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Man hanging from tree during winter

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:Photograph records a lone partisan hanging from a tree. A date on the back of the photo records the event as occurring December 1941. The village in which it occurred is illegible p>

Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, marked the commencement of Operation Barbarossa. The Baltic states -Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia- were overrun in short order. As the Wehrmacht pushed ever deeper into the Ukraine and Soviet Union, the four SS Einsatzgruppen death squads were close behind. Einsatzkommandos rounded up Jews, Communists, Gypsies and other “undesirables”. Men, women, and children were marched into the forest and shot over pits or ravines. “Terrorists” or “partisans”, were executed by public hanging – often en masse- on makeshift gallows, on railings of buildings, and left hanging for days on end; others were shot to death, still others were incinerated in barns. Egged on by the Nazis, local citizens could discharge their anti-Semitic rage at Jews, who were also blamed for their putative allegiance to the Soviet Union and the way locals were dealt with by the Soviet NKVD.


2 1/2 x 3 1/2"


Operation Barbarossa, Soviet NKVD, Einsatzgruppen



Operation Barbarossa: Photograph of Nazi Atrocities



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