communists are not included in sum), so the correctly added total is 137,447.
[3] On page 2 it is stated that on 18 August at Kauen - Fort IV, besides 689 Jews, 402 Jewesses and one Polish woman killed for no apparent reason, 711 "intell. Jews from the ghetto" were shot "as a reprisal for an act of sabotage". On 4 October 1941, 315 Jews, 712 Jewesses and 818 Jewish children were shot in a "punishment operation" because "a German policeman was shot at in the ghetto" (page 5). On 2 September 1941 the Wilna detachment of EK3 killed 3,704 Jews (864 men, 2019 women and 817 children) in a "special operation because Jews had shot at German soldiers". In the last recorded killing in Wilna, on 25 November 1941 (page 6), "9 Jews, 46 Jewesses, 8 Jewish children, 1 Pole" were shot, the Pole "for possession of weapons and possession of other war equipment."
[4] See the Wikipedia page June Uprising in Lithuania. The nature and activities of these partisan were described in, among other documents, the 1st Stahlecker Report (Einsatzgruppe A – Gesamtbericht bis zum 15.10.1941), pp. 14-15.
[5] The only references to armed fighters against the German occupation are on page 2 ("2 Lith. NKVD agents, 1 mayor from Jonova who gave the order to set fire to the city of Jonova")¸page 4 ("Penal operation against [non-Jewish] inhabitants who fed Russ. partisans and some of whom were in possession of weapons"), page 5 ("15 terrorists of the Kalinin Group") and page 6 (a Pole shot "for possession of weapons and possession of other war equipment").
[6] Carlo Mattogno, Gli Einsatzgruppen Nei Territori Orientali Occupati. Parte I - Genesi, compiti e attività . 2017 Effepi Edizioni, Genova. Pp. 173-198. This book will in the following be referred to as "GE1".
[7] The map is available on and can be downloaded from this page. It can also be enlarged for close-ups of each region.
[8] Originally (as of 25 June 1941), the Generalbezirk Litauen was subdivided into the following Kreisgebiete (District Regions), aka Gebietskommissariate (Regional Commissariats) of the provincial areas and Stadtkommissariate (City Commissariats) of the metropolitan areas:
• Kauen-Stadt (city of Kovno/Kaunas);
• Kauen-Land, comprising the Lithuanian districts Kovno/Kauen (part), Kėdainiai/Kedahnen, Marijampolė/Mariampol (part) Šakiai/Schaken and Vilkaviškis/Wilkowischken (part);
• Ponewesch-Land, consisting of the city of Panevėžys/Ponewesch and the Lithuanian districts Biržai/Birsen, Panevėžys/Ponewesch, Rokiškės/Rokischken, Utena/Utena (part), Ukmergė/Wilkomir (part) and Zarasai/Ossersee (part);
• Schaulen-Land, consisting of the city of Šiauliai/Schaulen and the Lithuanian districts Kretinga/Krottingen, Mažeikiai/Moscheiken, Raseiniai/Raseinen, Šiauliai/Schaulen, Tauragė/Tauroggen und Telšiai/Telsche.
As of 1.8.1941 the Kreisgebiete Wilna-Stadt and Wilna-Land (consisting of the Lithuanian districts Alytus/Olita, Trakai/Traken und Vilnius/Wilna) were added.
As of the same date the territory of the Lithuanian districts Kovno/Kauen (remainder), Lazdijai/Lasdien, Marijampolė/Mariampol (remainder) and Vilkaviškis/Wilkowischken (remainder) were integrated in the Kreisgebiet Kauen-Land.
As of 1.4.1942 the former rayons Lida- Eišiškės/Eischischken (part) and Švenčionys/Swenzainen of the Generalbezirk Weißruthenien (General District White Ruthenia, the part of occupied Soviet Belorussia under German civilian administration) were integrated in the Kreisgebiet Wilna-Land, and the districts Alytus/Olyta and Trakai/Traken of the Kreisgebiet Wilna-Land and Zarasai/Ossersee of the Kreisgebiet Ponewesch-Land were expanded. In the Kreisgebiet Wilna-Land the new districts Ašmena/Aschmena, Eišiškės/Eischischken und Svyriai /Svyren were formed. Part of the Trakai/Traken District was transferred from the Kreisgebiet Wilna-Land to the Kreisgebiet Kauen-Land. Part of the Utena District was transferred from the Kreisgebiet Ponewesch to the Švenčionys/Swenzainen District of the Kreisgebiet Wilna-Land.
[9] This map is featured in Christoph Dieckmann, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik in Litauen 1941-1944 (2016 Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen), p. 1542. The names of the Gebietskommissariate Schaulen and Ponewesch are rendered in Lithuanian on this map (Šiauliai and Panevėžys). The cities and regions of Kauen and Wilna appear under their respective Lithuanian names, Kaunas and Vilnius.
[10] Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, pp. 1545-1547.
[11] Regarding the killings by EK9 at Paneriai/Ponary see my article How many people were killed at Ponary?.
[12] Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 810.
[13] Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, mentions the following massacres, none of which was recorded by Jäger:
• 8.8.1941, GBK Panevėžys, District Biržai: 2,500 Jewish men, women and children shot by various Lithuanian police and paramilitary forces (p. 813).
• 2nd half of August 1941, GBK Panevėžys, town of Kupiškis: about 3,000 Jews shot by Lithuanians (pp. 817-818).
• 18.7.1941, GBK Šiauliai, District Telšiai: at least 840 Jews, all males. The killers were two Gestapo officers and a platoon of Lithuanian auxiliary police (pp. 847-849).
• 29.8.1941, GBK Šiauliai, District Telšiai: at least 1,580 Jewish women and girls. Lithuanians, arriving in two trucks, did the shooting (pp. 851-852).
• Mid-July 1941, GBK Šiauliai, town of Plungė: About 1,700 Jewish men, women and children. The shooters were Lithuanians, commanded by a few Germans (p. 854).
• 3, 4 and 9 August 1941, GBK Šiauliai, District Mažeikiai: About 2,900 Jews were killed by Lithuanian police and insurgents. Germans were only involved on the first day of the massacre (pp. 855-856).
• Early September 1941, GBK Šiauliai, District Kretinga: all Jewish women and children (the men had been already been killed in the early weeks of the German invasion). German border police and the Saugumas, the Lithuanian Security Police, committed this massacre (p. 856).
• August and September 1941, GBK Šiauliai, District Tauragė: About 500 Jews including children on 16.9.1941, about 1,800-2,000 Jews in the town of Tauragė, about 7,800 – 8,000 Jews in all of Tauragė District. This was done by units commanded by Criminal Secretary Schwarz and other officials from Gestapo posts in the German-Lithuanian border region (Tilsit, Klaipėda) (pp. 857-861).
[14] The figure includes the 9,585 killed by the TKD in the period 13.7-21.8.1941, plus 21 killed at Dünaburg (Daugavpils, Latvia) on 22.8.41, 544 killed at Aglona (Latvia) on the same day and 216 killed at Dagda und Kraslawa (Dagda and Krāslava, atvia) on 27.8.41. As all these locations are on Latvian territory, I assumed that the execution were carried out by the Teilkommando based in Dünaburg (Daugavpils). It is also possible, however, that the killings on 22.8 and 27.8.41 were the work of the RKH. Their being listed separately from the figure for the 13.7-21.8.1941 period points in that direction, as does Jäger’s mentioning Aglona as one of Hamann’s killing sites in his 1959 interrogation (pp. 24-25 of the interrogation record, which can be read here). With the 781 people killed on Latvian territory on 22.8 and 27.8.41, the tally of the RKH would increase from 62,071 to 62,852, while that of TKD would be reduced to the 9,585 killed in the 13.7-21.8.1941 period.
[15] The killing was done at Kaunas Forts IV (4,163 killed, thereof 4,158 Jews), VII (3,027 killed, thereof 3,020 Jews) and IX (16,013 killed, thereof 15,997 Jews). According to contemporary maps available here and here, Forts IV and IX were not within the Kaunas city boundaries at the relevant time. The respective areas may thus have pertained to the GBK Kaunas-Land.
[16] The number killed at that place between 12 August and 25 November 1941 was 21,273 (thereof 21,234 Jews) according to Jäger. See my article How many people were killed at Ponary?.
[17] All regions are referred to in their borders as of 1.4.1942. Each of these locations (Kaisiadorys/Kaišiadorys, Rumsiskis/ Rumšiškės and Ziezmariai/Žiežmariai) is closer to Kaunas (from where the RKH operated) than from Vilnius (where the TKW was based).
[18] Wolfram Wette, Karl Jäger. Mörder der litauischen Juden, 2011 S. Fischer Verlag Frankfurt am Main, p. 28.
[19] See my article The Jäger Report (1).
[20] GE1, pp. 173-174.
[21] See the series Dividing the Dead – or not (link to Part 1, which links to the following parts).
[22] A translation of this poem and the original Russian text are available on this page. This video features Yevtushenko reciting his poem.
[23] GE1, p. 175.
[24] Wette, Jäger, p. 28 and note 27 on p. 206.
[25] Facsimiles of this order and Jäger’s reply thereto can be viewed in Wette’s book (pp. 146-147) and in my article The Jäger Report (8).
[26] Wette, Jäger, pp. 168 and 170. The latter of the two letters is reproduced by Wette and also in my aforementioned article.
[27] On page 182 of his book, Mattogno makes another insinuation in the "forgery" direction, by pointing out, "without wanting to draw a particular conclusion" from this "anomaly", that the report’s heading "Der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei u. des SD" should, as said Befehlshaber would be Jäger’s superior SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Stahlecker (the commandant of Einsatzgruppe A), have read "An den Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei u. des SD". While it is true that Jäger as Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (KdS) was subordinated to Stahlecker as Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (BdS), Mattogno overlooks the fact that the supposedly misworded heading is followed by "Einsatzkommando 3", suggesting that the document was meant to be a read as a report by the Einsatzkommando 3 "subsidiary", subordinated to the BdS, of the BdS organization. The 1st Jäger Report, dated 10 September 1941, contains the following remark below the date (YVA, O.53-3, p. 82): "Nur zur persönlichen Uebergabe an SS-Brigadefuehrer Dr. Stahlecker" ("Only for personal delivery to SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Stahlecker"). What seems to be the cover letter of the 2nd Jäger Report, dated 10.12.1941 (YVA, O.53-3, p. 87), also bears the letterhead "Der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei u. des SD Einsatzkommando 3", and is addressed "An die Einsatzgruppe A SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Stahlecker in Riga". So there is no "anomaly" here. "Der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei u. des SD Einsatzkommando 3" was Jaeger’s letterhead. Between the 1st and the 2nd report, as the YVA collection shows, Jäger also got himself typewriters that had the German Umlaut characters ("ä", "ö", "ü"). He furthermore managed to have "Der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei u. des SD" printed in Deutsche Schrift on his letterhead.

5 comments:

Hans Metzner said...

Thanks, Roberto. Just some addition to your footnote 27:

Ereignismeldung UdSSR Nr. 146 of 15 December 1941 has Jäger's "Einsatzkommando 3" crossed out and replaced by "K. d. Sipo u. d. SD f. d. Gen.bez. Weißruthenien[!]". Ereignismeldung UdSSR Nr. 149 of 22 December 1941 refers to Jäger finally as "Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD für den Generalbezirk Litauen". This suggests that the structure of commanders of Sipo and SD in the Ostland was only created in December 1941. This is why Jäger did not report to Stahlecker as KdS Kauen yet on 1 December 1941 (or 10 December).

Wilhelm, Die Einsatzgrupe A der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, p. 121 cites others docs Jäger sent in August/September as BdS/EK 3 or BdS Kauen from Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Fb 101/29.

Jäger writing as Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD Einsatzkommando 3 was a proper way before he got his KdS office. So the letterhead actually supports the authenticity of the Jäger report.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Excellent post! Awesome work.

Further proof of genocidal intent is Jaeger's prevention of reproduction: "Should a Jewess nonetheless become pregnant, she is to be liquidated." (p.8)

I would also note that the document's anti-Soviet and pro-German comments are further evidence against it being a forgery:

"The speech [to Lithuanian prisoners] had the following content (it was immediately translated sentence by sentence by an interpreter into Lithuanian and Russian): “If we were Bolshevists, we would have shot you, but because we are Germans, we give you your freedom.” Then followed a severe admonition to abstain from all political activity, to report to the German authorities any hostile activities that came to their attention and to intensively and immediately busy themselves in reconstruction, especially in agriculture. Should one of them again be found guilty of an offence, he would be shot. Then they were released. One cannot imagine the joy, gratitude and enthusiasm that our measures triggered in those who were freed and in the population. We often had to deflate the enthusiasm with sharp words, when women, children and men with tear-filled eyes sought to kiss our hands and feet." (p.9)

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Great post Roberto! You might be interested: I have put online modern good quality color (except for page 5, long story)
scans of the Jäger Report, direct from the original in the Russian archives:

https://phdn.org/histgen/jaeger-facsimile.html

I think that's a world first (knowing of course Wolfram Wette did publish black and white scans of this same original in his Jäger biography). Only low res black and white scans of the 1963 copy provided by the USSR to the Germans were so far available anywhere (the 1995 set provided to Ken McVay and the 2010 set provided to wikipedia, and the Israeli scans you linked to, that I just discovered thanks to you).

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

The JR in color.

Wow.

I'm truly impressed.

If you don't mind, I'll post the color copy (with a link to your site, of course) in the last article of the series.

Gilles Karmasyn said...

Glad you appreciate the color scans! It's not easy to keep up with the HC team in producing valuable material, as they really push the enveloppe... And, of course, you can use these scans any way you seem proper.