The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter

Examining the Einsatzgruppen Reports

By J. Bellinger

From: The Einsatzgruppen Reports, pp. 179-180

"In Khoslavichi, the Jews living in the Ghetto there, according to reports of the Russian population, tried to create panic by spreading false rumors to the effect that the Bolsheviks were supposed to be advancing. Further, they threatened to take revenge after the return of the Bolsheviks. Thereupon, the Vorkommando sent a Kommando and liquidated 114 Jews.

SK 7a also reports of juvenile Communists who were liquidated. They intended to blow up a railway bridge nearing completion. Explosives had already been supplied and were at hand.

In Velikye Luki a group of juveniles intending to blow up a railway bridge was also rendered harmless. The ringleader of the group had persuaded the others to participate.

Sonderkommando 7a executed a local leading Bolshevik and 21 Jewish plunderers and terrorists in Gorodnia.

In Klintsy, 83 Jewish terrorists and 3 leading Party officials were liquidated.

At another check, 3 Communist officials, 1 Politruk, and 82 Jewish terrorists were dealt with according to orders.

In Chernigov, 19 Jews who were under suspicion of having either been Communists or of having committed arson were given special treatment.

During the search operations in Beresna, east of Chernigov, 8 Jews who had committed Bolshevik acts, that is to say, had sabotaged the regulations of the German authorities, were seized and shot.

In Gomel 41 Jews and Russians were liquidated; they were equipped with firearms and carried out acts of sabotage and looting. In addition it was ascertained that 2 women started fires in houses by lighting wood shavings. The accused were shot after confessing their deeds.

In Rechzia, 216 Jews were liquidated for having committed acts of sabotage and for refusing to work. They had, in addition, accommodated partisans and provided them with food. .......

In Mogilev as well, an increased resistance on the part of the Jews was noticeable, so that energetic measures, such as the shooting of 80 Jews and Jewesses, had to be taken. When even these measures did not suffice and the Jews continued to spread false rumours and sabotage regulations of the German Occupation authorities, 215 Jews and 337 Jewesses were shot.

In Minsk, at the city check points, 142 Jews were arrested and shot for loitering outside the ghetto without the proscribed identification badges.

According to reports received, large numbers of Jews of the district of Marina-Borka are supposed to have taken refuge in the woods, co-operating with the partisans and plundering in the vicinity of Marina-Morka. In some cases even Byelorussian mayors have been shot by these gangs. The mopping-up operations carried out in this area resulted in the arrest of 70 Uzbekis, Kirghizes, Tartars, and Jews. After a short interrogation, the arrested were liquidated; it had been proved that they had participated in the aforementioned acts of terrorism and violence.

Various acts committed by the Jews in Borisov were confirmed. At a mopping-up operation there, a total of 321 Jews were liquidated.

Near Smolovich, the Jews were under suspicion of having several times, together with the partisans and other criminal elements, blown up the Minsk-Smolensk railway line. After these mopping-up operations, there were no more Jews left north, south, and west of Borisov.

In Borisov itself, a further 118 Jews were liquidated because of sabotage at work and for having been engaged in plundering.

In Bobruisk and its vicinity, about 1380 persons were liquidated during the time of this report, 29 while escaping. The persons executed were mainly Jews, persons engaged in sabotage, and those who until the last minute were engaged in spreading hate propaganda against the German Occupation authorities."

End of Quote

COMMENT: By examining these reports, one can see that Jews were not singled out for execution in these incidents, but that they had been the leaders of the partisan movement and had committed numerous acts of sabotage and terrorism. Note the reference to them as "gangs" which we normally apply to terrorists and criminals.
Later, many of these Jews who fought against the Germans as partisans and commissars, later escaped to Palestine where they formed new terrorist gangs, such as the Irgun and Stern Gangs, to continue their work of sabotage, rumour mongering, slander, and assassination against the British occupation forces. Some things will never change......

The following excerpts are from Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Report USSR No 24.

Einsatzgruppe A
Location: Riga
EK 1b
Location: Daugavpils

"Daugavpils was occupied by the German troops on July 6. The greater part of the town was burned down during the following 2-3 days. Only a relatively small part of the town was damaged through direct fighting. The fires on the days that followed were caused by arson. Before leaving the town, the Russians released a proclamation in which they ordered the town to be burned. The Jews are said to have participated in the burnings. 5 Jews were caught red-handed during the first 3 days and were immediately shot.

Of the vital services, the electrical works are totally gutted by fire......

The Latvians, including the leading activists, have been, so far, absolutely passive in their anti-Semitic attitudes, not daring to take action against Jews. Until now, Duenaburg had about 45,000 inhabitants, 50% of whom were Jews. They ruled the town absolutely. As the Russians left, the Jews spread the rumor that the Russians would return soon. Thus, unlike the Lithuanians who have an active attitude, the Latvians are hesitatingly organizing and forming a front against the Jews. The Latvian population has been further weakened as the Russians, during the last fourteen days before the war’s outbreak, deported about 500 Latvian families belonging to the intelligentsia to Central Russia.......

By July 7 the Latvians arrested 1125 Jews, 32 political prisoners, 85 Russian workers, and 2 women criminals, the greater part during the last days. This is due to the EK backing the Latvians. Actions against the Jews are going on in an ever increasing number. Conforming to a suggestion of the EK, the Jews are being evacuated by the auxiliary police force from all houses still standing. The apartments are being allotted to non-Jewish inhabitants. The Jewish families are being driven out of town by the Latvians; most of the men have been arrested.

The food supply is inadequate as nearly all stocks were destroyed by fire. The arrested Jewish men are shot without ceremony and interred in previously prepared graves. Until now, the EK has shot 1150 Jews in Daugavpils..........

Einsatzgruppe C:
Location: Zviahel (Novgorod-Volynski)

I. General Situation on Arrival.
Before leaving, the Bolsheviks, together with the Jews, murdered several Ukrainians; as an excuse, they used the attempted Ukrainian uprising of June 25, 1941, which tried to free their prisoners.

According to reliable information, about 20,000 Ukrainians have disappeared from Lvov, 80% of them belonging to the intelligensia. The prisons in Lvov were crammed with the bodies of murdered Ukrainians. According to a modest estimate, in Lvov alone 3-4,000 persons were either killed or deported.

In Dobromil, 82 bodies were found, 4 of them Jews. The latter were former Bolsheviki informers who had been killed because of their complicity in this act. Near Dobromil an obsolete salt mine pit was discovered. It was completely filled with dead bodies. In the immediate neighborhood, there is a 6 x 15m mass grave. The number of those murdered in the Dobromil area is estimated to be approximately several hundred.

In Sambor on June 26, 1941, about 400 Ukrainians were shot by the Bolsheviks. An additional 120 persons were murdered on June 27, 1941. The remaining 80 prisoners succeeded in overpowering the Soviet guards, and fled. Concerning their numbers, it should be noted that Sambor has a total of 26,000 inhabitants, among them 12,000 Poles, 10,000 Jews, and 4,000 Ukranians.

As early as 1939, a larger number of Ukrainians were shot, and 1,500 Ukrainians as well as 500 Poles were deported to the east. Russians and Jews committed these murders in very cruel ways. Bestial mutilations were daily occurrences. Breasts of women and genitals of men were cut off. Jews have also nailed children to the wall and then murdered them. Killing was carried out by shots in the back of the neck. Hand grenades were frequently used for these murders.

In Dobromil, women and men were killed with blows by a hammer used to stun cattle before slaughter.

In many cases, the prisoners must have been tortured cruelly: bones were broken, etc. In Sambor, the prisoners were gagged and thus prevented from screaming during torture and murder. The Jews, some of whom also held official positions, in addition to their economic supremacy, and who served in the entire Bolshevik police, were always partners in these atrocities.

Finally, it was established that seven (German) pilots who had been captured were murdered. Three of them were found in a Russian military hospital where they had been murdered in bed by shots in the abdomen. This atrocity apparently stems from a Russian instruction to "exterminate" all German pilots and parachutists.

III. Measures of the Einsatzgruppe.
Approximately 7,000 Jews were rounded up and shot by the Security Police in retaliation for the inhuman atrocities.
73 men were discovered to be functionaries and spies of the NKVD and were likewise shot.
40 men were liquidated on the basis of well-founded denunciations made by the inhabitants. Mainly Jews between 20 and 40 years of age were rounded up, artisans and specialists being set aside as far as possible. Apart from these executions in Lvov, reprisal measures were carried out at other places also: 132 Jews, for instance, were shot in Dobromil. Since 32 Ukrainians had been murdered in Yavorov, 15 Jews were liquidated in retaliation.

EK 4a
....Among the prisoners found in Sokal, 17 were discovered to be Communist functionaries, agents and snipers, and were executed.....
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 out of 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 the shops were looted by the population. After the arrival of the EK 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 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 infantry. Finally, 50 Polish agents and informers were discovered who were liquidated also.....

Of the 54 Poles and Jews who had been working as agents for the NKVD, 8 persons, two of them Jewish women, were arrested and executed, the remainder apparently having taken to their heels. At Tarnopol 10 (German) soldiers were also found among the murdered in the prison, 1 of them a lieutenant of the air force, 6 pilots and 3 soldiers of the mountain troops. Of the Jews assigned to disinter the corpses, about 180 were slain, some in the prison courtyard, some in the streets. Moreover, Jewish residences were destroyed by members of the Waffen-SS with hand grenades, and then set on fire. According to the statements of Ukrainians, the numbers of German members of the Wehrmacht murdered by the Russians is estimated to be much greater.......

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. Repeatedly it had been observed that Politruks (Party members), who had escaped, raided villages at nighttime for food.

The influence of the Bandera group is very strong in Zlochev. A revolutionary Ukrainian administration has been established there which welcomes the Germans as their allies with posters and leaflets.

At Rocsiczau three saboteurs were arrested who had cut a Wehrmacht telephone line leading to the forward German lines; they had then passed information on to the Russian troops. As a result, German soldiers have been made prisoners of war by the Russians. These Communist saboteurs were likewise shot. End of report.

Source: "The Einsatzgruppen Reports", Holocaust Library, NY, NY. Edited by Yitzhak Arad, Schmuel Krakowski, Schmuel Spector, 1989, pp

Operational Situation Report No. 11:
Location: Lvov

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.

Location: Vilnius
Officials of the Kosmomol and Jewish officials of the Communist Party were liquidated. The Einsatzgruppen is trying to push forward to Minsk as fast as possible.

Source: The Einsatzgruppen Reports Holocaust Library, NY 1989.