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

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2.7 Conclusions >>

2.1 Einsatzgruppe A

2.1.1For three of the four commandos subordinate to the EG A, mass executions of Jewish men can be demonstrated in the first days and weeks after the beginning of the war: - The EK 1b shot 1150 Jewish men in Dvinsk at the beginning of July, after they had been arrested by Lithuanian auxiliary forces which had been "strengthened in their work by the activities of the EK."45 - After the pogrom in Riga, over 2000 further Jews were killed "partially by the Lithuanian auxiliary police and partially by our own men"46 in the period up to the   middle of July, 1941, as reported by the EK2. In Mitau, a unit of the EK 2 - supposedly in the first half of July - shot about 160 Jews, among them women and children.47
2.1.2- The EK 3 organised mass executions of Jewish men from the beginning of July48 in the military base of Kovno. The Leader of the Commando, Jäger, reported on 1 December 1941 that the executions, which had been taking place since 4 July in Fort VII of the Kovno base, had been carried out "upon my orders and my command by the Lithuanian Partisans"49; the victims, according to Jäger's count, numbered 2530 Jewish men and 47 women. Three days later, according to Jäger, a group of men of his Commando began mass executions also outside of Kovno "together with the Lithuanian partisans"50 in which 1400 people, mostly Jewish men were murdered.
2.1.3The EG A were helped by a Commando which was formed from members of the SD and the Gestapo in the German border town of Tilsit and which was known as "Einsatzkommando Tilsit". This Commando also shot mostly Jewish men in the period directly following upon the onset of the war: on 24, 25 and 27 June they executed 201, 214 and 111 civilians in the area beyond the border of Lithuania, in the villages of Garsden, Krottingen and Polangen respectively. This shooting, mostly of Jewish men was carried out in "retribution" for supposed civilian attacks upon the approaching units.51
2.1.4In the following days, the "EK Tilsit" carried on further "cleansing operations" in the border areas, for example on 2 July in Tauroggen, on 3 July in Georgenburg and in Augustovo and in Mariampol and Vladislav52, in which altogether 3302 people were shot, according to the event report of 18 July.53 For the entire month of July, further executions by the commandos, especially of Jewish men, can be documented in varied places.54 The fact that in later reports on No. 465). Streim, SWCA, p. 6, pp. 333ff.   executions in this area only the murder of women, older men and children were noted - not however the murder of men of draft age - is an indication that in fact all Jewish men of this age group had been murdered in the first wave of executions.55
2.1.5The executions were granted full endorsement by Reichsführer SS, Himmler, as well as by the Chief of the Security Police, Heydrich. From a teletype message from the Gestapo postal station in Tilsit, dated 1 July, it emerges that Himmler and Heydrich visited the border areas and were informed about the "measures" which had been implemented and approved them "completely".56
2.1.6A few days later, Heydrich expressly confirmed - in a written order - that the executions of the EK Tilsit corresponded to his directions: in an order dated 4 July he explained to the Einsatzgruppen Chief that he had granted permission for commanders of the Security Police and the SD as well as for police stations (Staatspolizeistellen) "to carry out cleansing operations in the areas bordering upon the territories which had been newly occupied in order to relieve the Einsatzgruppen and commandos, and especially, to secure their mobility.57

Notes

40. 'So wurde in Dobromil die Synagogue angezündet. In Sambor wurden 50 Juden von der empörten Volksmenge erschlagen.' EM 14 of 6.7.41.
41. 'In Krzemieniec sind etwa 100 bis 150 Ukrainer von den Russen ermordet worden. [...] Die Ukrainer haben im Wege der Selbsthilfe als Vergeltung 130 Juden mit Knüppeln totgeschlagen.' EM 14 of 6.7.41.
42. '600 bezw. 110 Juden zur Erledigung zu bringen'. EM 47.
43. 'Die seinerzeit unternommenen Versuche, Judenpogrome in vorsichtiger Weise zu inspirieren, haben leider nicht denu erhofften Erfolg gezeigt.' Ibid.
44. EM 81 and EM 112.
45. 'durch die Tätigkeit des EK. der Rücken gestärkt worden ist'. EM 24; Ezergailis, Holocaust, pp. 272ff.
46. 'durch lettische Hilfspolizei, teilweise durch eigene Kräfte'. EM 24.
47. ZSt., SA 279, District Court Cologne, verdict 8.7.68.
48. So called Jäger-Report (OS, 500-1-25, that is, ZSt., Doc. USSR 108).
49. 'auf meine Anordnung und meinen Befehl durch die lit. Partisamen'. Ibid.
50. 'in Zusammenarbeit mit den lit. Partisamen'. Ibid.
51. OS, 500-1-758, telex, Gestapo Office Tilsit, 1.7.41, as well as EM 14.
52. EM 19.
53. EM 26.
54. EM 19, as well as Verdict District Court Ulm, 29.8.58, (= Justiz
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