Part 5 (1)
Part 5 (2)
This article and the following will address what Mattogno’s calls his "critical examination" of the 2nd Jäger Report.
"Justifications" for the mass killing of Jews
After pointing out the supposed formal "anomaly" that was already addressed in the first article of this series, Mattogno argues that, in a report about a wholesale extermination plan, there would be no need to "justify" specific executions. Why was this nevertheless done on occasion?
Besides the killing of non-Jews on account of some characteristic, action or circumstance that made them undesirable in a specific case (because they were communists, mentally disabled, partisans, NKVD agents, Gypsies, "terrorists", criminals, villagers who had helped partisans, etc.), and the occasional mentions that communists or prison inmates shot were (also) Jews or vice-versa, there are the following cases in which a "justification" for killing Jews was stated:
• 18.8.41 Kauen - Fort IV: 711 "intellectual" Jews from the ghetto killed as "a reprisal for an act of sabotage."
• 26.9.41 Kauen-F.IV: 1,608 Jewish men women and children who were "sick" or "suspected of carrying epidemics."
• 4.10.41 Kauen-F.IX: 1,845 Jewish men, women and children killed in a "punitive action" for a German policemen having been "fired on in the ghetto."
• 29.10.41 Kauen-F.IX: 9,200 Jewish men, women and children killed because they were "superfluous" in the ghetto.
• 29.11.41 Kauen-F.IX: 17 Jews and 1 Jewess killed because they had "violated the ghetto laws."
• 2.9.41 Wilna-Stadt: 3,700 Jewish men, women and children killed in a "special action because a German soldier had been fired on by Jews."
What all these "justified" killings have in common is that they took place in one of the large Jewish ghettos in Kaunas and Vilnius, whereas no "justification" was invoked for any of the large massacres of the RKH’s murder campaign in the Lithuanian province, starting with the massacre of 3,200 Jews at Rokiskis (Rokiškis) that Jäger recorded under the date 16.8.41. So the stated "justifications" probably had something to do with the victims being ghetto inhabitants.
The small action on 29.11.1941 took place after the mass killing in Kaunas had stopped, pursuant to the insistence of civilian and military authorities that essential laborers and their families, contrary to the intentions of Jäger and his superior, be kept alive. The killing of those 18 Jews therefore had to be justified, and there is no indication that the reason given (violation of the ghetto laws) was, from Jäger’s point of view, a mere pretext.
Jäger, Stahlecker et al. may have only wanted to kill as many Jews as possible, but the Wehrmacht and the civilian administration (also) saw the ghettos as a pool of essential labor and accordingly sought to restrict EK3’s murder campaign – with success regarding a large part of the ghetto inhabitants, as Jäger ruefully pointed out in his 2nd report. In this context Jäger may have wanted to convey the message (e.g. for the benefit of what discussions his superior, who expressly mentioned the same "problem", might have with who was interested in preserving Jewish labor) that no valuable workers had been destroyed, but only Jews that were a threat to public health or just "superfluous" had been killed.
Moreover these "justifications" were not just made up for the sake of reporting, but corresponded to the criteria actually applied when deciding which Jews to kill right away and which to let live a little longer. In the 4 October 1941 massacre in Kaunas, in which the "small" ghetto was destroyed, Jews who had work certificates were spared, those who had none killed, and the ghetto’s hospital for infectious diseases was burned down. The massacre on 29 October was preceded by a selection of able-bodied Jews among the "large" ghetto’s entire population, apparently until a predetermined quota of "useful" or "superfluous" Jews had been reached.
The 18 August "intelligence action" in Kaunas took place a few days after the constitution of the city’s ghettos had been completed, and its apparent purpose was to eliminate right off those Jews who might become leaders of resistance. Invoking an alleged act of sabotage, Jäger ordered that on the morning of 18 August 1941 500 intelligent and well-dressed Jewish men present themselves at the Viljampole ghetto gate. The "graduates" were made to believe that they would be employed in the town hall archives and the ministries' archives, but then taken to Fort IV and shot there.  This means that, just like the "carriers of epidemics" and "superfluous Jews" explanations, the alleged "reprisal" was not just made up for the sake of the report. It had previously been "sold" to the ghetto’s inhabitants. The same applies regarding the Kaunas action on 26 September, which was dressed up towards the ghetto as a reprisal for shots allegedly fired on German policeman Paul Koslowski. The Vilnius action on 2 September, which was later called the "Great Provocation" by the ghetto’s Jews, commenced with the setting up of posters in the ghetto whereby German soldiers had been fired upon and the whole Jewish population would thus be subject to the severest countermeasures. The alleged reprisal character of this massacre was also known to outsiders.
The purpose of these "reprisal" actions was apparently one of eliminating or discouraging potential resistance and paving the way for subsequent actions, by turning those ghetto inhabitants not yet killed in the "reprisals" into leaderless, cowed, depressed and thus completely helpless victims of what followed. Indicative of this is also the timing of the "reprisal" actions. Each of them marked a certain phase in the history of the respective ghetto. The "intelligence" action in Kaunas (18.8.41) followed immediately upon the ghettos’ constitution and deprived the Jews of potential leaders. The Koslowski "reprisal" on 26.9.41 initiated the destruction of the "small" ghetto and the decimation of the "large" ghetto up to an intended quota. The "Great Provocation" in the Vilnius ghetto was the overture of a series of large massacres in which 20,556 ghetto inhabitants (according to Jäger’s figures, including the "Great Provocation" deaths) were killed between 2 September and 6 November 1941. None of the subsequent mass executions in Vilnius was claimed to have been a reprisal in the 2nd Jäger Report, because none had been dressed up as such towards the targeted population. After the shock of the "Great Provocation" massacre, no further pretexts were deemed necessary.
Bottom line, the pseudo-justifications of the mentioned large massacres in the 2nd Jäger Report correspond to the actual background of each of these massacres, which in turn was a (further) step in the gradual extermination of the Kaunas and Vilnius ghettos’ inhabitants. Mattogno might have found that out himself if he had consulted (or properly read) the corresponding literature.
Operations of the Hamann Rollkommando
To Mattogno’s mind the operations of the Rollkommando Hamann (RKH) in the Lithuanian province are the most dubious aspects of the Jäger Report. Before addressing Mattogno’s argument, let’s take a look at how the RKH was made up.
According to the 2nd Jäger Report (p.1) the RKH was led by Hamann and 8-10 experienced men from RK3. The report further mentions that Hamann carried out his executions in cooperation with the Lithuanian "partisans" (same page) and that Hamann managed to assure the cooperation with the Lithuanian "partisans" and the local civilian authorities. In his 1959 interrogation Jäger mentioned an execution detachment of 50-100 men commanded by a Lithuanian, Lieutenant Norkus, subordinated to Hamann (p. 11 of the interrogation record), and that Hamann had been constantly in contact with the local Lithuanian police authorities or requested by these to perform executions (p. 24 of the interrogation record).
The Lithuanians that made up all or most of the RKH’s rank and file were members of the National Labor Service Battalion No. 1(13) (Lithuanian: Tautinio darbo apsaugos batalionas, abbreviated TDA), which had been put together in Kaunas in late June and early July 1941. The battalion consisted mainly of former "partisans" and officers from the former Lithuanian armed forces. As of 4 July 1941, it had 724 officers and soldiers. The 1st and 3rd companies of this battalion are known to have taken part in mass executions of Jews, the former mainly in Kaunas, whereas the latter was the core of the RKH, and members of this company were accordingly assigned to the RKH’s operations in the Lithuanian province. There is no information about the strength of the TDA’s 3rd Company, but as a company may have 100 to 250 soldiers, a battalion is made up of two or more companies and the TDA has 724 officers and soldiers, the strength of the 3rd Company is likely to have been in this range, which in turn means that the lower of the figures mentioned by Jäger in his interrogation (50) is too low and higher figure (100) is more realistic.
Whatever the number of men subordinated to Hamann and Norkus was, it was not enough to carry out large-scale executions without assistance. While the number of shooters sent to one or the other killing site may have been sufficient (the shooting proper is obviously the least time- and/or labor-intensive part of a mass execution), all preparatory and auxiliary work (digging the graves, rounding up the victims and taking them to the killing site, cordoning off that site, etc.) had to be (and was) done by someone else, namely by the local Lithuanian authorities and what local "partisans" were available. This local cooperation renders moot one of the dreariest pieces of Mattogno’s writing, as he fills up almost two pages with considerations about what impracticable distances the RKH would have had to cover within short times if the whole unit had travelled from one killing site to the next. The exercise ends with Mattogno’s reasoning that his distance calculations would not apply if one assumes that Hamann divided his forces, followed by the claims that
1. there is nothing to support such assumption (il che però non è attestato),
2. the distances to be covered would still be considerable,
3. the executions would still have been organized in a chaotic manner, some here and some there, and
4. there were executions so large that even the whole RKH couldn’t have carried them out.
Let’s examine these claims in turn.
The first is another of those abysmal parts of Mattogno’s research. If he had bothered to consult the available literature, especially the works of Arūnas Bubnys and Christoph Dieckmann about the Holocaust in Lithuania, he might have realized that what is hard to find (if existing at all) is a mass execution in which the whole RKH participated. Bubnys describes the RKH’s usual modus operandi as follows (emphases added):
J. Hamann’s flying squad did not function permanently nor it had its special place of location. Generally speaking it would be formed for carrying out specific operations involving several German Gestapo officers and several dozens soldiers of the TDA. J. Hamann himself very often refrained from going to the executions in the province and limited his duties to charging the soldiers of the 1st Battalion with this task (i.e. Lieutenants A. Dagys, J. Barzda, and B. Norkus). One might guess that the following officers of SS would often represent the German side: Hauptsharführer Porst, Stuetz, Salzmann, Mack and Planert. SS Hauptsharführer H. Rauca was J. Hamann’s deputy.
The so-called flying squad would go on missions only when all the preparatory work was completed, i.e. the Jews condemned to death were gathered in one place, all local police and “partisans” were charged with guarding them, a more remote place is chosen for the execution of the Jews (often in a forest or remote fields), and ditches were dug.
So the men sent by Hamann to a given killing site only had to do the shooting proper, while everything else was or had been taken care of by local Lithuanian authorities and "partisans". And even the killing itself they didn’t have to do alone, if at all. Here are some examples of local cooperation:
• At Kėdainiai (2,076 killed Jews recorded under 28.8.41 in the 2nd Jäger Report), the killing was done by Lithuanian policemen and railway workers under the direction of men from EK3. The pits were dug by Soviet prisoners of war at the orders of the local Lithuanian authorities.
• The Marijampolė massacre on 1.9.41 (5,090 killed) was carried out by EK3, Reserve Police Battalion 11, Lithuanian police and insurgents.
• At Garliava on 2.9.41, no Germans are known to have been present in the killing of 247 Jews recorded by Jäger. It is likely that everything was done by the men from the 3rd Company of the TDA, local policemen and "partisans".
• At Jieznas (called "Jesuas" in Jäger’s Report), on 2.9.41, not only did local policemen and "riflemen" do all the preparatory work, but some of them also took part in the shooting of 144 Jews.
• At Jonava (1,556 Jews killed on or ending on 2.9.41 according to Jäger), the local Saugumas (Lithuanian Security Police) was decisively involved. Their commander instructed the command of the local "partisans" to make available men for the executions.
• The massacre at Ukmerge (Ukmergė) on or ending on 5.9.41 (4,709 Jews killed, thereof 1,123 men, 1849 women and 1,737 children) was carried out by members of the RKH together with Lithuanian police and "partisan" units from Ukmergė and nearby villages. The "direct" participants (probably meaning the shooters) were about 20 Germans and 100 Lithuanians.
• At the biggest massacre of Alytus Jews on 9 September 1941 (1,279 Jews killed according to Jäger), the victims were gunned down by a squad from Kaunas under the command of B. Norkus and J. Obelenis (ca 20–30 men). The victims were driven to the place of killing and were guarded by local policemen and "white-bands" (aka "partisans").
• At Butrimonys on the same day, the killing of 740 Jews was carried out by 20 RKH members who arrived from Alytus. Local policemen and "white bands" had on the previous day locked all the victims in the town’s primary school, and on the day of the killing took them to the pits and guarded them as they awaited execution.
• Local "white bands", besides having done the preparatory work, also took part in the shooting of 854 Jews at Merkinė on 10.9.41.
• The massacre at Žagarė on or ending on 2.10.41 (2,236 Jews killed according to Jäger) was carried out by the 14th (Lithuanian) Schutzmannschaft Battalion from Šiauliai, commanded by one Lt. Kolokša, plus auxiliary police from Linkuva. Three SS-men, two lieutenants and one NCO, commanded the operation.
• At Lazdijai, the 1,535 Jews recorded by Jäger under 3.11.41 were killed by RKH members and Lithuanian police.
• At Varėna (831 Jews shot on 10.9.1941, according to the 2nd Jäger Report), local policemen and "white armbanders" forced the Jews into the small town’s synagogue, where they were held for several days. On September 10, 1941, the Chief of the Security Police of the Alytus region, Pranas Zenkevičius, his deputy Juozas Kvedaravičius, and 30–40 troops arrived in Varėna to shoot the Jews. According to witnesses, several Varėna residents also took part in the shootings.  Apparently no one from the RKH, German or Lithuanian, was present at this massacre.
Members of the TDA’s 3rd Company were not involved in the killing in all provincial areas mentioned by Jäger, according to Bubnys. It is possible that the Jews from quite a few places of Lithuania (Varėna, see above, seems to have been one of these) were killed by local police and "partisan" squads, without the RKH taking part.
Bottom line, the RKH managed to successfully conduct its extermination campaign because its commanders could send some men here and others there,  and because wherever they went the labor-intensive preparatory work had already been taken care of by local Lithuanians, who sometimes also did some or even most of the shooting. Without the willing cooperation of Lithuanian local authorities and "partisans", the RKH could not have accounted for nearly as many Jews killed as it actually did.
The RKH’s dependence on local cooperation at all killing sites is also the reason why Mattogno’s argument about the supposedly "chaotic" conduct of the executions is moot. For the RKH’s pace and schedule accordingly depended on when their local auxiliaries could have things ready for shooters from the RKH (especially the 3rdCompany of the TDA) to arrive and pull the trigger or command the shooting, and that in turn depended on decision-making processes and availability of resources at local level, which the RKH could not necessarily influence. Nevertheless, allocating the killing sites to the respective Gebietskommissariate shows that the executions followed a certain regional and temporal pattern. Between the middle and the end of August 1941 the main area of the RKH’s activity was clearly the GBK Ponewesh/Panevėžys, where 8 of the 17 mass executions between 15 and 31 August took place (vs. 3 in the GBK Schaulen/Šiauliai, 4 in the GBK Kauen-Land and 2 in the GBK Wilna-Land). Between 1 September and 15 November 1941, almost all the RKH’s killing took place in the GBK Kaunas-Land, with only one more "visit" to the GBK Ponewesh/Panevėžys and three more "visits" to the GBK Schaulen/Šiauliai.
Even with the indispensable local cooperation and the resulting possibility of dividing his forces, Hamann’s task was never an easy one, as Jäger pointed out himself when comparing the "parade shooting" ("Paradeschießen") of Jews at Kaunas itself with "the often enormous difficulties" ("den oft ungeheuerlichen Schwierigkeiten") that had to be overcome outside (page 8 of the 2nd Jäger Report). But was there any reported execution that an RKH squad and its local auxiliaries could not have handled within the reported time?
To claim that this would have been an insurmountable problem, Mattogno refers to Jäger’s statements on p. 7 of the report whereby the execution site was on average 4-5 km from the collection point and the Jews were brought there in groups of 500 each with a distance of at least 2 km between groups. He also quotes a statement by Yitzhak Arad about a new organization method that allowed for killing 100 persons per hour.
The latter is a somewhat-less-than-honest out-of-context quote, for Arad is referring not to German mass executions in general, but to mass executions in a particular setting and situation, namely that of the execution of several hundred male Jews per day by EK9 and its Lithuanian auxiliaries in the pits at Paneriai/Ponary near Vilnius in July 1941, in which the death candidates were collected in one pit and then taken in small groups from that pit to another in which they were shot, with the shooters being instructed to kill by rifle shots at individual victims and not by machine-gun fire so as to eliminate the chance of men being only wounded or remaining unhurt. It stands to reason that this situation cannot be projected to any given mass killing site.
The number of people that could be shot within a given time at one of the killing sites where the RKH was active would depend on the size of the killing site (namely the mass graves in or into which the victims were shot), the factors mentioned by Jäger and the number and armament of the shooters, whose work would be the least time-consuming part of the job. The preferred walking speed of human beings being about 5 km per hour, each group of 500 would take at most an hour to arrive at the place of shooting, probably much less as the escorting Lithuanian policemen and partisans would make them quicken their pace. Assuming a 45-minute wait between groups including 15 minutes for the victims to undress themselves where that was done, the shooters would have 500 victims in front of them every (60+45 =) 105 minutes. If there were, say, 50 shooters with automatic weapons at the pit, how long would they take to gun down 500 helpless people, especially if they didn’t necessarily deliver immediately fatal shots? Five minutes (10 victims per shooter, 2 every minute) seems a generous assumption. So every batch of 500 people would be "processed" within two hours at most. 3,000 within 12 hours, 3,500 within 14 hours, 4,500 within 18 hours, 6,000 within 24 hours. Double the number of shooters and have the shooting done on two batches à 500 at two places on the killing site instead of one, and you can double each number. Reduce the intervals between groups, and you can further increase the output.
The largest massacre involving the RKH was the one at Panevėžys, where 7,523 people were killed. One description of the massacre reads as follows:
"The major mass murder of the Jews of Panevėžys took place on August 23, 1941. Two pits about 40 meters long were dug in the forest. Before the massacre, German SS-Obersturmführer Joachim Hamann delivered a speech in which he stressed that, according to the decree of the Führer, all Jews must be destroyed. They were brought to the pits in groups and shot. Jews were brought to the shooting place by troops of the Panevėžys (10th) battalion. The Germans selected some Lithuanians to do the shooting; they carried out the execution. According to one participant in the massacre, about 70 soldiers of the battalion and 30 Germans did the shooting. Colonel P. Genys and commander of the 1st Unit of the battalion lieutenant V. Aižinas were present at the murder site. Before the shooting, each killer was given 200 grams of vodka. The Lithuanians used rifles and the Germans used machine guns. The massacre took all day. A total of 7,523 Jews were shot (1,312 men, 4,602 women, 1,609 children). Jews from different rural districts of Panevėžys district were murdered along [with] the prisoners of the Panevėžys ghetto."
A day’s work with two killing spots à 50 shooters and 500 victims per batch and spot, assuming that the killing site was 4-5 km from the collection point and there was a 2 km interval between batches. However, there are sources according to which the massacre lasted longer.  Also on this occasion, according to the above account, local forces (troops of the Panevėžys (10th) battalion) not only conducted the victims to the pits but also took part in the shooting (actually making up the majority of the shooters). The account further illustrates the fact that the shooting proper was not what required the most manpower in the execution. The shooting proper could be done by about 100 killers, whereas the rest of the execution work required a whole battalion.
Jäger’s 2nd report (pp. 7-8) suggests that the RKH ran into trouble when the local authorities failed to provide the necessary manpower for conducting the victims to the execution site and cordoning off the same, in which case some of the local "partisans" meant to participate in the shooting had to be employed in these preparatory tasks. During the execution described on these two pages, the one at Rokiskis (Rokiškis) on 16.8.41, the RKH apparently had counted on 80 local "partisans" to take part in the shooting, but as the local authorities had not provided sufficient other forces for preparatory tasks, 60 "partisans" had to help out there in order to get things done within 24 hours, and only 20 could do the shooting proper together with Hamann’s men. Where local authorities provided sufficient personnel for the preparatory work and the local "partisans" could carry out or help in carrying out the killing itself, things must have gone more smoothly. The Rokiškis massacre was the first on a four-digit scale (3,207 victims, thereof 3,200 Jews) that was conducted or commanded by RKH forces. Experience gained there probably helped to better organize later massacres on a similar or larger scale.
Experience also mattered as concerns the participants in the massacre, including without limitation the shooters themselves. The local "soldiers" that made up most of the killing squad at Panevėžys apparently had none, and their being inebriated (probably in order to steel their nerves) didn’t help. Thus many of the victims fell into the pits while still alive. At Kaunas, one the other hand, there were sufficient "fairly trained partisans" ("einigermassen ausgebildete Partisanen") according to the 2nd Jäger Report (page 8), which meant that the preparatory work could be done more efficiently and less shooters were required to do the same amount of killing. During the largest massacre in Kaunas, the killing of 9,200 ghetto inhabitants on 29.10.1941, it was nevertheless necessary to do without the intervals between batches that according to Jäger were practiced by the RKH in the province,  and to use machine guns for the shooting – dozens of them according to a surviving witness. 
Bottom line, there were no difficulties in the large-scale massacres mentioned in the 2nd Jäger Report that could not be overcome with the available resources, contrary to Mattogno’s claims. Neither was there any insurmountable difficulty in the RKH’s scheduling of massacres. Mattogno’s "examination" of the RKH’s operations in the Lithuanian province is fraught with the familiar mixture of faulty reasoning, ignorance of some important sources and misreading of others.
Jewish children and other "inconsistencies"
Of the 135,391 Jews killed that Jäger’s figures add up to, 29,391 are stated to have been children. The number of children killed was actually higher, given that regarding a number of places only the total number of Jews but not their subdivision into men, women and children is stated.
The systematic extermination also of Jewish children poses another problem for Mattogno’s argument about EK3’s massacres having been committed in a "political-military" context rather than a racially motivated extermination policy. He tries to tackle that problem by pointing out that, according to a census conducted in Vilnius at the end of May 1942, out of 14,545 counted Jews 3,693 (25.4 % of the total) were children up to the age of 15 – and that the school-age children, go figure, even went to school. This, so Mattogno argues, is in stark contrast with the policy of wholesale extermination that becomes apparent from the 2nd Jäger Report. It surely is, but then Jäger, as he pointed out himself in his report, was kept by German civilian and military authorities from wiping out certain working Jews and their families, which according to his report (page 7) numbered 34,500 in total (15,000 in each of the Kauen/Kaunas and Wilna/Vilnius ghettos and 4,500 in the Schaulen/Šiauliai ghetto). The intervention of German civilian and military authorities that restrained EK3’s killing still doesn’t explain, so Mattogno, why the "useless eaters", namely the children, were kept alive. However, it doesn’t take too much imagination to figure out in what sense the children were not "useless eaters" at al. They were the working Jews’ essential motivation for performing as well they possibly could and not contemplating resistance or suicide. Working men and women who had lost what was dearest to them would be more likely to perform badly due to depression, to kill themselves as their life had lost all meaning, or to somehow rise up against and try to take revenge on the killers. Parents who knew that any such action would mean not only their end but also that of their children, on the other hand, would be compliant and hard-working in order to save their families by remaining essential to the German war effort.
Already before the mass killings were suspended the German authorities issued so-called Jordanscheine to the inhabitants of the Kaunas ghetto. In each such certificate two adults and two children of a specialized worker’s family could be entered. During the subsequent mass killings, being entered or not in a Jordanschein made the difference between life and death. The Vilnius ghetto’s equivalent of the Jordanscheine were the so-called gelbe Scheine or Gelbscheine, in each of which a specialized worker’s family (the parents and two children aged 2 to 16) could be entered. The awareness that being or not on a Gelbschein meant the difference between life and death led to a "tragic masquerade" as the ghetto inhabitants attempted by all means to gain possession of such certificate or be entered into one. Mass killings after 24 October, known as the "Gelbe-Schein-Aktionen", targeted Jews whose names were not entered into one such (temporarily) life-saving certificate. 
Also for the German civilian administration, keeping alive Jewish specialized workers (and their families as an incentive to be compliant and work well) was only meant to be a temporary solution. In a letter sent to the Generalkommissare and the HSSPF of the RKO on 9 December 1941, Lohse’s representative Frundt emphasized the need to prevent the liquidation of Jewish specialized workers who for the time being could not be replaced by non-Jews, but at the same time urged to speed up the training of replacements.
In order to emphasize that he had solved the "Jewish problem" in Lithuania, Jäger reported numbers of surviving Jews in three ghettos that apparently corresponded to pre-determined quotas. These numbers are too low. The number of surviving Jews in Lithuania after EK3’s extermination campaign is likely to have been about 43,500, thereof 20,000 in Vilnius, 17,500 in Kaunas, 5,500 in Šiauliai and about 500 in Švenčionys. This means that Jäger’s total of 34,500 Jews surviving on the territory of Lithuania as of the date of his report was about 9,000 lower than the actual figure. Further Jews were added to the Generalbezirk Litauen in April 1942 as it took over territory that until then had belonged to the Generalbezirk Weißruthenien. In April 1943 the KdS for Lithuania reported that in the Generalbezirk (including the territories added in 1942) there were 44,584 Jews left; as this was after the liquidation of Švenčionys and other smaller ghettos and the murder of about 4,000 of their inhabitants at Paneriai/Ponary, the number prior to this massacre must have been in the order of 48,500. Mattogno somehow arrives at a total of about 51,000 and, oblivious of the aforementioned territorial changes, gleefully remarks that 51,000 – 34,500 = 16,500 Jews were still alive who according to Jäger should have been dead, obviously implying that this casts doubts on the accuracy of Jäger’s killing figures. The territorial fallacy in Mattogno’s arithmetic aside, such innuendo is not exactly pertinent as Jäger’s numbers of dead Jews were obviously arrived at by counting and not by any before-minus-after subtraction, and moreover they can be checked against other sources, including such that I have already mentioned and others that I will mention further on in this series.
Mattogno concludes his "critical examination" with the remark that the most important test of the Jäger Report’s reliability is whether a commensurate number of corpses have been found at EK3’s killing sites. Actually that’s quite irrelevant; Mattogno might as well claim that the death toll attributed to Stalin’s Gulag camps, purges and other mass executions depends on how many of their victims have been exhumed and investigated, in which case he would be left with little more than the corpses unearthed at Katyn and Vinnytsia and become a Stalin apologist besides one of Hitler’s willing defense attorneys.
The disappearance of Lithuania’s Jews under Nazi rule is unequivocally proven by demographic data, contemporary documents and other evidence, and there’s no evidence that any significant number of these ended up anywhere else than in the mass graves made by the various German killing agencies and their Lithuanian collaborators and executors. Thus it doesn’t matter how many of these mass graves were actually dug up. Nevertheless, it is known from the available evidence that some of the killing sites were investigated following the Soviet re-conquest of Lithuania, and there are interesting documents about public health concerns of the local administration regarding the mass graves that littered Lithuania in the wake of the German-Lithuanian extermination campaign in 1941. Some of these will be shown in the last two articles of this series. But before I’ll take a look at Mattogno’s arguments regarding another of his "Revisionist" concerns, the massacre of German and Austrian Jews in Kaunas in November 1941.
 GE1, pp. 182-188.
 See there note 27.
 The Kaunas ghetto was formed between July and August 15, 1941, the Vilnius ghetto in early September 1941.
 The dates mentioned in the 2nd Jäger Report are not necessarily the dates on which the respective massacres were committed. They may also be the commencement or end dates of massacres that lasted several days. For instance, the Panevezys (Panevėžys) massacre of 7,523 Jews recorded under 23.8.1941 lasted three days (24 to 26 August) according to some sources (Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 816, note 53).
 As mentioned on p. 7 of the 2nd Jäger Report and on pp. 31-32 of the 1st Stahlecker Report. Regarding the temporarily spared working Jews see also my article The Jäger Report (7).
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, pp. 950-951. What is strange is that not this massacre with an apparent "public health" purpose (suggested by the burning of the hospital for infectious diseases), but the earlier massacre on 26 September was "justified" by Jäger as having been directed against the sick and suspected carriers of infectious diseases. This suggests that "justifications" got mixed up in the 2nd Jäger Report, and that the 26 September action was actually the "punitive action" (which also seems to be Dieckmann’s assessment, see Besatzungspolitik, p. 949) whereas the one on 4 October was meant to remove diseased Jews.
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, pp. 951-958. Regarding the actions on 26.9, 4.10 and 29.10 see also my article The Jäger Report (5), with translations of witness testimonies quoted in Wette’s biography of Jäger.
 As above, p. 942.
 Wette, Jäger, pp. 99-101. Wette’s account of this operation is cited in my article The Jäger Report (2).
Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 949. As mentioned above, the "justifications" for the massacres on 26 September and 4 October apparently got mixed up in the report.
 As above, pp. 974-975.
 Polish journalist Kazimierz Sakowicz, who kept a diary about the mass killings at Ponary that he observed or otherwise learned about, noted the following under 2 September (the day of the massacre): "These shootings were a punishment for the bogus shooting at German soldiers in Wilno on Sunday, August 31. There, on the outskirts of the city, Hingst announced that Jews would be punished for the shooting on the previous Sunday." (Ponary Diary 1941-1943. A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder. Kazimierz Sakowicz. Edited by Yitzhak Arad. 2005 Yale University Press. P. 29).
 Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, "Lithuanian Police Battalions and the Holocaust (1941-1943)", pp. 7-8.
 Bubnys, as above, pp. 12-14.
 GE1, pp. 183-184.
 See the overviews of executions and perpetrators that I published here (based on Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, pp. 792-1008) and here (based on Bubnys, "Holocaust in Lithuanian Province in 1941").
 Bubnys, Province, pp. 19-20. See also Bubnys, Police Battalions, pp. 12-13, and Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 872.
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 882.
 As above, p. 878.
 As above, p. 27.
 As above, p. 9.
 As above, p. 876. According to Bubnys (Holocaust, p. 22), the Chief of Jonava Security Police, Jr Lieut. J. Jurevičius appointed 16 men from his squad to carry out the execution. The Jews were driven to the place of the massacre in the Giraitė forest in groups. Soldiers of a "self-defence battalion" escorted the Jews to the killing site. After the first group of the condemned had been killed, TDA Battalion Lieutenants B. Norkus and Vladas Malinauskas came to Giraitė forest from Kaunas. They continued commanding in the execution jointly with a Gestapo chief. The shooting was done not only by the members of Jonava squad but also by "partisans" from other areas and several Germans who were all dressed as civilians.
 As above, p. 368.
 Bubnys, Province, p. 6.
 As above, p. 8.
 As above, p. 12.
 As above, p. 846.
 As above, p. 890.
 Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania, Mass Murder of the Jews of Varėna. Thanks to Jonathan Harrison for pointing out this link.
 The fact that local Lithuanians had done the killing may have been what shocked Varėna priest Jonas Gylys into holding a sermon on 14.9.1941, in which he called the Lithuanian officials butchers. He reportedly said: "Innocent people, among them old folk and pregnant women, were pushed about and kicked by Lithuanians in uniform. The forest of Varena was soaking in the blood of innocent people. The blood had not dried yet, when they rushed at the property of their victims." The Chief of Varėna I Police Station, J. Kvaraciejus, reported this to the Chief of the Alytus District Police, stating that the priest’s sermon had been "directed against the government". Kvaraciejus’ report, with the archival reference LCVA, 1436/1/30, fl. 366, is reproduced in German translation in the collection Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933 – 1945 Band 7 Sowjetunion mit annektierten Gebieten I Besetzte sowjetische Gebiete unter deutscher Militärverwaltung, Baltikum und Transnistrien, compiled by Bert Hoppe and Hildrun Glass, Oldenbourg Verlag München 2011 (Dok. 192, pp. 539-540). An English translation is available in the collection Documents Accuse, compiled and commented by B. Baranauskas and K. Rukšėnas, edited by E. Rozauskas, translated from Lithuanian by L. Valeika and A. Aukštikalnienė, from German by Vl. Grodzenskis, English version edited by Vl. Grodzenskis, Vilnius: Gintaras, 1970 (Document Nr. 95). Thanks to Nick Terry for making both document collections available to me.
 As above, p. 20.
 The RKH usually operated from Kaunas, whose strategic central location meant that most killing sites could be reached more quickly from there than from previous killing sites (as shown in this overview). In some cases, however, it was more advantageous to operate from another place. Thus the squad sent for the Jews of Butrimonys, for instance, came from nearby Alytus (Bubnys, Province, p. 8).
 Rokiskis/Rokiškis (16.8.41), Ukmerge/Ukmergė (19.8.41), Panevezys/Panevėžys (23.8.41), Obeliai (25.8.41), Seduva (Šeduva), Zarasai and Pasvalys (26.8.41), Utena and Moletai/Molėtai (29.8.41).
 Ukmerge /Ukmergė, 5 September 1941.
 Rasainiai/Raseiniai and Georgenburg/Jurbarkas on 6 September, Zagare/Žagarė on 2 October.
 Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto in Flames. The Struggle and Destruction of the Jews in Vilna in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, 1980. Pp. 75-77; the part about the "method" is on p. 76. A description of this Ponary killing method is also provided in my article Mattogno on the Mass Graves at Ponary (Part 4).
 The German author of the Meurin Report recalled how, in the detraining and marching to Minsk of German Jews that his unit has escorted there, the local Latvian police "behaved so as to speed up the process". And that was not at an execution site.
 Holocaust Atlas of Lithuania, second entry for Panevėžys .
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 816, note 53. This account also describes a three-day massacre, starting on 24.8 and ending on 26.8.1941. It claims that the killing was done in batches of 200 each instead of the 500 each mentioned by Jäger, which seems improbable considering the scale of the massacre.
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 816.
 According to Bubnys (Police Battalions, p. 11) almost all of the Lithuanian 1st Police Battalion took part in the largest Kaunas massacre on 29.10.1941, and the killing proper was done by several dozens of the 3rd Company’s soldiers and about 20 German officers and "soldiers". Bubnys maintains (p. 17) that there is no reliable evidence that another Lithuanian police unit, the 3rd Battalion, also took part in the killing of Kaunas Jews. However, according to Dieckmann (Besatzungspolitik, p. 957), the files of an investigation conducted against Lithuanian non-commissioned officer Kazys Pagalys of the 3rd Battalion prove that this unit also took part in the massacre.
 As above, pp. 956-957. Sometimes a batch of victims would be pushed into a pit while the previous one was still being shot.
 See the account of Kuki Kopelman provided to his friend Solly Ganor and recorded in the latter’s memoirs (quote in Wette, Jäger, pp. 122-24, translation in my article The Jäger Report (5)).
 GE1, pp. 186-187.
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 946.
 As above, p. 996-1004. Mattogno seems to have never heard of either the Jordanscheine or the gelbe Scheine. At least I didn’t find these terms in a keyword search in his book.
 As above, p. 1010. The document is also quoted in Verfolgung, Band 7, p. 583 (Dok. 218).
 See my article How many people were killed at Ponary?.
 Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 1009. Update, 21.09.2018: A copy of the mentioned report is kept in the Lithuanian Central State Archives in Vilnius. The archival reference of the relevant page is LCVA-R1399-1-26, fl. 56. A color copy, a transcription and a translation of this page are available here.
 See my previously mentioned article and the article Mattogno’s Marijampolė Mass Graves Controversy.
 Besides the Jäger reports these include, among others, the minutes of a meeting on 1.9.1943 about labor force availability and losses in the Lithuania, whereby 156,000 potential laborers had been lost due to the "Judenumsiedlung" ("resettlement" of Jews). (Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 1009).