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The SS Einsatzgruppen - "Action Groups"


"Concurrent with the start-up of the euthanasia exterminations, Hitler authorized Himmler to establish a Race and Resettlement Office under the aegis of the SS. It was the Race and Resettlement Office that was to be responsible for the `racial' purification of the Reich and the establishment of a Nordic empire. On October 17, 1939, Keitel summoned the victorious Wehrmacht generals for a lecture from the Fuehrer, who ranted: `The increased severity of the racial struggle permits of no legal restrictions. Jews, Poles, and similar trash are to be cleared from the old and new Reich territories.' Eight million Poles and 800,000 Jews were to be transported from the annexed portion of Poland into the government-general, and replaced by ethnic Germans repatriated from the Baltic lands, the Balkans, Russia, and the Italian Tyrol - even though, in large part, these Germans had emigrated generations before.

To `render harmless' the Polish intelligentsia, political and religious leaders, Jews, and anyone else who might, theoretically, rally and opposition, Heydrich established SS Einsatzgruppen (action groups). The Einsatzgruppen rampaged over the land, terrorizing and killing. Selections for execution were haphazard. Sometimes the commandos erred and included ethnic Germans whom they mistook for Jews. Shootings were carried out publicly to heighten the climate of fear. A Wehrmacht intelligence officer reported: `Arrests were almost always accompanied by looting. Evacuations were carried out and blocks of houses were cleared at random, the inhabitants loaded into lorries at night, then taken to concentration camps. Actions against the Jews were carried out with the most serious excesses. A number of Jews were driven into a synagogue, where they had to crawl, singing, between the benches. Forced to take down their trousers, they were continuously whipped by the SS men on their bare behinds. A Jew who out of fright dirtied himself was forced to smear the excrement onto the faces of the other Jews.

`After about fifty Jews, who had been used during the day to repair a bridge, finished their work in the evening, two SS men drove them into a synagogue and shot them all without any reason.'

JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG. Conot, Robert E. New York: Harper & Row, 1983. pp 211-212

The effectiveness of these Einsatzgruppen can be determined from the following report:

The Commander of the security police and the SD Einsatzkommando 3 Kauen [Kaunas], 1 December 1941

|Secret Reich Business! | 5 copies
------------- 4th copy
Complete list of executions carried out in the EK 3 area
up to 1 December 1941
Security police duties in Lithuania taken over by Einsatzkommando 3 on 2 July 1941. (The Wilna [Vilnius] area was taken over by EK 3 on 9 Aug. 1941, the Schaulen area on 2 Oct. 1941. Up until these dates EK 9 operated in Wilna and EK 2 in Schaulen.) On my instructions and orders the following executions were conducted by Lithuanian partisans:

4.7.41 Kauen-Fort VII 416 Jews, 47 Jewesses 463
6.7.41 Kauen-Fort VII Jews 2,514

Following the formation of a raiding squad under the command of SS-Obersturmfuhrer Hamman and 8-10 reliable men from the Einsatzkommando the following actions were conducted in cooperation with Lithuanian partisans:

7.7.41 Mariampole Jews 32
8.7.41 Mariampole 14 Jews, 5 Comm. officials 19
8.7.41 Girkalinei Comm. officials 6
9.7.41 Wendziogala 32 Jews, 2 Jewesses, 1 Lithuanian (f.), 2 Lithuanian Comm., 1 Russian Comm. 38
9.7.41 Kauen-Fort VII 21 Jews, 3 Jewesses 24
14.7.41 Mariampole 21 Jews, 1 Russ., 9 Lith. Comm. 31
17.7.41 Babtei 8 Comm. officals (inc. 6 Jews) 8
18.7.41 Mariampole 39 Jews, 14 Jewesses 53
19.7.41 Kauen-Fort VII 17 Jews, 2 Jewesses, 4 Lith. Comm.,
2 Comm. Lithuanians (f.), 1 German Comm. 26
21.7.41 Panevezys 59 Jews, 11 Jewesses, 1 Lithuanian (f.), 1 Pole,
22 Lith. Comm., 9 Russ. Comm. 103
22.7.41 Panevezys 1 Jew 1
23.7.41 Kedainiai 83 Jews, 12 Jewesses, 14 Russ. Comm., 15 Lith. Comm.,
1 Russ. O-Politruk 125
25.7.41 Mariampole 90 Jews, 13 Jewesses 103
28.7.41 Panevezys 234 Jews, 15 Jewesses, 19 Russ. Comm.,
20 Lith. Comm. 288
Total carried forward 3,384
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Sheet 2
Total carried over 3,384
29.7.41 Rasainiai 254 Jews, 3 Lith. Comm. 257
30.7.41 Agriogala 27 Jews, 11 Lith. Comm. 38
31.7.41 Utena 235 Jews, 16 Jewesses, 4 Lith. Comm.,
1 robber/murderer 256
31.7.41 Wendziogala 13 Jews, 2 murderers 15
1.8.41 Ukmerge 254 Jews, 42 Jewesses, 1 Pol. Comm., 2 Lith. NKVD agents, 1 mayor of Jonava who gave order to set fire to Jonava 300
2.8.41 Kauen-Fort IV 170 Jews, 1 US Jewess, 33 Jewesses, 4 Lith. Comm. 209
4.8.41 Panevezys 362 Jews, 41 Jewesses, 5 Russ. Comm., 14 Lith. Comm. 422
5.8.41 Rasainiai 213 Jews, 66 Jewesses 279
7.8.41 Uteba 483 Jews, 87 Jewesses, 1 Lithuanian (robber of corpses of German soldiers) 571
8.8.41 Ukmerge 620 Jews, 82 Jewesses 702
9.8.41 Kauen-Fort IV 484 Jews, 50 Jewesses 534
11.8.41 Panevezys 450 Jews, 48 Jewesses, 1 Lith. 1 Russ. 500
13.8.41 Alytus 617 Jews, 100 Jewesses, 1 criminal 719
14.8.41 Jonava 497 Jews, 55 Jewesses 552
15-16.8.41 Rokiskis 3,200 Jews, Jewesses, and J. Children, 5 Lith. Comm., 1 Pole, 1 partisan 3207
9-16.8.41 Rassainiai 294 Jewesses, 4 Jewish children 298
27.6-14.8.41 Rokiskis 493 Jews, 432 Russians, 56 Lithuanians (all active communists) 981
18.8.41 Kauen-Fort IV 689 Jews, 402 Jewesses, 1 Pole (f.), 711 Jewish intellectuals from Ghetto in reprisal for sabotage action 1,812
19.8.41 Ukmerge 298 Jews, 255 Jewesses, 1 Politruk, 88 Jewish children, 1 Russ. Comm. 645
22.8.41 Dunaburg 3 Russ. Comm., 5 Latvian, incl. 1 murderer, 1 Russ. Guardsman, 3 Poles, 3 gypsies (m.), 1 gypsy (f.), 1 gypsy child, 1 Jew, 1 Jewess, 1 Armenian (m.), 2 Politruks (prison inspection in Dunanburg) 21
Total carried forward 16,152
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Sheet 3
Total carried forward 16,152
22.8.41 Aglona Mentally sick: 269 men, 227 women, 48 children 544
23.8.41 Panevezys 1,312 Jews, 4,602 Jewesses, 1,609 Jewish children 7,523
18-22.8.41 Kreis Rasainiai 466 Jews, 440 Jewesses, 1,020 Jewish children 1,926
25.8.41 Obeliai 112 Jews, 627 Jewesses, 421 Jewish children 1,160
25-26.8.41 Seduva 230 Jews, 275 Jewesses, 159 Jewish children 664
26.8.41 Zarasai 767 Jews, 1,113 Jewesses, 1 Lith. Comm., 687 Jewish children, 1 Russ. Comm. (f.) 2,569
28.8.41 Pasvalys 402 Jews, 738 Jewesses, 209 Jewish children 1,349
26.8.41 Kaisiadorys All Jews, Jewesses, and Jewish children 1,911
27.8.41 Prienai All Jews, Jewesses, and Jewish Children 1,078
27.8.41 Dagda and 212 Jews, 4 Russ. POW's 216
Kraslawa
27.8.41 Joniskia 47 Jews, 165 Jewesses, 143 Jewish children 355
28.8.41 Wilkia 76 Jews, 192 Jewesses, 134 Jewish children 402
28.8.41 Kedainiai 710 Jews, 767 Jewesses, 599 Jewish children 2,076
29.8.41 Rumsiskis and 20 Jews, 567 Jewesses, 197 Jewish children Ziezmariai 784
29.8.41 Utena and 582 Jews, 1,731 Jewesses, 1,469 Jewish children
Moletai 3,782
13-31.8.41 Alytus and environs 233 Jews 233
1.9.41 Mariampole 1,763 Jews, 1,812 Jewesses, 1,404 Jewish children, 109 mentally sick, 1 German subject (f.), married to a Jew, 1 Russian (f.) 5090
Total carried over 47,814
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Sheet 4
Total carried over 47,814
28.8-2.9.41 Darsuniskis 10 Jews, 69 Jewesses, 20 Jewish children 99
Carliava 73 Jews, 113 Jewesses, 61 Jewish children 247
Jonava 112 Jews, 1,200 Jewesses, 244Jewish children 1,556
Petrasiunai 30 Jews, 72 Jewesses, 23 Jewish children 125
Jesuas 26 Jews, 72 Jewesses, 46 Jewish children 144
Ariogala 207 Jews, 260 Jewesses, 195 Jewish children 662
Jasvainai 86 Jews, 110 Jewesses, 86 Jewish children 282
Babtei 20 Jews, 41 Jewesses, 22 Jewish children 83
Wenziogala 42 Jews, 113 Jewesses, 97 Jewish children 252
Krakes 448 Jews, 476 Jewesses, 97 Jewish children 1,125
4.9.41 Pravenischkis 247 Jews, 6 Jewesses 253
Cekiske 22 Jews, 64 Jewesses, 60 Jewish children 146
Seredsius 6 Jews, 61 Jewesses, 126 Jewish children 193
Velinona 2 Jews, 71 Jewesses, 86 Jewish children 159
Zapiskis 47 Jews, 118 Jewesses, 13 Jewish children 178
5.9.41 Ukmerge 1,123 Jews, 1,849 Jewesses, 1,737 Jewish children 4,709
25.8-6.9.41 Mopping up in: 16 Jews, 412 Jewesses, 415
Rasainiai Jewish children 843
Georgenburg all Jews, all Jewesses, all Jewish children 412
9.9.41 Alytus 287 Jews, 640 Jewesses, 352 Jewish children 1,279
9.9.41 Butrimonys 67 Jews, 370 Jewesses, 303 Jewish children 740
10.9.41 Merkine 223 Jews, 640 Jewesses, 276 Jewish children 854
10.9.41 Varena 541 Jews, 141 Jewesses, 149 Jewish children 831
11.9.41 Leipalingis 60 Jews, 70 Jewesses, 25 Jewish children 155
11.9.41 Seirijai 229 Jews, 384 Jewesses, 340 Jewish children 953
12.9.41 Simnas 68 Jews, 197 Jewesses, 149 Jewish children 414
11-12.9.41 Uzusalis Reprisal against inhabitants who fed Russ. partisans; some in possession of weapons 43
26.9.41 Kauen-F.IV 412 Jews, 615 Jewesses, 581 Jewish children (sick and suspected epidemic cases) 1,608
Total carries over 66,159
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Sheet 5
Total carried over 66,159
2.10.41 Zagare 633 Jews, 1,107 Jewesses, 496
Jewish children (as these Jews were being led away a mutiny rose, which was however immediately put down; 150 Jews were shot immediately; 7 partisans wounded) 2,236
4.10.41 Kauen-F.IX 315 Jews, 712 Jewesses, 818 Jewish children (reprisal after German police officer shot in ghetto) 1,845
29.10.41 Kauen-F.IX 2,007 Jews, 2,920 Jewesses, 4,273 Jewish children (mopping up ghetto of superfluous Jews) 9,200
3.11.41 Lazdijai 485 Jews, 511 Jewesses, 539 Jewish children 1,535
15.11.41 Wilkowiski 36 Jews, 48 Jewesses, 31 Jewish children 115
25.11.41 Kauen-F.IX 1,159 Jews, 1,600 Jewesses, 175 Jewish children (resettlers from Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am main) 2,934
29.11.41 Kauen-F.IX 693 Jews, 1,155 Jewesses, 152 Jewish children (resettlers from from Vienna and Breslau) 2,000
29.11.41 Kauen-F.IX 17 Jews, 1 Jewess, for contravention of ghetto law, 1 Reichs German who converted to the Jewish faith and attended rabbinical school, then 15 terrorists from the Kalinin group 34
EK 3 detachment in Dunanberg
in the period 13.7-21.8.41: 9,012 Jews, Jewesses and Jewish children, 573 active Comm. 9,585
EK 3 detachment in Wilna:
12.8-1.9.41 City of Wilna 425 Jews, 19 Jewesses, 8 Comm. (m.), 9 Comm. (f.) 461
2.9.41 City of Wilna 864 Jews, 2,019 Jewesses, 817 Jewish children (sonderaktion because German soldiers shot at by Jews) 3,700
Total carried forward 99,084
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sheet 6
Total carried forward 99,804
12.9.41 City of Wilna 993 Jews, 1,670 Jewesses, 771 Jewish children 3,334
17.9.41 City of Wilna 337 Jews, 687 Jewesses, 247 Jewish children and 4 Lith. Comm. 1,271
20.9.41 Nemencing 128 Jews, 176 Jewesses, 99 Jewish children 403
22.9.41 Novo-Wilejka 468 Jews, 495 Jewesses, 196 Jewish children 1,159
24.9.41 Riesa 512 Jews, 744 Jewesses, 511 Jewish children 1,767
25.9.41 Jahiunai 215 Jews, 229 Jewesses, 131 Jewish children 575
27.9.41 Eysisky 989 Jews, 1,636 Jewesses, 821 Jewish children 3,446
30.9.41 Trakai 366 Jews, 483 Jewesses, 597 Jewish children 1,446
4.10.41 City of Wilna 432 Jews, 1,115 Jewesses, 436 Jewish children 1,983
6.10.41 Semiliski 213 Jews, 359 Jewesses, 390 Jewish children 962
9.10.41 Svenciany 1,169 Jews, 1,840 Jewesses, 717 Jewish children 3,726
16.10.41 City of Wilna 382 Jews, 507 Jewesses, 257 Jewish children 1,146
21.10.41 City of Wilna 718 Jews, 1,063 Jewesses, 586 Jewish children 2,367
25.10.41 City of Wilna 1,776 Jewesses, 812 Jewish children 2,578
27.10.41 City of Wilna 946 Jews, 184 Jewesses, 73 Jewish children 1,203
30.10.41 City of Wilna 382 Jews, 789 Jewesses, 362 Jewish children 1,553
6.11.41 City of Wilna 340 Jews, 749 Jewesses, 252 Jewish children 1,341
19.11.41 City of Wilna 76 Jews, 77 Jewesses, 18 Jewish children 171
19.11.41 City of Wilna 6 POW's, 8 Poles 14
20.11.41 City of Wilna 3 POW's 3
25.11.41 City of Wilna 9 Jews, 46 Jewesses, 8 Jewish children, 1 Pole for possesion of arms and other military equipment 64
EK 3 detachment in Minsk from
28.9-17.10.41:
Pleschnitza 620 Jews, 1,285 Jewesses,
Bischolin 1,126 Jewish children and 19 Scak Comm.
Bober
Uzda 3,050
----
133,346
Prior to EK 3 taking over security police duties, Jews liquidated
by pogroms and executions (including partisans) 4,000
------
Total 137,346

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Today I can confirm that our objective, to solve the Jewish problem for Lithuania, has been achieved by EK 3. In Lithuania there are no more Jews, apart from Jewish workers and their families.

The distance between from the assembly point to the graves was on average 4 to 5 Km.

I consider the Jewish action more or less terminated as far as Einsatzkommando 3 is concerned. Those working Jews and Jewesses still available are needed urgently and I can envisage that after the winter this workforce will be required even more urgently. I am of the view that the strelization programme of the male worker Jews should be started immediately so that reproduction is prevented. If despite sterlization a Jewess becomes pregnant she will be liquidated.
(signed) Jager
SS-Standartenfuhrer
-----------------------------------


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