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Report, Reproduction





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7 page copy of typewritten report with page numbers listed at top center for pages 2-7, page 1 states ‘Berlin, den 11.Juli 1941’ at top right.

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

The Einsatzgruppen were SS mobile units attached to the regular German army (Wehrmacht) tasked with the elimination of essentially civilian elements deemed hostile to the Reich. In the Polish campaign of 1939, they murdered members of Poland’s intelligentsia including political leaders, college professors and priests, as well as Jews. The scale of murder increased dramatically in Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s assault on the Soviet Union and the Ukraine in June 1941. Four Einsatzgruppen, subdivided into mobile Kommando units, were to operate along the front from north to south. Their victims included Romani (“Gypsies”), Communist party officials or Commissars, “mental defectives”, and especially Jews. Jewish men, women, and children of all ages were murdered. Nor were infants spared.

The Einsatzgruppen leaders themselves were highly educated Nazi careerists, some with doctorates and law degrees. One was a Protestant pastor and theologian. Another had two PhDs. All were personally selected by Reinhard Heydrich, head of Reich Security under Heinrich Himmler, both for their level of education and their degree of fanaticism. The Einsatzgruppen Kommando groups worked with the German Order Police, local militia groups and collaborators in their assigned areas of responsibility as they cut a large swath across Eastern Poland, the Ukraine and Soviet Union. Victims would be rounded up with the help of locals, ordered to report to a central location like a town square, marched or driven to remote sites, and, having been forced to undress, shot over ravines, cliffs, ditches, sand pits, quarries or graves they were either made to dig themselves or as a service provided by locals; all the while, family and friends stood by watching and waiting - naked themselves - for their turn to come. As reported by Father Patrick Desbois (In Broad Daylight), locals who had known the Jews in their community may be conscripted for grave digging, providing transport, filling the gravesite with dirt and lime after an operation, clothing transport, provision of food and drink for the executioners, and even witnessing the slaughter. Over time, vans rigged for carbon monoxide poisoning were utilized to spare the shooters from the increasingly evident psychological impact of murdering Jews.

The Einsatz brigades, assisted at times by both Waffen and Wehrmacht soldiers, were ultimately responsible for the murder of more than 1.5-1.7 million Jews.

All Einsatzgruppen field commanders were responsible for submitting reports to Heydrich’s Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin detailing their operations. These “Operation Action Reports” were compiled, dated, numbered, labeled “secret Reich business,” and distributed to German elites and high-ranking military and police officers. The Operation Action Reports and their gruesome contents were discovered in Berlin after the war and utilized in war crimes trials in Nuremberg.

Copy made in the 1960s of Operational Situation Report USSR. The English translation is from the National Archives and Records Administration, Hermann Feuer. Source: Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team.


10 1/2 x 7"


Einsatzgruppen, Wehrmacht, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler



The Einsatzgruppen and Operational Situation Report: USSR no. 19



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