Sunday, December 25, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Chapter 2: Nazi Policy (2). Extermination of Soviet Jews, June 1941-March 1942.

Extermination of Soviet Jews, June 1941-March 1942

During the planning stages for Operation Barbarossa, Nazi food policy was linked to plans for large-scale political killing. On May 2, 1941, a conference of state secretaries, chaired by Thomas, had concluded that "umpteen million people will doubtless starve to death, if we extract everything necessary for us from the country."[10] The selection of these starvation victims would follow a political economy of racial value, but would also be shaped by a political-ideological-racial belief that the enemy was the ‘Jewish-Marxist.’ Rosenberg recognised this linkage when he wrote, on May 8, 1941, that the war would be:
[a] fight for the food supply and raw materials for the German Reich as well as for Europe as a whole, a fight ideological in nature in which the last Jewish-Marxist enemy has to be defeated.[11]
The specific demographic consequences anticipated in this planning were spelled out in a report by the Agriculture Group on May 23, 1941, based on recommendations by Backe. The USSR would be split into two (a productive and an unproductive zone) and surplus populations redirected to Siberia, even though “railway transportation is out of the question”:
There is no German interest in maintaining the productive capacity of these regions, also in what concerns the supplies of the troops stationed there. […] The population of these regions, especially the population of the cities, will have to anticipate a famine of the greatest dimensions. The issue will be to redirect the population to the Siberian areas. As railway transportation is out of the question, this problem will also be an extremely difficult one.[12]
The report then admitted that “Many tens of millions of people will become superfluous in this area and will die or have to emigrate to Siberia.” The document tellingly referred to these groups as “useless eaters”, a phrase originally used to justify killing the mentally ill in the T4 program, thereby confirming that euthanasia terminology had spread to these planners. However, if there was no rail transport to take them to Siberia, the latter option was already a dubious one, so this document could be viewed as an early admission that death was at the forefront of Nazi intentions for the Soviet population, with Jews at the front of the queue. This is further confirmed by a document by Engelhardt[13], which included a table of nationalities by town and country in Belorussia, on which Waldemar von Poletika had underlined Jews, Russians and Poles and added a marginal note saying 'starve!' Another part of the same text had a marginal note by von Poletika saying that a population of 6.3 million people would die.

Hunger planning was reiterated after the invasion. When Hitler met with Abetz on September 16, 1941, the Führer discussed plans to starve millions of people in Leningrad in order to make the survivors flee into areas where they would certainly "vanish from the earth", thus being exterminated. 
The Petersburg 'nest of poison' from which for so long Asian poison had flowed into the Baltic, must vanish from the earth. The city [Leningrad] was already surrounded: all that remained to do was to pound it with artillery and from the air. Everything the population needed to survive, such as the water pipes and the power stations, would be destroyed. The Asians and Bolshevists must be chased out of Europe, the episode of '250 years of Asianness' was at an end.[14] 
Ciano made two notes on this topic in his diary entries on meetings held with Goering on November 24-27, 1941. In the first, Ciano noted this statement by Goering: 
'On the other hand', he added, 'we cannot worry unduly about the hunger of the Greeks. It is a misfortune which will strike many other people besides them. In the camps for Russian prisoners of war, after having eaten everything possible, including the soles of their boots, they have begun to eat each other, and what is more serious, they have also eaten a German sentry. This year between 20 and 30 million persons will die in Russia of hunger. Perhaps it is well that it should be so, for certain nations must be decimated. But even if it were not, nothing can be done about it. It is obvious that if humanity is condemned to die of hunger, the last to die will be our two peoples.
In the second, he noted, "He was impressive when he spoke of the Russians, who are eating each other and who have also eaten a German sentry in a prison camp. He recounted the incident with the most absolute indifference. And yet he is kind-hearted, and when he spoke of Udet and Moelders, who have lately lost their lives, tears came to his eyes."[15] On February 28, 1942, Rosenberg complained to Keitel that POW deaths had been preventable:
Anyhow, with a certain amount of understanding for goals aimed at by German politics, dying and deterioration could have been avoided in the extent described. For instance, according to in- formation on hand, the native population within the Soviet Union are absolutely willing to put food at, the disposal of the prisoners of war. Several understanding camp commanders have successfully chosen this course. However in the majority of the cases, the camp commanders have forbidden the civilian population to put food at the disposal of the prisoners, and they have rather let them starve to death. 
Rosenberg also recognized that shootings were being organized on crude racial criteria rather than the political ones he had assumed would apply.
Finally, the shooting of prisoners of war must be mentioned; these were partly carried out according to viewpoints which ignore all political understanding. For instance, in various camps, all the "Asiatics" were shot, although the inhabitants of the areas, considered belonging to Asia, of Transcaucasia and Turkestan especially, are among those people in the Soviet Union who are most strongly opposed to Russian subjugation and to Bolshevism. The Reich ministry of the occupied Eastern territories has repeatedly emphasized these abuses. However, in November for instance, a detail [Kommando] appeared in a prisoner of war camp in Nikolajew, which wanted to liquidate all Asiatics. 16]
         During the summer of 1941, starvation policy was conjoined with a more active shooting policy, partially justified by the concept of reprisal and partly by a conflation of all male Jews with Bolshevism. In March 1941, Göring had told Heydrich to draft a warning to the troops “so that they would know whom in practice to put up against the wall.”[17] On June 17, 1941, Heydrich held a meeting with the unit commanders of the Einsatzgruppen in Berlin, giving instructions for the units to follow after the invasion. On July 2, 1941, he passed on a summary of these instructions to the four HSSPF. He explicitly listed “Jews in party and state positions” as a group to be executed, and also called for the incitement of pogroms, euphemistically dubbed "self-cleansing attempts" (Selbstreinigungsversuchen), but "without trace" (spurenlos) of German involvement. Two weeks later, his Einsatzbefehl [special order] Nr. 8, on executions in camps, stated that "Before any final decision is taken, racial membership should be considered."[18] These instructions placed all Jewish men in peril, especially those within pre-1939 Soviet borders, whom Nazi ideology automatically assumed to be Bolsheviks.
Killing between June 22 and July 21 broadly followed the pattern of targeting mainly males, sparing the women and children, but there was an exception to this in the area governed by Romania, in which the 11th army was complicit. The General Inspector of the Romanian Gendarmerie, Constantin Vasiliu, issued an order on June 17 or 18, 1941, mandating "the extermination on the spot of all Jews in rural areas, enclosing them in ghettos in urban areas, and the arrest of all those suspected of being Communist party members or of having held important functions under Soviet rule." This resulted in 321 Jews of all ages and sexes being massacred at Sculeni, Bessarabia, in early July following an evacuation order by German Colonel Buck.[19] This set a precedent for the future co-operation of the 11th army in the total extermination of Jews in its rear areas.
Two crucial moments of escalation occurred in late July 1941. On July 27, Himmler's Kommandosonderbefehl specified that people who were "racially and humanly inferior" were to be shot if they were suspected of supporting the partisans; their villages were to be burned down and the women and children removed." By August 1st, this had become an order from Himmler to kill the women, but the means of killing were ambiguous: "All Jews must be shot. Drive Jewish women into the swamps. Lombard passed on this order to his brigade, stating that "No male Jew stays alive, no residual family in the villages." [20] The killing reports specified "looters", showing that the guiding 'a priori' assumption was still Jewish criminality rather than documented partisan activity.
Jewish looters were shot. Only a few craftsmen who were working in repair shops of the Wehrmacht were left behind. To drive women and children into the swamps did not have the desired effect as the swamps were not deep enough [for them] to sink. In a depth of 1 metre there was solid ground (possibly sand) in most cases so that sinking [bodies] was not possible.[21]
The racial underpinning of this action shows that the phrases 'looters' and 'support for the partisans' were used as cover for shooting Jews "because they were Jews." Some shooters may have reassured themselves that they will killing Jews for military reasons, but the overall pattern was an escalation that encompassed all Jews regardless of any rational basis for defining them as looters or partisan colluders. The bogus nature of the partisan warfare excuse is shown by the fact that, when Fegelein reported on the unit's killings in the two-week period from late July, it recorded 13,788 dead "plunderers" against 714 prisoners captured. Some shooters may have reassured themselves that they were killing Jews for military reasons, but the overall pattern was an escalation that encompassed all Jews regardless of any rational basis for defining them as looters or partisan colluders. In addition, Jews and partisans [Freischaerler] were named separately in some reports. For example, the report for 28.7 to 3.8 stated, "3,000 Juden und Freischaerler erschossen."[22]
On July 26, 1941, a report by Einsatzgruppe B on Vitebsk which concluded with the sentence that “Extensive executions of Jews are to follow afterwards.” Einsatzkommando 9 subsequently shot 332 male and female Jews in the city in early August, as part of an escalation ordered by Filbert which also included the killing of women and children in Vilejka on July 30 and at Surazh on August 12.[23] This expansion of killing was authorized explicitly by Hitler on July 16, 1941, when, at a meeting with top Nazi leaders, he stressed his desire to create a Garden of Eden in the East by "All necessary measures – shootings, resettlement, etc." - and hinted that troops and police should now take the lead in “shooting anyone even looks sideways at us."[24]
Nazi desires to exterminate Jews converged, in the East, with a military culture in which vengeance actions were already inclined to seek unlimited total solutions. For example, by October, one military leader, Reichenau, was calling for a "tough but just atonement of Jewish Untermenschentum." This context is totally ignored by MGK, and systematically misrepresented by deniers who discuss reprisal policy.[25]
These patterns are evident in all four Einsatzgruppen sector. The initiation of escalation by Einsatzgruppe A occurred during Himmler's visit to Riga on July 30. However there was a delay of 16 days between this visit and the commencement of systematic killing of women and children in Lithuania, suggesting that Himmler may have been unclear about the scope of killing he required. This impasse was resolved by Einsatzkommando 3 taking matters into its own hands, killing indiscriminately until it ran into resistance from civil authorities in Siaulai, as shown below.
In Latvia and Lithuania, Heydrich’s pre-war orders enabled the selective shooting of Jewish males to be synthesized with pogroms and locally initiated ad-hoc killings by native militia in the first month of the occupation, characterized by a high degree of co-operation between the Wehrmacht, the SS, and local nationalist groups. In Kaunas, for instance, nearly 4,000 Jews were spontaneously murdered immediately after the Soviet withdrawal.[26] Military commander von Leeb was apparently disgusted by these killings, but nonetheless argued that "sterilization of all male Jews would solve . . . the Jewish question." In Vilnius, meanwhile, as of July 13, around 500 Jews were being liquidated daily by 150 Lithuanians under the command of EK 9, subordinated to Einsatzgruppe B. Kay estimates that 4,500 had been killed by July 19. By August 3, according to Einsatzgruppe A's estimate, 20,000 Communists and Jews had been killed by "Selbschutz" in the Baltic region; a week later, the death toll in the area of Einsatzgruppe A was given as 29,000.[27]
Einsatzgruppe A leader Stahlecker wrote a proposal on August 6 stating that, unlike in the General Government, "Perspectives derived from the need to use the Jews for labour will simply not be relevant for the most part in the Ostland." Stahlecker was silent on the fate of non-working Jews, but stated that the small number of working Jews would be subject to a “ruthless exploitation” that would produce “a significant easing of the later transportation of Jews.” This could only mean that non-working Jews were already to be killed immediately whilst working Jews were to be decimated by forced labour to leave only a rump that would have to be resettled later. In many ways, this foreshadowed the Wannsee Protocol. Jäger's EK 3 began to kill women and children systematically on August 15-16, when it shot 3200 Jewish men, women and children in Rokiskis, followed by 402 Jewish women in Kaunas on August 18. A week later it murdered 4,602 Jewish women and 1,609 Jewish children in Panevėžys. By the end of August, it had shot at least 7,000 Jewish children. By September 10, the number of people killed in the area of EK 3 had risen to 76,353.[28]
However, Einsatzgruppe A faced opposition from the civil administration when it tried to kill Jewish workers. In early September, GebK Gewecke forestalled the plans of EK 3, "to liquidate all Jews" across the Schaulen [Siauliai] region [29]. A few weeks later, "wild" shootings in Libau [Liepaja], Latvia enraged the civilian leader, Alnor:
Especially the shooting of women and children, who sometimes had to be taken to the execution site screaming, has been the source of general horror. The rather compliant mayor of Libau […] appeared personally before me and pointed out the agitation throughout the city. Also officers asked me if this cruel manner of executing even children was necessary. In any cultured state and even in the Middle Ages it was not allowed to kill pregnant women. Here even that was not taken into consideration.[…] I am of the opinion that this will one day turn out to be a serious mistake. Unless one also liquidates thereafter all elements participating therein. (Es sei denn, dass man alle dabei mitwirkenden Elemente auch anschlieβend liquidiert.)[30] 
 Lohse responded by banning further executions in Libau.[31] There then followed a complaint by the Quartermaster-General Riga, May, concerning the withdrawal of Jews from Wehrmacht workshops. Lohse responded by stating that "I request most emphatically that the liquidation of Jews employed as skilled workers in armament plants and repair workshops of the Wehrmacht who cannot be replaced at present by local personnel be prevented."[32] .The killing of Jewish workers also provoked some alarm in Ukraine. On the same as Lohse's request regarding skilled workers in the Ostland, the Arms inspector Seraphim expressed alarm at the killing of skilled Jews in Ukraine, noting that "The elimination therefore necessarily had far reaching economic consequences and even direct consequences for the armament industry." He explained further that "So far about 150,000 to 200,000 Jews may have been executed in the part of the Ukraine belonging to the Reichskommissariat; no consideration was given to the interests of economy."[33] Despite these protests, however, it had been decided by December 18, 1941, that, with regard to the Jewish question, "In principle, economic considerations are not to be taken into account in the settlement of the problem."[34]

Another view of the relationship between labour and extermination. as expressed by Einsatzgruppe C leader, Rasch[35], was that "extensive labour utilization" should be used to achieve a "gradual liquidation of the Jews."[36] Such considerations were viewed as evidence of Rasch's softness on Jewish policy, so by November he had been replaced by Max Thomas, who stated unequivocally that there should be a "complete extermination of the Jews" in Volhynia (in western Ukraine) on the grounds that Jews were "without any doubt less valuable as labourers compared with the damage they do as ‘germ carriers’ of communism." [37]

Killing in Ukraine had been escalated by HSSPF Jeckeln using his forces. He had reported a total of 1,658 Jews shot by August 1st. This was followed by a killing at Bila Tserkva that was requested by Field Commander Oberst, Josef Riedl, and authorized by his superior, Sixth Army general Walter von Reichenau. Ninety Jewish children had been left over in an abandoned school-type building at the edge of town after the adults had been killed. Despite objections from the local chaplains, Riedl insisted that "this brood must be exterminated [diese Brut müsse ausgerottet werden]."[38] In August, 23,600 Jews, many of whom had been expelled from Hungary, were killed at Kamenets-Podolsk. Their fate was sealed in a meeting headed by the Quartermaster-General Wagner and the Chief of Military Administration, Schmidt von Altenstadt and their killing was reported by Jeckeln to Himmler.[39]In August as a whole, forces under Jeckeln shot 44,125 persons.[40]. In September, the liquidation of "around 35,000" Jews at Babi Yar, Kiev, was carried out whilst in Zhitomir, 3,145 Jews were "registered and executed."[41]Some individual units of Einsatzgruppe C amassed large killing numbers. Einsatzkommando 5 had killed 15,110 by October 20 whilst Sonderkommando 4a killed 15,000 by September 25.[42] From the beginning of the occupation, the shootings caused psychological distress to some of the officers who carried them out, as documented by Major Roesler and by deserters arriving in Switzerland.[43]

Einsatzgruppe B began an escalation when Daluege met Bach-Zelewki in the city on August 29, a few days after 615 Jews had been shot in a civilian prisoner camp.[44] On August 31, 700 Jews were arrested, of which 64 were women, and then on the following day, these were included in a total of 914 Jews who were shot. [45] Three days later, it was reported that 214 Jews had been shot in Minsk by EK 8 in a "Sonderaktion", whilst 74 Jews had been shot in Nevel by SK 7a, 115 persons in Slutsk, 149 persons in Janovichi, 46 Jews in Smolensk (of which 38 were intellectuals), 397 Jews in Vitebsk by EK 9, and a further 733 persons in the Minsk civilian prisoner camp. [46] On September 23, Einsatzgruppe B reported the "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung) of 27 persons in Klimov and 1,025 Jews in Janovichi, whilst a further 2,278 Jews had been shot in Minsk, 50 in Ivinits, 176 in Borisov, 920 in Lahoysk, 640 in Nevel, 407 persons in Bobruisk and a further 377 men in Minsk, the latter described with the sentence, "All the executed persons were inferior elements whose presence here could not be tolerated. [47] The most documented killings in October were in the large urban centres such as Mogilev, Vitebsk, Borisov, Bobruisk and Smolensk. Mogilev was subjected to two massive actions. The first was reported by Police Battalion 322 on October 3 and consisted of the killing of 2,208 Jews.[48] The second was "3,726 Jews of both sexes and all ages" reported on October 19. [49]

Extermination was also mandated by the assumption, expressed for example by von Bechtolsheim, that "without a single exception, Jews and partisans are an identical concept."[50] This statement, with its use of ‘concept’, demonstrates that the Jew-partisan linkage was established in the minds of the Wehrmacht leaders before they invaded the USSR, but it was also intensified into more systematic killing actions as the war proceeded. Moreover, Bechtolsheim’s order that Jews had to “vanish from the countryside and the Gypsies too have to be exterminated”[51] was issued before there was any partisan threat in Belorussia. Indeed, the fact that Gypsies also had to be exterminated shows that Bechtolsheim was using military prerogatives to carry out extermination of groups he defined by race. Bechtolsheim’s Befehl Nr. 24 put in writing what his forces had already been doing in conjunction with Reserve Battalion 11, sent from Lithuania, which killed 11,400 men, women and children in massacres that spanned Slutsk, Kletsk, Kliniki, Smilovichi, Kojdanov and the Minsk civilian prisoner camp.[52] The civil administration expressed shock at these murders.[53]

Einsatzgruppe D followed the path of the 11th Army from Rumanian territory to the Crimea. By September 30, Einsatzgruppe D had shot 35,782 persons, of which 8,890 were shot between August 19 and September 15 and 22,467 were shot in the second half of September. [54] The military was crucial to the killing actions of EG D in Crimea between November 1941 and February 1942. Manstein gave an order in which the the army was instructed to be "bearer of a racial concept", meaning this was a war of extermination on racial grounds. Its clause "in enemy cities a large part of the population will have to go hungry" showed awareness of the Hungerplan that was intended to starve 30 million people across the USSR. Its phrase "the necessity for harsh punishment of Jewry" can only make sense if the punishment was to be collective death, and this was to be inflicted on "Jewry" not merely "Judeo-Bolsheviks" or partisans.[55] According to an activity report, most of Crimea's large urban districts were "free of Jews" by the beginning of 1942: 
Simferopol, Yevpatoria, Alushta, Krasubasar, Kerch, and Feodosia and other districts of western Crimea are free of Jews. From November 16 to December 15, 1941, 17,645 Jews, 2,504 Krimchaks, 824 Gypsies, and 212 Communists and partisans have been shot. Altogether, 75,881 persons have been executed.[56]  
In Kertsch (Kerch), the military actively requested killings. On November 27, OK I (V)/287 noted that the 11th army had requested that "the liquidation of the Jews will have to be expedited due to the jeopardized food position. In the same person's subsequent report of 7.12.41, in which 2,500 Jews had been killed between December 1-3, the word 'execution' was crossed out and 'resettled' inserted. [57] A similar substitution was also made to reports by the OK in Bakhchisary[58] and Yewpatoria.[59]. The crucial role of the military in the Simferopol extermination was explained in the Manstein trial by the commander of SK 11b, Braune. The 11th Army had demanded that the area be cleared of Jews by Christmas 1941, but Braune had not been able to redeploy in Crimea all the transport and men he had recently used in Odessa. The 11th Army had provided the necessary trucks and personnel to rectify this shortage. Braune also stated that "resettled" was a euphemism for execution. [60]
These killings contributed to huge death tolls of Jews having been reached by early 1942. Total Jewish deaths in Ukraine in 1941, including eastern Galicia and territory occupied by Rumania, have been estimated at 509,190. [61] In early 1942, only 22,767 Jews remained alive, according to a census, in the military occupied zone of eastern Belorussia.[62] In the area of Einsatzgruppe A, Stahlecker reported in January 1942 that "The systematic mopping up of the Eastern Territories embraced, in accordance with the basic orders, the complete removal if possible, of Jewry" and that this had resulted in “the execution up to the present time of 229,052 Jews." He noted that in Latvia, "Up to October 1941 approximately 30,000 Jews had been executed by these Sonderkommandos." He then related how "27,800 were executed in Riga at the beginning of December 1941" by Jeckeln’s forces. Stahlecker also detailed killings in Lithuania, where "136,421 people were liquidated in a great number of single actions." For the "White Russian Sector", he noted the shooting of 41,000 Jews, whilst reports by Janetzke and Burckhardt noted that a maximum of 18,000 Jews were left in Minsk in addition to those deported from the Reich. A report of January 14 had recorded 33,210 Jews shot in White Ruthenia. [63] Further killings in White Ruthenia in the winter of 1941-42 were only delayed by the frozen ground and by Kube’s attempts to delay the shooting of deported Reich Jews. On January 31, 1942, Hofmann noted that "At present a complete liquidation of the Jews is not possible due to the frost, because the ground is too frozen to dig pits which would then be available as mass graves for the Jews." Hofmann promised, however, that "in the spring large-scale executions would be initiated again."[64] These killings are discussed later in this chapter.
In Ukraine, killings continued through the winter of 1941-42, as shown by the gassing of Jews with Lorpicrin to clear the Zlatopol ghetto in Nikolayev on the orders of the county commissar.[65] Gas vans were used in Simferopol, as confirmed in the trial of Drexel and Kehrer of EK 12a and 12b.[66]German court cases against German officers who overstepped their duties or used unauthorized killing methods show that the purpose of the Security Police was defined as the extermination of Jews. A group of documents[67] describes the massacre of Jewish prisoners in Poltava military prison on March 25, 1942. SS-Obersturmführer Schulte (who at the time was a liaison officer between the 6th army high command and Sonderkommando 4a) explained that he had to execute several prisoners, but didn't have an authority for special treatment (Sonderbehandlung) of “NKVD commissars, Communist elements and Jews”, and therefore he requested Unteroffizier Hans Röttgermann[68] to perform the special treatment.[69] According to Schulte some space in the frozen pits was available, so Röttgermann could proceed.
In his May 31, 1942 report[70] Röttgermann explained that on March 25 he was asked by Gefreiter der Feldgendarmerie Konrad Neese, to whom Röttgermann had previously given the prisoners to perform some tasks, to arrive in the prison yard, since the Jews refused to work and were threatening Neese. Röttgermann ordered the Jews to work, and when they refused he used a rubber stick. Röttgermann alleged that because of that two Jewish “commissars” threatened him with wooden logs. He shot them and other 6 Jews, as allegedly they asked him to shoot them too, which he proceeded to do. Röttgermann writes that he has in possession Schulte's order for execution of these Jews on that same date. In order to simplify things, Röttgermann shot two Jewish women right in the yard.
Röttgermann was arrested on April 3, 1942 and accused of neglecting official orders and undermining the authority of the Germans in Ukraine. The verdict of the court-martial (Feldkriegsgericht) after the proceedings which took place on April 17, 1942 under Kriegsgerichtsrat Dietzel (from Poltava Kommandantur), stated, in part:
Therefore shootings of Jews, which lately have been a task of SD, are acts of the state [Akte des Staates], ordered for extermination of these enemies in a certain manner [der die Austilgung dieser Feinde in einer bestimmten Art und Weise anordnet] and performed in this manner. In order to implement these measures, which the state deems to be necessary, special organs are used. These organs are subject to strict guidelines.
[...]Thereby it is guaranteed that the acts of the state are implemented within the limits set by the state. The military implements altogether different tasks. It is not a permissible interpretation that duties of specific military men are defined by their belonging to SS and that under any circumstances they implement the tasks of SS or SD.[...]The accused shall be punished for lack of discipline.By shooting 10 Jews in the military prison he failed to follow the order of his direct military commander lieutenant Lutzke.  Due to this lack of discipline the accused caused severe harm. This means severe undermining of the German military and reputation of Germans in Ukraine in general.When weighing any exculpatory circumstances it should be taken into account that liquidation of Jews [die Beseitigung der Juden] should not harm the Germans' authority since for these measures there are guidelines given by the state. This especially pertains to the SD activities, since they implement these measures within these guidelines.[71]
This court case therefore followed a similar pattern to that against Täubner of the Waffen-SS 1.SS-Inf.Brig. (mot), who was investigated by an SS court in 1942 for excessively cruel acts during the killing of at least 319 Jews in Novohrad-Volynsky (Zhitomir oblast), 191 Jews in Sholokhovo (Dnepr. oblast), 459 in Aleksandriia (Kirovograd oblast). The court reached the following verdict:
The accused shall not be punished because of the actions against the Jews as such. The Jews have to be exterminated and none of the Jews that were killed is any great loss. Although the accused should have recognized that the extermination of the Jews was the duty of Kommandos which were set up especially for this purpose, he should be excused for considering himself to have the authority to take part in the extermination of Jewry himself. Real hatred of the Jews was the driving motivation for the accused. In the process he let himself be drawn into committing cruel actions in Alexandriya which are unworthy of a German man and an SS-officer. These excesses cannot be justified, either, as the accused would like to, as retaliation for the pain that the Jews have caused the German people. It is not the German way to apply Bolshevik methods during the necessary extermination of the worst enemy of our people. In so doing the conduct of the accused gives rise to considerable concern. The accused allowed his men to act with such vicious brutality that they conducted themselves under his command like a savage horde...[72]
Himmler had advised the tribunal in instructions issued on his behalf by Bender on October 26, 1942 that “Execution for purely political motives shall result in no punishment, unless this is necessary for maintaining discipline and order.”[73] Himmler thus saw the murder of Jews as political killing justified by the policy of the state, namely the Final Solution.
MGK’s three main responses to the mass shootings in the USSR are to ignore the mass of evidence, selectively quote a small number of documents in a misleading manner, and lie about the work of legitimate historians. For example, in a book attacking Raul Hilberg, Graf uses quotes by Hilberg that refer to the personnel composition of the Einsatzgruppen, whilst misrepresenting the instances where Hilberg discusses killings by other agencies and emphasizes the Einsatzgruppen's utilization of large numbers of Order Police and native auxiliaries.[74] This misrepresentation is in part due to Mattogno and Graf’s massive ignorance of the huge literature on the subject of police battalions, the origins of which stretch back to Reitlinger in 1953[75]; but in many cases, it can be shown to be deliberate, because Graf refers to specific killings that Hilberg discusses in inter-agency terms. Graf wants the reader to believe that Hilberg is claiming these were exclusively Einsatzgruppen killings, when Hilberg's text actually says the opposite. Graf sets up his strawman as follows
The claimed numbers of victims of the Einsatzgruppen are impossibly large. The largest of the four, Einsatzgruppe A, had 990 members. If we subtract from this the 172 vehicle drivers, 3 women employees, 51 interpreters, 3 teletypewriter operators and 8 radio operators, there are about 750 combatants left to use for the mass killings (p. 303; DEJ, p. 289). Up to 15th October 1941, Einsatzgruppe A supposedly killed 125,000 Jews (p. 309; DEJ, p. 289). Considering the fact that the mass murders first began in August (p. 307; DEJ, na), the overwhelming majority of the 125,000 victims, let us say 120,000, must have been killed in a period of ten weeks.[76]
Graf's decision to focus on Einsatzgruppe A is a tactical error on his part, because even a reader with minimal Holocaust knowledge will be aware that this unit operated in Lithuania[77], Latvia[78] and Estonia[79] with the largest proportion of native collaborators. Moreover, Graf himself discusses the involvement of native Baltic citizens in pogroms:
In addition, thousands of Jews were killed in pogroms initiated by the native populations following the German invasion. After they had been freed from the Bolshevist yoke, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and others took revenge on Jews because the Red terror machinery had been led mainly by Jews, and this retribution unfortunately fell also on Jews who had nothing to do with the Communist crimes.[80]
Graf is thus skewered by his contradictory aims. He wishes to show that the natives hated Jews, but, in order to maintain his Einsatzgruppen strawman, he also needs to claim that all killings must have been done by Einsatzgruppe A acting alone. Hilberg's actual text is clear that Einsatzgruppe A needed local assistance. Summarizing the actions of EK 2 in September 1941, documented by Jäger’s report, Hilberg notes that EK 2 was “augmented by a Latvian Sonderkommando of more than one hundred men (eventually two companies of three platoons each) under a Latvian with legal training and police experience, Viktor Arajs.” Graf quote-mines the "21 men" in Einsatzkommando 2 (Einsatzgruppe A) and adds a ludicrous exclamation mark to express his personal incredulity, but omits the fact that this action was led by the HSSPF, not the Einsatzgruppe. For Kiev, Hilberg notes that “two detachments of Order Police helped Einsatzkommando 4a in the Kiev massacre.” For Kamenets-Podolsky, Hilberg emphasizes that HSSPF Jeckeln’s “own staff company (Stabskompanie) did the shooting.”[81]

Graf has therefore lifted death figures from Hilberg without acknowledging that some of the killings were instigated by the Higher SS and Police Leaders and/or the Wehrmacht, and were sometimes carried out by forces that were often primarily non-Einsatzgruppen personnel. The size of these non-Einsatzgruppen personnel exposes even further the deep dishonesty of Graf’s position. During the summer of 1941, there were 21 Order Police battalions operating in the USSR.[82] By 1942, when the Order Police became stationery, their combined total would be just under 15,000 men. The HSSPF, from July 1941, had at their disposal the First SS Brigade and the SS Cavalry Brigade, which were assigned respectively to the areas of HSSPF Jeckeln (Russia South) and HSSPF Bach-Zelewski (Russia Center). The total manpower of these units was between 10,000 and 11,000 men.[83] The men assigned to Jeckeln killed more Jews in Ukraine in 1941 than did Einsatzgruppe C and D combined.[84]

Moreover, by far the largest numerical collections of killers were the non-German auxiliaries, known as Schutzmannschaft.[85] On July 1, 1942, these forces totaled 165,128 men.[86] It is therefore beyond dispute that the Nazis had enough men available to exterminate the Jews of the USSR. Graf is either ignorant or dishonest on this issue.

Finally, it should be noted that Baltic and Ukrainian auxiliaries of the type ignored by Graf were later used in Aktion Reinhard to liquidate ghettos by deportation to the death camps or shooting on site. For example, Erich Kapke, who commanded a ghetto-clearing unit in the Radom district in the autumn of 1942, told investigators in 1968 that the unit had Ukrainian and Baltic manpower.

Editorial Note: This section was updated by Jonathan Harrison in April 2018 to incorporate sources we have acquired since 2011, add hyperlinks to sources available online and to correct minor errors in the original, which remains available in the pdf of the First Edition of the White Paper. The arguments and criticisms presented in 2011 have not been changed.
[10] Aktennotiz über Ergebnis der heutigen. Besprechung mit den Staatssekretären über Barbarossa, 2.5.41, 2718-PS, IMT XXXI, pp.84-85; cf. Alex J. Kay, 'Germany's Staatssekretäre, Mass Starvation and the Meeting of 2 May 1941', Journal of Contemporary History, 41/4, October 2006, pp.685-700.
[11] Rosenberg, Allgemeine Instruktion für alle Reichskommissare in den besetzten Ostgebieten, 8.5.41, 1030-PS, IMT XXVI, pp.576-80.
[12] Wirtschaftspolitische Richtlinien für die Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost vom 23.5.1941, erarbeitet von der Gruppe Landwirtschaft, 23.5.41, EC-126, IMT XXXVI, pp.135-57.
[13] Eugen Freiherr von Engelhardt, Ernährung- und Landwirtschaft, p.11, NARA T84/225/1595914. Document was first discussed in Bernhard Chiari, ‘Deutsche Zivilverwaltung in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Die lokale Perspektive der Besatzungsgeschichte’, Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 52, 1993 and most extensively in Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde. Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in Weißrußland 1941 bis 1942. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999, pp.57-8.
[14] Äußerungen des Fuehrers zu Botschafter Abetz, 16.9.41, ADAP, D, 13/2. Goettingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1970, pp.423-25. Translation in Documents on German Foreign Policy, D, XIII, No. 327, pp.518-520, here p.520.
[15] Ciano, Conversation between Count Ciano and the Fuehrer, Field-Marshal Goering, and the Reich Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, Berlin, 24-27.11.41. Ciano's Diplomatic Papers: being a record of nearly 200 conversations held during the years 1936-42 with Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Goering, Ribbentrop, Chamberlain, Eden, Sumner Welles, Schuschnigg, Lord Perth, François-Poncet, and many other world diplomatic and political figures, together with important memoranda, letters, telegrams, etc. Edited by Malcolm Muggeridge. Tr. by Stuart Hood. London, 1948, pp.464-465 and 402-403.
[16] Rosenberg an Keitel. Betr.:Kriegsgefangene, 28.2.42. USSR-353, 081-PS, B Arch B162/22068, pp.6-13, here 7-9; transcription IMT XXV, pp.156-161, here 157-159. English translation NCA, III, pp.126-130, here 127-128..
[17] Aktennotiz für Himmler über eine Unterredung Heydrichs mit Göring am 26.3.1941 in Peter Klein, ed. Die Einsatzgruppen in der besetzten Sowjetunion 1941/42. Die Taetigskeits-und Lageberichte des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. Berlin, 1997, pp.367-368, here p.368. English translation in Alex J. Kay, The Making of an SS Killer: The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905-1990. Cambridge, 2016, p.39
[18] Heydrich an Jeckeln, von dem Bach-Zelewski, Prützmann, and Korsemann, 2.7.41, facsimile at YVA O.53/1, pp. 6-10; cf. Peter Klein, ed. Die Einsatzgruppen,  pp.323-328. Translation in Yitzhak Arad, Yisrael Gutman, Abraham Margaliot (Eds.), Documents on the Holocaust, Selected Sources on the Destruction of  the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Soviet Union, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 1981, Document no. 171, p. 377. Einsatzbefehl Nr. 8, 17.7.41, NO-3414, YVA O.18/104; NMT vol. X, pp.5-11, here p.10.; cf. Andreas Hillgruber, "War in the East and the Extermination of the Jews," Yad Vashem Studies, 18 (1987), p.115. 
[19] Jean Ancel, 'The Jassy Syndrome', Romanian Jewish Studies, I/I, Spring 1987, p.39; Dennis Deletant, Hitler's Forgotten Ally: Ion Antonescu and His Regime, Romania 1940–1944, pp.143-144.
[20]Kommandosonderbefehl. Richtlinien für die Durchkämmung und Durchstreifung von Sumpfgebieten durch Reitereinheiten, 28.7.41, BArch B162/827, pp. 421-424; Unsere Ehre heisst Treue. Kriegstagebuch des Kommandostabes Reichsführer SS. Tätigkeitsberichte der 1 und 2. SS-Infanterie-Brigade, der 1. SS-Kavallerie-Brigade und von Sonderkommandos der SS, Vienna, 1984, pp. 219-220. Henning Herbert Pieper, 'The SS Cavalry Brigade and its operations in the Soviet Union, 1941-1942', PhD dissertation, University of Sheffield, June 2012, pp.93-94, citing Radio message, KavRgt. 2 an Reitende Abteilung, 1 August, 1941 (10 a.m.), BArchF, RS 3-8/36; Abteilungsbefehl Nr. 28 (Fernschreiben) des Befehlshabers der Reitenden Abteilung des SS-Kavallerieregiments 1, gez. Lombard, vom 1. 8. 1941, 18.03 Uhr (Abschrift), VEJ 7, pp. 227-228 (Dok. 51).
[21] Magill, Bericht über Einsatz Pripjet-Sümpfe, 12.8.41, Unsere Ehre heißt Treue, p. 230.
[22] SS-Kav-Brigade 1 an den HSSPF Mitte, Abschlussmeldung, 13.8.41, Unsere Ehre heißt Treue, p.224Kommandostab RF-SS, Abt Ia, Betrifft: Bericht des Kdo.Stabes RF-SS über die Tätigkeit für die Zeit vom 28.7. bis 3.8.1941 einschl., YVA O.53.86, p.74.
[23] Ereignismeldung [Operational Situation Report, hereafter EM] 34, 26.7.41, p.14, YVA O.51/163.34; for Vilejka, Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 2 der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR (Berichtszeit v. 29.7.–14.8.1941), in Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen, p.136; Kay, The Making of an SS Killer, pp. 57-62.
[24]  Vermerk über die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94.
[25] AOK 6 Verhalten der Truppe im Ostraum, 10.10.41, NOKW-663, YVA P.13/136 [,], p.25, forwarded by von Runstedt, 12.10.41, NOKW-309. Facsimile and English translation in John Mendelsohn (ed). The Einsatzgruppen or Murder Commandos. New York, 1982, pp.6-12, here p.11; facsimile reproduced on-line with German text at; also published in Gerd R. Ueberschär and Wolfram Wette (eds), “Unternehmen Barbarossa”. Der deutsche Überfall auf die Sowjetunion. Frankfurt am Main, 1991, p.285ff. On 'total solutions' in German military culture, see Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction. Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany. London, 2005. For an attempt by two deniers to whitewash the reprisal policy, falsely claiming that “most of the German reactions were totally covered by international law”, see ‘Dipl.-Chem.’ Germar Rudolf and Sibylle Schröder, ‘Partisan War and Reprisal Killings’, The Revisionist 1/3, 2003, pp.321-330: For overviews of Wehrmacht-SS cooperation, see Johannes Hürter, Hitlers Heerführer. Die deutschen Oberbefehlshaber im Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion 1941/42. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2006, pp.509-599; Dieter Pohl, Die Herrschaft der Wehrmacht: Deutsche Militärbesatzung und einheimische Bevölkerung in der Sowjetunion 1941-1944. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2008, pp.243-282.
[26] EM 19, 11.7.41, p.3, B Arch B 162/433, p.147; Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 3 der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR (Berichtszeit v. 15.8.–31.8.1941), NO-2653, YVA M.9/356, p.7, and in Peter Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen, p.158.
[27] EM 21, 13.7.41, p.9, YVA O.51/163.21, p.9, copy at B Arch B 162/434, p.10; EM 40, 3.8.41, p16, YVA O.51/163.40 ; EM 48, 10.8.41, p.4, YVA O.51/163.48; Jeffrey C. Rutherford, 'Soldiers into Nazis?: the German infantry's war in northwest Russia, 1941-1944', PhD Thesis, University of Texas, 2007, on-line, p.363, citing Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb (ed. Georg Meyer), Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb : Tagebuchaufzeichnungen und Lagebeurteilungen aus zwei Weltkriegen. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1976, p.288; Kay, The Making of an SS Killer, p.71; Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto In Flames. The Struggle and Destruction of the Jews in Vilna in the Holocaust. Brooklyn, 1982, pp.64-79.
[28] Betrifft: Entwurf über die Aufstellung vorläufiger Richlinien für die Behandlung der Juden im Gebiet des Reichskommissariates Ostland, 6.8.41, VEJ 7, pp. 511-514 (Dok. 181); Gesamtaufstellung der im Bereich des E.K. 3 bis zum 1.Dez.1941 durchgeführten Exekutionen [heareafter Jäger report], 1.12.41, YVA O.53/1, pp. 214-215. 
[29] Vermerk des Geb.-Komm Gewecke, 3.9.41, YVA O.53/139; Gewecke an Lohse, 11.9.41, YVA O.53/132, pp. 23-26; cf. Arad, Ghetto In Flames, pp.165-66..
[30] Bericht des Gebietskommissars Libau, gez. Alnor, an den Generalkommissar Lettland, Drechsler, 11.10.1941, VEJ 7, pp.556-57 (Dok. 200), translation provided by Roberto Muehlenkamp at:
[31] Leibbrandt an Lohse, 31.10.41 and Lohse an Rosenberg, 15.11.41, betr: Judenexekutionen, YVA O.53/132, pp. 47-50; 3663-PS, IMT XXXII, pp.435-436.
[32] Lohse an Rosenberg, 2.12.41, 3664-PS, YVA O.18/203. Translation accessed at:
[33] Bericht Prof. Seraphim mit Anschreiben der Rüstungsinspektion Ukraine, 2.12.41, 3257-PS, YVA O.18/250 and T/339. IMT vol. XXXII, 71-75, here p.74; translation in NCA V, pp.994-997, here pp.995-996.
[34] Braeutigam an Lohse, 18.12.41, betr: Judenfrage, 3666-PS, IMT XXXII, p.437.
[35] EM 86, 17.9.41.
[36] Rasch previously ran the Soldau camp in East Prussia, which is mainly notable for the fact that SK Lange operated a gas van to kill mental patients at the site; see Rediess to Wolf, 7.11.1940, NO-2909, discussed in Hans Metzner's series on Sonderkommando Lange at:
[37] EM 133, 14.11.41, NO-2825, T/331.
[38] Bericht des HSSPF beim Befehlshaber des rückwärtigen Heeresgebiets Süd, gez. Jeckeln, an das AOK 6, von Reichenau, 1. 8. 1941, NOKW-1165, NMT vol. X, pp. 1251-1252; VEJ 7 pp.223-225 (Dok. 49)Bericht des 1. Generalstabsoffiziers der 295. Inf.Div., gez. Groscurth, 2 Divisionsgefechtsstand, an den Oberbefehlshaber der 6. Armee, von Reichenau, vom 21.8.1941, VEJ 7 pp.253-257 (Dok.62), here p.257.
[39] Vermerk über die im OKH stattgefundene Besprechung wegen Übernahme eines Teils der Ukraine in Zivilverwaltung am 27.8.1941 in Berlin, 197-PS; Fernschreiben des HSSPF Russland-Süd (SQM Nr. 2), gez. Jeckeln, an den RFSS, Kdo.-Stab RFSS (Eing. 31. 8. 1941), CdO, CdS, 30. 8. 1941, Military Historical Archive Prague, KDOS RF SS, YVA M.36/22.2; also in VEJ 7, pp. 270-271 (Dok. 70); EM 80, 11.9.41, NO-3154, T/322cf. Klaus-Michel Mallmann, ‘Der qualitative Sprung im Vernichtungsprozess. Das Massaker von Kamenez-Podolsk Ende August 1941’, Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 10, 2001, pp.237-64; New York Times, 26.10.41, German translation in VEJ 7, pp.328-329 (Dok.101); Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly, Das letzte Kapitel. Der Mord an den ungarischen Juden. Stuttgart, 2002; George Eisen, Tamás Stark, ‘The 1941 Galician Deportation and the Kamenets-Podolsk Massacre: A Prologue to the Hungarian Holocaust’, HGS 27/2, 2013, pp.207-241; Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Volker Riess, Wolfram Pyta, eds., Deutscher Osten 1939-1945. Die Weltanschauungskrieg in Photos und Texten, Darmstadt, 2003, p. 87; Yad Vashem, The Untold Stories at the link:
[40] EM 94, NO-3146, 25.9.41, T/326, NMT vol. X, pp.1220-1224, here p.1223.
[41] EM 106, 7.10.41, T/327, NO-3140, NMT IV, pp.146-150, here p.148 and p.150. Facsimile and staff evidence analysis in John Mendelsohn (ed) The Einsatzgruppen or Murder Commandos. New York, 1982, pp.51-61, here p.56 and p.61. Much other documentation on the Kiev massacre has been collated by Hans Metzner at
[42] EM 94, NO-3146, 25.9.41, NMT vol. X, pp.1220-1224, here p.1223.
[43] Roesler, IR 529, an WK IX, USSR-293, from Prestupnye tseli-Prestupnye sredstva. Dokumenty ob okkupatsionnoy politike fashistskoy Germanii na territorii SSSR, 1941-1944 ("Criminal Aims Criminal Means Documents on Occupational Policy of Fascist Germany in the Territory of the USSR, 1941-1944"), Moscow, 1968, pp. 110-111, in Arad et al , Documents of the Holocaust, pp.430-432 (Doc. 195),; For Berdichev and Vinnitsa oblasts see Michaela Christ, Die Dynamik des Tötens: Die Ermordung der Juden in Berditschew. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2011; V.Iu Vasil’ev, P.Iu Podkur, S.D. Gal’chak, D. Beyrau and A. Weiner (eds), Zhizhn’ v okkupatskii. Vinnitskaia oblast’ 1941-1944gg. Moscow: Rosspen, 2010. For Switzerland, Einvernahme-Protokoll des deutschen Deserteurs Unteroffizier xyz, 28.2.42, published in Diplomatische Dokumente der Schweiz, Bd. 14, Berne, 1997 (doc nr. 296), VEJ 7, pp.486-7 (Dok.170).
[44] YVA O.53/127, p.75, originally cited in Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. London, 1992, p.15; EM 67, 29.8.41, NO-2987, T/318. The shooting of the 615 Jews is in Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 3 der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR (Berichtszeit v. 15.8.–31.8.1941), NO-2653, YVA M.9/356, p.8, T/319 and in Peter Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen, p.159.
[45] YVA O.53/127, p.76.
[46] EM 73, 4.9.41, NO-2844, T/321. Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 4 der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR (Berichtszeit v. 1.9.-15.9.1941), NO-2654, YVA M.9/357, p.10, and in Peter Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen, p.184.
[47] EM 92, 23.9.41, NO-3143, T/325; Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 5 der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR (Berichtszeit v. 15.9.–30.9.1941), NO-2655, YVA O.53/3, pp.22-23, and in Peter Klein, ed., Die Einsatzgruppen, pp.205-206.
[48] Kriegstagebuch des Polizeibataillons 322, Eintrage vom 2. und 3.10.41, YVA O.53/127, p.111.The figure is actually typed as 2008 on this page, but the correct figure of 2,208 was recorded on p.109 when the Jews were arrested, although 65 Jews were immediately shot for attempting to escape. See also VEJ 7, pp.310-11 (Dok. 93).
[49] EM 133, 19.10.41, NO-2825, T/331.
[50] Jürgen Förster, ‘The Wehrmacht and the War of Extermination against the Soviet Union,’ Yad Vashem Studies 14, 1981, pp.7-33, citing Kommandant in Weissruthenien, Situation Report of February 1-15, 1942, BA-MA WK VII/527 RH 53 – 7/v. 206 RH 26-707/v. 1; cf. Hannes Heer, ‘Gustav Freiherr von Mauchenheim, gennant Bechtolsheim – ein Wehrmachtsgeneral als Organisator des Holocaust’ in Klaus-Michel Mallmann und Gerhard Paul (hg), Karrieren der Gewalt. Nationalsozialistische Täterbiographien, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2004, pp.33-46; Browning, Origins, p.289; Peter Lieb, ‘Täter aus Überzeugung? Oberst Carl von Andrian und die Judenmorde der 707. Infanteriedivision 1941/42. Der Tagebuch eines Regimentskommandeurs: Ein neuer Zugang zu einer berüchtigten Wehrmachtdivision’, VfZ 50, 2002; Hannes Heer, Tote Zonen. Die Wehrmacht an der Ostfront. Hamburg, 1999; Hannes Heer, ‘Killing Fields: the Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belorussia, 1941-42’, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 11/1, 1997) pp.79-101.
[51] Kommandant in Weissruthenien Ia, Befehl Nr. 24, 24.11.41, gez. v. Bechtolsheim, NARB 378-1-698, p.32; cf. Browning, Origins, p.289.
[52] Kommandant in Belorussia, 8.10.41 and 16.10.41, NARB 378-1-698; cf. Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 612-13. For Minsk, see EM 92, 23.9.41.
[53] Gebietskommissar Sluzk an Kube, 30.10.41, gez. Carl, 1104-PS, T/340, IMT XXVII, pp.4-8.
[54] EM 95, 20.9.41, T/324; EM 101, 2.10.41. Facsimile and staff evidence analysis in John Mendelsohn (ed). The Einsatzgruppen or Murder Commandos. New York, 1982, pp.44-48, here p.47. Shootings in Nokolayev and Kherson were already predicted and reported as being in progress in EM 89, 20.9.41, T/324.
[55] Manstein-Bericht, 4064-PS, YVA P.13/136, pp.52-55, here p.53; IMT XXXIV, pp.129-132, here p.130; translation in the the trial of German Army Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, British Military Court, Hamburg [hereafter Manstein], 27.8.49, YVA TR.4/5, pp.3-5, here p.4; cf. Feferman, pp.112-114.
[56] EM 150, 2.1.42, NOKW-1727, p.20, BArch B 162/442, p.221. See also EM 145, 12.12.41, NO-2828, T/335.
[57] NOKW-1651, 27.11.41, BArch B 162/657, p.141, translation in Manstein, 5.9.49, TR.4/10, pp.58-59, and 8.9.49, TR.4/13, p.50.
[58] Ortskommandantur Bachtschissaray, 14.12.41, BArch B 162/657, p.166; another copy, YVA M.29.FR/41 online at Untold Stories; testimony of Paul Zapp, Munich, 8.1.68 at same link.
[59] OK I (V)/277 to Korueck 553, NOKW 1727, 21.12.41, BArch B 162/657, p.166; English translation at NMT, XI, p.311 and Manstein TR.4/14, p.20.
[60] Manstein, 7.9.49, TR.4/12, pp.64-69. On the role of Feldgendarmerie in Simferopol, see Feferman, pp.133-139, especially p.136.
[61] Alexander Kruglov, ‘Jewish Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944’, in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds), The Shoah in Ukraine. History, Testimony, Memorialization. Bloomington, 2008, pp.278-79.
[62] Beauftragter des RMO beim Befehlshaber rückwärtiges Heeresgebiet Mitte. Bericht Nr. 6, 10.2.42, NARA T454/102/595.
[63] Stahlecker-Bericht, Einsatzgruppe A, n.d., 2273-PS, IMT XXX, pp.72-80, English translation NCA IV, pp.944-949, here pp.948-949; Janetzke-Rosenberg, 5.1.42, YVA O.18/167.1; EM 155, 14.1.42, p.8, NO-3279, T/337.
[64] Protokoll über den Hergang der Hauptabteilungsleiter- und Abteilungsleiterbesprechung am 29.1.42, NARB 370-1-53, p.165.
[65] BdO Ukraine (gez. Müller-Brunkhorst), ca. March 1942 (title page missing); TsADAVOV, R-3676-4-317, p.71 (the same page mentions smaller shooting action as well as a 'registration' of 500 Jews in another rayon); Protokol doprosa, Ustin Klepa, 29.8.1944, and Mikhail Skliarenko, 30.8.1944, GARF 7021-66-123, pp.55, 57; facsimiled and extracts translated at Yad Vashem Untold Stories, ... te_id=1128. The summary report, not presented on the Yad Vashem Untold Stories site, obfuscated the nationality of the victims: Akt m. Zlatopol', 1944 goda [no month or day given], GARF 7021-66-123, p.47.
[66] JuNSV Bd. XL, Nr. 816 StA Muenchen I, Az.119c Ks 6 a-b/70, Bl.33-35.
[67] Discovered by Sergey Romanov.
[68] Hans Röttgermann, 25.11.1900, Wesel (Kreis Düsseldorf) son of Johann Röttgermann and Maria (nee Bielefeld); plasterer; on 27.04.1922 married Helene Echte with whom had at least 4 children; took part in WWI as a volunteer;  joined NSDAP in 1932;  SS since 1932; in 1933 served in Papenburg concentration camp; Unteroffizier since 01.11.1941. Zugführer in SS-Sturm 8/19 [9/18?].
[69] Schulte to Thomas, 24.7.42, RGASPI 17-125-250, l. 13.
[70] RGASPI 17-125-250, l. 14.
[71] RGASPI 17-125-250, ll. 16-20.
[72] Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess (eds), The Good Old Days, New York: Konecky & Konecky, 1988, pp.196-207; cf. JuNSV Bd. XLV, Nr. 877. The killing action was initiated by Jeckeln, Einsatzbefehl für Säuberungsaktion in den Wäldern südlich der Strasse Rowne-Zwiahel, 25.7.41, YVA O.53/131, pp.2-3. The deaths were included in the total of around 800 reported in Tätigkeitsbericht, 27.7-30.7.41 in Unsere Ehre heißt Treue, pp. 105-106, and in the 1,658 reported in Bericht des HSSPF beim Befehlshaber des rückwärtigen Heeresgebiets Süd gez. Jeckeln, an das AOK 6 von Reichenau, vom 1.8.1941, VEJ 7, pp.223-225 (Dok.49).
[73] Beurteilung von Judenerscheissungen ohne Befehl und Befugnis, 26.10.42, NO-1744; Cf. Yehoshua Robert Büchler. ‘"Unworthy Behavior": The Case of SS Officer Max Täubner,’ HGS 17/3, 2003, pp.409-429.
[74] Graf, Giant, 2001.
[75] Reitlinger, The Final Solution; Hans-Joachim Neufeldt, Jürgen Huck, Georg Tessin, Zur Geschichte des Ordungspolizeis 1936-1945. Koblenz, 1957; Andrej Angrick, Martina Vogt et al, ‘ ‘Da hätte man schon ein Tagebuch führen müssen’. Das Polizeibataillon 322 und die Judenmorde im Bereich der Heeresgruppe Mitte während des Sommers und Herbstes 1941’ in Helga Grabitz et al (eds), Die Normalität des Verbrechens. Festschrift für Wolfgang Scheffler. Berlin, 1994; Jürgen Matthäus, ‘What about the ‘Ordinary Men’? The German Order Police and the Holocaust in the Occupied Soviet Union’, HGS 11, 1996, pp.134-150; Klaus-Michel Mallmann, ‘Vom Fussvolk der ‘Endlösung’. Ordnungspolizei, Ostkrieg und Judenmord’, Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte  XXVI, 1997; Edward B. Westermann, Hitler’s Police Battalions. Enforcing Racial War in the East. Kansas, 2005; Stefan Klemp, ‘Nicht ermittelt’. Polizeibataillone und die Nachkriegsjustiz – Ein Handbuch. Essen, 2005; Wolfgang Curilla, Die deutsche Ordnungspolizei und der Holocaust im Baltikum und in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Paderborn, 2006; Erich Haberer, ‘The German police and genocide in Belorussia, 1941-1944: Part I: Police Deployment and Nazi genocidal directives. Part II: The ‘second sweep’: Gendarmerie killings of Jews and Gypsies on January 29, 1942. Part III: methods of genocide and the motives of German police compliance’, Journal of Genocide Research 3/1, pp.13-29, 3/2, pp.207-218, 3/3, pp.391-403.
[76] Graf, Giant, p.40.
[77] This is clearly spelt out in the Jäger report of EK 3, 1.12.41, RGVA 500-1-25, and in the secondary literature, cf. Dieckmann, ‘The War and the Killing of the Lithuanian Jews’, pp.240-75; Petras Stankeras, Litovskie politseiskie batal'ony 1941-1945gg. Moscow: Veche, 2009; also in at least one well-known diary: Kazimierz Sakowicz, Ponary Diary, 1941-1943. A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.
[78] Margers Vestermanis, ‘Der lettische Anteil an der "Endloesung". Versuch einer Antwort’, in Uwe Backes, Eckhard Jesse, Rainer Zitelmann (eds), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit. Impulse zur Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus. Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: Propylaen, 1990; Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944. The Missing Centre. Washington, DC, 1996; Katrin Reichelt, Lettland unter deutscher Besatzung 1941-1944. Der lettische Anteil am Holocaust. Berlin: Metropol, 2011; 'Unichtozhit' kak mozhno bol'she..' Latviiskie kollaboratsionistskie formirovaniia na territorii Belorussii, 1942-1944 gg. Sbornik dokumentov. Moscow: Fond 'Istoricheskii pamiat', 2009.
[79] Ruth Bettina Birn, Die Sicherheitspolizei in Estland 1941–1944. Eine Studie zur Kollaboration im Osten, Paderborn: Schönigh, 2006; English-language summary in ‘Collaboration with Nazi Germany in Eastern Europe: The Case of the Estonian Security Police’, Contemporary European History, 10/2, July 2001, pp.181-198; Anton Weiss-Wendt, Murder Without Hatred: Estonians and the Holocaust. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009.
[80] Graf, Giant, p.36.
[81] Raul Hilberg, The Destruction Of The European Jews. Third Edition, Vol. 2. Yale Univ. Press 2003, p.299 n.16 and p.303.
[82] George Tessin, Norbert Kannapin, and Bruen Meyer, Waffen-SS und Ordnungspolizei in Kriegseinsatz. Osnabrueck. Biblio Verlag, 2000, pp.629-38.
[83] Yehoshua Robert Büchler, ‘Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS. Himmler's Personal Murder Brigades in 1941’, HGS I/1, 1986, pp.11-25; Martin Cüppers, Wegbereiter der Shoah. Die Waffen-SS, der Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS und die Judenvernichtung 1939-1945. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2005.
[84] Dieter Pohl, ‘The Murder of Ukraine’s Jews under German Military Administration and in the Reich Commissariat Ukraine’, in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds) The Shoah in Ukraine. Bloomington, 2008, p.40.
[85] Himmler ordered the formation of the Schutzmannschaften on 25 July 1941, legitimising existing practices by some of the Einsatzgruppen of employing police auxiliaries, as the order explicitly acknowledged. Der Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern O.-Kdo. I. g. Nr. 24/41 (g.), 25.7.1941, gez. H. Himmler, RGVA 1323-1-50, pp.10-10R. Himmler’s planning for these units during his visit to Riga was discussed in EM 48, 10.8.41, which notes their availability for use outside their own region. The literature on them includes Richard Breitman, ‘Himmler’s Police Auxiliaries in the Occupied Soviet Territories’, Simon Wiesenthal Center 7, 1997; Franz Golczewski, ‘Organe der deutschen Besatzungsmacht: die ukrainischen Schutzmannschaften’ in Wolfgang Benz, Johannes Houwink ten Cate and Gerhard Otto (eds), Die Bürokratie der Okkupation: Strukturen der Herrschaft und Verwaltung im besetzten Europa. Berlin, 1998; Martin C. Dean, ‘The German Gendarmerie, the Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft and the ‘Second Wave’ of Jewish Killings in Occupied Ukraine: German Policing at the Local Level in the Zhitomir Region, 1941-1944’, German History 2/14, 1996; Martin C. Dean, Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-1944. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000; D.A. Zhukov and I.I. Kovtun, Russkaia politsiia, Moscow: Veche, 2010; Leonid Rein, The Kings and the Pawns: Collaboration in Byelorussia During World War II. Oxford: Berghahn, 2011
[86] Staerkenachweisung der Schutzmannschaft, Orpo Hauptamt, Berlin, 1.7.42, BA R 19/266, pp.5-11.
[87] Christopher R. Browning, Remembering Survival. Inside A Nazi Slave Labor Camp. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010, p.89.


  1. Could someone tell me what the 'EM' reference means. It has been used in the above source notes numbers 19-21, 29-30 and in others too. I am guessing it has something to do with Einsatzgruppen, but I would just like clarification. Many Thanks.

  2. Could someone tell me what the reference 'EM' means. It has been used in the source notes above and appears in numbers 19-21 plus others.
    I guess it has something to do with Einsatzgruppen but I would just like clarification.
    Many Thanks

  3. Just checking whether you received my earlier query. This 'moderation' procedure is also confusing me - we get a picture of a number and then a printed number that we have to key in to prove we are not 'robots', but what number do I key in? one or the other or both?

  4. Sorry if you have now received this message 3 times, but i am confused over this moderation procedure when making comments.

    My original query was about a reference used in the source notes. The reference is 'EM' and then there's usually a date after it. Can you tell me what it means please?
    Many Thanks

  5. "EM" stands for "Ereignismeldung". The reports sent by the Einsatzgruppen killing squads from the occupied Soviet territories were called "Ereignismeldung UdSSR", which means "Event Report USSR".

  6. Ignore all my previous comments, since after reading your footnotes, I have discovered you cite two witnesses that claim to have seen these gassings in the ghetto. Very interesting indeed. I am amazed at the wealth of information and details I am gaining by reading your blog and the revisionist's posts at Codoh.

  7. Okay, I have now formed a comprehensive picture in my mind about these alleged gassings that took place in the ghetto. Two witnesses claimed that the German and their Ukrainian gassed Jews in a basement on two separate occasions. Now the question arises is how was it that they determine the specific name of the gas they used, since in the testimonies it is not specified what gas they used. This reminds me a lot for some reason the story about the Austrians and Bulgarians gassing Serbs in a church during WW1, which was later claimed to be false. Of course it doesn't prove that these two witnesses made up their testimonies, but it nonetheless raises interesting questions.

  8. Here is the story of the Bulgarians and Austrians gassing Serbs in a church.
    Notice how it claims that there are published testimonies by Italian prisoners about this fantasy Bulgarian and Austrian atrocity. Another thing that should stick out at you is how it emphasizes that there is "reliable" information regarding this atrocity fairy tale. This strongly parallels the two testimonies of the gassings at the Zlatopol ghetto. Of course , it doesn't prove much, but is a fascinating find none the less. It isn't something that gets touched on by mainstream historians.

    You cannot simply hand wave of this a revisionist "fabrication". It isn't going to work.

  9. The chance of local-level officials and investigators in Soviet Ukraine during 1944 even knowing about a Daily Telegraph story from 1916 is essentially zero. One would first have to prove that a Russian newspaper republished the story, and even if that were so, due to the levels of literacy changing so dramatically from 1916-1944, and all the many other upheavals experienced in Tsarist Russia, the Civil War and the Soviet Union, would make it essentially impossible that some junior NKVD officer or local magistrate or local doctor would know about it.

    The Extraordinary Commission did not generally work top-down, but rather worked bottom-up, unless one sees actual evidence of Moscow personalities involved in the case file (as in some Caucasus cases and of course, the Katyn case). There's no evidence of central interference in the case of Zlatopol.

    The police report recounting the gassing is quite lengthy, and was buried in the Ukrainian archives, with no citation known prior to Dieter Pohl's use of it around the turn of the millennium, so there are also zero grounds to suspect forgery. Had the document been used in the 1940s, there might be a *slight* chance, but the Soviets did not need to forge documents when they captured so many and were clearly overwhelmed with processing the ones they had; nor would they insert such a small-scale detail into a document (which would require everything else in the report to be retyped, to position things correctly) or forge a multi-page report full of boring trivia as well as some relatively small-scale killing reports.

    The document and testimonies weren't even connected together until recently, as far as I know - it may be that Alexander Kruglov joined the dots in his work in the 2000s, but I don't remember this.

    The testimonies from ChGK (Extraordinary Commission) are thus independent evidence.

    Note that the convergence of documents and testimonies was done in a 2018 blog revision and not in the 2011 white paper that Mattogno is responding to (explicitly in TECAR, implicitly in Gli Einsatzgruppen).


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