The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/o/ohlendorf.otto/ohlendorf.001

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
From: (Daniel Keren)
Subject: 'The order was that the Jewish population should be totally exterminated'
Organization: The World, Public Access Internet, Brookline, MA
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 07:57:18 GMT
Lines: 170

Otto Ohlendorf, chief of Einsatzgruppe D, testifies about Nazi
mass murder in the occupied USSR. Source: IMT Vol. IV, testimony
starts at page 311.

Q. How many Einsatz groups were there, and who were their respective

A. There were four Einsatzgruppen, Group A,B,C and D. Chief of
   Einsatzgruppe A was Stahlecker; Chief of Einsatzgruppe B was
   Nebe; Chief of Einsatzgruppe C, Dr. Rasche, and later, Dr.
   Thomas; Chief of Einsatzgruppe D, I myself, and later Bierkamp.


Q. What were their instructions with respect to the Jews and the
   Communist functionaries?

A. The instructions were that in the Russian operational areas of
   the Einsatzgruppen the Jews, as well as the Soviet political
   commissars, were to be liquidated.

Q. And when you say "liquidated", do you mean "killed"?

A. Yes, I mean killed.


Q. Did you personally supervise mass executions of these

A. I was present at two mass executions for purposes of inspection.

Q. Will you explain to the tribunal in detail how an individual
   mass execution was carried out?

A. A local Einsatzkommando attempted to collect all the Jews in its 
   area by registering them. This registration was performed by the
   Jews themselves.

Q. On what pretext, if any, were they rounded up?

A. On the pretext that they were to be resettled.

Q. Will you continue?

A. After the registration the Jews were collected at one place;
   and from there they were later transported to the place of
   execution, which was, as a rule an antitank ditch or a natural
   excavation. The executions were carried out in a military manner,
   by firing squads under command.

Q. In what way were they transported to the place of execution?

A. They were transported to the place of execution in trucks, always
   only as many as could be executed immediately. In this way it was
   attempted to keep the span of time from the moment in which the
   victims knew what was about to happen to them until the time of
   their actual execution as short as possible.

Q. Was that your idea?

A. Yes.

Q. And after they were shot what was done with the bodies?

A. The bodies were buried in the antitank ditch or excavation.


Q. Were all victims, including the men, women, and children,
   executed in the same manner?

A. Until the spring of 1942, yes. Then an order came from Himmler
   that in the future women and children were to be killed only
   in gas vans.

Q. How had women and children been killed previously?

A. In the same way as the men - by shooting.

Q. What, if anything, was done about burying the victims after they
   had been executed?

A. The Kommandos filled the graves to efface the signs of execution,
   and then labor unit of the population leveled them.

Q. Referring to the gas vans which you said you received in the
   spring of 1942, what order did you receive with respect to the
   use of these vans?

A. These gas vans were in future to be used for the killing of the
   women and the children.

Q. Will you explain to the Tribunal the construction of these vans
   and their appearance?

A. The actual purpose of these vans could not be seen from the
   outside. They looked like closed trucks, and were so constructed
   that at the start of the motor, gas was conducted into the van
   causing death in 10 to 15 minutes.

Q. Explain in detail just how one of these vans was used for an

A. The vans were loaded with the victims and driven to the place of
   burial, which was usually the same as that used for the mass
   executions. The time needed for transportation was sufficient
   to insure the death of the victims.

Q. How were the victims induced to enter the van?

A. They were told that they were to be transported to another 


Q. You said that mostly women and children were executed in these
   vans. For what reason?

A. That was a special order from Himmler to the effect that women
   and children were not to be exposed to the mental strain of the
   executions; and thus the men of the Kommandos, mostly married
   men, should not be compelled to aim at women and children.


Q. In your testimony you said that the Einsatz group had the object
   of annihilating the Jews and the commissars, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And in what category did you consider the children? For what
   reason were the children massacred?

A. The order was that the Jewish population should be totally 

Q. Including the children?

A. Yes.

Q. Were all the Jewish children murdered?

A. Yes.



Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.

-Lu Xun.

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