Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

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JosephCloud
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Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by JosephCloud » 03 Oct 2019 18:36

Is there any evidence that Hitler actually knew how many Jews had been killed according to the Einsatzgruppen reports?

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 05 Oct 2019 20:58

" The massacres of the four Einsatzgruppen, the task forces consisting of SS and police personnel subordinate to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, commenced with the beginning of the war in the East. They are extensively documented, above all in the situational reports (Ereignismeldungen) for the UdSSR, put out by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; these reports openly describe the murder of hundreds of thousands of people, more of 90% of them Jews. These reports were relatively widely circulated: for example 45 copies of situational report No. 40 of 1 August 1941 were distributed; they were sent not only to numerous offices of the SS and police but also to the Leadership staff of the Wehrmacht. In a radio telegram to the Einsatzgruppen on 1 August, Gestapo Chief Müller, who was responsible for the compilation of situational reports, ordered that "especially interesting illustrative material" should be sent to Berlin because "the Führer should be presented with continuous reports on the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the East from here".143 The distribution list of the situational report No 128 of 3 November 1941, of which there were 55 copies, included the Party Chancellery144 (Hitler’s office responsible for communication between him and the Nazi Party). It is therefore not possible to argue that the mass murders by the Einsatzgruppen were kept secret from other agencies by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; in fact, these reports were available to many—including also to Hitler. The grounds for the mass executions which were given by the Einsatzgruppen precisely correspond to the justifications offered by Hitler for the extermination of the "Jewish-Bolshevik complex" before the beginning of the war."

https://www.hdot.org/longrole/#longRole_15

michael mills
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by michael mills » 08 Oct 2019 01:05

We do not know for certain exactly what reports were submitted to Hitler personally.

There is one preserved report from Himmler to Hitler from the end of 1942, detailing the results of anti-partisan operations in three regions, one military (the South Russian segment of the zone of military operations), and two civilian (the Reichskommissariat Ukraine and the Bialystok District, both under the rule of Reichskommissar Koch), during the months of August, September, October and November 1942. That report bears the title "Reports to the Fuehrer on Combatting Bandit Gangs: Report No 51: Russia-South, Ukraine, Bialystok: Successful Operations against Bandits from 1/9 to 1/12/1942".

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... report.jpg


Since the report is addressed to Hitler, it is likely that he did read it. The report number suggests that it had been preceded by 50 earlier reports on the same subject.

The first page of the report contains statistical information on the casualties suffered by the bandits. That information is divided into two sections,
"Bandits" and "Bandit Collaborators and Suspected Bandits". The second section is further divided into three sub-sections:

(a) Captured
(b) Executed
(c) Jews Executed.

The total number of Jews executed is given as 363, 211. The largest number (165,282) is recorded as executed in September.

Since the number of Jews executed is so much larger than the total number of "Bandits" killed in combat (1337) or executed after capture (8,565), and than the number of "Bandit Collaborators and Suspected Bandits" executed (14,257), it is likely that the Jews executed were not captured during actual anti-partisan operations, but were killed in the course of the liquidation of ghettos in which they had previously been confined.

The inclusion of executed Jews in the statistics of anti-partisan operations is most probably related to the agreement between Hitler and Himmler in December 1941 that the Jews living in the occupied Soviet territory were to be "exterminated as partisans". That interpretation is supported by the fact that the three regions covered by the report were all former Soviet territories captured after the beginning of Operation Barbarossa.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 08 Oct 2019 06:47

The report was submitted to Hitler on 31.12.43, as follows from the remark by Hans Pfeiffer.

Speaking of which, there was yet another document that Hitler did read which mentioned the incomplete Einsatzgruppen death toll, namely the short version of the Korherr report, where 633,300 Jews are mentioned as "evacuated" from the occupied Soviet territories, an euphemism Hitler would have immediately understood:

https://www.ns-archiv.de/verfolgung/kor ... g=5#thumbs

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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by steve248 » 22 Oct 2019 17:28

There is also the Funkspruch dated 1 Aug 1941 from RSHA IV A1 in Berlin (signed SS-Brif Müller) to the Einsatzgruppen A, B, C and D:

"Betrifft: Beschaffung von Anschauungsmaterial.
Dem Führer soll von hier aus lfd. Berichte über die Arbeit der Einsatzgruppen im Osten vorgelegt warden. Zu diesem Zweck wird besonders interessantes Anschauungsmaterial., wie Lichtbilder, Plakate, Flugblätter und andere Doktumente benötigt. Soweit solches Material dort anfällt oder beschafft warden kann, erbitte ich schnellmöglichste Übersendung"

source: RGVA, 500-1-25 and USHMM, RG-11.001M

The first sentence shows Hitler was already informed about the "work" of the Einsatzgruppen.

michael mills
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by michael mills » 22 Oct 2019 21:41

Have a look at the sort of visual material that it was thought Hitler would be interested in.

Photographs, placards, pamphlets, other documents.

So what exactly were those photographs, placards, pamphlets, documents etc?

The most plausible answer is that it was various types of propaganda material produced by the Soviet Government and the Communist Party. Hitler would be interested in that sort of material since he envisaged the attack on the Soviet Union ordered by him as a "crusade" against Bolshevism, and the requested material would support his image of the enemy that he was fighting against.

One of the major coups of the Einsatzgruppen was the capture of the entire archive of the Smolensk branch of the Communist Party. That material formed the basis for the later book by the American sovietologist Merle Fainsod, "Smolensk Under Soviet Rule", published in 1958, a book that in its time was the main source of Western views about the functioning of the Soviet political system.

The problem with interpreting documents such as the order by Mueller referred to is the general impression that the sole task of the 3000 personnel of the four Einsatzgruppen (including a number of female staff) was to carry out mass murder, an impression bolstered by the publication of excerpts from the Einsatzgruppen reports describing mass executions of Jews and others carried out by sub-units of the Einsatzgruppen and also other German Security Police units. Those who like me have read entire Einsatzgruppen reports, not just the excerpts, know that descriptions of mass executions form only a small part of the reports, and that a large part of the work of the Einsatzgruppen ,in particular of the staff-members recruited from the SD, consisted of gathering information and similar intelligence work.

The mistaken impression of the functions of the Einsatzgruppen has led to the interpretation of Mueller's order as an instruction to send Hitler photographs of mass executions, whereas it is far more likely that what he was asking for was evidence of Soviet nefariousness.

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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by steve248 » 23 Oct 2019 16:59

Whilst I agree with the substance of Michael Mills' post, the first line gives the game away. Why would Hitler want the aforesaid photographs, placards etc if he was not aware that the Einsatzgruppen were in service in Russia. In accordance with the agreement he, Himmler and the Army had reached back in May 1941.

I also agree that the Ereignismeldungen UdSSR are remarkably sparse in giving the numbers of those executed by the Kommandos of the Einsatzgruppen. Given that the distribution list grew widely into the 100s per issue, no doubt some censorship by the RSHA was maintained for secrecy. Just like the British did with decrypted German radio messages, some of which existed in only two copies.

Michael Mills is not the only one to have read all the Ereignismeldungen UdSSR and Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten. It's not great reading, but not as brain numbing as reading all the 100,000+ German police decrypts - myself and David Irving are possibly the only researchers who have been through them page after page. And I have been through them twice. All by the by whereas reading the West German police interrogations of Einsatzgruppen members you get a completely different view of the Ereignismeldungen. These were issued for home consumption and the SD reports, for that is what most consist of, show the predicament and problem areas in the Army rear areas.

In another recent post on the Forum, some of the Korherr report is produced. His figure of 633,000 or so Jews processed in the occupied Russian territories must have come from somewhere, especially since Eichmann was not responsible or concerned with the Russian Jews who fell victim to the Einsatzgruppen.

Each Kommando in Russia had a Polizeireferat. Their job was to collate all the execution figures for their daily update transmitted to RSHA Berlin. Unfortunately those radio messages have not so been found.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 02 Nov 2019 15:11

And we have just published the color photos of all the known versions of Meldung 51:

https://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot ... 63211.html

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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by steve248 » 02 Nov 2019 18:19

Sergey,
Although Stahlecker (EG A), Nebe (EG B) and Rasch (EG C) all had a local HSSPF who interested themselves in their operations, it was quite different with Einsatzgruppe D. First with Ohlendorf and later with Bierkamp.

Ohlendorf did meet once with Prützmann he had nothing more to do with him or earlier with Jeckeln. Ohlendorf's staff do not mention any contact with Prützmann. Ohlendorf regarded his superior as Heydrich.

The staff of Korsemann do not mention any more than an occasional contact with Bierkamp in Woroschilowsk (Caucasus) despite being barely a 100 meters apart in the HQs. The same with Bierkamp's staff who hardly mention Korsemann. Like Ohlendorf to some extent, Bierkamp regarded his superior as RSHA Berlin, there being a vacancy at the time for Chef RSHA until the retreat from the Caucasus.

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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 17 Nov 2019 01:58

Maybe an extremist could say that the reports were destined to Hitler but that we have no proof he actually did read it.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hitler read any of the Einsatzgruppen reports?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 17 Nov 2019 09:52

DavidFrankenberg wrote:
17 Nov 2019 01:58
Maybe an extremist could say that the reports were destined to Hitler but that we have no proof he actually did read it.
Yes, an intellectually deficient extremist could say something like this, but as I've already pointed out, the Meldung 51, for example, has Hitler's adjutant's handwritten remark "submitted 31.12.42", so the burden of proof would lie on the extremist to prove that the report personally submitted to Hitler was not read by him.

In any case, why would we care here about what brainless extremists, entertaining ridiculous scenarios having zero to do with what is actually plausible and probable, say?

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