Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Ostland Aktionen! Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, CANADA Keywords: Bialystok,Chelmno,Einsatzgruppen,Latvia,Lithuania,Ostland Archive/File: holocaust/poland/reinhard/sobibor ostland.1 Last-modified: 1993/03/07 OSTLAND: Someone recently added up the deportation figures I had posted from the Arad book and noted that the total did not include all of those thought to have died - I believe the total was in the neighborhood of 1.7 million. My response included the information that the deportation figures taken from the Arad book noted below were only for Operation Reinhard, and with very rare exception, did not include Auschwitz or other camps (Chelmno, etc.). The sections on Bialystok District and Reichskommissariat Ostland shed additional light on this question by including the activities of the SS Einsatzgruppen.... "The majority of the Jews in these territories were killed during the Aktionen of the mobile SS Einsatzgruppen which had operated there in the first months after the occupation, in the summer of 1941, and later by the civilian German administrative authorities in Osland. The large-scale killing operations were carried out in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in the summer and autumn of 1941 and in Belorussia during 1942. The extermination actions were carried out by taking Jews out to locations in the vicinity of places in which they lived and shooting them there. After these Aktionen Jews remained only in the few ghettos that existed in the larger cities. The number of Jews who were in these ghettos at the beginning of the summer of 1943 was 72,000. They were concentrated in six ghettos, in the cities of Vilna, Kovno, Shavli, Riga, Minsk, and Lida. On June 21, 1943, Himmler issued an order to liquidate these ghettos. The able Jews who were needed for work were to be sent to concetration camps that would be erected in Ostland to service the war economy. According to Himmler's order, the 'non-essential' inhabitants of the Jewish ghettos were to evactuated to the East. This term -- 'evacuation to the East' -- meant that they would be sent for extermination." <1> "Three ghettos -- Vilna, Minsk, and Lida -- were liquidated, and the other three ghettos were turned into concentration camps. The 'non-essential' Jews from these ghettos were sent to Sobibor. Regarding the deportation of 2,700 Jews from Lida to Sobibor, a German engineer, Otto Weisbecker, who was a Baufuhrer in the Todt Organization, testified at the Sobibor trial: As a building engineer I came to Lida and worked there on the railways... In the ghetto, which was subordinated to the Gebietskommissar [district commissar], were 1,400 Jews. At the building site that I headed, 1,300 Jews and their families, who were accommodated in a camp, were engaged....Approximately in the middle of 1943, the Security Police arrived in Lida... All these Jews were then subordinated to the Security Police. One day, these Jews from the ghetto -- men, women, and children, were loaded into freight cars and under the direction of Haupttruppfuhrer Bache from Organization Todt they were transferred to Sobibor. The next day I received an order from the head of my department, the architect Hans W., to transfer our Jews to Lublin for a working mission. The Jews were loaded on the train that day, sixty people to a freight car. I was the commander of that transport, and I had at my disposal a police sergeant and nineteen Polish policemen....In spite of the security measures, between twenty and twenty-five Jews escaped on the way. ...A sentry in Sobibor told me that the transport would be liquidated in the morning. Next morning I came into the camp and was brought to the commander, who was in the breakfast barrack...On the wall of this barrack was a big plan of the camp. I could see on it that the 1,400 Jews that Bache had brought the day before could not possibly be accommodated in the existing barracks. In reference to my question to the camp commander, where can he accommodate the Jews I had brought, he told me that of the 1,400 Jews of yesterday's transport, nobody remained." <2> <1> Nuremberg Documents, NO-2403 <2> Yad Vashem Archives, Sobibor-Bolender, Band 13, pp. 2575-2576; "Sefer Lida" (The Lida Book), Tel Aviv, 1970, pp. 314-315 Excerpted from....---------------------------------------------- BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA - the Operation Reinhard Death Camps Indiana University Press - Yitzhak Arad, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7
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