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   Bach-Zelewski joined the Nazi party in 1930, and the SS when it was
   limited to a few hundred members. He became one of Himmler's
   favourites, and didn't hesitate to murder Communists and other
   'enemies' before and during the Ro"hm purges. After the attack on
   the Soviet Union, he was appointed 'Ho"bere SS und Polizeifu"hrer'
   in Central Russia, where he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1942.

   "Tortured by guilt, he writhed and screamed, and was oppressed by
   horrible visions. `Don't you know what's happending in Russia?' he
   asked his doctor. `The entire Jewish people is being exterminated

   Dr. Ernst Grawitz, the chief SS medical officer, reported to
   Himmler: `He is suffering particularly from hallucinations
   connected with the shooting of Jews, which he himself carried out,
   and with other grievous experiences in the East.'

   Within a few months Bach-Zelewski recovered sufficiently to be
   named chief of all antipartisan units. Throughout 1943 he flew from
   one headquarters to another organizing antipartisan task forces out
   of units of the Werhmacht, the SS, the SD, and the police. ...

   While, individually, many of the partisan groups were more a
   nuisance than a danger to the Germans, collectively, by their very
   numbers and the vast territory over which they spread, they posed a
   major threat. Attacks on trains averaged eight hundred to a
   thousand a month. In the northern Ukraine the series of `partisan
   republics' stretching from the battlefront all the way to the
   Romanian and Hungarian borders left only tenuous communications
   between the German Central and Souther Army Groups. In much of the
   Ukraine, including the district around Zhitomir, where Himmler had
   his headquarters, the Germans controlled only one-fifth of the
   forested and two-fifths of the cultivated areas. Of the greatly
   reduced harvest, not more than one-third to one-half went to the
   Germans. (NCA, 3711 PS, Statement of Wilhelm Scheidt, Nov. 25,

   By its very nature, the warfare was savage. The partisans had no
   facilities to keep prisoners or to treat wounded, so captured
   soldiers were shot as a matter of course. Hitler, conversly,
   reiterated that whoever was involved in antipartisan warfare had
   carte blanche:

      The enemy employs in partisan warfare Communist-trained fanatics
      who do not hesitate to commit any atrocity. It is more than ever
      a question of life and death. If the fight against the partisans
      in the East is not waged with the most brutal means we will
      shortly reach the point when the available forces are not
      sufficient to control this pest. It is therefore not only
      justified but it is the duty of the troops to use all means
      without restriction even against women and children as long as
      it insures success.

      No German employed against the partisans will be held
      accountable for the fighting against them or their followers
      either by disciplinary action or by court-martial. (Int. of
      Keitel by Maj. General Alexandrow, Nov. 9, 1945.)

   Every village from the vicinity of which resistance emanated was
   given the Lidice treatment -- the men and boys lined up on one
   side, the women and the children on the other, and the women
   informed that, unless they pointed out the perpetrators, the men
   would be shot and the village burned.  (NCA, 886 PS, Fu"hrer Decree
   of May 13, 1941; D 729, Conversation between Goering and Mussolini,
   Oct. 23, 1942) More often than not, however, the guerrillas had
   no connection with the village, and seldom did anyone know the
   identity of the guilty, so that the inhabitants were helpless to
   avoid the slaughter.

   In mixed Polish-Ukrainian communities, where the Poles were usually
   numerically, educationally, and economically dominant, they
   frequently managed to maneuver the Germans into picking Ukrainians
   who had been favorably inclined toward the Germans. The leader of
   the Ukrainian minority lamented: `In the village of Nodosow eight
   pro-German Ukrainians who had been persecuted by the Poles because
   of their patriotic views were shot on 30 October 1942. Thus the
   purpose of exterminating anti-German elements quite to the contrary
   annihilates or weakens positively pro-German elements and creates
   bad feelings and bitterness. In the district of Lublin about four
   hundred such Ukrainians perished.' (NCA 1526-V PS - Letter from
   Ukrainian Main Committee to Frank, Feb. 1943)

   Frank routinely received reports like the following: `On 29 January
   1943 in the village of Sumyn forty-five Ukrainians, including
   eighteen children between the ages of three and fifteen, were shot,
   and on 2 February 1943 in the villages of Pankos and Scharowola
   nineteen Ukrainians were shot, including eight children aged one to
   thirteen years.'(Ibid.)

   During the first two and one-half years of the occupation, the
   security police in the government-general shot seventeen thousand
   Poles, a figure that led Frank to comment: `We must not be
   squeamish when we learn that a total of seventeen thousand people
   have been shot; these persons who were shot were nothing more than
   war victims.'(NCA, 2233 AA PS, Frank Journal, Jan.  25, 1943) In
   1943, executions in Poland and Russia excellerated, even though
   Kaltenbrunner directed that, `as a rule, no more children will be
   shot [and] special treatment is to be limited to a minimum.' So
   that this order would not be misunderstood, he explained that `if
   we limit our harsh measures for the time being, that is only done
   [because] the most important thing is the recruiting of workers.
   Whenever prisoners can be released, they should be put at the
   disposal of the labor commissioner.  When it becomes necessary to
   burn down a village, the whole population will be put at the
   disposal of the commissioner by force.'(NCA, 3012 PS, To All Group
   Leaders of the Security Service-SD, Mar.  19, 1943.) But with
   hundreds of hostages shot each week and most of the adult males
   either in forced labor camps, employed in key positions, or gone
   undergound, the Germans - all directives to the contrary - relied
   increasingly on old people, women, and children to absorb the fire
   of the execution squads.

   Innumerable communities were eradicated without a trace by the
   Nazis.  The SD had principle responsibility for anti-insurgency
   warfare.  But since the SD consistend only of a cadre and, Goering
   pointed out, `generally speaking, soldiers are of no use in
   carrying out such measures,'(NCA, D 729, op.  cit.) Bach-Zelewsky
   relied heavily on indigenous mercenaries to contest the partisans.
   Exploiting traditional antagonisms, the SD recruited Tartars to
   fight Ukrainians, Ukrainians and Lithuanians to combat White
   Russians and Poles, Cossacks to battle Communists, and some members
   of all groups to exterminate the Jews.  In all of central Russia
   there were only two regiments of German security police. (Statement
   of Bach-Zelewski (X), Bach Interrogation File.)  The
   remainder of the units consisted of Lithuanians, Latvians,
   Estonians, White Russians, and Ukrainians.  In major operations
   against guerrilla-infested regions, the practice was to kill
   everybody, carry off everything movable, destroy what could not be
   taken away, and leave nothing but a wasteland behind - regardless
   of the fact that the great majority of those caught up in the
   sweeps were simply residents of the area and had played no active
   guerrilla role.  Thus, in a typical action in the Pripet Marshes
   between February 8 and 26, 1943, the SD reported: `Losses of the
   enemy: 2,219 dead; 7,378 persons who received special treatment; 65
   prisoners; 3,300 Jews.  Our own losses: 2 Germans and 27
   non-Germans dead; 12 Germans and 26 non-Germans wounded.' Eight
   machine guns, 172 rifles, 14 pistols, 150 hand grenades, and 8 land
   mines were captured.  Ten villages, containing 1,900 houses, were
   burned; and 559 horses, 9,578 head of cattle, 844 pigs, 5,700
   sheep, 223 tons of grain, and 3 church bells were carried off.
   (NCA 3943 PS, Report from the Eastern Occupied Territories, No. 46,
   Mar. 24, 1943.)

   Shortly afterward, Kube, Rosenberg's commissioner in White Russia,
   made the obvious comment when apprised of another operation: `If
   only 492 rifles are found on 4,500 enemy dead, that is, to my mind,
   proff that among those dead were numerous ordinary peasants.'
   Kube's superior, Lohse, added, `What is Katyn compared to this?
   Think of what would happen if the enemy found out about these
   things and made use of them! I suppose such propaganda would be
   ineffective because listeners and readers would simply refuse to
   believe such things.' (IMT, vol. 38, pp. 371-373)

   Under Hitler's directives, the only German reaction to resistance
   was to intensify terror. In Warsaw, the security police commenced
   in October 1943 to hold impromtu public executions. A block would
   suddenly be condoned off and hostages trucked in. On a street that
   a few minutes before had been a thoroughfare, the condemned were
   lined up against the walls of the houses and, as the residents
   watched from the windows, shot down. The names of the dead,
   together with a list of those to be executed the next time if
   further acts of resistance occurred, were posted on the walls. The
   bodies were then transported for burning into the ruins of the
   former ghetto, and the street was reopened to traffic. (IMT, vol.
   7, 474)

   In the midsummer of 1944, as Soviet troops approached Warsaw, the
   pent-up hatred of the Poles exploded.  Although Kaltenbrunner had
   received numerous reports that the Warsaw underground was about to
   rise, (NCA, L 37, Collective Responsibility, July 19, 1944) the
   Germans were unprepared when, on the first of August, 35,000
   nationalist partisans -- including a thousand Jews who had fought
   in the ghetto the year before -- took over the city.

   All regular Wehrmacht and Waffen SS units, trying desperately to
   stem the Red Army's advance in the East and the Allied sweep
   through France in the West, were already committed.  Himmler, who
   lacked the most basic knowledge for directing troops but had a
   passionate hatred for Warsaw, took personal command.  Decreeing
   that no prisoners were to be taken, he threw a pair of notorious SS
   brigades into the fighting.  One, led by a sex deviant and
   necrophiliac, Oskar Dirlewanger, was composed of habitual criminals
   recruited from concentration camps; the second, headed by a
   convicted White Russian criminal, Bronislav Kaminski, consisted of
   Russian and Cossack volunteers.  (Its officers, however, came from
   the Werhmacht.) Drunk more often than sober, they conducted mass
   executions without regard to age and sex, plundered and raped at
   will, burned civilians alive, sexually abused and murdered
   children, dangled rows of women by the heels from balconies, and
   impaled babies on bayonets like spits of meat.  (Int.  of General
   Heinz Guiderian by George Sawicki, Jan.  29, 1946.)" (Conot,

                             Work Cited
   Conot, Robert E. Justice at Nuremberg. New York: Harper & Row, 1983


   IMT. International Military Tribunal, Trial of the Major War Criminals;
   the published transcipts of the trial. 

   NCA. Nazi Conspiracy and Aggession, the 10-volume compendium of the
   prosecution's agruments.

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