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

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G. Mass murder in the Districts of Lublin and Galicia

1.Preparations for the "resettlement" of Jews from the Districts of Lublin and Galicia can be traced back to January 1942.302 By this time this was clearly a euphemism for their planned mass murder. In mid-March, the liquidation of the Lublin ghetto marked the beginning of the systematic murder of those Jews "unfit for work" of the District of Lublin, which had been in planning since the decision to build the extermination camp Belzec in Fall 1941.303 The bloody liquidation of the ghettos and the deportations to Belzec thus started precisely at the time that the deportation-trains were arriving in the area of Lublin from the Reich and Slovakia. Just as had happened the previous year in the Warthegau, and like the mass-executions in the ghettos of Riga and Minsk in November and December 1941304, the local Jews were murdered in order to make "room" for the deported Jews. The presence of Himmler in Lublin on 14 March, two days before the clearing of the ghetto, shows the prevailing interest the RFSS had taken in the "Jewish Policy" in the District of Lublin.305 At the same time as the mass murder commenced in the District of Lublin,   in mid-March 1942, the liquidation of the ghettos and deportations began in the District of Galicia.306 The escalation of the extermination policy in this district should not be seen in the context of the programme of deportation in Central Europe. Rather, it should be seen in relation to the mass murders in the Soviet Union. This area had been occupied by the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1941, and was conquered by the Wehrmacht in 1941. Since the summer of 1941, and with increased force in October 1941, mass executions had taken place. Already by the end of 1941, more than 60.000 people had been killed in this area.307
2.The remark in the Goebbels' diaries that, one could "well state, that 60% must be liquidated while only 40% can be put into work", is revelatory of the policy of extermination in both of these districts.308
3.At the same time as the deportations proceeded from the Districts of Lublin and Galicia in mid-March 1942, the murder of those Jews who had survived the retribution actions of the past Fall was initiated. The RSHA informed the Commander of the Security Police in Belgrad of the impending arrival of a gas-van. With aid of this vehicle, about 500 men as well as about 7000 women and children who had been imprisoned in the Belgrade camp of Sajmiste, were murdered before the beginning of May 1942.309 About 90% of all Jews living in Serbia were thereby killed. In Serbia the German procedure followed the same schema as is the Soviet Union, only somewhat transposed: first the Jewish men were shot under the pretext of "retribution", while in a later phase all of their relations were killed in accordance to plan.

Notes

300. 'größere Judenmengen dem KZ Auschwitz zwecks Arbeitsleistung überstellt werden' 'Grundbedingung ist, daß die Juden (beiderlei Geschlechts) zwischen 16 und 40 Jahre alt sind. 10 % nicht Juden können mitgeschickt werden.' Note of Dannecker 15.6., RF 1217, printed in Klarsfeld, Vichy-Auscshwitz, pp. 379f; cf. Klarsfeld's interpretation, ibid., pp. 66f
301. Ibid.
302. Pohl, Lublin, 109ff; L'vov State Archive, R 37, (Stadthauptmann Lemberg), 4-140, note in file of 10.1.40 concerning the meeting of the administration of the district (Copy in the USHMM Washington); Pohl, Ostgalizien, pp. 180ff.
303. Safrian, Eichmann-Männer, pp. 150ff.
304. Fleming, Hitler, pp. 87ff.
305. Witte et. al. (eds.), Dienstkalender, 14.3.42.
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