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Defense Documents

Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution: Electronic Edition, by Browning, Christopher R.

Table of Contents
3. Einsatzgruppen >>

1. Semlin

After the male adult Jews in Serbia had been shot in the fall of 1941, the women, children, and elderly were interned in a makeshift camp constructed in the old fair grounds of Semlin across the river from Belgrade. The planned deportation to a "reception camp" in the east never took place, and by late March 1942 the number of Jews in Semlin had reached 6,280.94 On April 11, 1942, the head of the military administration in Serbia, Harald Turner, wrote to Himmler's adjutant, Karl Wolff:
Already some months ago I had everything that could be got hold of in the way of Jews in this land shot, and had all the Jewish women and children concentrated in a camp and at the same time, with the help of the SD, procured a 'delousing vehicle' that will now finally have carried out the clearing of the camp in some 14 days to 4 weeks....95
 
The 10-day reports of the military commander in Serbia document a steady decrease in the number of Jewish inmates in the Semlin camp between early March and late May. They register a population of 5,780 Jews--"mostly women and children"--in the "Jewish camp Semlin" on March 3, 1942, and this number declined to 491 Jews as of May 22. The reports cease to mention the presence of any Jews or even the existence of a "Jewish camp" in Semlin as of June.96 On May 29, 1942, Franz Rademacher at the Jewish desk in the Foreign Office wrote: "The Jewish question in Serbia is no longer acute."97 Ten days later the head of the Security Police in Belgrade, Emanuel Sch"fer, informed the commanding general in Serbia, Paul Bader, and the Military Commander Southeast, Walter Kuntze, that there was no longer a Jewish question in Serbia.98 And Schäfer reported to Berlin, concerning the "special Saurer truck" (Spezialwagen-Saurer)--Saurer was the larger of the two truck models used for conversion into gas vans--that the two drivers, Goetz and Meyer, "had carried out their special task", and therefore they and the truck were being sent back.99

Notes

94. Nürnberg Documents NOKW-221 and NOKW-1077: 10-day report, 10.3.42, and daily report, 19.3.42.
95. Turner to Wolff, 11.4.42, from Berlin Document Center file of Turner. (Schon vor Monaten habe ich alles an Juden im hiesigen Lande greifbare erschiessen und sämtliche Judenfrauen und Kinder in einem Lager konzentrieren lassen und zugleich mit Hilfe des SD einen 'Entlausungswagen' angeschaft, der nun in etwa 14 Tage bis 4 Wochen auch die Räumung des Lagers endgültig durchgeführt haben wird...)
96. Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg, R 40/27-30: 10-day reports (10.3, 20.3, 30.3, 20.4, 30.4, 10.5, 22.5) of the plenipotentiary commanding general in Serbia, March-June 1942
97. Rademacher memorandum, 29.5.42, in Political Archives, Pol. IV (348). (Die Judenfrage ist in Serbien nicht mehr akut.)
98. Nürnberg Document NOKW-926, report on the trip of the Military Commander Southeast to Serbia, 7-14.6.42.
99. Nürnberg Document 501-PS, Schäfer to Major Pradel, RSHA II D 3, 9.6.42. (haben den Sonderauftrag durchgefuehrt)
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