The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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One of the steps taken by the Reichsfuehrer S.S. to carry out those
"special tasks" was the formation and use of so-called "anti-partisan"
units. They were discussed by Himmler in his Posen Speech, our
Document 1919-PS, at Page 3 of the translation, paragraph 5, Page 57
of the original, last paragraph. I read those two paragraphs in which
he discusses the anti-partisan units:

     "In the meantime, I have also set up the Chief of the anti-
     partisan units. Our comrade S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach
     is Chief of the anti-partisan units. 1 considered it necessary
     for the Reichsfuehrer S.S. to be in authoritative command in all
     these battles, for I am convinced that we are in the best
     position to take action against this enemy struggle, which is
     decidedly a political one. Except where units, which had been
     supplied, and which we had formed for this purpose, were taken
     from us to fill in gaps at the front, we have been very
     It is notable that by setting up this department, we have gained
     for the S.S. in turn, a division, a corps, an army, and the next
     step -- which is the High Command of an army or area of a group -
     - if you wish to call it that."

What the S.S. did with its divisions, corps and army out of which the
anti-partisan units were formed, is illustrated in the reports
rendered as to the activities of such units. I offer in evidence
activity and situation report No. 6 of the Task Forces of the Security
Police and S.D. in the U.S.S.R., covering the period from the 1st
tothe 31st October, 1941. It is our Document R-102, and will be found
in Volume 2 of the document book. It is Exhibit USA 470. The report
shows that so-called " anti-partisan " activity was actually nothing
but a name for extermination of persons believed politically
undesirable and of Jews. The report is a very carefully organised and
detailed description of such extermination. Section I describes the
stations of the various Task Forces involved, Section II their
activities. The latter section

[Page 172]

is divided into parts, each dealing with a different geographical
region -- the Baltic area, White Ruthenia, and the Ukraine.

Under each area the report of activities is classified under three

(a) Partisan activity and counteraction; (b) arrests and execution of
Communists and officials; and (c) Jews. I shall read only a few
typical paragraphs, selected almost at random.

First, to show the units involved, I quote the second and third
paragraphs of Page 4 of the translation and this also appears on Page
1 of the original:

     "The present stations are:
     Task Force A: since 7th October, 1941, Krasnogwardeisk.
     Task Force B: continues in Smolensk.
     Task Force C: since 27th September, 1941, in Kiev.
     Task Force D: since 27th September, 1941, in Nikilaiev.
     The action and Special Commandos (Einsatz-und-Sonderkommandos)
     which are attached to the Task Force continue on the march with
     the advancing troops to the sectors which have been assigned to

I shall now read from the section headed "Baltic area" and subsection
labelled Jews", beginning with the first paragraph on Page 5 of the
translation, Page 8 of the original, second paragraph.

     "The male Jews over 16 were executed, with the exception of
     doctors and the elders. At the present time this action is still
     in progress. After completion of this action there will remain
     Only 500 Jewesses and children in the Eastern territory."

I pass now to the section headed "White Ruthenia," the subsection
headed, "Partisan activity and counteraction." The paragraph I shall
read begins on Page 6, paragraph 5 of the translation, found on Page
11, paragraph 1 of the original. I quote:

     "In Wultschina 8 juveniles were arrested as partisans and shot.
     They were inmates of a children's home. They had collected
     weapons which they hid in the woods. Upon search the following
     were found: 3 heavy machine guns, 15 rifles, several thousand
     rounds of ammunition, several hand grenades, and several packages
     of poison gas Ebrit.
     Arrests and executions of Communists, Officials and Criminals.
     A further large part of the activity of the Security Police was
     devoted to the combating of Communists and criminals. A special
     Commando in the period covered by this report executed 63
     officials, N.K.V.D. agents and agitators."

The subsection on arrests and executions of Communists, officials and
criminals in White Ruthenia, ends as follows, and I read from Page 6
of the translation, paragraph 14, Page 12 of the original, paragraph

     "The liquidations for the period covered by this report have
     reached a total Of 37,180 persons."

The final item I shall quote is from the section headed " Ukraine,"
under the subsection "Jews." It will be found on Page 8 of the
translation, paragraph io, Page 18 of the original, next to the last

     "In Zhitomir 3,145 Jews had to be shot, because from experience
     they have to be regarded as bearers of Bolshevik propaganda and

This report, the Tribunal will recall, deals with the activities of
four Task Forces -- A, B, C and D. The more detailed report of Task
Force A up to 15th October, 1941, is our Document L-180. It has
already been

[Page 173]

introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 276 and some paragraphs were
read from it. It will be referred to again in the case against the
Gestapo. I desire to read only two paragraphs which show the great
variety of S.S. components in such a task force.

I might point out to the Court that this elaborately bound report
(Major Farr here handed in Document L-180) which the Court has already
seen, has a sort of pocket-part supplement, in which appears a break
down of the personnel engaged in this action, in graphic form. I shall
read the component parts which appear on this chart in a moment.
First, I will quote from Page 5 of the translation, fourth paragraph:

THE PRESIDENT: Does that book you just put in refer to the
extermination of the Jews in Galicia ?

MAJOR FARR: This is the report of Action Group A, an anti-partisan
task force which operated in the Baltic States in 1941.

THE PRESIDENT: It is not L-180 ?

MAJOR FARR: It is L-180.

The passage I will read appears on Page 5 of the translation,
paragraph 4, and on Page 12 of the original, first paragraph, I quote:

     "This description of the over-all situation showed and shows that
     the members of the Gestapo (the Secret State Police), Kripo (that
     is the Criminal Police) and the S.B. (Security Service) who are
     attached to the Action Group, are active mainly in Lithuania,
     Latvia, Esthonia, White Ruthenia and, to a smaller part, in front
     of Leningrad. It shows further that the forces of the uniformed
     police and the Waffen S.S. are active mainly in front of
     Leningrad, in order to take measures against the returning
     population, and this under their own officers. This is so much
     easier because the task forces in Lithuania, Latvia and Esthonia
     have at their disposal native police units, as described in
     enclosure 1, and because so far 150 Latvian reinforcements have
     been sent to White Ruthenia.
     The distribution of the leaders of Security Police and S.D.
     during the individual phases can be gathered from enclosure 2,
     the advance and activities of the task force Group and the
     various task forces from enclosure 3. It should be mentioned that
     the leaders of the armed S.S. and of the uniformed police, who
     are on the reserve, have declared their wish to stay with the
     Security Police and the S.D."

I quote now from enclosure 1a, which was referred to, showing the
constitution of the force. This will be found on Page 14 of the
translation. It was the graphic chart which I showed the Court a few
moments ago, the translation having simply the break down of the
components. I quote:

"Total Strength of Task            
Force Group A:
Total                     990      
Waffen S.S.               340      34.4%
Motor-bicycle Riders      172      17.4%
Administration            18       1.8%
Security Service (S.D.)   35       3.5%
Criminal Police (Kripo)   41       4.1%
State Police (Gestapo)    89       9.0%
Auxiliary Police          87       8.8%
Order Police              133      13.4%
Female Employees          13       1.3%
Interpreters              51       5.1%
Teleprinter Operators     3        0.3%
Wireless Operators        8        0.8%

[Page 174]

The Tribunal will observe that in that list there appears the Waffen
S.S., the S.D., Criminal Police, the Gestapo and the Order Police, all
of which were part of the S.S. or under S.S. jurisdiction.

One final report of anti-partisan activity may be referred to. It is a
report from the General Commissar for White Ruthenia to the Reich
Minister for Occupied Eastern territories. It is our Document R-135,
which I think is in the Document Book under 1475-PS, two document
numbers have been combined. I think you will find it under 1475. That
document was introduced into evidence by Major Walsh as Exhibit USA
289 and he read into the record the letter from the Reich Commissar of
the Eastern territories, transmitting the report in question. The
letter he read appears on Page 1 of the translation. I desire to read
a paragraph or two from the report itself, which is found on Page 3 of
the translation. It deals with the results of the police operation
"Cottbus." I quote the first paragraph:

     "S.S. Brigadefuehrer, Major General of Police von Gottberg
     reports that the operation 'Cottbus ' had the following result
     during the period mentioned:
     Enemy dead                                                4,500
     Dead suspected of belonging to bands        5,000
     German dead                                                   59"

I think it is unnecessary to continue further with the list. I skip to
the fourth paragraph of the report:

     "The figures mentioned above indicate that again a heavy
     destruction of the population must be expected. If only 492
     rifles are taken from 4,500 enemy dead, this discrepancy shows
     that among these enemy dead were numerous peasants from the
     country. The battalion Dirlewanger especially has a reputation
     for destroying many human lives. Among the 5,000 people suspected
     of belonging to bands, there were numerous women and children.
     By order of the Chief of anti-partisan units, S.S.
     Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach, units of the Armed Forces have
     also participated in the operation."

This is as far as I will quote.

The Tribunal will recall that S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach was
referred to in the Posen speech by Himmler as "our comrade " whom he
had placed in charge of anti-partisan activity.

The activities I have just dealt with were joint activities, in which
the - the "Waffen S.S." and S.S. Police Regiments, Gestapo, Order
Police, were all involved. But these units were also used
individually, to carry out tasks of such a nature.

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