German documents on anti-semitism in the Ukraine

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German documents on anti-semitism in the Ukraine

Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 15:53

This is another documentary thread, this time on the subject of local anti-semitism in Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The first part of this thread consists of extracts from Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector (ed.), The Einsatzgruppen Reports, Holocaust Library, New York: 1989.

As I run across additional documents on this subject, I will post them here. Readers interested in commenting should post to this thread:

Ukrainian attitudes during and after German occupation
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Operational Situation Report USSR No. 10; July 2, 1941

Einsatzgruppe B

The 17th Army Command has suggested the use first of all of the anti-Jewish and anti-Communist Poles living in the newly-occupied areas for self-cleansing activities.

On July 1, 1941 Chief of Security Police and SD issued the following order to all Einsatzgruppen:

Order No. 2:

Poles residing in the newly-occupied Polish territories may be expected, on the basis of their experiences, to be anti-Communist and also anti-Jewish. It is obvious that the cleansing activities have to extend first of all to the Bolsheviks and the Jews. As for the Polish intelligensia and others, decisions can be taken later, unless there is a special reason for taking action in individual cases considered to be dangerous.

It is therefore obvious that such Poles need not be included in the cleansing action, especially as they are of great importance as elements to initiate pogroms and for obtaining information. (This depends, of course, on local conditions.)

This policy is to be applied, of course, to all similar cases.
Last edited by David Thompson on 12 Jun 2005 16:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 15:57

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 14; July 6, 1941

Ek 4b

Location: Tarnopol

In Tarnopol 5,000 Ukrainians were taken away, and 2,000 murdered [by the Soviets]. In retaliation, arrest of Jewish intelligentsia has begun, since they are responsible for the murders and have also acted as informers for the NKVD. The number is estimated at 1,000. On July 5, about 70 Jews were assembled by the Ukrainians and finished off with concentrated fire [machine gunned]. 20 more Jews slain in the streets by Ukrainians and soldiers as retaliation for the murder of 3 soldiers who were found in prison, tied, their tongues sliced and eyes gouged out. The German Army demonstrates a gratifyingly good attitude towards Jews. Zlochev was searched for agents and archives.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 15:58

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 20; July 12, 1941

Einsatzgruppe C:

Location: Rovno

1. Actions

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.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 15:58

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 23; July 15, 1941

Einsatzgruppe C:

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."

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 16:00

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 24; July 16, 1941

II. Behavior of the Ukrainian population.

In the first hours after the Bolshevik withdrawal, the Ukrainians displayed commendable activity against the Jews.

For example, the Dobromil synagogue was set fire and 50 Jews were killed by the enraged crowd at Sambor.

Maltreating them, the Lvov inhabitants rounded up about 1,000 Jews and took them to the GPU prison which has been occupied by the Wehrmacht.

* * *

EK 4a

Moved from Cracow via Zamosc to Sokal and from there into the Lutsk district. Among the civilian prisoners found at Sokal, 17 were discovered to be Communist functionaries, agents and snipers, and were executed on June 28, 1941.

With the help of the Ukrainian militia, another 117 active Communists and agents of the NKVD were found on June 29 and executed the same day. With the assistance of reliable Ukrainians, residents of Sokal, 183 Jewish Communists were also caught. They were liquidated on June 30. Furthermore, Horokhov details the discovery of 7 Communist functionaries on June 30 who were shot on the spot.

An advance unit dispatched to Lutsk on June 27 found the larger part of the town in flames. According to information from the town commander, only Jews can be held responsible for the arson. Prior to their withdrawal, the Bolsheviks shot 2,800 of the 4,000 Ukrainians imprisoned in the Lutsk prison. According to the statement of 19 Ukrainians who survived the slaughter with more or less serious injuries, the Jews again played a decisive part in the arrests and shooting. In the town itself everything was still in wild confusion. All shops were looted by the population. After the arrival of the Einsatzkommando all available men were sent to assist the town commander. They succeeded at least in safeguarding the extensive food supplies. Afterwards the official buildings were systematically searched. Other investigations were started to find the Jews and Communists responsible for the arson and the looting.

300 Jews and 20 looters were arrested and shot on June 30. On July 2 the corpses of 10 German Wehrmacht soldiers were found. In retaliation, 1160 Jews were shot by the Ukrainians with the help of one platoon of the police and one platoon of the infantry. Finally, 50 Polish agents and informers were discovered who were liquidated also. The methodical searches carried out everywhere by the Einsatzkommando before the arrival of the intelligence units and the Secret Military Police were also successful. Thus, it was possible to find on June 28 lists of agents and other important documents in three party buildings as well as in the bank after safes had been forced open.

* * *

A Kommando of the Group Staff participated in an action in Zlochev on July 7, 1942, which had only been superficially purged earlier by Einsatzkommando 4b when it passed through the town. In the NKVD office essential secret documents were seized which were already sealed and ready to be sent off. The investigations at Zlochev proved that the Russians, prior to their withdrawal, arrested and murdered indiscriminately a total of 700 Ukrainians, but nevertheless, included the entire [local] Ukrainian intelligentsia. By order of the Wehrmacht, the militia retaliated by arresting and shooting several hundred Jews. The number of the Jews liquidated may run to about 300-500.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 16:01

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 28; July 20, 1941

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.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 17:05

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 37; July 29, 1941

Einsatzgruppe C:

Location: Zhitomir

Reports:

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.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 17:47

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 43; August 5, 1941

Einsatzgruppe D

Location: Piatra

Einsatzkommando 10a

Location: Balta

Since July 22, 1941, Einsatzkommando l0a is situated in Yampol with the purpose of advancing to Balta. As the majority of the inhabitants of Yampol have fled and the offices did not contain any material, the EK has produced an overview of various regions based on inter-rogations and its own observations.

1. Situation of National Groups:

The district town with the 29 villages belonging to this area is inhabited by a vast majority of Ukrainians and also by a few families of Russian and Polish nationality. The center of Yampol is inhabited by Jews.

There are no national upper-class Ukrainians in that district. Although there is no leadership, the Ukrainian nationality has been preserved. The Ukrainians live in accordance with their national customs, speak only Ukrainian with their children and members of their family. They have no particular customs that would help preserve Ukrainian tradition. But for a few exceptions, the Ukrainians have preserved their racial pride during the last 2 decades. They hate the Jews from the depth of their soul. According to Ukrainian information, they had been entirely disadvantaged in public life. Even in legal matters, their punishable offenses were dealt with much more strictly than were those of Russians or Jews.

The deeper reason for the Ukrainians' hatred of the Jews comes from the fact that the Jews were settled in tsarist times by a special order of the Tsar who wanted to weaken their strong [Ukrainian] national feelings by equalizing the population groups in Russia.

At the time of the revolution, particularly in the year 1919, the Ukrainians took revenge on the Jews instigating veritable pogroms which killed thousands. The deep, insurmountable conflict between the Ukrainians and Jews found its expression in this action.

A spark of this hatred survives also within the present Ukrainian older generation. But they will not expend the energy, given their present mood, to proceed towards the total destruction of the remaining Jews. The Soviet rule has made them feel insecure.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 17:48

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 44; August 6, 1941

Situation in former Russian Poland

Jews

Despite current liquidations, their behavior is impertinent and insolent. The Jewish population is the source of rumors hostile to Germans. Serious transgressions committed by the Hungarians are reported by the population from the East Galician areas which are occupied by the Hungarians. The population has fled from many places to the German-occupied areas, as they are afraid of the violence of the Hungarian troops. The Jewish population supports the Hungarians extensively. Leading Ukrainians have repeatedly turned for help to the Germans with the request that the Hungarians should be forbidden to act in this manner. The population is greatly worried about the presence of Jews and Poles who fled from Poland to Hungary starting in September 1939. The population is systematically worried by rumors spread by these elements against the Germans. Local Poles are urged to organize themselves in resistance movements.

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Postby David Thompson » 12 Jun 2005 18:03

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 47; August 9, 1941

I. Security Police Activities in the Former Polish-Russian Area.

The Einsatzkommando in Brest-Litovsk liquidated 510 persons, and in Bialystok 296 persons. 1500 persons were arrested. Groups of bandits continue their attacks in full strength. Agents [partisans] near Lutsk tried to disrupt the harvest by active Communist propaganda. About 200 parachutists were dropped between Rovno and Lutsk, and most of them were caught. They all made the same statement, namely, that they were ordered to sabotage and, in particular, to disrupt the German supply forces, destroy the harvest, etc.

Jews continue to display hostile behavior: they sabotage German orders, especially where they are strong in numbers. As was previously done, Ukrainian commanders of the [Auxiliary SS] Militia have persons shot who displease them. They demand more ammunition and uniforms in order to protect themselves against alleged Communist attacks. They increasingly make false statements.

Einsatzgruppe C.

Headquarters: Zhitomir.

1. Manner of Action of Einsatzkommandos

In agreement with the commander of Einsatzgruppe D, a small squad of 15 executive officials with an additional 15 members of the Waffen-SS has been sent to Chernovtsy. The main task of the squad, after the withdrawal of Kommando l0a of the Einsatzgruppe D, is to take care of the interest of the absolutely unprotected and helpless Ukrainians.

Owing to the slow progress of the military operations the task of

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the Einsatzkommandos has been rendered rather difficult insofar as Security Police matters are concerned. The whole of the present operational area of the group was systematically evacuated by the Soviets and their party followers long before the German forces had arrived. The Kommandos are, therefore, for the time being, advancing, so to speak, into empty areas. For instance, in Vinnitsa, it was found that the NKVD had left 11 days before the occupation by the Germans and had systematically either taken with them all essential records or destroyed them. A thorough search of the houses of the functionaries or of the Jews has yielded hardly any material. Under these circumstances the present operations of the Einsatzkommandos must necessarily follow a different course. As a primary measure the Kommandos are searching the small villages away from the main roads. Here the population is continually complaining that at night, bands of marauding troops loot and rob them under threats of violence. As far as they can, the Kommandos, whose members are limited, successfully carry out the systematic clearing of the woods in the vicinity of the villages.

In Vinnitsa a search of the town for leading Jews was unsatisfactory. For this reason, the leader of Einsatzkommando 4b resorted to new methods. He called the town's most prominent rabbi ordering him to gather within 24 hours all of the Jewish intelligentsia. He then told the rabbi that they would be required for work. When this first group was judged insufficient, the assembled intellectuals were sent back with the order to collect the remaining intellectuals and to appear with them on the following day. This method was repeated for a third time. In this manner nearly the entire intelligentsia was trapped and liquidated.

Furthermore, at the present time all civilian persons are systematically searched on the highways. This proved again and again that many former prisoners of war were incorrectly discharged on the basis of their uncorroborated claims that they were Ukrainians. A large percentage of suspected elements among these people have been found. Apart from the language, the best test for the investigation is a painstaking interrogation concerning the immediate surroundings of their alleged home. All Asiatics found on the highways are also liquidated. The news evidently had spread that the Einsatzkommandos would, immediately following the advance of the German troops, systematically search the occupied areas. Therefore, for the time being, the Kommandos changed their methods, postponing actions on a

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larger scale. They first concentrated their efforts to look for reliable agents coming chiefly from Ukrainians and ethnic Germans. Then, after a lapse of time they carried out systematic actions. It soon became apparent, in the meantime, that some of the inhabitants with bad political records had returned; they could now be apprehended. At times, a search of the prisoner camps was carried out systematically. These searches disclosed that sometimes camp commanders gave special preference to ethnic-German prisoners for administrative assignments.

Last but not least, systematic reprisals were carried out against marauders and Jews. Particularly, in Jewish houses the searches, time and again, produced stolen goods. In Berdichev, in 45 Jewish houses, stolen goods were secured which were distributed among the suffering Ukrainian population. Furthermore, in Berdichev they found spacious underground passages which the Jews used not only for their meetings but also for storing their loot. Under the pretext of trying to locate their husbands in the prisoner camps, hundreds of women of the surrounding villages were frequently seen loitering about the town. They then took advantage of every opportunity to steal everything that was not nailed down from unoccupied houses. When the luggage they carried was searched, stolen goods (especially textiles, leather goods, foodstuff and tobacco) were brought to light.

Carefully planned attempts made at an earlier date to incite pogroms against Jews have unfortunately not shown the results hoped for. They were successful in Tarnopol and in Chortkov, where 600 and 110 Jews respectively were disposed of. The reason for this failure may be the fact that the Ukrainian population is still too fearful in view of the strong position the Jews held formerly. They are also still afraid of a possible return of the Soviets.

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Postby David Thompson » 13 Jun 2005 05:15

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 50; August 12, 1941

Census of population in some towns provides the following result: Lvov: 370,000 inhabitants, of these 160,000 Jews, 140,000 Poles, 70,000 Ukrainians.

* * *

Ukrainians

In Volhynia, the Bandera group is particularly active. Ukrainians engaged by the German Army use their positions for national and party purposes. They install members as mayors and exert strong influence on the entire Ukrainian Militia. Some observations on Brest-Litovsk where the Ukrainians, despite their small number, are very active, generally expecting that an independent state will be created after the occupation of Kiev. In the district of Galicia, preparations are made for setting up an Ukrainian aid committee according to the pattern of the aid committees in the General Gouvernement. The Bandera group is undecided as to the attitude to be taken.

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Postby David Thompson » 13 Jun 2005 05:16

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 52; August 14, 1941

Situation Report (Galicia District)

Administration:

Total but temporary disorganization because the military administration has been relieved and the civil administration is not yet established. Conflicting and double occupancy of various positions appointed by the military government and the governor of the [G. G.]. Self-administration very difficult because of the lack of suitable persons. Most of the mayors who were installed by the Ukrainians must be relieved as they are not suitable. In Lvov and in the rural towns it is planned to set up Ukrainian-Polish autonomous bodies according to the pattern of Polish autonomy in the General Gouvernement. The Ukrainian mayor in Lvov will be replaced by a German one. A Ukrainian police force numbering 3,000 men is being assembled. They are selected from a Militia now numbering 31,000 men. Pre-condition: Previous service in the Polish or Austrian army; leadership: headed by Germans; further leadership: Ukrainians, as officers and non-commissioned officers, former members of the Austrian army and lower ranks who have served in the Polish army.

Einsatzgruppe C
Location: Zhitomir

Report Concerning Ukrainian Development

2. What are the national political aims of the Ukrainians?
The Rumanian army encounters even now many serious difficul-

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ties with the Ukrainians in the East Ukrainian areas occupied by them. German offices had to intervene. It is certain that the Rumanian administration will turn the area into one of constant unrest. This possible development causes real dismay in military circles and they regard:

1. The area between the Dniester and Dnieper as an essential military goal of German politics.

2. It is feared that the threatening guerrilla war of Bolshevik partisans (many parachutists in civilian clothes have landed lately) will find extraordinarily fertile soil in the Rumanian administered zone.

3. It has been established that the Rumanians in Chernovtzy were forced to work together with the Jews. As the Ukrainians are more intelligent and gifted than the Rumanians, the solution of the Jewish question is definitely in worse hands with the latter. Since the Jewish percentage is very high, it constituted a problem requiring careful examination from the economic point of view as well. In addition, the solution of this problem can be approached only within a German-Ukrainian framework. Until the final solution of the Jewish question for the entire continent is achieved, the superfluous Jewish masses can be excellently employed and used for cultivating the vast Pripet swamps, the northern Dnieper swamps as well as those of the Volga.

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Postby David Thompson » 13 Jun 2005 05:17

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 56; August 18, 1941

Activity Report on Former Russian-Polish Areas

In the period August 5-11, [19]41, 2,808 persons were liquidated as follows:

by the EK in Lvov: 619; in Brest-Litovsk: 1296 and in Bialystok: 373. 5,000 persons were arrested. There is a considerably increased circulation of pamphlets in German, Polish and Ukrainian languages. Poles and Ukrainians are incited to resist Germany. German troops are incited to desert. There are reports of landings of parachutists, particularly from the area around Lutsk and Rovno, but also from Galicia. Isolated fights and destruction of scattered smaller Russian units that had sought refuge in the woods. Police and Army are too weak in many places to conduct systematic searches in the forests. The quiet is still disturbed by attacks from the [Resistance] groups. Communists and Jews continue in their activities. The insubordination of the Jews increases. For some time now one instigation has led Ukrainian Communist laborers to stop work on the Kovel-Lutsk road. The brewery in Lida was burned down by a Pole. Because of the lack of German propaganda, the propagation of rumors is unusually strong.

Robbery, ill treatment, and murders do not stop within the Ukrainian militia's area as Ukrainian mayors and militia commanders were held responsible for hostile utterances against Germany, for ignoring German orders, and for tearing up German regulations. Poles are equated with Jews and partly have to wear [identification] arm bands as well. In several places, units were formed by the Ukrainian militia, like "Ukrainian Security Service," "Ukrainian Gestapo" and others. Local and field commanders are disarming the militia at this time.

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The OUN in Lvov sells war-loan stamps and releases pamphlets demanding Bandera's return. From Lvov, posters are released declaring that a "free and independent Ukraine" must be created according to the motto "Ukraine for the Ukrainians, under the leadership of the OUN." Orders of the German Army are frequently ignored and looted goods are regarded as private possessions. In Lutsk retired Colonel Diatschenko has tried to centralize the militia under his command. At a later stage this command should be located in Kiev. The execution of this plan was prevented by the followers of Bandera.

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Postby David Thompson » 13 Jun 2005 05:18

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 58; August 20, 1941

Executive activity in the former Polish-Russian area August 12-15, 1941

4,988 persons were liquidated, more than 6,000 were arrested during the period of report.

Instigation and incitements by the Jews continue to increase. In Pinsk, Jews shot a guard of the city-militia. A member of the militia was shot dead from an ambush near Pinsk. As a reprisal, 4,500 Jews were liquidated.

A list of 43 agents and couriers who had mainly worked for the Russian secret service in the district of Lublin was found at the NKVD frontier guard office in Luboml. Several arrests have already been made. Disturbances and attacks by bands [partisans] continue to increase. An Ukrainian band, numbering 20-30, continues committing excesses near Pinsk. They spread terror using the motto: "Out with the German administration; we want a free Ukraine without Germans, Poles and Russians."

Massive distribution of pamphlets by Russian pilots continues. In this manner, Poles in particular are urged to commit acts of sabotage.

The resistance movement in Tarnopol has put up posters.

Nine persons were arrested in Lvov in a new passport forging operation.

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Postby David Thompson » 13 Jun 2005 05:19

Operational Situation Report USSR No. 59; August 21, 1941

Einsatzgruppe C
Location: Novo-Ukrainka

Executive measures

Korosten, north of Zhitomir, which was occupied long ago, has

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been searched by a unit of a platoon of the Einsatzkommando 6 according to Security Police instructions, immediately after the occupation.

As elsewhere, it was found that the influential Jews and officials had fled and that all the files were destroyed. Only 53 Jews and two officials could be liquidated.

After the German troops entered Staro-Konstantinov (the present seat of the Higher-SS, the Police Chief, and of the Military Commander of the Rear Area), Jews were employed for cleaning the barracks. Since the Jews did not report for work lately, the military authorities had to round up the Jewish labor force early in the day. The Jews were impertinent and even refused to work. Out of about 1,000 Jews that were recruited for field work, only 70 appeared on the following day. Moreover, it was established that harvesters were sabotaged. Finally, the Jewish Council of Elders' spread the rumor that the Russians were advancing again; whereupon the Jews publicly threatened and abused the Ukrainians. Finally it was established that Jews were conducting a flourishing trade with stolen cattle and goods.

In reprisal, the 1 SS-Brigade carried out an action against the Jews in the course of which 300 male and 139 female Jews were shot.

Similar facts relating to the behavior of the Jews could also be established in Radomyshl, where a part of a platoon of an Einsatzkommando had regularly been active. During a search action, once again many Jews were discovered who had been influential partners in the deportation of Ukrainians and ethnic German families to Siberia. Here, as in Staro-Konstantinov, Jews also refused to perform jobs assigned to them by the local military commander. Furthermore, a Ukrainian was detected who had intended to blow up the big bridge leading to Radomyshl. Another Ukrainian who was a co-worker of the NKVD denounced six families and was instrumental in their deportation to Siberia. In the course of this and later actions, a total of 276 Jews, Communist officials, saboteurs, Komsomol members and Communist agitators were finished off.


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