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 >>

2.2 Einsatzgruppe B

2.2.1The mass executions of Jewish men in the month of July can be documented for all four Commandos of the EK B: - The SK 7a in Vileyka "liquidated the entire male Jewish population"; this was done as early as the end of June or in the first days of July as recounted in an event report.58 Similarly, the SK 7 a was responsible for the shooting of 332 Jews in Vitebsk   at the end of July - beginning of August59 as well as for a further "action" in Gorodok in which about 150-200 Jewish men were shot.60 Mass executions of Jewish men are documented for the SK 7 b in Borissov (July) and in the area of Orscha/Mogilev (end of July - beginning of August).61
2.2.2- In Bialystok alone, at the beginning of July, the EK 8 initiated - among other events - two "actions" by which, according to the determination of German courts, at least 800 or at least 100 Jewish men were shot; later in Baranovice two further executions took place - with at least 100 Jewish victims shot in each case; finally, at the end of July and in August the EK participated decisively in mass executions in Minsk whereby more than 1000 Jews were killed.62
2.2.3A unit of the EK 8 was ordered to Slonim in the middle of July, where according to the event report of 24 July63 "in collaboration with the order police (Ordnungspolizei) a major action against Jews and other communist-linked elements was accomplished, whereby about 2000 persons were arrested for communist machinations and looting. Among these, 1075 were liquidated on the same day"64
2.2.4The leader of the EK 8, Otto Bradfisch, testified on this point that as early as the advance on Minsk he had already noticed that although no express order had been given "to exterminate the Jewish population in a place or area solely and alone because of it's racial origin",65 nevertheless in practice the orders given by EK B were so broadly conceived that "every Jew was to be regarded as a danger for the fighting troops and therefore to be liquidated".66
2.2.5From the testimony of the Higher SS and Police Leader Russia Centre, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, given in 1966, we know that Nebe's attitude is to be traced to a Himmler directive. According to Bach's testimony, Himmler had already expressed to Nebe on his visit to Bialystok on July 8 that "basically every Jew is to be seen as a Partisan.."67 Three days later, the Commander of the Police Regiment Centre, whose headquarters were in Bialystok, determined that "all those male Jews of the ages between 17 and 45 taken as looters should be shot according to martial law".68 By means of this order the extermination of the able-bodied Jewish population was made possible without further restrictions.
2.2.6- In a report issued by EG B concerning the activities of Ek 9 in Vilna from July, 1941 it was claimed that "In Vilna the EK of that place have liquidated 321 Jews in the period before 8 July". The Lithuanian order patrol which was placed under the command of the EK after the dissolution of the Lithuanian political police was instructed to become involved in the liquidation of the Jews. For this purpose, 150 Lithuanian officials were called up; they captured the Jews and put them in concentration camps where they underwent "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung) on the same day. This work had now begun and from then on "continuously on a daily basis about 500 Jews and other saboteurs were liquidated". The total nunber of Jews killed in the month of July in Wilna on the initiative of the EK 9 and the Lithuanians came to at least 4000-5000,69 but possibly more than 10,000 people.70
2.2.7Direct intervention by Himmler and Heydrich can also be ascertained in the area of the EG B. We have already mentioned Himmler's order given in Bialystok on July 8 to shoot Jews on principle as partisans; there was also an order given three days later by the Commander of the Police Regiment Centre to shoot Jews taken as looters according to martial law. In a report written in the first few days of July by the Leader of the EG B on the activities of the sub-unit of EK 9 in Grodno and Lida it was stated: "In Grodno   and Lida to begin with - in the first few days - only 96 Jews were liquidated. I gave the order that this was to be intensified considerably."71 The background to this order was the fact that Himmler and Heydrich had criticised the low level of activity of the Commandos during their visit in Grodno on June 30. Heydrich, in a general order on 1 July demanded "more mobility in the tactical organisation of the deployment". He criticised the fact that in Grodno - as many as four days following the occupation - no single member of the Security Police and the SD had yet made an appearance.72 On 9 July, Himmler and Heydrich were once again in Grodno73 and were apparently able to convince themselves that the EG B order to intensify the liquidation had in the meantime been obeyed - this according to the event report:
The activities of all commandos have developed satisfactorily. First of all, the liquidations which are now occurring daily in ever greater measure are functioning well. The enforcement of the necessary liquidations is in any case ensured for all events.74
2.2.8This passage makes clear that in the case of the EG B, as early as a few weeks after the beginning of the campaign, the necessity for achieving a schedule of a certain quota of liquidations in a systematic way already existed as a concept.


55. See below, p. 40.
56. Also in EM 26. On Himmler's trip see also the calender of his personal assistant Brandt, 30.6. (BAB, NS 19/3957).
57. 'im Osten liegenden Kommandeuren der SPSD sowie den Staatspolizeistellen die Genehmigung erteilt, in den ihren Grenzabschnitten gegenüber liegenden neu besetzten Gebieten zur Entlastung der Einsatzgruppen und-kommandos, vor allem um deren Bewegungsfreiheit möglichst zu sichern, Reinigungsaktionen vorzunehmen.' OS, 500-1-25 (also ZSt., Doc. UdSSR 401). See also EM 11.
58. 'die gesamte männliche Judenschaft liquidiert'. EM 50, 12.8.41. Concerning the Sk 7a, cf. also Verdict District Court Essen, 29.3.65, printed in Justiz XX, No. 588. Concerning the Ek 7a, cf. Ogorreck, Einsatzgruppen, pp. 114ff.
59. EM 50; Verdict District Court Essen, 29.3.65 (= Justiz XX, No. 588).
60. Ibid.
61. Ogorreck, Einsatzgruppen, pp. 116ff, especially p. 120.
62. Verdict District Court Munich I, 21.7.61, printed in Justiz XVII, No. 519, pp. 672ff; Verdict District Court Kiel, 8.4.64, printed in Justiz XIX, No. 567, pp. 790ff; ZSt., 202 AR-Z 81/59, vol. , indictment of 19.4.60 (SA 168)
63. 'im Zusammenwirken mit der Ordnungspolizei eine Großaktion gegen Juden und andere kommunistisch belastete Elemente zur Durchführung gebracht, wobei ca. 2.000 Personen wegen kommunistischer Umtriebe und Plünderns festgenommen wurden. Von ihnen sind am gleichen Tage 1075 Personen liquidiert worden.' EM 32 of 24.7.
64. For the reconstructin of these events see verdict District Court Köln, 12.5.64, printed in Justiz XX, No. 573, pp. 171ff.
65. 'die jüdische Bevölkerung eines Ortes oder Gebietes einzig und allein wegen ihrer Rassenzugehörigkeit zu vernichten.' ZSt., 208 AR-Z 203/59, C-Volume I, statement of Bradfisch, pp. 2ff, 9.6.58.
66. 'daß jeder Jude als Gefährdung der kämpfenden Truppe anzusehen und deshalb zu liquidieren war'. Ibid.
67. 'daß grundsätzlich jeder Jude als Partisam anzusehen'. ZSt., 202 AR-Z, 73/61, vol. 6, pp. 1510ff, 20.4.66).
68. 'alle als Plünderer überführten männlichen Juden im Alter von 17 bis 45 Jahren sofort standrechtlich zu erschießen'. To this, see KTB of 3.Kp. of Police Bataillion 322, 13.7. (YV, 053/88): 'Roll call of the Company leader, First Lieutenant of the Police Riebel (Special jurisdiction, Behaviour against Jews).' ( Appell des Kompaniechefs, Oblt. d. Sch. Riebel (Sondergerichtsbarkeit, Verhalten gegen Juden)).
69. Verdict District Court Berlin, 22.6.62 (printed in Justiz XVIII, 540a); ZSt., II 202 AR 72a/60, Verdict District Court Berlin, 6.5.66 (SA 179).
70. ZSt., 207 AR-Z 14/58, Note concerning Ek 3, 27.9.61, Correspondence-File, vol. 6, pp. 1151ff.
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2.7 Conclusions >>
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