SOLUTION OF THE JEWISH PROBLEM IN THE DISTRICT OF GALICIA
Owing to the term "Galician Jew," Galicia probably was the spot on earth which was best known and most frequently mentioned in connection with Jewry. Here they lived in immense multitudes, forming a world of their own, out of which the rising generations of world-Jewry were supplied. In all parts of Galicia one found Jews in their hundreds of thousands.
According to obsolete statistics of 1931 the number of Jews then was about 502000. This number should not have decreased from 1931 up ,to the summer of 1941. Precise statements on the number of Jews present at the time when the German troops invaded Galicia are not available. By the Committees of Jews the number was stated to have been 350000 at the end of 1941. That this statement was incorrect will be seen from the statement at the end of this report with regard to the evacuation of Jews. The town of Lemberg alone had about 160000 Jewish inhabitants in
The influence of this Galician Jewry, being considerable already under Austrian and Polish rule, increased to an almost incredible extent when the Soviets occupied this district in 1939.
Every important appointment within the country was filled by them. This explains the fact that in July 1941, after the occupation by German troops, Jews were found everywhere. Hence it was considered to be also our most urgent task to find a solution for this problem as soon as possible.
Our first measure consisted of marking every Jew by a white armlet bearing the Star of David in blue. By virtue of a decree of the Governor General the Department of the Interior was responsible for the marking and registrating of Jews as well as for the formation of Committees of Jews. Our task, that of the Police, was first of all to counter effectively the immense black market carried on by Jews throughout the entire district and especially to take measures against loafing idlers and vagabonds.
The best remedy consisted of the formation, by the SS and Police Leader of Forced Labor Camps. The best opportunities for labor were offered by the necessity to complete the "Dg.4" road which was extremely important and necessary for the whole of the southern part of the front, and which was in a catastrophically bad condition. On 15 October 1941, the establishment of camps along the road was commenced, and despite considerable difficulties there existed, after a few weeks, only seven camps containing 4000 Jews.
Soon more camps followed these first ones, so that after a very short time the completion of 15 camps of this kind could be reported to the Superior Leader of SS and Police. In the course of time about 20000 Jewish labourers passed through these camps. Despite the hardly imaginable difficulties occurring at this work I can report today that about 160 km of the road are completed. [Photographs omitted].
At the same time all other Jews fit for work were registered and distributed for useful work by the labor agencies. When the Jews were marked by the Star of David as well as when they were registered by the labor agencies, the first symptoms appeared of their attempts to dodge the orders of the authorities. The measures which were introduced thereupon, led to thousands of arrests. It became more and more apparent that the Civil Administration was not in a position to solve the Jewish problem in an approximately satisfactory manner. When, for instance, the Municipal Administration in Lwow had no success in their attempts to house the Jews within a close district which would be inhabited only by Jews, this question too was solved quickly by the SS and Police Leader through his subordinate officials. This measure became the more urgent as in winter 1941 big centres of spotted fever were noted in many parts of the town whereby not only the native population was endangered but also, and to a greater extent, the troops themselves, those stationed there as well as those passing through. During this removal of the Jews into a certain quarter of the town several sluices were erected at which all the work-shy and a social Jewish rabble were caught, during the screening and treated in a special way.
The owing to the peculiar fact that almost 90 of artisans working in Galicia were Jews, the task to be solved could be fulfilled only step by step, since an immediate evacuation would not have served the interest of war economy. With regard to those Jews, however, who had a place in the labor process, no real effect could be found of their work. They used their job mostly only as a means to an end, namely in order first to dodge the intensified measures against Jewry and secondly to be able to carry on their black market activities without interference. Only by continuous police interference was it possible to prevent of these activities. After it had been found in more and more cases that Jews had succeeded in making themselves indispensable to their employers by providing them with goods in scarce supply etc., it was considered necessary to introduce really draconic measures. Unfortunately it had to be stated that the Germans employed in the district, especially so-called "Operational Firms" or the "ill-famed Trustees" carried on the most extravagant black market activities with Jews. Cases were discovered where Jews, in order to acquire any certificate of labor, not only renounced all wages, but even paid money themselves. Moreover, the "organizing" of Jews for the benefit of their "employers" grew to so catastrophical extents that it was deemed necessary to interfere in the most energetic manner for the benefit of the German name.
Since the Administration was not in a position and showed itself too weak to master this chaos, the SS and Police Leader simply took over the entire disposition of labor for Jews. The Jewish Labor Agencies which were manned by hundreds of Jews, were dissolved. All certificates of labor given by firms or administrative offices were declared invalid, and the cards given to the Jews by the Labor Agencies were revalidated by the Police Offices by stamping them.
In the course of this action again thousands of Jews were caught who were in possession of forged certificates or who had obtained surreptitiously certificates of labor by all kinds of pretexts. These Jews also were exposed to special treatment.
Army administration offices in particular had countenanced Jewish parasitism by giving special certificates to an uncontrollable extent.
Of the great number of certificates caught, only three will be enclosed; you will be able to conclude what methods were used with the intention to sabotage the measures of the SS.
1. CERTIFICATE ALSTER
Benjamin (Recte Hasten) born 6/3/1900 at Takinow is employed by the Army Accommodation Administration, Lwow as a foreman for urgent work
Members of his family are ALSTER Hasten, Githa, Mother. Valid until 31 July 1942 Extended until 31 August 1942 Lowo, 6/22/1942 Army Billet Office Signature [Stamp]
The persons mentioned above are registered. They are to be exempted from evacuation.
2. The Jewess ATLAS Rosa Keeps house for the "A" Jew No. 20 008 employed by H.K.P. 547 whose identity card has been stamped by the SS and Police Leader. She is registered, and it is requested to leave her in Lwow.
Lwow, 10 August 1942 Army Car Park 547 Signature, [Stamp.]
3. Army Building Office Lwow.
CERTIFICATE For Family Members of Jew in Employment
The Jewess HIRSCHFELD Mina born 1894, resident in Lwow, 2 Sonnen street, is the wife of the Jew provided with an employment Certificate by virtue of decree of 12 March 1942 HIRSCHFELD Oscar (No. 4181) Valid until 31 July 1942 Signature [Stamp]
Lwow, 1 July 1942
There were cases when arrested Jews were in possession of 10-20 of such certificates.
Where Jews were arrested in the course of these check-ups most of their employers thought it necessary to intervene in favor of the Jews. This often happened in a manner which had to be called deeply shameful.
An especially exaggerated example is the action of a certain Schmalz, a wholesale butcher working for the Army in Lwow, who sent from Berlin the following telegram to the Office of the SS and Police Leader:
"Urgent SS Untersturmfuehrer Loehner c/o SS Police Leader Lwow District Office
The two certificate holders are craftsmen watchmakers; are resident in my future factory a night watchmen and watchmakers in day time. I should not wish to be guilty of their death; after my return you can have them both, they do not run away. I beg of you
When steps were taken to investigate the actions of this butcher, it transpired that the fellow had carried on the most incredible black market business with the Jews. Schmalz was arrested and put at the disposal of the Public Prosecutor.
Despite all these measures concerning the employment of Jews their evacuation [Aussiedelung] from the district of Galicia was commenced in April 1942, and executed step by step.
When the Superior SS and Police Leader once again intervened in the solution of the Jewish problem by his Decree Concerning the Formation of Districts inhabited by Jews of 10 November 1942 already 254989 Jews had been evacuated [Ausgesiedelt], resp. resettled [umgesiedelt].
Since the Superior SS and Police Leader gave the further order to accelerate the complete evacuation [Aussiedelung] of the Jews, again considerable work was necessary to regulate the status of those Jews who, for the time being were permitted to be left in the armaments factories. The Jews in question were declared Labor Prisoners of the Superior SS and Police Leader and they were put into barracks, either within the factories or in camps established for this purpose. For the town of Lwow a Giant Camp was established at the borders of the town, in which at the time of writing 8000 Jewish Labor Prisoners are confined. The agreement with the Army concerning the disposition and treatment of these Labor Prisoners was executed in writing. The decree which contained the measures now in force is attached herewith.
The SS and Police Leader in the District of Galicia XIII-688/42 (g)
Re: Disposition of Jewish Labor Your Ref: Letter of the Inspection of Armaments of 9/21/1942 and letter of Command of Armaments of 10/19/1942
To the Command of Armaments Lwow
The Inspector of Armaments in the GG. and the Superior SS and Police Leader East, Secretary of State for Security in the GG. have issued special orders and rules for the uniform treatment of the Jewish laborers used in the armament factories. Following a conference between the Officer commanding the armaments enterprises Lwow, and the SS and Police Leader in the District of Galicia the ensuing agreement was reached on 17 October 1942:
On principle the Jewish laborers are to be put into barracks and when in camps are subjected to control by the SS and Police Leader Galicia and in this respect the police offices under his orders. Since the establishment of Police Camps has not yet been completed everywhere the work administrations for the time being have themselves to place the Jewish laborers into camps. In case it should be impossible for a factory to provide housing in a camp, the Jewish laborers employed there are to be housed in certain blocks of the Jewish Quarter still remaining. With regard to this housing the work administrations will communicate with the local offices of the Security Police. It has to be emphasized that under no circumstances the relatives of the Jewish laborers may be allowed to find accommodation within the same block. With regard to the Jewish laborers employed in factories situated in Lwow, a separate order will be issued. For the time being they will be housed together in the Jewish Housing District in the same manner. (This question will be regulated by the SS and Pol. L.).
Feeding of the Jewish laborers has to be provided by the factories. It will take place within the factory without exception. Besides a main meal, breakfast and supper will be provided. Full board will be provided also in case of illness. The factories will apply for provisions at, and receive them from, the GG., Principal Department, according to the rules issued by the Government. Feeding and agriculture department, Market Order IIIa Ia/100 18.8.42.
III. Clearing of Payments.
Commencing on 11/1/1942 the Jewish laborers will not receive any payment in cash. The factory administrations will pay to the SS and Pol. L. Galicia for each Jewish Laborer pro calendar day and shift 6 Zloty a man, 4 Zloty a woman. Salary tax and insurance contributions do not arise. From the above sums of 5, and 4 Zl. respectively, the expenses for feeding and the overhead expenses will be deducted. This amount to be deducted may not surpass Zl. 1.60 a day. The office of the SS and Pol. L. is entitled to examine accounts. The sums to be paid will be paid into the Account concerning payments of factories, maintained by the SS and Pol. L. Galicia at the Emission Bank in Lwow. Payment has to be completed the third of every month for the preceding month. For the purpose of proving the correctness, copies of the wage-lists for each day will be sent to the administration of the SS and Pol. L. Galicia, Lwow, Siegfriestreet 3.
The Jewish laborers when sent to the camps will be permitted to take with them ample clothing, especially winter clothes. The local Police Offices have been especially informed of this order. With a view for supplementing and renewing, the factories may request supplementary clothing through the SS and Pol. L. but only for special reasons.
V. General Ruling.
The SS and Pol. L. Galicia and the Armament Command agree on the necessity of keeping the Jewish laborers fit for work, and that therefore appropriate housing, clothing, and medical care have to be provided. In case of difficulties, if any, the factory administrations are requested to agree with the local offices of the Security Police. The SS and Pol. L. Galicia and the Armaments Command, Lwow are to be informed in such cases. If difficulties should not be solved by such local discussions, application for a decision will have to be addressed without delay to the SS and Pol. L. of the District of Galicia.
Signed Hofmann SS Brig. Leader and Gen. Maj. of Police
Schwarz and Co, Lwow,
Metrawat AG. branch Lwow,
Training factories AW Lwow,
Hobag-Holzbau AG branch Lwow,
Barril Store factory in Bolechau,
Furniture Factory in Bolechau, Carpathiaus
For information to:
Commander of the Security Police and SD in the Galicia District Lwow, with copies to the foreign agencies.
Commander of the Order Police [Ordungspolizei] in the Galicia District Lwow with copies to the Military Police District Leaders.
SS. Ustuf Fichtuer in the Staff. SS. Ustuf Loehnert in the Staff. SS. Ustuf Hildebrand in the Staff.
In the meantime further evacuation [Aussiedelung] was executed with energy, so that with effect from 23 June 1943 all Jewish Residence Districts could be dissolved. Therewith I report that the District of Galicia, with the exception of those Jews living in the camps being under the control of the SS and Pol Leader, is Free from Jews
Jews still caught in small numbers are given special treatment by the competent detachments of Police and Gendarmerie.
Up to 6/27/1943 altogether 44329 Jews have been evacuated [ausgesiedelt].
Camps for Jews are still in existence in:
containing altogether 2116 Jews. This number is being reduced currently.
Together with the evacuated action, we executed the confiscation of Jewish property. Very high amounts were confiscated and paid over to the Special Staff "Reinhard". Apart from furniture and many textile goods, the following amounts were confiscated and turned over to Special Staff "Reinhard":
As per 30 June 1943:
25580 kg Copper Coins
53190 kg Nickel Coins
97581 kg Gold Coins
82600 kg Necklaces-Silver
6640 kg Necklaces-Gold
432780 kg Broken Silver
167740 kg Silver Coins
18490 kg Iron Coins
20050 kg Brass Coins
20952 kg Wedding Rings-Gold
22740 kg Pearls
11730 kg Dental Gold-Dentures
28200 kg Powder Boxes-Silver or Metal
44655 kg Broken Gold
482900 kg Cutlery-Silver
343100 kg Cigarette Boxes-Silver or Metal
20880 kg Rings, Gold with stones
39917 kg Brooches, Ear Rings etc.
18020 kg Silver rings
6166 kg Watches, all kinds
3133 kg Watches, Silver
3425 kg Wrist Watches-Silver
1256 Wrist Watches-Gold kg
2892 kg Watches-Gold
68 kg Cameras
7 Stamp Collections-complete
5 Trunks filled with loose stamps
100550 kg 3 bags with rings, not genuine
3290; 1 box with corals kg
460 kg 1 chest with corals
280 kg 1 chest with corals
7495 kg 1 box with fountain pens and propelling pencils
1 basket with fountain pens and propelling pencils
1 suitcase with fire tongs
1 suitcase with pocket knives
1 suitcase with watch-parts
Paper-Metal 261589.75 USA-Dollars
Paper Gold Dollars: 3 a 5, 18 a 10, 28 a 20, 2,515.75
Canadian Dollars 124
Argentine Pesos 18,766,64
Hungarian Pengoe 231,789
Roubles-Paper Gold Roubles: 1 a 7 1/2, 11 a 10, 29 a 5 4316
Rouble Paper 513
French Francs 2460
Swedish Francs 52
Austrian Ducats-Gold Austrian Crowns 36 a 10, 25 a 20 8 a 100 2229,18,60
English Pounds 23
African Pounds 13490
Roumanian Lei 25,671
Russian Cerwon 4600,70
Czechoslovakian Crowns-Paper 185
Dutch Florins 5277
Palestinian Pounds 9,300
Palastinian Mille 160
Lithuanian Oere 360
English Schillings 1
Irish Lst. Irish Pounds 1
Hungarian Pesos 2
Mexican Pesos 10
Norwegian Crowns 381770
Slovakian Crowns 435
Karbowanez 16.79 million Zloty
Following the "Fur-action" in December 1941 35 Wagons of Furs were handed over.
Earned Moneys from Forced Labor Camps and from. W. and R. Factories
1. Forced Labor Camps
Wages: 11511606.98 Zl.
Hidden money found in clothes: 1232143.71 Zl.
Proceeds from useless tools: 807.93 Zl.
[total:] 12744558.62 Zl.
b. Outgoings (Board for Prisoners)
1. Food, Clothes, Medicine: 3108866.62 Zl.
2. Wages, Custody by Ukrainian Police: 47358.51 Zl.
3. Camp-sustenance Repairs, Rents: 118063.15 Zl.
4. Means of Conveyance:
Horses: 1,448,863.57 Zl.
Cars: 83324.14 Zl.
Tools: 3037.10 Zl.
5. Purchases of Furniture: 2410.15 Zl.
Postage and Telephone: 5678.44-Zl.
Office needs: 29005.59 Zl.
6. Buildings: 220000.00 Zl.
[total:] 5066607.27 Zl.
2. W. and R. Factories Takings: 7711428.92 Zl. [total:] 7711428.92 Zl.
3. Amount paid over to the SS Cashier:
a. Camp: 6876251.00 Zl.
b. W. and R. Factories 6: 556513.69 Zl.
[total:] 13423764.69 Zl.
Further payments to the SS-Cashier are effected every month.
Owing to the great number of Jews and the vast area to be combed out these actions were performed with the assistance of detachments from the Security Police, the Order Police, the Gendarmerie, the Special Service, and the Ukrainian Police, all acting together in numerous single sweeps. Page 19 of this report contains a map intended to show how Jews lived scattered throughout the whole of the District, until the special Jewish residence districts were established. The detachments continually were exposed to serious physical and mental strains. Again and again they had to overcome the nausea threatening them when they were compelled to enter the dirty and pestilential Jewish holes. During the searches there has been found, moreover, a number of leaflets in the Hebrew language, inciting the Jews to breed lice carrying spotted fever, in order to destroy the Police Force. In fact several phials filled with lice were confiscated. Nothing but catastrophical conditions were found in the Ghettoes of Rawa-Ruska and Rohatyn. The Jews of Rawa-Ruska, fearing the evacuation, had concealed those suffering from spotted fever in underground holes. When evacuation was to start the Police found that 3000 Jews suffering from spotted ever lay about in this Ghetto.
* * * * *
From this map one is able to see how the Jews lived scattered throughout the whole of the district, until the special Jewish Residence Districts were established. The large dots refer to localities of more than 1000 Jews, the smaller ones where less than 100 Jews lived.
At once every Police Officer inoculated against spotted fever was called into action. Thus we succeeded to destroy this plague boil, losing thereby only one officer. Almost the same conditions were found in Rohatyn. Moreover our detachments again and again discovered smaller or larger centres of pestilence in many towns and villages. Despite all our precautionary measures 120 officers fell ill of spotted fever, of whom only 18 died, owing to the protective measures introduced by us.
Some photos of these dirt caves may give an idea of the degree of effort which every officer had to apply to force himself to merely enter these centres of dirt. [Photographs omitted.]
On the occasion of these actions, many more difficulties occurred owing to the fact that the Jews tried every means in order to dodge evacuation [Aussiedelung]. Not only did they try to flee, but they concealed themselves in every imaginable corner, in pipes, chimneys, even in sewers, etc. They built barricades in passages of catacombs, in cellars enlarged to dugouts, in underground holes, in cunningly contrived hiding-places in attics and sheds, within furniture, etc.
The smaller the number of Jews remaining in the district, the harder their resistance. Arms of all kinds, among them those of Italian make, were used for defense. The Jews purchased these Italian arms from Italian soldiers stationed in the District for high sums in Zloty currency. The ensuing photos give a small selection from the arms confiscated. Especially dangerous were the sawed-of carbines of all kinds. [Photographs omitted.]
Underground bunkers were found with entrances concealed in a masterly manner opening some times into flats, some times into the open. In most cases the entrances had only so much width that just one person could crawl through it. The access was concealed in such a manner that it could not be found by persons not acquainted with the locality. Here nothing succeeded but the assistance of some Jews to whom anything whatever was promised in exchange. What these dug-outs looked like will be shown by the ensuing photographs together with their comments:
In the course of the evacuation action we furthermore discovered that the Jews attempted more than ever to escape to foreign countries. These attempts were made by Jews in possession of considerable amounts of money, jewels, and of forged papers. They tried every means to effect their purpose and often approached members of the German and allied Forces with the request to transport them to or beyond the frontier by way of military cars. They offered in exchange disproportionally high amounts, in many cases up to 5000 Zl. and more a person. Although in a few cases members of foreign forces, especially Hungarians, came to an agreement with them and fulfilled their part, in by far the most cases the Security- Police was informed in time by V-men so that the necessary countermeasures were applied, the Jews caught, and the valuables confiscated. By way of illustration some cases are described:
In 9/1942 the office of the SS and Police Leader was informed by an Italian soldier (of German blood resident in Switzerland) that some Jews were concealed within the Italian barracks in Lwow, who were to be smuggled across the frontier by members of the Italian Forces within the next days. Shortly before they intended to start, two leaders in mufti entered the barracks and succeeded in arresting a group of seven persons and confiscating 3,200 gold dollars and a large amount of diamonds and jewels. They made the interesting discovery that already 970 gold dollars had been paid for bribing 4 members of the Italian Forces. This money was confiscated also. The Italian soldiers thereupon were sent home.
On 5/13/1943 two German Drivers of the Luftwaffe Headquarters in Cracow reported that a Jew had approached them with the request to transport about 20 to 30 Jews from the Jewish camp Lwow to Brody; some of them were in possession of arms; they would provide forged transport orders; directed to these military drivers. In exchange they offered 20000 Zl. The drivers were ordered to accept the offers, to load the Jews on the Luftwaffe car the 15 May at 5 p.m., to start in the direction of Brody, but to turn the car as soon as it passed the office of NSKK Lwow which was situated at this street, and to drive into the court yard of this office. In fact the car, manned with 20 Jews and one Pole, arrived in this court yard at 5:30 p.m. The Jews, some of whom were armed with charged pistols and sawed-off carbines with the safety devices released, were overwhelmed by a waiting detachment and disarmed. The following arms were confiscated:
1. 1P. Beretta-pistol, Kal. pp
* * * * *
9. further specifications.
The pistols, mentioned sub. 1. and 2. had been purchased by the Jews from members of the Italian Forces for 2000 Zl. each. The names of the sellers could not be ascertained. After a diligent search, considerable valuables were found and confiscated. A diligent interrogation of the arrested Jews led to the discovery that a certain Jew by the name of Horowitz who was staying in the woods near Brody together with a larger group of Jews, used to organize such transports. As a result of this interrogation it was possible moreover to arrest those Jews who forged identity papers for fugitives. The Pole who was arrested at the same time, confessed to be a member of the Polish Resistance Movement "PPR". Furthermore he named the Jew Horowitz as the Chief Executive of the "PPR" in Lwow. The place of communication in the woods near Brody having been discovered by these interrogations, the whole of this wood area was surrounded and combed out by detachments of the Gendarmerie and of the Ukrainian Police, and two companies of the German Army on the same day. These forces met smaller forces of armed bandits who had established themselves in several furnished dug-outs and trenches dating from the Russian occupation. The bandits in all cases used their arms, but they all were overwhelmed and rendered harmless.
33 Jewish bandits were shot. Some sawed-off carbines and some quick-firing rifles and pistols of Russian make were confiscated. Polish game-keeper taking part in the combing-out action was shot dead by the bandits. During the arrests in Lwow, one SS-man was wounded by a shot into the left shank. The 2 German drivers were paid as recompense for their exemplary conduct 2000 Zl. each. The forged marching-orders and transport orders found in possession of the Jews are reproduced below. [Transport order omitted.]
In the same way we succeeded on 5/21/1943 in destroying a Jewish gang who again were armed with 0.8 cal. pistols of Italian origin. (In the meantime all Italian soldiers left the district of Galicia.)
Only some days later, the 31 May, we succeeded again, during a new comb-out, in destroying 6 dug-outs of major size containing 139 Jewish bandits.
On 6/2/1943, again some Jews who attempted to escape to Hungary by means of a military car owned by the Hungarian Army, were arrested and, since they resisted, shot. Here again considerable values were confiscated. The Hungarian soldiers participating in the action were adequately rewarded.
The evacuation having been completed, nevertheless, still minor actions are necessary in order to track Jews in hiding and concealment. This is proved by the fact that every day some persons are caught in possession of forged identity cards and passes. Some forged identity cards, passes, marching orders, and leave passes are enclosed herewith. [Cards and photographs omitted.]
Since we received more and more alarming reports on the Jews becoming armed in an ever increasing manner, we started during the last fortnight in 6/1943 an action throughout the whole of the district of Galicia with the intent to use strongest measures to destroy the Jewish
gangsterdom. Special measures were found necessary during the action to dissolve the Ghetto in Lwow where the dug-outs mentioned above had been established. Here we had to act brutally from the beginning, in order to avoid losses on our side; we had to blow up or to burn down several houses. On this occasion the surprising fact arose that we were able to catch about 20000 Jews instead of 12000 Jews who had registered. We had to pull at least 3000 Jewish corpses out of every kind of hiding places; they had committed suicide by taking poison.
Our own losses suffered in these actions:
Spotted Fever: dead 1
man fallen ill: 120 men
Shot by Jews: dead 7 men
wounded: 12 men
Stabbed by Jews: dead 1 man
Lost by accident in evacuation action: dead: 2 men,
wounded: 5 men.
Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS-Police Officer during these actions, mood and spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy from the first to the last day.
Only thanks to the sense of duty of every single leader and man have we succeeded to get rid of this PLAGUE in so short a time.