Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-01/nca-01-12-jews-04 Last-Modified: 1996/06/17 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Twelve [Page 984] 4. THE PROGRAM FOR THE COMPLETE ELIMINATION OF JEWRY At this point the gradual and mounting campaign against the Jews was prepared for the achievement of its ultimate violent ends. The German people had been indoctrinated, and the seeds of hatred had been sown. The German state was armed and prepared for conquest. The force of world opinion could now safely be ignored. Already the Nazi conspirators had forced out of Germany 200,000 of its former 500,000 Jews. The Nazi-controlled German state was therefore emboldened, and Hitler in anticipation of the aggressive wars already planned cast about for a provocation. In his speech before the Reichstag on 30 January 1939, Hitler declared: "If the international Jewish financiers within and without Europe succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the world and the victory of Jewry, but the obliteration of the Jewish race in Europe." (2663-PS) The chief editor of the official organ of the SS, the "Schwarze Korps," expressed similar sentiments on 8 August 1940: "Just as the Jewish question will be solved for Germany only when the last Jew has been deported, so the rest of Europe should also realize that the German peace which awaits it must be a peace without Jews." (2668- PS) Other officials of the Party and State voiced the same views. Rosenberg wrote for the publication "World Struggle," which in the April and September 1941 issues declared: "The Jewish question will be solved for Europe only when the last Jew has left the European continent." (2665-PS) Hans Frank entered this apologetic note in his diary: "Of course, I could not eliminate all lice and Jews in only a year's time. But in the course of time, and above all, if you will help me, this end will be attained." (2233-C-PS) A. Registration. The first step in accomplishing the purpose of the Nazi Party and the Nazi-dominated state, to eliminate the Jew, was to require a complete registration of all Jews. Inasmuch as the anti-Jewish policy was linked with the program of German aggression, such registration was required not only within the Reich, but successively within the conquered territories. For example, registration was required, by decree, within Germany (Reichsgesetzblatt Part I, 1938, page 922, 23 July, signed by Frick); with- [Page 985] in Austria (Reichsgesetzblatt, Volume 1, 1940, page 694, 29 April); within Poland (Kurjer Krakowski, 24 October 1939); in France (Journal Official No. 9, page 92, 30 September 1940); in Holland (Verordnungsblatt, No. 16, 10 January 1941, signed by Seyss-Inquart). B. Segregation into Ghettos. The second step was to segregate and concentrate the Jews within restricted areas, called ghettos. This policy was carefully worked out, as is illustrated by the confidential statement taken from the files of Rosenberg (212-PS). This memorandum of Rosenberg's, entitled "Directions for Handling of the Jewish Question", states: "The first main goal of the German measures must be strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the population. In the execution of this, first of all, is the seizing of the Jewish population by the introduction of a registration order and -similar appropriate measures ***." ******* "*** All rights of freedom for Jews are to be withdrawn. They are to be placed in ghettos and at the same time are to be separated according to sexes. The presence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case labor needs are present. These ghettos can be placed under the supervision of a Jewish self-government with Jewish officials. The guarding of the boundaries between the ghettos and the outer world, is, however, the duty of the Police. "Also, in the cases in which a ghetto could not yet be established, care is to be taken through strict prohibitions and similar suitable measures that a further intermingling of blood of the Jews and the rest of the populace does not continue." (212-PS) In May 1941 Rosenberg, as the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, issued directions confining the Jews to ghettos in the Ukraine: "After the customary removal of Jews from alI public offices, the Jewish question will have to have a decisive solution, through the institution of ghettos." (1028-PS) The policies set forth in the foregoing utterances of Rosenberg t were not accidental, isolated, or the views of one individual. They were the expressed State policies. Von Schirach played his [Page 986] part in the program of ghettoization. His speech before the European Youth Congress held in Vienna on 14 September 1942 was reported on page 2, column 2 of the Vienna edition of the "Voelkischer Beobachter" of 15 September, as follows: "Every Jew who exerts influence in Europe is a danger to European culture. If anyone reproaches me with having driven from this city, which was once the European metropolis of Jewry, tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of Jews into the ghetto of the East, I feel myself compelled to reply: I see in this an action contributing to European culture." (3048-PS) One of the largest ghettos was within the city of Warsaw. The official report made by SS Major General Stroop concerning this ghetto is entitled "The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More." (1061-PS) The report thus describes the ghetto: "The Ghetto thus established in Warsaw was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews. It contained 27,000 apartments with an average of 21/2 rooms each. It was separated from the rest of the city by partition and other walls, and by walling up of the thoroughfares, windows, doors, open spaces, etc.***" (1061-PS) Conditions within this ghetto are indicated in the statement of the report that an average of six persons lived in every room. (1061-PS) Himmler received a report from the SS Brigade Fuehrer Group A, dated 15 October 1941, which further illustrates the establishment and operation of the ghettos. (L-180) The report states: "Apart from organizing and carrying out measures of execution, the creation of ghettos was begun in the larger towns at once during the first day of operations. This was especially urgent in Knowno because there were 30,000 Jews in a total population of 152,400." "In Riga the so-called 'Moskau Suburb' was designated as a ghetto. This is the worst dwelling district of Riga, already now mostly inhabited by Jews. The transfer of the Jews into the ghetto district proved rather difficult because the Latvians dwelling in that district had to be evacuated and residential-space in Riga is very crowded. 24,000 of the 28,000 Jews living in Riga have been transferred into the ghetto so far. In creating the ghetto, the Security Police restricted themselves to mere policing duties, while the es- [Page 987] tablishment and administration of the ghetto as well as the regulation of the food supply for the inmates of the ghetto were led to civil administration; he labor officers were left in charge of Jewish labor. "In the other towns with a larger Jewish population ghettos shall be established likewise." (L-180) Jews were forced into ghettos in the Polish Province of Galicia. The conditions in these ghettos are described in the report from Katzmann, Lt. General of Police, to Krueger, General of the Police East, dated 20 June 1943, and entitled "Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia." (L-18): "Nothing but catastrophical conditions were found in the ghettos of Rawa-Ruska and Rohatyn ***." ******* "*** The Jews of Rawa-Ruska, fearing the evacuation, had concealed those suffering from spotted fever in underground holes. When evacuation was to start the police found that 3,000 Jews suffering from spotted fever lay about in 'this ghetto. In order to destroy this center of pestilence at once every police officer inoculated against spotted fever was called into action. Thus we succeeded to destroy this plague-boil, losing thereby only one officer. Almost the same conditions were found in Rohatyn ***" ******* "Since we received more and more alarming reports on the Jews becoming armed in an ever increasing manner, we started during the last fortnight in June 1943 an action throughout the whole of the district of Galicia with the intent to use strongest measures to destroy the Jewish gangsterdom. Special measures were found necessary during the action to dissolve the ghetto in Lwow where the dug-out mentioned above had been established. Here we had to act brutally from the beginning, in order to avoid losses on our side; we had to blow up, or to burn down several houses. On this occasion the surprising fact arose that we were able to catch about 20,000 Jews instead of 12,000 Jews who had registered. We had to pull at least 3,000 Jewish corpses out of every kind of hiding places; they had committed suicide by taking poison. ***" ******* "*** Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS-Police officer during these actions, mood and [Page 988] spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy from the first to the last day ***." (L-18) These acts of removal and slaughter were not entirely without profit. The report continues: "Together with the evacuation action, we executed the confiscation of Jewish property. Very high amounts were confiscated and paid over to the Special Staff 'Reinhard'. Apart from furniture and many textile goods, the following amount were confiscated and turned over to Special Staff 'Reinhard' *** "20.952 kilograms of gold wedding rings. 7 Stamp collections, complete. 1 Suit case with pocket knives. 1 basket of fountain pens and propelled pencils. 3 bags filled with rings -- not genuine. 35 wagons of furs." (L-18) The thoroughness of the looting is illustrated by an item listing 11.73 kilograms of gold teeth and inlays. (L-18) By the end of 1942, Jews in the General Government of Poland had been crowded into fifty-five localities, whereas before the German invasion there had been approximately 1,000 Jewish settlements within this same area. This fact is reported in the 1942 Official Gazette for the General Government, No. 94, page 665, 11 January 1942. C. Forced Labor. The Jews, having been registered and confined within the ghettos, now furnished a reservoir for slave labor. The difference between slave labor and "labor duty" was this: the latter group were entitled to reasonable compensation, stated working hours, medical care and attention, and other social security measures, while the former were granted none of these advantages, being in fact, on a level below that of slaves. Rosenberg set up within his organization for the Occupied Eastern Territories a department which, among other things, was to seek a solution for the Jewish problem by means of forced labor. His plans, contained in a memorandum entitled "General Organizations and Tasks of our Office for the General Handling of Problems in the Eastern Territory," and dated 29 April 1941, read as follows: "A general treatment is required for the Jewish problem for which a temporary solution will have to be determined (forced labor for the Jews, creation of Ghettos, etc.)." (1024-PS) [Page 989] Thereafter Rosenberg issued instructions that Jewish forced labor should be utilized for every manual labor task: "The standing rule for the Jewish labor employment is the complete and unyielding use of Jewish manpower regardless of age in the reconstruction of the occupied eastern territories." "Violations against German measures, especially against the forced labor regulations, are to be punished by death to the Jews." (212-PS) From the ghettos Jewish labor was selected and sent to a concentration area. Here the usable Jews were screened from those considered worthless. For example, a contingent of 45,000 Jews could be expected to yield 10,000 to 15,000 usable laborers. This estimate is based on an RSHA telegram to Himmler, marked "Urgent" and "Secret", and dated 16 February 1942: "In the total of 45,000 are included physically handicapped and others (old Jews and children). In making a distribution for this purpose, at least 10,000 to 15,000 laborers will be available when the Jews arriving at Auschwitz are as: signed." (1472-PS) The report from Lieutenant General of Police, Katzmann, to General of the Police East, Krueger, clearly outlines the nature of the Jewish forced labor: "The best remedy consisted of the formation, by the SS and Police Leader, of forced labor camps. The best opportunity for labor was offered by the necessity to complete the 'Dg.4' road which was extremely important and necessary for the whole of the southern part of the front, and which was in a catastrophically bad condition. On 15 October 1941, the establishment of camps along the road was commenced, and despite considerable difficulties there existed, after a few weeks only, seven camps containing 4,000 Jews." ******* "Soon more camps followed these first ones, so that after a very short time the completion of fifteen camps of this kind could be reported to the Superior Leader of SS and Police. In the course of time about 20,000 Jewish laborers passed through these camps. Despite the hardly imaginable difficulties occurring at this work I can report today that about 160 kilometer of the road are completed." ******* "At the same time all other Jews fit for work were registered and distributed for useful work by the labor agencies [Page 990] *** When the Jews were marked by the Star of David, as well as when they were registered by the labor agencies, the first symptoms appeared in their attempts to dodge the order of the authorities. The measures which were introduced thereupon led to thousands of arrests. It became more and more apparent that the civil administration was not in a position to solve the Jewish problem in an approximately satisfactory manner. Then, for instance, the municipal administration at Lwow had no success in their attempts to house the Jews within a closed district which would be inhabited only by Jews. This question, too, was solved quickly by the SS and Police Leaders through subordinate officials. This measure became the more urgent as in the winter, 1941, big centers of spotted fever were noted in many parts of the town." ******* "During this removal of the Jews into a certain quarter of the town several sluices were erected at which all the work-shy and asocial Jewish rabble were caught during the screening and treated in a special way. Owing to the peculiar, fact that almost 900 of artisans working in Galicia were Jews, the task to be solved could be fulfilled only step by step, since an immediate evacuation would not have served the interest of War Economy." ******* "*** Cases were discovered where Jews, in order to acquire any certificate of labor, not only renounced all wages, but even paid money themselves. Moreover, the organizing of Jews for the benefit of their employers grew to such catastrophical extent that it was deemed necessary to interfere in the most energetic manner for the benefit of the German name. Since the administration was not in a position and showed itself too weak to master this-chaos, the SS and Police Leader simply took over the entire disposition of labor for Jews. The Jewish labor agencies, which were manned by hundreds of Jews, were dissolved. All certificates of labor given by firms or administrative offices were declared invalid, and the cards given to the Jews by the labor agencies were revalidated by the police offices by stamping them. In the course of this action, again, thousands of Jews were caught who were in possession of forged certificates or who had obtained, surreptitiously, certificates of labor by all kinds of pretexts. These Jews also were exposed to special treatment." (L-18) [Page 991] D. Extermination. (At this point a strip of motion picture footage taken, presumably, by a member of the SS, and captured by the United States military forces in an SS barracks near Augsburg, Germany, was shown to the tribunal. The film depicts what is believed to be the extermination of a ghetto by Gestapo agents, assisted by military units. The following scenes are representative: Scene 2: A naked girl running across the courtyard. Scene 3 An older woman being pushed past the camera, and a man in SS uniform standing at the right of the scene. Scene 5: A man with a skull cap and a woman are manhandled. Scene 14: A half-naked woman runs through the crowd. Scene 15: Another half-naked woman runs out of the house. Scene 16: Two men drag an old man out. Scene 18: A man in German military uniform, with his back to the camera, watches. Scene 24: A general shot of the street, showing fallen bodies and naked women running. Scene 32: A shot of the street, showing five fallen bodies. Scene 37: A man with a bleeding head is hit again. Scene 39: A soldier in German military uniform, with a rifle, stands by as a crowd centers on a man coming out of the house. Scene 44: A soldier with a rifle, in German military uniform, walks past a woman clinging to a torn blouse. Scene 45: A woman is dragged by her hair across the street.) The means of accomplishing the extermination of the Jews are discussed in the diary of Hans Frank, then Governor General of Occupied Poland (2253-D-PS). In a cabinet session on Tuesday, 16 December 1941 in the Government Building at Cracow, Frank made a closing address, as follows: "As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or. another. The Fuehrer said once: 'Should united Jewry again succeed in provoking a world-war, the blood of not only the nations which have been forced into the war by them, will be shed, but the Jew will have found his end in Europe'. I know that many of the measures carried out against the Jews in the Reich at present are being criticized. It is being tried intentionally, as is obvious from the reports on the morale, to talk about cruelty, harshness, etc. Before I continue, I want to beg you to agree with me on the following formula: We will principally have pity on the German people only, and [Page 992] nobody else in the whole world. The others, too, had no pity on us. As an old National-Socialist, I must say: This war would only be a partial success if the whole lot of Jewry would survive it, while we would have shed our best blood in order to save Europe. My attitude towards the Jews will, therefore, be based only on the expectation that they must disappear. They must be done away with. I have entered negotiations to have them deported to the East. A great discussion concerning that question will take place in Berlin in January, to which I am going to delegate the State Secretary Dr. Buehler. That discussion is to take place in the Reich Security Main Office with SS-Lt. General Heydrich. A great Jewish migration will begin, in any case. "But what should be done with the Jews? Do you think they will be settled down in the 'Ostland', in villages? This is what we were told in Berlin: Why all this bother ? We can do nothing with them either in the 'Ostland' nor in the 'Reich kommissariat'. So liquidate them yourself. "Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain there the structure of the Reich as a whole. This will, naturally, be achieved by other methods than those pointed out by Bureau Chief Dr. Hummel. Nor can the judges of the Special Courts be made responsible for it, because of the limitations of the framework of the legal procedure. Such outdated views cannot be applied to such gigantic and unique events. We must find at any rate a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction. "The Jews represent for us-also extraordinarily malignant gluttons. We have now approximately 2,500,000 of them in the General Government, perhaps with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,500,000 Jews. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead, somehow, to their annihilation, and this in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich. The General Government must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich. Where and how this is to be achieved is a matter for the offices which we must appoint and create here. Their activities will be brought to your attention in due course." (2233-D-PS) [Page 993] This was not the planning and scheming of an irresponsible individual, but the expression by the Governor General of Occupied Poland, of the official policy of the German State. Rosenberg's notion of the means to be taken against the Jews is expressed in a secret "Document Memorandum for the Fuehrer Concerning: Jewish Possessions in France," dated 18 December 1941. Rosenberg urges plundering and death: "*** In compliance with the order of the Fuehrer for protection of Jewish cultural possessions, a great number of Jewish dwellings remained unguarded. Consequently, many furnishings have disappeared because a guard could, naturally, not be posted. In the whole East the administration has found terrible conditions of living quarters, and the chances of procurement are so limited that it is not practical to procure any more. Therefore, I beg the Fuehrer to permit the seizure of all Jewish home furnishings of Jews in Paris, who have fled or will leave shortly, and that of Jews living in all parts of the occupied West, to relieve the shortage of furnishings in the administration in the East. "2. A great number of leading Jews were, after a short examination in Paris, again released. The attempts on the lives of members of the armed forces have not stopped; on the contrary they continue. This reveals an unmistakable plan to disrupt the German-French cooperation, to force Germany to retaliate, and, with this, evoke a new defense on the part of the French against Germany. I suggest to the Fuehrer that, instead of executing 100 Frenchmen, we substitute 100 Jewish bankers, lawyers, etc. It is the Jews in London and New York who incite the French communists to commit acts of violence, and it seems only fair that the members of this race should pay for this. It is not the little Jews, but the leading Jews in France, who should be held responsible. That would tend to awaken the Anti- Jewish sentiment. "(Signed) A. Rosenberg." (001-PS) (1) Starvation. Chief among the methods utilized for the annihilation of the Jewish people was starvation. Policies were designed and adopted to deprive the Jews of the most elemental necessities of life. Hans Frank, then Governor General of Poland, wrote in his diary that hunger rations were introduced in the Warsaw Ghetto (2233-E-PS). Referring to the new food regulations of August 1942, he noted that by these food regulations more than one million Jews were virtually condemned to death. [Page 994] "That we sentence 1,200,000 Jews to die of hunger should be noted only marginally. It is a matter of course that should the Jews not starve to death it would we hope result in a speeding up of the anti- Jewish measures." (2233-E-PS) In pursuance of the deliberate policy of Jewish starvation, Jews were prohibited from pursuing agricultural activities in order to cut them off from access to sources of food. A document entitled 'Provisional Directives on the Treatment of Jews", issued by the Reichscommissar for the Ostland, provided: "Jews must be cleaned out from the countryside. The Jews are to be removed from all trades, especially from trade with agricultural products and other foodstuffs." (1138-PS) Jews were also excluded from the purchase of basic food, such as wheat products, meat, eggs, and milk. A decree dated 18 September 1942, from the Ministry of Agriculture, provided: "Jews will no longer receive the following foods, beginning with the 42nd distribution period (19 October 1942): meat, meat products, eggs, wheat products (cake, white bread, wheat rolls, wheat flour, etc.) whole milk, fresh skimmed milk, as well as such food distributed not on food ration cards issued uniformly throughout the Reich but on local supply certificates or by special announcement of the nutrition office on extra coupons of the food cards. Jewish children and young people over ten years of age will receive the bread ration of the normal consumer." (1347-PS) The sick, the old, and pregnant mothers were excluded from the special food concessions allotted to non-Jews. Seizure by the State Police of food shipments to Jews from abroad was authorized, and Jewish ration cards were distinctly marked with the word "Jew" in color across the face of the cards, so that the storekeepers could readily identify and discriminate against Jewish purchasers. According to page 110 of an official document of the Czechoslovakian government published in 1943 and entitled "Czechoslovakia Fights Back," Jewish food purchases were confined to certain areas, to certain days, and to certain hours. As might be expected, the period permitted for the purchases occurred during the time when food stocks were likely to be exhausted. (1689-PS) By Special Order No. 44 for the Eastern Occupied Territories, dated 4 November 1941, Jews were limited to rations as low as only one-half of the lowest basic category of other people, and the Ministry of Agriculture was empowered to exclude Jews entirely or partially from obtaining food thus exposing the Jewish community to death by starvation. A bulletin issued by the Polish [Page 995] Ministry of Information, dated 15 December 1942 , concludes that upon the basis of the nature of the separate rationing and the amount of food available to Jews in the Warsaw and Cracow ghettos, the system was designed to bring about starvation: "In regard to food supplies they are brought under a completely separate system, which is obviously aimed at depriving them of the most elemental necessities of life." (L-165) (2) Annihilation. Annihilation within the ghettos is illustrated and glorified in the report of Major General of the Police Stroop entitled "The Warsaw Ghetto is No More." (1061-PS) This report bound in leather profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper, and almost 75 pages in length, is the almost unbelievable recital of a proud accomplishment by Stroop, who signed the report with a bold hand. Stroop in his report first pays tribute to the bravery and heroism of the German forces who participated in the ruthless actions against a defenseless group of Jews numbering, to be exact 56,065 -- including infants and women. His report relates day-by-day progress in the accomplishment of his mission -- to destroy and to obliterate the Warsaw Ghetto. According to this report, the ghetto, which was established in Warsaw in November 1940, was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews; and prior to the action for the destruction of this Ghetto, some 316,000 had already been deported. These are some of the boastful and vivid accounts of the scenes within the Warsaw Ghetto: "The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could be broken only by relentlessly using all our forces and energy by day and night. On 23 April 1943 the Reichsfuehrer SS issued through the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer East at Cracow his order to complete the combing out of the Warsaw Ghetto with the greatest severity and relentless tenacity. I therefore decided to destroy the entire Jewish residential area by setting every block on fire, including the blocks of residential buildings near the armament works. One concern after the other was systematically evacuated and subsequently destroyed by fire. The Jews then emerged from their hiding places and dugouts in almost every case. Not infrequently, the Jews stayed in the burning buildings until, because of the heat and the fear of being burned alive, they preferred to jump down from the upper stories after having thrown mattresses and other upholstered articles into the street from the burning buildings. With their bones broken, they still tried to crawl across the street into blocks of [Page 996] buildings which had not yet been set on fire or were only partially in flames. Often the Jews changed their hiding places during the night, by moving into the ruins of burnt out buildings, taking refuge there until they were found by our patrols. Their stay in the sewers also ceased to be pleasant after the first week. Frequently from the street, we could hear loud voices coming through the sewer shafts. hen the men of the Waffen SS, the Police or the Wehrmacht Engineers courageously climbed down from the shafts to bring out the Jews and not infrequently they then stumbled over Jews already dead, or were shot at. It was always necessary to use smoke candles to drive out the Jews. Thus one day we opened 183 sewer entrance holes, and at a fixed time lowered smoke candles into them, with the result that the bandits fled from what they believed to be gas in the center of the former Ghetto, where they could then be pulled out of the sewer holes there. A great number of Jews who could not be counted were exterminated by blowing up sewers and dugouts. "The longer the resistance lasted the tougher the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht became. They fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship, and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night search patrols with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dugouts and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them. "Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen SS had only been trained for three to four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given to the pluck, courage and devotion to duty which they showed. It must be stated that the Wehrmacht Engineers, too, executed the blowing up of dugouts, sewers and concrete buildings with indefatigability and great devotion to duty. Officers and men of the police, a large part of whom had already been at the front, again excelled by their dashing spirit. "Only through the continuous and untiring work of all involved did we succeed in catching a total of 56,065 Jews whose extermination can be proved. [Page 997] To this should be added the number of Jews who lost their lives in explosions or fires, but whose number could not be ascertained." (1061-PS) At the beginning of his report Stroop lists the losses of German troops: "For the Fuehrer and their country the following fell in the battle for the destruction of Jews and bandits in the former ghetto of Warsaw ***" [Fifteen names are thereafter listed]. "Furthermore, the Polish police sergeant Julian Zielinski, born 13 November 1891, 8th Commissariat, fell on 19 April 1943 while fulfilling his duty. They gave their utmost, their life. We shall never forget them. "The following were wounded ***" [There follow the names of 60 Waffen SS personnel] "11 watchmen from training camps, probably Lithuanians; 12 Security Police officers in SS units; 5 men of the Polish Police; and 2 regular army personnel, engineers." (1061- PS) The story continues in the daily teletype reports, from which following are excerpts: "Our setting the block on fire achieved the result in the course of the night that those Jews whom we had not been able to find despite all our search operations left their hideouts under the roofs, in the cellars, and elsewhere, and appeared on the outside of the buildings, trying to escape the flames. Masses of them -- entire families -- were already aflame and jumped from the windows or endeavored to let themselves down by means of sheets tied together or the like. Steps had been taken so that these Jews as well as the remaining ones were liquidated at once." ******* "When the blocks of buildings mentioned above were destroyed, 120 Jews were caught and numerous Jews were destroyed when they jumped from the attics to the inner courtyards, trying to escape the flames. Many more Jews perished in the flames or were destroyed when the dugouts a sewer entrances were blown up.' ******* "Not until the blocks of buildings were well aflame and were out to collapse did a further considerable number of Jews merge forced to do so by the flames and the smoke. Time and again the Jews try to escape even through burning buildings. Innumerable Jews whom we saw on the roofs [Page 998] during the conflagration perished in the flames. Others emerged from the upper stories in the last possible moment and were only able to escape death from the flames by jumping down. Today we caught a total of 2,283 Jews, of whom 204 were shot, and innumerable Jews were destroyed in dugouts and in the flames." ******* "The Jews testify that they emerge at night to get fresh air, since it is unbearable to stay permanently within the dugout owing to the long duration of the operation. On the average the raiding parties shoot 30 to 50 Jews each night. From the statements it was to be inferred that a considerable number of Jews are still underground in the Ghetto. Today we blew up a concrete building which we had not been able to destroy by fire. In this operation we learned that the blowing up of a building is a very lengthy process and takes an enormous amount of explosives. The best and only method for destroying the Jews therefore remains the setting of fires." ******* "Some depositions speak of three to four thousand Jews who still remain in underground holes, sewers, and dugouts. The undersigned is resolved not to terminate the large-scale operation until the last Jew has been destroyed." (1016-PS) The teletype message of 15 May 1945 indicates that the operation is in its last stage: "A special unit once more searched the last block of buildings which was still intact in the Ghetto, and subsequently destroyed it. In the evening the chapel, mortuary, and all other buildings in the Jewish cemetery were blown up or destroyed by fire.." (1061- PS) On 24 May 1943 the final figures were compiled by Major General Stroop: "Of the total of 56,065 caught about 7,000 were destroyed in the former Ghetto during large scale operation. 6,929 Jews were destroyed by transporting them to T.II [believed to be Treblinka Camp No. 2]. The sum total of Jews destroyed is therefore 13,929. Beyond the number of 56.065 an estimated number of 5 to 6,000 Jews were destroyed by being blown up or by perishing in the flames." (1061-PS) It was not always necessary, or perhaps desirable, to place the Jews within Ghettos to effect elimination. In the Baltic States a more direct course of action was followed. According to a report by SS Brigade Fuehrer Stahlecker to Himmler, dated 15 [Page 999] October 1941, entitled "Action Group A," which was found in Himmler's private files, 135,567 persons, nearly all Jews, were murdered in accordance to basic orders directing the complete annihilation of the Jews. SS Brigade Fuehrer Stahlecker continues his report: "*** To our surprise it was not easy at first to set in motion a extensive pogrom against the Jews. Klimatis, the leader of the partisan unit, mentioned above, who was used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small advanced detachment acting in Kowno and in such a way that no German order of German instigation was noticed from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night from 25 June to 26 June the Lithuanian partisans did away with more than 1,500 Jews, setting fire to several synagogues or destroying them by other means and burning down a Jewish dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During the following nights about 2300 Jews were made harmless in a similar way. ***" ******* "It was possible, though, through similar influences on the Latvian auxiliary to set in motion a pogrom against the Jews also in Riga. During this pogrom all synagogues were destroyed and about 400 Jews were killed." (L-180) Nazi ingenuity reached its zenith with the construction and operation of the gas van as a means of mass annihilation of the Jews. A description of the operation of these vehicles of death is fully set forth in a captured Top Secret document dated 16 May 1942, addressed to SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Rauff, 8 Prince Albrecht-Strasse, Berlin, from Dr. Becker, SS Untersturmfuehrer. The report reads in part: "The overhauling of vans by groups D and C is finished. While the vans of the first series can also be put into action if the weather is not too bad, the vans of the second series (Saurer) stop completely in rainy weather. If it has rained for instance for only one half hour, the van cannot be used because it simply skids away. It can only be used in absolutely dry weather. It is only a question now whether the van can only be used standing at the place of execution. First the van has to be brought to that place, which is possible only in good weather. The place of execution is usually 10 to 15 km away from the highways and is difficult of access because of its location; in damp or wet weather it is not accessible at all. If persons to be executed are [Page 1000] driven or led to that place, then they realize immediately what is going on and get restless, which is to be avoided as far as possible. There is only one way left; to load them at the collecting point and to drive them to the spot. "I ordered the vans of group D to be camouflaged as house-trailers by putting one set of window shutters on each side of the small van and two on each side of the larger vans, such as one often sees on farm houses in the country. The vans became so well-known, that not only the authorities but also the civilian population called the van 'death van', as soon as one of these vehicles appeared. It is my opinion the van cannot be kept secret for any length of time, not even camouflaged." ******* "Because of the rough terrain and the indescribable road and highway conditions the caulkings and rivets loosen in the course of time. I was asked if in such cases the vans should be brought to Berlin for repair. Transportation to Berlin would be much too expensive and would demand too much fuel. In order to save those expenses I ordered them to have smaller leaks soldered and if that should no longer be possible, to notify Berlin immediately by radio, that Pol.Nr. is out of order. Besides that I ordered that during application of gas all the men were to be kept as far away from the vans as possible, so they should not suffer damage to their health by the gas which eventually would escape. I should like to take this opportunity to bring the following to your attention: several commands have had the unloading after the application of gas done by their own men. I brought to the attention of the commanders of those S.K. concerned the immense psychological injuries and damages to their health which that work can have for those men, even if not immediately, at least later on. The men complained to me about headaches which appeared after each unloading. Nevertheless they don't want to change the orders, because they are afraid prisoners called for that work, could use an opportune moment to flee. To protect the men from those damages, I request orders be issued accordingly. "The application of gas usually is not undertaken correctly. In order to come to an end as fast as possible, the driver presses the accelerator to the fullest extent. By doing that the persons to be executed suffer death from suffocation and not death by dozing off as was planned. My directions now have proved that by correct adjustment of the levers [Page 1001] death comes faster and the prisoners fall asleep peacefully. Distorted faces and excretions, such as could be seen before, are no longer noticed. "Today I shall continue my journey to group B, where I can be reached with further news. "Signed: Dr. Becker, SS Untersturmfuehrer." (501-PS) A letter signed by Hauptsturmfuehrer Truehe on the subject of S-vans, addressed to the Reich Security Main Office, Room 2-D-3-A, Berlin, and marked "Top Secret," establishes that the vans were used for the annihilation of the Jews. The message reads: "A transport of Jews, which has to be treated in a special way, arrives weekly at the office of the commandant of the Security Police and the Security Service of White Ruthenia. "The three S-vans which are there are not sufficient for that purpose. I request assignment of another S-van (five tons). At the same time I request the shipment of twenty gas hoses for the three S-vans on hand (two Diamond, one Saurer), since the ones on hand are leaky already. (signed) The Commandant of the Security Police and the Security Service, Ostland." (501-PS) It appears that a certain amount of discord existed between officials of the German government as to the proper means and methods to be used in connection with the extermination program. A secret report dated 18 June 1943, addressed to Rosenberg, complained that five thousand Jews killed by the police and SS might have been used for forced labor, and chided them for failing to bury the bodies of those liquidated: "The fact that Jews receive special treatment requires no further discussion. However, it appears hardly believable that this is done in the way described in the report of the General Commissioner of 1 June 1943. What is Katyn against that? Imagine only that these occurrences would become known to the other side and exploited by them! Most likely such propaganda would have no effect only because people who hear and read about it simply would not be ready to believe it." "To lock men, women, and children into barns and to set fire to them does not appear to be a suitable method of combatting bands, even if it is desired to exterminate the population. This method is not worthy of the German cause and hurts our reputation severely." (R-135) Gunther, the prison warden at Minsk, in a letter dated 31 May [Page 1002] 1943, addressed to the General Commissioner for White Ruthenia, was critical by implication. This letter, entitled, "Action Against Jews," reads: "On 13 April 1943 the former German dentist Ernst Israel Tichauer and his wife, Elisa Sara Tichauer, nee Rosenthal, were committed to the court prison by the Security Service. Since that time all German and Russian Jews who were turned over to us had their golden bridgework, crowns, and fillings pulled or broken out. This happens always one to two hours before the respective action. "Since 13 April 1943, 516 German and Russian Jews have been finished off. On the basis of a definite investigation gold was taken only in two actions -- on 14 April 1943 from 172, and on 27 April 1943 from 164 Jews. About fifty percent of the Jews had gold teeth, bridgework, or fillings. Hauptscharfuehrer Rube of the Security Service was always personally present and he took the gold along, too. "Before 13 April 1943 this was not done. (signed) Gunther, Prison Warden." (R-15) The foregoing letter was forwarded to Rosenberg, as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, on June 1943. The covering letter to Rosenberg reads: "The enclosed official report from the warden of the prison in Minsk is submitted to the Reich Minister and the Reich Commissar for Information. "(signed) The General Commissar in Minsk." (R-15) A further complaint is contained in a secret letter addressed to General of Infantry, Thomas, Chief of the International Armament Department, dated 2 December 1941 (3257-PS). The writer of this letter apprehensively stated his reason for not forwarding the communication through official channels: "For the personal information of the Chief of the Industrial Armament Department I am forwarding a total account of the present situation in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine in which the difficulties and tensions encountered so far and the problems which give rise to serious anxiety are stated with unmistakable clarity. "Intentionally I have desisted from submitting such a report through official channels or to make it known to other departments interested in it because I do not expect any results that way, but to the contrary am apprehensive that the difficulties and tensions and also the divergent opinions might only be increased due to the peculiarity of the situation." ******* [Page 1003] "Jewish problem: "Regulation of the Jewish question in the Ukraine was a difficult problem because the Jews constituted a large part of the urban population. We therefore have to deal -- just as in the General Government -- with a mass problem of policy concerning the population. Many cities had a percentage of Jews exceeding fifty percent. Only the rich Jews had fled from the German troops. The majority of Jews remained under German administration. The latter found the problem more complicated through the fact that these Jews represented almost the entire trade and even a part of the manpower in small and medium industries besides the business which had in part become superfluous as a direct or indirect result of the war. The elimination therefore necessarily had far-reaching economic consequences and even direct consequences for the armament industry (production for supplying the troops)." ******* "The attitude of the Jewish population was anxious - obliging from the beginning. They tried to avoid everything that might displease the German administration. That they hated the German administration and army inwardly goes without saying and cannot be surprising. However, there is no proof that Jewry as a whole or even to a greater part was implicated in acts of sabotage. Surely there were some terrorists or saboteurs among them just as among the Ukrainians. But it cannot be said that the Jews as such represented a danger to the German armed forces. The output produced by Jews who, of course, were prompted by nothing but the feeling of fear, was satisfactory to the troops and the German administration. "The Jewish population remained temporarily unmolested shortly after the fighting. Only weeks, sometimes months later, specially detached formations of the police executed a planned shooting of Jews. The action as a rule proceeded from east to west. It was done entirely in public with the use of the Ukrainian militia, and unfortunately in many instances also with members of the armed forces taking part voluntarily. The way these actions, which included men and old men, women, and children of all ages were carried out was horrible. The great masses executed make this-action more gigantic than any similar measure taken so far in the Soviet Union. So far about 150,000 to 200,000 Jews may have been [Page 1004] executed in the part of the Ukraine belonging to the Reichskommissariat; no consideration was given to the interests of economy. "Summarizing, it can be said that the kind of solution of the Jewish problem applied in the Ukraine which obviously was based on the ideological theories as a matter of principle had the following results: "(a) Elimination of a part of partly superfluous eaters in the cities. "(b) Elimination of a part of the population which hated us undoubtedly. "(c) Elimination of badly needed tradesmen who were in many instances indispensable even in the interests of the armed forces. "(d) Consequences as to foreign policy -- propaganda which are obvious. "(e) Bad effects on the troops which in any case get indirect contact with the executions. "(f) Brutalizing effect on the formations which carry out the execution -- regular police." (3257-PS) Lest it be thought that these conditions existed only in the East, the official Netherlands government report by the Commissioner for Repatriation as relates similar treatment of the Jews in the West (1726-PS). The German measures taken against the Dutch Jews -- discriminatory decrees, anti- semitic demonstrations, burning of synagogues, purging of Jews from the economic life of their country, food restrictions, forced labor, concentration camp confinement, deportation, and death -- all these measures follow the same pattern that was effected throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. The official Netherlands report states that full Jews, liable to deportation, numbered 140,000. The total number of actual Jewish deportees was 117,000, representing more than eighty-three per cent of all the Jews in the Netherlands. Of these, 115,000 were deported to Poland for slave labor, and after departure all trace of them was lost. Regardless of victory or defeat to Germany, the Jew was doomed. It was the expressed intent of the Nazi state that whatever the German fate might be the Jew would not survive. (1726-PS) A Top Secret message from the commandant of the SIPO and SD for the Radom District, addressed to SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Thiel on the subject, "Clearance of Prisons," reads as follows: "I again stress the fact that the number of inmates of the SIPO and SD prisons must be kept as low as possible. In the [Page 1005] present situation, particularly, those suspects handed over by the civil police need only be subjected to a short, formal interrogation, provided there are no serious grounds for suspicion. They are then to be sent by the quickest route to a concentration camp, should no court martial proceeding be necessary or should there be no question of discharge. Please keep the number of discharges very low. Should the situation at the front necessitate it, early preparations are to be made for the total clearance of prisons. Should the situation develop suddenly in such a way that it is impossible to evacuate the prisoners, the prison inmates are to be liquidated and their bodies disposed of as far as possible (burning, blowing up the building, etc.). If necessary, Jews still employed in the armament industry or on other work are to be dealt with in the same way. "The liberation of prisoners or Jews by the enemy, be it the WB [perhaps means 'West-Bund,' or 'Western Ally'] or the Red Army, must be avoided under all circumstances, nor may they fall into their hands alive." (L-53) (3) Mass Disposal of Jews in Concentration Camps. The concentration camps were utilized to dispose of literally millions of Jews, who died by mass shooting, gas, poison, starvation, and other means. The part which the concentration camps played in the annihilation of the Jewish people is indicated in an official Polish report on Auschwitz Concentration Camp (L-161). In Auschwitz during July 1944 Jews were killed at the rate of 12,000 daily: "*** During July 1944, they were being liquidated at the rate of 12,000 Hungarian Jews daily, and as the crematory could not deal with such numbers, many bodies were thrown into large pits and covered with quick lime." (L-161) The official Polish Government Commission Report on the Investigation of German crimes in Poland describes the concentration camp at Treblinka in these terms: "*** In March 1942, the Germans began to erect another camp, Treblinka B, in the neighborhood of Treblinka A, intended to become a place of torment for Jews. "The erection of this camp was closely connected with the German plans aiming at a complete destruction of the Jewish population in Poland which necessitated the creation of a machinery by means of which the Polish Jews could be killed in large numbers. Late in April 1942, the erection of the first three chambers was finished in which these general massacres [Page 1006] were to be performed by means of steam. Somewhat later the erection of the real death building was finished, which contains ten death chambers. It was opened for wholesale murders early in autumn 1942 ***." (3311-PS) The report of the Polish commission describes graphically the procedure for extermination within the camp: "*** The average number of Jews dealt with at the camp in summer 1942 was about two railway transports daily, but there were days of much higher efficiency. From autumn 1942 this number was falling. "After unloading in the siding all victims were assembled in one place where men were separated from women and children. In the first days of the existence of the camp the victims were made to believe that after a short stay in the camp, necessary for bathing and disinfection, they would be sent farther east, for work. Explanations of this sort were given by SS men who assisted at the unloading of the transports and further explanations could be read in notices stuck up on the walls of the barracks. But later, when more transports had to be dealt with, the Germans dropped all pretenses and only tried to accelerate the procedure. "All victims had to strip off their clothes and shoes, which were collected afterwards, whereupon all victims, women and children first, were driven into the death chambers. Those too slow or too weak to move quickly were driven on by rifle butts, by whipping and kicking, often by Sauer himself. Many slipped and fell, the next victims pressed forward and stumbled over them. Small children were simply thrown inside. After being filled up to capacity the chambers were hermetically closed and steam was let in. In a few minutes all was over. The Jewish menial workers had to remove the bodies from the platform and to bury them in mass graves. By and by, as new transports arrived, the -cemetery grew, extending in eastern direction. "From reports received, it may be assumed that several hundred thousands of Jews have been exterminated in Treblinka." (3311-PS) An official United States government report issued by the Executive Office of the President of the United States, War Refugee Board, on the German camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau, sets forth the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau in the two year period between April 1942 and April 1944. The figure printed in this report is not a typographical error. The number is 1,765,000. (L-22)
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