Saturday, November 02, 2019

Report to Hitler: "Jews executed: 363,211"

      
1st and last page of the report (B&W scan)

On 29 December 1942, the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler reported to Adolf Hitler that "Jews executed: 363,211" between August to November 1942 in the area of the Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF) Russia-South, Ukraine, and North-East. The report is one of the most explicit known individual high-level documents on the extent and intensity of the extermination of the European Jews (see also Nazi Document on Mass Extermination of Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau: The Franke-Gricksch Report).

We publish here for the first time colored photographs of the original, a copy for the files and the report of the HSSPF providing the data to Himmer's staff (see below).

Historical Context


On 26 December 1942, the Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South, Ukraine, and North-East, Hans-Adolf Prützman, issued a statistical summary report on the "success" figures of the "bandit fighting" in his territory between August to November 1942 (Document 1). Under the section "bandit helpers and bandit suspects", it lists that "363,211 Jews" had been "executed" in this period. On 27 December 1942, he added a detailed report on the "situation of bandits in the area of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine and the area of Bialystok". The statistical summary was enclosed to this report, which did not elaborate on the actions against Jews.

In the afternoon of 29 December 1942, Prützmann visited Himmler at his headquarters "Hochwald" in East-Prussia to discuss the "situation":
Tuesday, 29 December 1942
Hochwald
1:30 pm   SS-Obergruppenführer Prützmann
                SS-Sturmbannführer v. Thermann
Situation

Lunch

3 pm Discussion with SS-Obergruppenführer Prützmann, SS-Standartenführer Rode, SS-Sturmbannführer v. Thermann, SS-Hauptsturmführer Grothmann

5 pm SS-Standartenführer Rode
(Witte et al., Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers 1941/42, p. 657)

Figure 1
Prützmann handed over the documents to Himmler, who signed the first page of the report with date and his initials (Figure 1). The statistical report was marked with "51." at the top, which indicated that the content was to be used for the 51st report on partisan actions to Adolf Hitler.

On the same day, on 29 December 1942, Himmler's staff copied the figures provided by Prützmann into "report no. 51" to the Führer on "bandit fighting". Document 2 is a carbon copy of a first version of the report, which misspelled "Bialystok" as "Byalistok" (corrected with a pen) . According to the handwritten registration line by Himmler's secretary Werner Grothmann, it was the 7th copy and classified as "Geheime Kommandosache" - the highest level of secrecy in the military.

Document 3 is the original final report personally signed by Himmler. It was typed on the so-called Führer typewriter with especially big letters so that he could read it also without his glasses. The report was shown to Hitler, as follows from the handwritten remark "submitted 31.12.42" by his adjutant, Hans Pfeiffer. He returned the document to Grothmann, who signed with his initials before it was put to the files.

Figure 2
As other messages on bandit fighting to the Führer (Figure 2), the original report no. 51 was not marked as secret. It was circulated only on the highest state level between few people (probably sent in sealed envelopes with secret marking by courier). Indeed, it was pointless, perhaps even impermissible, for Himmler and his secretary to instruct Hitler and his adjutant how to treat a document typed specifically for their eyes only and returned again to Grothmann.


Prützmann's area of responsibility in late 1942 is shown in Figure 3: the district of Bialystok (blue), the Reichskommissariat Ukraine (yellow),  and the Army Group B Operation and Rear area (red); in total about 700,000 m². The location of killing sites with more than 1,000 victims is also indicated on the image. Most of the death toll occurred in a comparable narrow, 150 km wide and 600 km long corridor between Bialystok in East Poland and Kamianets-Podilskyi in the Ukraine.

Figure 3: Google Earth image with the area of the Distrikt Bialystok (blue), the Reichskommissariat Ukraine (yellow), the Army Group B Operation and Rear Area (red) and the North Caucasus (green), and individual killing actions greater than 1000 victims, which took place in the period mid-July to mid-November 1942.

Table 1: Holocaust deaths in the period mid-July to mid-November 1942 in the relevant area (without North Caucasus; data extracted from Kruglov et al., Kholokost v Ukraine, vol. 1; Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde; Arad, The Operation Reinhard Death Camps).
Region Deaths
Volyn 87,066
Zhytomyr 704
Luhansk 1,800
Rivne 72,702
Khmelnytskyi 31,965
Vinnytsia 11,007
Brest 86,235
Bialystok 26,630
Voronezh 1,000


The table summarises for each region the figures for the individual killing actions mentioned in the literature. The numbers have been calculated for mid-July to mid-November 1942 for the following reasons:

The report was compiled of monthly summaries from the 1st day of the following month, as can be inferred from header date 1 September to 1 December 1942 and the monthly break-downs for August to November 1942. However, a report issued on the 1st of a month was unlikely to have included the numbers from the previous days. Therefore, the figures did probably not cover the full month, but only part of the month plus part of the previous month. The Holocaust historian Alexander Kruglov also arrived to this conclusion and wrote in a chronology of the Holocaust in the Ukraine on the report to Hitler that "given the specifics of German reporting, these Jews were executed from mid-July to mid-November 1942". The explanation is confirmed comparing the monthly totals computed from the individuals killing actions for the period August to November and for the period mid-July to mid-November. The latter follows the trend of the monthly totals reported by Prützmann (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Comparison of the totals counting from the 1st or the mid of a month.

The total for the four months period is about 325,000 murdered Jews in the area of the HSSPF Bialystok, Ukraine and Russia-South. Thus almost 90% of the killings reported by Prützmann can be readily explained with other sources. The largest part of the victims was shot. Only the victims from the Biaylstok district were largely gassed after deportation to Treblinka extermination camp.

On 6 August 1942, Gerret Korsemann, who had been assigned to Prützmann, was appointed as HSSPF of Kaukasien. In August to October 1942, Einsatzgruppe D killed about 24,000 Jews in the North Caucasus (Angrick, Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord. Die Einsatzgruppe D). The killings might have been also reported to Prützmann's staff and were possibly erroneously included in the data as well (see Figure 3 for the area of the HSSPF Kaukasien).

The Documents


1.) Report by Hans-Adolf Prützmann of 26 December 1942

DOCUMENT

    

                           
TRANSCRIPTION
Der Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer Russland-Süd, Ukraine u. Nordost   

den 26.12.1942

Meldung über Bandenbekämpfungserfolge vom 1.9. bis 1.12.1942


                                                 August  September   Oktober   November   insgesamt

1. Banditen:

a) festgestellte Tote nach                  227         381             427          392           1337
Gefechten (x)   
b) Gefangene sofort exekutiert         125         282              87           243           737
c) Gefangene nach längerer
eingehender Vernehmung                 2100       1400          1596         2731         7828
exekutiert 


2. Bandenhelfer und Bandenverdächtige:

a) festgenommen                              1343       3078           8337        3795        16553
b) exekutiert                                    1198       3020           6333        3706         14257
c) Juden exekutiert                         31246    165282       95735      70948        363211


[...]
TRANSLATION
The Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South, Ukraine, and North-East

26.12.1942

Message about successes in bandit fighting from 1.9. to 1.12.1942


                                                August     September      October     November     total

1. Bandits:

a) dead after battle (x)                227         381             427          392           1337
b) prisoners executed                
immediately                               125         282              87           243           737
c) prisoners executed after
long in-depth interrogation        2100       1400          1596         2731         7828



2. Bandit helpers and bandit suspects:

a) arrested                               1343       3078           8337        3795        16553
b) executed                             1198       3020           6333        3706         14257
c) Jews executed                   31246    165282       95735      70948        363211

[...]
(BArch NS 19/2566, p. 78)


2.) 7th copy of the report of Heinrich Himmler to Adolf Hitler of 29 December 1942


DOCUMENT

    

    


TRANSCRIPTION
Der Reichsführer-SS                            Feld-Kommandostelle
[67/42 g.K. 7 Ausftg.                                              den 29. Dezember  1942

                                                   [4]

Betr.: Meldungen an den Führer über Bandenbekämpfung.

Meldung Nr. 51
Russland-Süd, Ukraine, Byalistok [handschriftlich korrigiert zu Bialystok]
Bandenbekämpfungserfolgt vom 1.9. bis 1.12.1942

1.) Banditen:
a) festgestellte Tote nach Gefechten (x)

August:     September:      Oktober:     November:     insgesamt: 
  227         381             427          392           1337

b) Gefangene sofort exekutiert
  125         282              87           243           737

c) Gefangene nach längerer eingehender Vernehmung exekutiert
 2100       1400          1596         2731         7828

2.) Bandenhelfer und Bandenverdächtige:

a) festgenommen
 1343       3078           8337        3795        16553

b) exekutiert
 1198       3020           6333        3706         14257

c) Juden exekutiert
31246    165282       95735      70948        363211

3.) Überläufer a.G. deutscher Propaganda:
     21            14              42           63              140

(x) Da der Russe seine Gefallenen verschleppt bzw.sofort verscharrt, sind die Verlustzahlen auch nach Gefangenenaussagen erheblich höher zu bewerten.

-2-

[...]

gez.: H. Himmler
TRANSLATION
The Reichsführer-SS                                      field command post
67/42 g.K. 7th copy                                                 29 December 1942

[4]

Re: Messages to the Führer about bandit fighting.

Message No. 51

Russia-South, Ukraine, Byalistok [handwritten correction to Bialystok]

Bandit fighting from 1.9. until 1.12.1942

1.) Bandits:

a) dead after battle (x)

August:     September:      October:     November:     total: 
  227             381               427              392                1337

b) Prisoners executed immediately
  125            282                  87               243                 737

c) Prisoners executed after long in-depth interrogation
 2100       1400                 1596            2731               7828

2.)  Bandit helpers and bandit suspects:

a) arrested
 1343       3078                 8337             3795            16553

b) executed
 1198       3020                 6333             3706            14257

c) Jews executed
31246    165282             95735           70948          363211

3.) defectors due to German propaganda:
     21            14              42           63              140

(x) Since the Russian carries off his fallen [men] or immediately buries them, the loss figures should be considerably higher, according to prisoner statements.

-2-

[...]
signed: H. Himmler
(BArch NS 19/2566, p. 87-90)


3.) Report of Heinrich Himmler to Adolf Hitler of 29 December 1942


DOCUMENT

 


 
                           
TRANSCRIPTION
                                                            vorgelegt 31.12.42 [Paraphe Pfeiffer]

Der Reichsführer-SS                            Feld-Kommandostelle
                                                             den 29. Dezember  1942

                                                   [Paraphe Grothmann]

Betr.: Meldungen an den Führer über Bandenbekämpfung.

Meldung Nr. 51
Russland-Süd, Ukraine, Bialystok
Bandenbekämpfungserfolgt vom 1.9. bis 1.12.1942

1.) Banditen:
a) festgestellte Tote nach Gefechten (x)

August:     September:      Oktober:     November:     insgesamt: 
  227         381             427          392           1337

b) Gefangene sofort exekutiert
  125         282              87           243           737

c) Gefangene nach längerer eingehender Vernehmung exekutiert
 2100       1400          1596         2731         7828

2.) Bandenhelfer und Bandenverdächtige:

a) festgenommen
 1343       3078           8337        3795        16553

b) exekutiert
 1198       3020           6333        3706         14257

c) Juden exekutiert
31246    165282       95735      70948        363211

3.) Überläufer a.G. deutscher Propaganda:
     21            14              42           63              140

(x) Da der Russe seine Gefallenen verschleppt bzw.sofort verscharrt, sind die Verlustzahlen auch nach Gefangenenaussagen erheblich höher zu bewerten.

-2-

[...]

[Unterschrift Himmler]
TRANSLATION
                                              submitted 31.12.42 [Initials Pfeiffer]

The Reichsführer-SS field command post
29 December 1942

[initials Grothmann]

Re: Messages to the Führer about bandit fighting.

Message No. 51

Russia-South, Ukraine, Bialystok

Bandit fighting from 1.9. until 1.12.1942

1.) Bandits:

a) dead after battle (x)

August:     September:      October:     November:     total: 
  227             381               427              392                1337

b) Prisoners executed immediately
  125            282                  87               243                 737

c) Prisoners executed after long in-depth interrogation
 2100       1400                 1596            2731               7828

2.)  Bandit helpers and bandit suspects:

a) arrested
 1343       3078                 8337             3795            16553

b) executed
 1198       3020                 6333             3706            14257

c) Jews executed
31246    165282             95735           70948          363211

3.) defectors due to German propaganda:
     21            14              42           63              140

(x) Since the Russian carries off his fallen [men] or immediately buries them, the loss figures should be considerably higher, according to prisoner statements.

-2-

[...]

[signature Himmler]
(BArch NS 19/2566, p. 83-86)


Updated:
6.11.2019: added figures for Kremenets area.
9.11.2019: clarified nature of doc 2.

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Document 2 is a carbon of what meant to be the original report submitted to Hitler. However, as the clerk made a typo (Byalistok instead of Bialystok), the report for Hitler was typed again (Document 3).

    I posted another doc written with the Führer typewriter as Figure 2, but there are plenty more of them - just not the Korherr report. The only known version from BArch NS 19/1770 was not typed on the Führer typewriter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apologies to 'Unknown', your comment was removed entirely by accident in the editor/administrator mode, we didn't mean to do that.

    You asked about other documents produced on the 'Fuehrer typewriter' - there are many others in the Himmler papers, the series of reports to the Fuehrer on antipartisan warfare has quite a few surviving.

    There are also many reports in the Army High Command records, clearly briefing papers used at situation conferences, whether or not Hitler actually read them - they were typed up in large print so he could read them if he wanted to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The short version of the Korherr report is not written in the Fuhrer typewriter? According to a paper by Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas: "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhardt' 1942" the shortened version of the Korherr report (6 or 7 pages, versus the original 16) was written with the Fuhrer typewriter, Eichmann stated it was written there at his office. You can see the large letters anyway.

    It is also reiterated here, which I presume is about the paper discussed above mecause it mentions Witte and Tyas: https://www.jta.org/2002/01/16/archive/unearthed-nazi-documents-shed-light-on-holocaust-deaths

    I can not find a better quality image than this of the shortened Korherr report: http://web.archive.org/web/20050211071739/http://ns-archiv.de/verfolgung/korherr/img2-01.shtml

    But now I am confused about "The Führer typewriter" because I initially thought it was just 1 typewriter, but now it appears rather to be a style of typewriter that I guess multiple people had. Himmler had one, and now Eichmann claims there was one at his office (according to Witte and Tyas)

    So document 1 was typed first in a regular typewriter, given to Himmler, then document 2 was typed in the/a Fuhrer typewriter by Himmler's assistant, but it had an error so it was again retyped (document 3) on the same typewriter as #2.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The short Korherr report copy you linked to wasn't typed on a 'Fuehrer typewriter', that looks relatively normal typing for an official report.

    The quote from Tyas/Witte is of Eichmann's testimony that the shortened report was then typed up on a 'Fuehrer typewriter', the file copy that survives of the short report (NO-5193) remained in the papers of the Personalstab RFSS along with the rest of the Korherr correspondence; the file that survives isn't from IV B 4 - none of the covering letters or correspondence concern IV B 4, only Korherr, Himmler and his personal staff
    https://www.ns-archiv.de/verfolgung/korherr/index.php


    More specifically, Korherr's letter to Brandt referring to the order to write a short report 'zur Vorlage an den Fuehrer' indicates that the typing on the short report must have been by Korherr or his personal secretary, who would not have had a 'Fuehrer typewriter'
    https://www.ns-archiv.de/verfolgung/korherr/faksimile-begleitschreiben/

    Eichmann likely did not have a 'Fuehrer typewriter', either, and never briefed Hitler, but the RSHA may well have done. Still, he was in a position to know how things worked, although a detail like this could have been absorbed postwar, since Eichmann mostly dealt with Mueller and Heydrich/Kaltenbrunner, only rarely even meeting Himmler.

    A 'Fuehrer typewriter' document tends to be more compact than A4, double-spaced, in large type with a different typeface to typical documents. Presumably there were many such typewriters as needed within the Wehrmacht, SS, civilian agencies and Hitler's entourage/the Fuehrerhauptquartier. But below ministerial offices or major agencies likely to brief Hitler - eg departments of the General Staff such as the OKH/Organisationsabteilung - there would be no need for such typewriters.

    There are certainly also some documents typed in the same way for ministerial briefings or to provide large-print typescripts for lectures by some senior figures, which didn't automatically go to Hitler.

    ReplyDelete

  6. "So document 1 was typed first in a regular typewriter, given to Himmler, then document 2 was typed in the/a Fuhrer typewriter by Himmler's assistant, but it had an error so it was again retyped (document 3) on the same typewriter as #2. "

    Correct.

    ReplyDelete

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