In 1998 and 1999, Ken Lewis scanned a number of these Einsatzgruppen reports and other material, and posted them on the Electric Zen website. They have been an invaluable aid to researchers in the field, and may still be seen at the Einsatzgruppen website at:
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/index.htm and specifically at:
Recently I noticed that this collection does not contain a number of the individual reports which were part of the original collection. In an effort to make these available, I have scanned some of the missing reports from ed. Arad, Yitzhak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spektor's The Einsatzgruppen Reports: Selections from the Dispatches of the Nazi Death Squad's Campaign Against the Jews July 1941-January 1943, Holocaust Library (Yad Vashem Martyr's Remembrance Authority), New York: 1989, and will post them here. Here are 13 of the missing reports to make a start:
Additional information on the officers of these units and the structure of the Einsatzgruppen, compiled by Peter Hertel and moderator Michael Miller, is available on Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research website at:
http://www.geocities.com/~orion47/SS-PO ... uppen.html
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 3, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 11
Location July 2, 1941: Under way from Siauliai to Riga (Communication by radiogram)
Location July 3, 1941: Under way from Mitau to Riga (Communication by radiogram)
Einsatzkommando 1 b: Location Kaunas
Einsatzkommando 2: Location July 3, 1941: Siauliai, NKVD Building.
Siauliai: 35,000 inhabitants (12-15,000 Jews). About 2,000 Jews are still left. The others have fled. The prison is empty. In order to keep the war plants and the plants vital for the population operational, the Wehrmacht is, for the time being, not in a position to dispose of the Jewish manpower still available and fit for work.
Location July 3: Kaunas (Communication by radiogram)
Location July 2, 1941: Lvov (Communication by radiogram)
According to reliable information, the Russians, before withdrawing, shot 30,000 inhabitants. The corpses piled up and burned at the GPU prisons are dreadfully mutilated. The population is greatly excited: 1,000 Jews have already been forcefully gathered together.
Einsatzkommando 6 reports on July 2, 1941 that 133 Jews were shot.
Location: July 3: Volkovisk.
The group commander reports the result of the conference with Army Group Central Sector about the recognition of the Lithuanian Committee by the field commander. There is unanimity on this. Army Group Central Sector immediately issued a corresponding order.
Officials of the Komsomol and Jewish officials of the Communist Party were liquidated. The Einsatzkommando is trying to push forward to Minsk as fast as possible.
Location on July 2, 1941: Under way to Slutsk.
Location July 3, 1941: Volkovisk.
Kommandos in Slonim and Baranovichi.
Vorauskommando under way to Lida.
Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 12, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 20
The industrialized areas are only slightly damaged. The town is without light and water. Political and government officials have fled. The population is very depressed. Many people have lost their shelter and the food situation is worsening. To protect the communication lines and prevent acts of sabotage, the Field Commander ordered the arrest of all male inhabitants between the ages of 18-45. The civil prisoners are being screened at this time. The attitude of the population toward the Germans is one of wait-and-see. The Byelorussians show a friendlier attitude towards the Germans. However, the entire population hopes that the occupation will enable them to live a normal life in the near future.
According to the last report of Einsatzgruppe B, wooden houses in the western part of Minsk were set afire. Apparently the houses were set on fire by Jews because the Jews were supposed to evacuate their homes for returning Byelorussian refugees. At present the population is in a mood to launch a pogrom. Their fury caused certain anti-Jewish actions. A number of Jews were liquidated for this act.
On July 5, 1941, 15 Jews were executed as reprisal for the bestial murder of the Ukrainian nationalist leader Dr. Kirnychny in Rudki. The Ukrainian population on their part set the synagogue and Jewish houses on fire. 150 Ukrainians were found murdered in Stryj. In the course of a search, it was possible to arrest 12 Communists who were responsible for the murder of the Ukrainians. It concerns 11 Jews and 1 Ukrainian who were shot with the participation of the entire population of Stryj.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 14, 1941
30 copies (22nd copy)
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 22
Location: Chernovtsy, Vorkommando at Khotin. The following was ascertained at Chernowitz:
1. The Rumanians declare North Bukovina to be Rumanian territory.
2. A great number of Jews of the poorer class are in Rumanian prisons. Nearly no intelligentsia.
3. The Rumanians are inclined to exterminate the upper echelon of Ukrainian leadership in order to settle the Ukrainian problem in the North Bukovina once and for all, taking advantage of the present situation. 22 Ukrainians are under Rumanian arrest in Chernowitz. lb has been given the following orders in this respect:
a. To influence the Rumanian authorities to take severe measures concerning the Jewish question. They must raid Jewish meetings and uncover conspiracies in order to stimulate Rumanian activities against the Jewish intelligentsia and to enable us to take a hand ourselves.
b. To hold or to turn over to us important Ukrainians; similarly, Ukrainian Communists will be put at the disposal of the Rumanians.
10b finished its tasks at Khotin. Intelligentsia from the Soviet party and public life, Jewish agitators, teachers, lawyers, and rabbis were apprehended with the help of Ukrainian informants in the course of several raids. Jewish physicians were not arrested in order to administer to the medical needs of the population.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 15, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 23
Former Polish officers and Jews play an important part in the Honved Army. The translators are almost without exception either Jews or scoundrels. Names of individual Polish officers have been established. All the leading military Hungarian circles sympathize with the Poles, most of them also with the Jews. Poles were preferred in Zaleshchiki and Stanislovov. The Hungarian Feldgendarmerie is apparently favoring the setting up of Polish units.
In the area of Zaleshchiki, the Poles cooperate with Soviet Russian gangs who are still hiding in the forests. Hungarian circles deny knowing of Polish activities in connection with Bolsheviks. All the intelligence officers are either Jews or under Jewish influence. I personally had dealings with 6 officers in the area who were undoubtedly Jews. A Polish officer, Dabrowski, holds a leading position.
Isolated actions against Jews were carried out by the militia (Ukrainian). As a consequence, the Hungarian Army intervened immediately. In Stanislovov one could see leading officers together with many Jews in the restaurant "Kiev."
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 17, 1941
34 copies (23rd copy)
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 25
We must be aware that a Rumanian major from Jassy delegated by the Rumanians will arrive. For the time being, administrative business is carried out by a suitable personality who has connections with the EK and was delegated by the local Kommandatur. Before the arrival of the local Kommandatur, the commander initiated some preparatory measures for the reopening of the supply factories. These measures are being continued by the local Kommandatur.
During the past days and nights, considerable excesses were carried out repeatedly against Jews by Rumanian soldiers. The number of Jews killed cannot be established, but might, however, reach several hundred. On the evening of July 10, Rumanian military authorities rounded up some 400 Jews of all ages, including men and women, in order to shoot them in retaliation for attacks on Rumanian military personnel. Fault was found, however, in the lengthy technical planning. Following the wish of the commander of the 170th Division, the Rumanian commanding general restricted himself in the last moment to the shooting of 15 male Jews.
Rumanian police gather up the Jews who are capable of working, and keep them under arrest. These Jews are also used for clearing and cleaning jobs [removing rubble, etc.].
Before yesterday in accordance with the wish of the commander of the 170th Division, about 70 hostages were arrested. This number is to be increased to 200, in order to protect the army against repeated insidious attacks that have occurred. A few hostages were shot as retribution for the attack on a German army car in a suburb of Belzy. All the leading state and party officials have fled.
Interrogation of various Ukrainians in the P.O. W. collection centers has demonstrated that they all had joined the war without the slightest enthusiasm and that they awaited the Germans as their liberators. They had been told by the Russian soldiers that the Germans would shoot them in case they were captured, but as they knew how their fathers had been treated as German P.O. W. s in World War I, they realized that these were only lies of the Red Rulers. Other sources also confirm that many Ukrainians kept away from actively resisting the German advance.
Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin July 19, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 27
A meeting of the commander of the Rear Army Area 102 with the higher SS and Police Leader has resulted in complete agreement concerning our further activities.
The rear security divisions attach great importance to cooperation with the security police.
Liquidation continues daily. If they are not caught red-handed [in some dereliction], persons are liquidated according to lists. It has been repeatedly observed that Jews escape into the forests now and try to hide there. The employed White Russians have shown little activity so
far. It has been explained already to Dr. Tschora what is expected from their support, particularly concerning the cooperation in the apprehension of Communists, officials, commissars, intellectuals, Jews, etc.
With the Vorkommando to Slutsk and Lachoviche. Special action [Sonderaktion] was carried out against 60 Communists.
Zhitomir had a population of 90,000, of which about 30% were Jews, 15% Poles, the rest Ukrainians, and about 4,000 Volksdeutsche. Now there are approximately 40,000.
Zhitomir is heavily damaged by arson committed by the Russians. The population greets the Germans as they march in.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin July 20, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 28
Location: Pleskau [Pskov]
Einsatzgruppe A has transmitted secret instructions (a copy of which is enclosed) concerning the deportation of anti-Soviet elements from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
I. Following consultations with Army Group South, the agreement stands that all the Einsatzkommandos as well as the Group staff stay close to the fighting troops whenever possible. This guarantees that the advance Kommandos as well as the main Kommandos will march into Kiev as soon as possible after its capture, which is expected shortly.
II. According to the report of an eyewitness from Tarnopol, an officer of the German Air Force was led through the city by the Russian police, followed by a large crowd of Jews, and was insulted and ill treated. The population is in general convinced that it is mostly the Jews who should be held responsible for the atrocities that are committed everywhere.
IV. So far, a total of 240 executions have been carried out in Rovno: mostly Jewish Bolshevik agents and informers of the NKVD. The advanced Kommando Lublin for special tasks arrived here yesterday and together with the militia will now proceed to undertake the further purging of the town and its environs.
As it was learned that the Russians before they left have either deported the Ukrainian intelligentsia, or executed them, that is, murdered them, it is assumed that in the last days before the retreat of the Russians, about 100 influential Ukrainians were murdered. So far the bodies have not been found — a search has been initiated.
About 100-150 Ukrainians were murdered by the Russians in Kremenets. Some of these Ukrainians are said to have been thrown into cauldrons of boiling water. This has been deduced from the fact that the bodies were found without skin when they were exhumed. In retaliation, the Ukrainians killed 130 Jews with sticks.
In Dubno, where the activities have essentially come to an end, a total of 100 executions were carried out. Among them was a Ukrainian who since 1940 has worked without interruption for the NKVD. He confessed he was responsible for the murder or deportation of Ukrainians into Central Russia; in addition, two Communist officials and confidants of the NKVD who instigated sniper-warfare; one Communist who had revealed every activity of the Ukrainian nationalists to the Russians and had initiated the evacuation or deportation of many local families. Finally, there were also two Russians who were found in possession of shoulder-straps, leather-wear and army under-wear of German soldiers. Before leaving Dubno, the Russians, as they had done in Lvov, committed extensive mass-murder.
Altogether 127 executions were carried out in Tarnopol. Before their flight, as in Lvov and Dubno, the Russians went on a rampage there. Disinterments revealed 10 bodies of German soldiers. Almost all of them had their hands tied behind their backs with wire. The bodies revealed traces of extremely cruel mutilations such as gouged eyes, severed tongues and limbs.
The number of Ukrainians who were murdered by the Russians, among them women and children, is set finally at 600. Jews and Poles were spared by the Russians. The Ukrainians estimate the total number of victims since the occupation of the Ukraine by the Russians at about 2,000. The planned deportation of the Ukrainians al-ready started in 1939. There is hardly a family in Tarnopol from which one or several members have not disappeared. In the town, containing about 40,000 inhabitants, among them 12,000 Ukrainians, 18,000 Jews, and 10,000 Poles, there are fewer than 10,000 Ukrainians left. The entire Ukrainian intelligentsia is destroyed. Since the beginning of the war, 160 members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia were either murdered or deported.
Inhabitants of the town had observed a column of about 1,000 civilians driven out of town by police and army early in the morning of July 1, 1941.
As in Lvov, torture chambers were discovered in the cellars of the Court of Justice. Apparently, hot and cold showers were also used here (as in Lemberg) for torture, as several bodies were found, totally naked, their skin burst and torn in many places. A grate was found in another room, made of wire and set above the ground about 1m in height, traces of ashes were found underneath. A Ukrainian engineer, who was also to be murdered but saved his life by smearing the blood of a dead victim over his face, reports that one could also hear screams of pain from women and girls.
The troops passing by who saw these horrors, in particular the bodies of the murdered German soldiers, killed approximately 600 Jews and burned down their houses.
The Chief of the Security Police and of the SD
Berlin July 22, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 30
Location: Zhitomir, reports:
187 Soviet Russians and Jews turned over by the army, some as civilian prisoners, were shot in Zhitomir.
One car of Einsatzgruppe 4a was shot at from a house in Zhitomir. The young culprit, aged 12, was arrested. Inquiries are not yet completed. Retaliation measures initiated.
Since Communists and Jews are said to hide in the area of Zhitomir, systematic search activity has started in cooperation with the army... Despite the independence propaganda of the Bandera group, the mood of the Ukrainians, particularly in the provincial towns, continues to be good. They are only worried about the advance of the Hungarian troops into Ukrainian territory.
Polish officers are serving with the Hungarians and are hostile to-ward the Ukrainian militia. They prefer German occupation to Ukrainian rule. Rumor propaganda from the resistance movements is being notices.
Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 23, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 31
5. Einsatzkommando 9
Mood and Situation in the Occupied Territories
Up to now, Jewry has shown restraint. The harsh measures against the Jews and, in particular, the executions, have increased the anti-German attitude considerably. They are also attempting to become aggressive.
Reports that Jewish circles spread horror propaganda and other incitements against the Germans among the population be-come more and more frequent. They try to intimidate and threaten the White Russians who remain undecided whether to carry out pogroms.
The Jews have organized a signal service and, as soon as a SiPo kommando appears, escape into the surrounding forests and swamps. At least 1½ million Jews live in the Byelorussian area; their sociological structure differs from that of the former Polish and Soviet regions. While the Jew did not have any official function and did not enjoy any special protection as a Jew in what was formerly Poland, in the Soviet Union, he regarded himself, without any question, as a member of the ruling strata.
The Polish Jew always had to be aware of anti-Jewish demonstrations from the population, and where he was not in the majority, he considered it better to appear reserved and timid. The Soviet Jews, on the other hand, were strengthened in their self-confidence to a great degree during the quarter century of Jewish-Bolshevik rule. They appeared to be not only self-assured but even arrogant in many cases when the German troups entered. The liquidations of Jews carried out by the Einsatzgruppe brought about a rapid external change. Nevertheless, the Jew remains dangerous and hostile in this area. Because of his education and tradition, he is ideally suited and also willing in most cases to inflict significant damage.
A solution of the Jewish question during the war seems impossible in this area because of the tremendous number of Jews. It could only be achieved through deportations. However, to work out a flexible basis for the immediate future, the Einsatzgruppe B has, wherever it arrived, enforced the following measures:
Appointed a chairman of the Judenrat [Jewish Council]; in every town he was charged with setting up a Judenrat consisting of 3-10 per-sons. The Judenrat bears the collective responsibility for the behavior of the Jewish population. Besides, the Judenrat has to start immediately with the registration of Jews living in the area. In addition, the Judenrat must organize work groups consisting of all male Jews aged 15-55, to carry out cleaning and other work for German [civilian] offices and the Army. Also a few female work groups are to be set up from the same age-group.
The German soldiers are not always able to distinguish between the Jewish and the local non-Jewish residents, resulting in some unpleasant situations. Thus, it was ordered that all male and female Jews over the age of 10 are to wear, as of now, the yellow Jewish patch on the breast and the back.
The Judenrat is subordinated to the temporary town-commissar. The position of town-commissar has been given to reliable Byelorussians who were suggested and chosen by the Einsatzkommandos.
Because of their great numbers, the housing of the Jews in the ghetto itself presents a particularly difficult task. The fulfillment of this task is already in progress. Suitable town-districts have been chosen, in collaboration with the military and civilian headquarters.
Economic life has come to a standstill for the time being because of destruction and looting. Some factories in Minsk and Borisov have renewed their work. Kolkhoz workshops have been destroyed by looting and requisitions. This has influenced the supply situation. Presently, money has almost no value and bread is issued in lieu of payment.
Continued tension persists between Lithuanians and Poles in the Vilna district, but no open clashes occur, due to the German Army's presence.
Many rumors are circulating concerning imminent Polish action. Four additional Lithuanian-organized groups were uncovered which have, so far, not been active, according to our information. The control of the sermons in Vilnius has resulted in a generally positive political attitude.
A Jewish-Polish secret organization exists in Vilnius and its environs. It has set itself the task of reestablishing by force Polish sovereignty. The organization which is said to be very large in number is divided into sections in the town and country of the Vilnius district. They are said to have machine guns, rifles, pistols and hand grenades. The organization is also said to possess a secret transmitter. An agent was planted in the organization. We expect to uncover it within 2-3 days.
There exists complete agreement with the commander of the Rear Army Area concerning the treatment of partisans and soldiers in civilian clothes. Large actions are initiated with participation of the security police. Proceedings are carried out with utter ruthlessness.
The number of liquidations reported on July 14, 1941 is 4,243 and by July 19 has increased by an additional 3,386.
As of now, there is an order to dissolve the Communist party and Communist organizations. Confiscations of valuables, reports, and files, etc., are assured. The Einsatzgruppe is constantly kept in-formed as to all confiscations and other activities that occur by the local Kommandatur, etc.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 24, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 32
1. Police activity
In addition to reports from Brest-Litovsk, Minsk, Bialystok, Baranovichi, and Slonim, we have received reports on activity of EKs from: Novogrudok, Brazianka, Lizejka, Vsielub, Niekhnierviche, Koreliche, Stankiewiche, Zdzenciol, Lida and Lakhoviche. We have succeeded in arresting 67 NKVD agents and officials; among these were three Red Commissars from these small localities; they have been liquidated.
Cooperation between the EK 8, based in Baranovichi, and the appropriate Army units is particularly successful. Together with the local military and civilian headquarters the formation of Jewish Councils, registration and concentration of Jews were brought about, as well as a renewed registration of all civilians. With the help of the GFP, the Abwehr units, and the Field Gendarmerie, actions were carried out continuously against Bolshevik agents, political commissars, NKVD members, etc. Another 301 per-sons were thus liquidated in Baranovichi. This accounts for Jewish activists, officials and looters. Approximately 25,000 rubles in cash were confiscated.
The Teilkommando which was dispatched to Slonim has carried out with the police major action [Grossaktion] against Jews and other Communist elements. During this action about 2,000 persons were arrested because of Communist activity and looting. Of these, on the same day 1,075 persons were liquidated. The Kommando alone liquidated another 84 persons in Slonim.
In addition, during the Lakhovich liquidation-action, 323 Russian infantry rifles, machine guns, and automatic pistols were confiscated and handed over to the Ortskommandatur [municipal occupation headquarters]. The police, supported by the local Einsatztruppe, have liquidated 4,435 persons, among them 400 Russians and Byelorussians. Quite a number of NKVD buildings were searched for political material. Several card indexes, lists, etc. were found.
In Minsk the entire Jewish intelligentsia has been liquidated (teachers, professors, lawyers, etc., except medical personnel). A Jewish Ordnungspolizei [Ghetto police unit] has been established. It is to maintain order in the new Jewish quarter. The Jewish police is at the disposal of the Jewish Council. It has to help carry out the orders issued by the German authorities and the municipality of Minsk. A Jewish health service, which is subordinated to the city health department, has been set up in order to prevent epidemics in the Jewish quarter.
At present the population of Bialystok cooperates actively in the elimination of the Bolshevik system. They report regularly on partisan groups in the surrounding area of Bialystok; thus, together with the army, action against them can be taken. As requested by the 162nd Infantry Division, the security police carried out an action against former Communist officials who now live in a small locality near Bialystok. 17 Communist officials were liquidated. In Bialystok proper, another 59 NKVD informants were liquidated.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 27, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 33
The Jewish Question in the Byelorussian Territories
More than half of world Jewry lives on a relatively narrow strip of east-central Europe along the Riga-Bucharest line, the so-called Jewish segment of Europe. Here, one can find the human reservoir of western Jewry which cannot renew itself on its own, depending on a steady transfusion from the east. It is simply impossible to trace the family lines of any leading personality of world Jewry without going back to the ghetto of some town in east-central Europe.
The Jews came to these regions following the migrational routes taken by people on the way from the south to the south-east. A small part also came from Germany. They stopped there as a result of tsarist Russia's laws closing areas further east to Jews until World War I. The zone that was open to the Jews in tsarist Russia included the districts' of Kaunas, Grodno, Vilnius, Volhynia, Podolia, Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Kiev (without the city of Kiev), Chernigov, Poltava, Jekaterinoslav, Tauria (without the cities Nikolayev, Sevastopol and the tsarist summer residence in Yalta), Bessarabia and the 10 districts of the Russian part of Poland. The Jews that were already settled in Kurland and Livonia were given permission to stay there.
Despite this the Jews frequently broke through into the forbidden zone which was not difficult because of the corruption of the Russian police. There were also some legal opportunities since academicians and businessmen of the first and second guilds were also permitted to live officially outside the Jewish zone. Of course, all these exceptions only concerned relatively small numbers.
1. Gubernia (Russian for 'province').
The 1917 February revolution lifted the Jewish settlement ban. The central part of Russia was also opened up by law to the Jews. Particularly under Bolshevik rule (which began half a year later) they rushed in ever increasing numbers to the Russian east, especially to the big cities. This development was of too short a duration to cause a noticeable de-Judaization2' of the east-central European region until now. Only the very large natural population surplus of Eastern Jewry was diminished.
The Byelorussian area of settlements also belongs to the area of maximal Jewish-density. According to the 1926 Soviet census, at that time there were more than 400,000 Jews in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR). In the western regions, formerly part of Poland and inhabited mainly by Byelorussians, the districts3 of Bialystok, Novogrudok, Polesie and Vilnius had a Jewish population of more than 500,000 according to the last Polish census of 1931. Only a fraction of the Jews living here are included in this number since only those who admitted being Jews were registered as such in this census. The Polish census, for instance, reveals that in most of the Polish census regions, the number of those who admit to belonging to the Mosaic faith is higher than the number of persons who admit that they are Jews. Converted Jews and children of mixed marriages4 are of course not registered as Jews. Conditions are similar in the Soviet Union. There, religion was not included in the census; however, in the same region, in many cases, more people declared Yiddish as their mother tongue than were registered as Jews. The estimate of 1½ million Jews in the Byelorussian territories is rather too small than too high.
These Jews lived formerly scattered all over the country with special preference for small towns, some of which are even today almost totally Jewish as their population consists of up to 80% or 90% Jews. Around the turn of the century, particularly after World War I, a tendency to move to the big cities set in, with a preference for living in the larger towns such as Grodno, Bialystok, Brest, Baranovichi, Pinsk, Mosyr, Gomel, Bobruisk, Mogilev and particularly in Minsk, where there were 100-120,000 Jews in a population of 238,000.
The sociological structure of the Jews in the west is not the same as in the east. In both regions one thing is similar. While a small portion of the Jews can be counted as belonging to the upper strata, it is extraordinarily high in relation to that of the host nation. Most of the Jews live in great poverty and exist from small workshops, home artisanship and, most of all, from small trade and small commission jobs. On the other hand, there are only a few workers and even fewer peasants among the poor Jews.
In the former Polish areas, as well as in the former Soviet part of Byelorussia, almost all the key positions in spiritual and cultural life are occupied by the Jews. Universities, schools, newspapers and theaters were under Jewish influence. Jews formed an overwhelming majority among physicians and lawyers. The Jewish political influence in the former Polish areas, however, was felt mainly through their very strong economic position. Direct influence on politics in former Poland was exerted mainly by camouflaged descendants of Jews. They are in very great numbers among the Polish intelligentsia, with very many descendants of mixed marriages. Polish and Jewish estimates calculate the number around 2 million.
The use of power by the Jews to influence politics played a smaller role in the Soviet Union, though they quickly learned to take over the leading and economically most profitable posts in the nationalized economy. Their main ambition, however, was to occupy the decisive posts in the government itself and in the Communist party, especially in the real power centers, the Central Committee of the KP (B) SU. How fast and with how much success they managed to do so is proven by the fact that in Lenin's time, the Jews, though constituting 1.77% of the entire population, were represented in the Communist party with 5.2%, in the party's Central Committee with 25.7% and in the Politburo with 36.8%. At the end of the Lenin period their participation in the Politburo was up to 42.9%. In the area of high Jewish density, as in Byelorussia, this participation was accordingly higher.
These statements do not reflect the actual conditions accurately. There were and are strong anti-Semitic tendencies inherent in the Russian people, even if they are latent at present. Although the death penalty for anti-Semitism existed in the Soviet Union, the Jews deemed it prudent to camouflage themselves as much as possible. The most frequent means for this was a change of name which is very easy to effect in the Soviet Union, where a notification at the appropriate office is sufficient. In former years such a change was announced in a government publication so that the number can be estimated with some precision. These publications have stopped lately, but it is certain that the changes of names have rather increased than decreased as the Jews have gone far in their camouflage. After the political crises in 1936 and 1937, they gave up in many cases obvious posts, concentrating instead on those posts that are less obvious and representative in public life, but having politically more power where the influence of state and party meet. Here the Politburo occupies the first place.
Recapitulating, one can state that:
At least 1½ million Jews live in the Byelorussian (region). Their social structure is not uniform as in the former Polish and Soviet parts. Immediate measures were taken for the solution of the Jewish question by installing Jewish councils, identifying all Jews over 10 years of age with special badges, setting up labor gangs of all Jews aged 15-55. The establishment of ghettos is already in progress and already partly accomplished.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 28, 1941
43 copies (32nd copy)
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 36
I. Police Activity:
a. In the course of an extensive search action, 38 more persons were arrested in cooperation with the GFP. A larger number of weapons, radios and files has been secured. Further action led to the liquidation of 193 Jews. Two armed robbers caught red-handed were also liquidated. A Jewish-Polish secret organization was discovered and was infiltrated by secret agents. They will be uncovered only after more details are available. An organization plan of the NKVD and NKGB was set up in Vilnius with the assistance of secret agents. For the time being, one cannot know for certain if this plan is complete in all its details.
b. Until further notice, about 200 persons are being liquidated daily in Minsk. This concerns Bolshevik officials, criminals, Asiatics, etc. They are being sorted out from among civilian-camp prisoners. Among those already liquidated were also the former politically oriented staff commissar, Gregory Bylich, born 1890 in Lesog, and his wife. Both had been very active in the deportation of Byelorussians to Siberia. Actions were further carried out in Rakov, about 40 km from Minsk, and in the forest region north of the Minsk-Borissov-Krupka line. 58 Jews, Communist officials, and agents, prison inmates as well as soldiers in plain clothes suspected of having contact with partisan groups, were liquidated. In addition, 12 Jewesses who were proven to be agents for the KP during the Polish campaign were shot.
c. Concerning their KP memberships: Our experience up to now shows that a majority of members at heart rejected the Bolshevik Weltanschauung [world outlook]. The Soviet leading class had exerted strong pressure on the population to join the KP Those who refused were in many cases sent to Siberia, thrown into prison or shot. The percentage of the population that was forced to join the party varied, however, within the diverse groups of peoples. In general, the Jews belong to the party out of inner conviction. The same goes for the Russians who lived in Byelorussian areas. Also the Poles were forced into memberships.
However, coercion to join the KP was often the case with the Byelorussians. The Kommandos have been ordered to consider these facts carefully in the course of the liquidations.
II. Civilian Life Activity:
a. The activity of the Roman Catholic Church, which has in the Byelorussian area mainly Polish leadership, is very noticeable and clearly attempts, with the Byelorussian clergy, to do missionary work.
b. Preference of Byelorussian personnel for "leading and organizational" positions in the former Polish areas as well as gradual removal and relief of the Poles partly causes reactions in their mood.
c. Ruthless requisitions have had a negative influence on the general public mood as well as the prevailing conditions in Minsk and its rural environs. A price list has been drawn up, and the question of wages was handled in Minsk. Free trade will be opened up soon. The Reichskreditkasse has granted the city of Minsk a substantial loan for its reconstruction expenses. For the time being financial re-sources are drawn from forced loans from the Jewish population. The appointed head of the Minsk district has appointed an administrator of the kolkhozes [collective farms]. The following immediate projects have been ordered:
A survey of cattle and cultivated fields has to be drawn up; further-more, all the distributions in the kolkhoz-factories were cancelled. The immediate publication of a newspaper in the Byelorussian language is planned. The first 5,000 copies are to be printed. The con-tent: general information, German Army reports and news from the front. For the time being, political issues are not to be touched. Radio station Baranovichi lacks material to transmit; there are not enough records either.
d. It is evident that the population rejects the Bolshevik rule in the area around Orscha, Krupka, and Shklov, 200 km east of Minsk; how-ever, this is so mainly for economic and social reasons. The population is still greatly intimidated. Economic life is completely paralyzed, food very scarce. The population rummages in demolished places for things which they could use. Einsatzkommando 7b has set up appointed town administrations in Krupka, Shklov and other places. Four-fifths of Shklov are destroyed, mainly by arson. Citizens are afraid to assume an office in the town hall for fear that the leaders of the Komsomol might take revenge. We succeeded nevertheless in forming a city council consisting of 8 Russians who carried out the following:
1. Clearing of houses inhabited by Jews and placing the Jews in ghettos (cases of leprosy and scabies were observed among the Jews).
2. Distribution of flour to the population from army reserves.
3. Work in city kolkhoz was begun.
e. The antagonism between Poland and Lithuania continues in the district of Vilnius. Poles feel disadvantaged in the distribution of goods.
Lithuanians believe that they have the right to arrest Poles and to confiscate their belongings. There is, however, a general agreement with the measures taken by the Germans, particularly with the proceedings against the Jews. It was established that the above-mentioned Lithuanian organization has dissolved spontaneously with the advance of the German forces. The active forces went over to the activist [collaborating] groups. Activity of Schaulists has increased in the university. Tension between Fascist and Catholic groups can be noticed there. Fascist groups are in the minority.
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
Berlin, July 29, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 37
There were about 30,000 Jews living in Zhitomir, that is somewhat more than 30% of the entire population. The greatest part of them fled before the occupation of the German Army. According to conservative estimates, there are now about 5,000 Jews (9% of the entire population) in Zhitomir. Many Jews, particularly the intelligentsia, were active as informers for the NKVD. They were given preferential treatment by the Soviet authorities. They were mainly employed as administration officials, managers of warehouses, kolkhozes and sovkhozes [state farms]. (80% of the Soviet officials in the area of Zhitomir were Jews.) They had hardly any difficulties from the Soviet authorities in practicing their religion. Unlike the Orthodox churches, the synagogues were at the disposal of the Jews for their religious ritual. The Jews have not given up hope that the Bolsheviks will return in the near future. Because of the Jewish behavior during the time of the Bolshevik government, the population, with only few exceptions, is consciously anti-Semitic.
The Ukrainian population, at least the older generation, is at heart generally religious. Churches which were not used for public purposes were destroyed by the Soviets. There were, however, itinerant priests who went from village to village gathering the believers around them. A tremendous need for religious activity prevails. As could be established so far, [Soviet] anti-religious propaganda has been in general ineffective in the areas that are now occupied by German troops.
The 6th Army HQ presently prepares a special order because of the uncontrolled requisitioning of houses, cattle, and machinery by German troops. There is also a plan to try and release Ukrainian prisoners of war after a short inquiry, so that they can return to their homes, if they are now under German Army occupation. Thus, it is hoped that through these means it will be possible to proceed with the harvest without damage.
Since the Kommandos have marched into the Old-Russian area, it has become evident that work is much more difficult and frequently ineffective. This might be so because the Russians have spared the Western Ukraine. Now the Russians destroy everything systematically, as they retreat.
This assumption is confirmed by the circular letters which were found in Zhitomir. According to these, a summons was issued by the Soviet central organization of trade, economy and handicraft, to destroy the entire property of the state, i.e. buildings and supplies. In addition, they ordered the political commissars, Russians and also Jews, to retreat together with the Russians. This also explains the fact that the search for political commissars, etc., is not too successful at this time.
In Zhitomir itself, Gruppenstab and the advance Kommando of EK 4a have to date shot approximately 400 Jews, Communists, and informants for the NKVD. Thus, Einsatzkokmmando 4a has carried out 2531 executions.
In Zhitomir, a large prison camp has been set up which also contains civilian prisoners. It is highly probable that there are, particularly among these civilian prisoners, former political commissars who, apparently on instructions, left their units in time to procure civilian clothes for themselves.
Thus, three political commissars in civilian clothes who eventually admitted their identity were apprehended.
In each case attempts to obtain the truth about their assignments and activities failed. It is clear from their manner of infiltration and by their conduct that they were acting according to definite instructions.
As reported already, a Jew aged twelve, who had fired at a vehicle of Einsatzkommando 4a, was arrested. All attempts to seize any adult instigators behind him proved in vain. As retribution another action will be carried out against the Jews.
While almost everywhere the Soviets have destroyed or removed
all the material, Einsatzkommando 5 has succeeded in securing important material, chiefly pertaining to the NKVD, at Kremenets. The material has been passed on.
Report from the district Belzy
Belzy is a district town (Kreisstadt) of 55,000 inhabitants of whom approximately 2//3 are Jews. The whole district comprises about 600,000 people. It is subdivided into 14 rayons (counties) with 350 villages.
1. The town of Belzy is extensively destroyed. Present population, therefore, not ascertainable.
2. Searches in state and party buildings without result. Communist functionaries of Belzy have fled.
3. Rumanian police operates in political police area under the Kommando's directions.
4. Partisan warfare.
During the night of July 11-12 a German military vehicle was fired at in Belzy. Consequently 10 hostages were executed and a public announcement was made by the Rumanian police. During the evening of July 15 military vehicles were again fired at and 20 more hostages were dealt with by a summary court. During the night of July 15-16 German pioneers were murdered by decapitation. Counter-measures are not fixed at present.
Rumanian police in and around Belzy act harshly against Jews. The precise number of shootings cannot be ascertained. On the evening of July 15, the Kommando appropriately punished the Jewish Council of Elders in Belzy and other Jews totalling 45 for failing to comply with security police directives and as retribution for attacks on German military personnel.