The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews: Electronic Edition, by Heinz Peter Longerich

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<< 3.3 Einsatzgruppe D

3.4 Intensification of the murders in the Reichskommissariat Ostland (area of the Einsatzgruppe A).

3.4.1The transition to the shooting of women and children occurred at the end of July/beginning of August for the EK 3 as well as for the EK Tilsit; for the EK 2 this seems to have taken place during the month of August.
3.4.2- The comprehensive report of the Leader of the EK 3, Jäger, shows that from the very beginning, women were also shot in the executions of the EK 3 in Lithuania, although in far fewer numbers than men.181 At this point in time, the shooting of women was regarded as justified when there was any sort of even vague suspicion of communist activity or connection with the partisans. A basic change can be observed however, as in the case of other commandos, in the month of August: According the Jäger report, "in co-operation" with the Lithuanian Partisans", the EK 3 shot 213 Jewish men and 66 Jewish women in Rassainiai on 5 August. A few days later, between 9 August and 16 August, the EK 3 shot "294 Jewish women, 4 Jewish children" in the same place. It is also noteworthy that overall for 1 August and 16 August, the shooting of "3200 Jewish men, Jewish women and Jewish children" in Rokiskis is reported. Not only is this number far above the previous executions, but also the overall form of the report (the distinction which had hitherto been made between women, men and children was now not mentioned) indicates a new procedure. It thus seems likely that between 5 August and at the latest on 16 August, the Commando charged with the murders received a new order: now it was in   principle no longer necessary to discriminate between men and women and the murder of children was permitted.
3.4.3Also in the following days, the number of the women shot by the EK 3 reached to some extent the same level as the number of men killed, in some cases even higher. The high number of children murdered points to the likelihood that the transition had now taken place to an indiscriminate shooting of Jews of any age and both sexes. The statements in the Jäger report mentioned, among other items:
  • Panevezys, 23 August: 1312 Jewish men, 4602 Jewish women, 1609 Jewish children;
  • Zarasao. 26 August: 767 Jewish 1113 Jewish women, 687 Jewish children;
  • Utena and Meletai 29 August 1941: 582 Jewish men, 1731 Jewish women, 1469 Jewish children;
  • Marianpole, 1 September 1941: 1763 Jewish men, 1812 Jewish women, 1404 Jewish children.
3.4.4On 2 September, the EK 3 reported the shooting of women and children also from Vilna: "Apart from 864 Jewish men, 2019 women also 817 children were shot."182 In Dvinsk (Lithuania) a sub-unit of EK 3 shot more than 9000 Jews, among them a large number of women and children in the period between 13 July and 21 August in several "actions" with the support of Lithuanian forces.183
3.4.5- The EK 2, which was stationed in Latvia, had liquidated almost 18.000 Jews up until September or had had them shot by Lettish collaborators.184 This high number of victims points to the possibility that this commando had also gone over to the shooting of women and children.
3.4.6- Already at the end of July - beginning of August, the EK Tilsit which was operating in the border areas had gone over to systematically extending the shootings beyond that of men of draft age. Members of the commandos returned to the ravaged places where surviving Jewish family members were imprisoned by the Lithuanian order patrol. Thus, with the support of Lithuanians, at the end of July - beginning of August, at least 100 to 200 Jews (women, old men and children) were shot in Georgenburg and Wirballen and in Garsden in August/September at least 100 women,   children and older men were shot. Further executions up to September were catalogued by the District Court of Ulm during the post war trial against members of the unit.185


180. Activity and Situation Report No. 6, NO 2656 printed in Klein (ed.), Einsatzgruppen Sowjetunion, pp. 222ff, 232.
181. Jäger-Report, OS, 500-1-25.
182. Ibid.
183. Ibid. For this see the following study, which is a compilation of the accounts of witnesses: Jakub Z.I. Wtjedni, Iz istorie Daugavpilskogo Geto in Daugawpilskaja jewrejsuaja obschina, Daugavpils 1993, pp. 287-394; statement of Fritz Lesch, 8.7.59 (ZSt., 204 AR-Z 21/58, pp. 2747ff).
184. EM 96. For this calculation see Wilhelm, Einsatzgruppe A, pp. 113ff.
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