The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/estonia/usenet.9906

From: (Eugene Holman)
Newsgroups: alt.politics.white-power,alt.revisionism,soc.culture.german,alt.politics.nationalism.white
Subject: Paper trails (Was: Holocau$t evidence is abundant)
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 11:25:30 +0300
Organization: University of Helsinki
Lines: 374
Xref: alt.politics.white-power:373477 alt.revisionism:518556 soc.culture.german:133797 alt.politics.nationalism.white:358904

In article , (Eugene Holman) wrote:

> David Irving quoting Eichmann's memoirs:
> (

> [Adolf Eichmann wrote:] "I was a
> parent too, and I instinctively stepped forward as though to take the
> child. But at that very moment the salvo of shots rang out. Both were
> killed only a few feet away from me. The child's brains were spattered over
> my leather greatcoat, and my driver had to clean the mess off." 

Now, how did that woman and child come to be in a situation where the
German Einsatzkommandos, the paramilitary forces of a country which had
invaded their homeland, the Byelorussian S.S.R., thought it necessary to
kill them and hundreds of other people, many of them women, children, and
infants, in a mass shooting operation?

I do not have documents concerning the operation in Minsk, but I do have
facsimiles of documents from the Tallinn Police Archives, held in the
Estonian State Archives (ERA) which can give us some idea of what happened
and which have value as evidence. These documents are mostly in German,
although some are in Estonian, showing the division of labor between the
Germans making the decisions and the Estonians implementing them. I give
the German documents in the original language and the Estonian documents in
either a summary or translation into English. They are relevant to the
events in Minsk insofar as they represent an implementation of precisely
the same policies and actions with local variations. There were so few Jews
in Estonia that the mass shootings conducted there by the Nazis were
relatively small, involving at most a few hundred victims. Many Jews were
dealt with like the Pliner children, whose case is reviewed below.

Estonia had a small Jewish population that was protected by some of the
most liberal and tolerant legislation in Europe guaranteeing cultural
autonomy dating back to 1925. The country's 3000+ Jewish population had its
own cultural organizations, maintained a few synagogues, and was never
regarded as constituting anything of problem.

The country was violently incorporated into the USSR during the summer of
1940. Jewish cultural autonomy was ended, synagogues were closed, and
prominent members of the Jewish religious community were shot, deported, or
arrested. Many Jewish-owned businesses were nationalized in conjunction
with the imposition of a communist economy. Some of the Soviet officials
that supervised the imposition of a communist system were Jewish by
'ethnicity' but not by religion or culture. Most Estonian Jews were
professionals or businessmen, middle class people whose livelihood and
social class were directly threatened by the imposition of a communist
system. Some looked to Germany as the country's only salvation from the
communists. A smaller segment of Estonian Jews had supported or sympathized
with the communists to some degree, as, indeed, had some Estonians.

The German army attacked the USSR on June 22, 1941, and they soon entered
Estonia. The Soviet government there was liquidated, and a German
occupation government replaced it. Estonia thus became not a German ally,
but, together with its two Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, a
protectorate called 'Ostland' ruled directly by the German authorities and
their local henchmen: German money, stamps, and state symbols were


Jews began to be arrested and executed immediately after the German army
entered Estonia. The Estonian state archives contain death certificatess
and lists of Jews shot dated July, August, and early September 1941. For
example the official death certificate of Ruvin Teitelbaum, born in Tapa pn
January 17, 1907, states laconically in a form with item 7 already printed
with only the date left blank: "7. By a decision of the German Security
Police on September 4, 1941, condemned to death, with the decision being
carried out the same day in Tallinn." Teitelbaum's crime was "being a Jew"
and thus constituting a "threat to the public order".

On September 11, 1941 an article entitled *Juuditäht seljal" - "A Jewish
Star on the Back" appeared in the Estonian mass-circulation newspaper
"Postimees". It stated that Dr. Drechsler, the High Commissioner of
Ostland, had proclaimed ordinances in accordance with which all Jewish
residents of Ostland from that day onward had to wear visible yellow
six-pointed Stars of David at least 10 cm. in diameter on the left side of
their chest and back. On the same day Regulations [ERA.F.R-89.N.1.S.1.L.2]
issued by the German Security Police were delivered to all local police
departments proclaiming that the Nuremberg Laws were in force in Ostland,
defining who was a Jew, and what Jews could and could not do. Jews were
prohibited from changing their place of residence, walking along the
sidewalk, using any means of transporation, going to theaters, museums,
cinema, or school. The professions of lawyer, physician, notary, banker, or
real estate agent were declared closed to Jews, as was the occupation of
street hawker.  The regulations also declared that the property and homes
of Jewish residents were to be confiscated. The regulations emphasized
that work to this ends was to be begun as soon as possible, and that lists
of Jews, their addresses, and their property were to be completed by the
police by September 20, 1941. These regulations also provided for the
establishment of a concentration camp near the south-eastern Estonian city
of Tartu. A later decisios provided for the construction of a Jewish
ghetto near the town of Harku, but this was never built, a small
concentration camp being built there

The Estonian State Archives contain material pertinent to the cases of
about 450 Estonian Jews. They were typically arrested either at home or in
the street, taken to the local police station, and charged with the 'crime'
of being Jews. They were either shot outright or sent to concentration camp
and shot later.

An Estonian woman, E.S. describes the arrest of her Jewish husband as follows:
[Quoted in Eugenia Gurin-Loov, *Holocaust of Estonian Jews 1941*, Eesti
Juudi Kogukond, Tallinn 1994: pg. 224.

As my husband did not go out of the house, I was the one to go to town
every day to see what was going on. I was very frighteend when I saw a
poster at the corner of Vabaduse Square and Harju Street calling for people
to show where the apartments of Jews were located. On that fatal day of
September 13, I went out again because the weather was fine but I remember
being very worried. I rushed home and when I got there and heard some
voices in our apartment I had a foreboding that something bad had happened.
There were two men in our apartment from the Self Defence Forces who said
they were taking my husband to the police station. I ran after them and
went to the chief officer and asked for permission to see my husband. The
chief officer said that he could not give me permission but added, in a low
voice, that I should come the next morning when the prisoners would be
taken to prison and perhaps I could see my husband in the corridor. I
returned the next morning as I had been advised, and it was the last time I
saw my husband. On September 15 I went to the German Security Police on
Tõnismägi in an attempt to get information about my husband. I was told he
had been shot. I asked the reason since he had not been a communist but a
businessman, The answer was: "Aber er war doch ein Jude." [But he was a

Archive records make it possible to trace the fates of several Estonian
Jews through the stages from arrest to execution.


Mr. Jüri Pliner (born May 23, 1898) was arrested and executed by the
Germans on September, 16, 1941. His three children, Mirjam (born August 15,
1927) and David and Sima (twins born on Nov. 11, 1934), remained in Tallinn
with Elisabet Lizenko (Letinkov), their stepmother, in Nõmme, a fashiobale
suburb to the south of Tallinn, living at 39 Nurme Street, apartment 7. The
Estonian State Archives contains correspondence between the German
authorities covering the months between the death of their father and
disappearance of their mother, and the excution of the children in late
March, 1942. I reproduce some of the documents here, the ones in Estonian
translated, and the ones in German in the original language (Note that
Litzenko is the Ukrainian, and Letinkov the Russian, form of the same

1. A report to the head of the Political Police of Tallinn-Harju Prefecture
that three Jewish children are living in Nõmme at 39 Nurme St., apartment

Tallinn-Harju Perfecture       To the Director of the Political       
                               Police Division, agent J. Pinka


Pliner, Jüri, married to Sofie Pliner, both Jews by nationality. Their
three children - David, born 1934, Mirjam 1927, Siima, 1934. Parents'
whereabouts unknown, children now living at Nurme St. 39-7, Nõmme.
    Information: Elisabet Litzenko, Nurme 39-7, Nõmme.
Nõmme, 20 Dec. 1941
                               R. Pinka

2. Correspondence in the investigating file of the three Pliner children
between the Political Police of Tallinn-Harju Prefecture and the inspector
of police at Nômme.

a. A request to clarify the ethnicity and religion of the children:

[STAMP: Delivered Tallinn 9th division Police Inspectorate chancellery, 2
january, 1942 Nr. 2063]

To the Police Inspectorate of Nõmme

I request that you clarify the ethnicity and religion of the suspects
Taavet, Siima and Miljam Pliner, as well as the ethnicity and religion of
their parents.
Tallinn 30 December, 1941, Nr. 5880

[Signed. EsM]
Tallinn-Harju Prefecture
Director of the Poilitical Police

b. The answer to the above:
                                    Senior assistant E. Ott
Accoding to information taken from our files the childrenn of Jüri Pliner,
Taavet, Siimam and Mirjam (not Miljan) are Jews by ethnicity and Jews by
religion. Their parents are also Jews and of Jewish religion.
15 I, 1942
                                    [signed: A. Hane]
                                   Nõmme police division
                                   3rd district office

c. The response to the above:

                          Tallinn-Harju Political Police
                          In Nömme, 17 Jan. 1942, case nr. 2063
                                  [signed: illegible]  
                          Nõmme Div. Police inspectorate
                                  [signed: J. Laanest]


To the Nômme Police Inspectorate
I request that you verify the ethnicity and religion of the
already-mentioned suspects Taavet, Siima, and Miljam Pliner, as well as
those of their parents with documentary evidence so that it can be proven.

Tallinn, 21 January, 1942, Nr. 5880
[Signed. EsM]
Tallinn-Harju Prefecture
Director of the Poilitical Police

Senior assistant E. Ott

3. A lengthy report dated March 8, 1942 in Estonian by agent L. Ranne on
the Pliner family proving their Jewish origin

The report goes through the date and circumstances of birth of Jüri Pliner
and concludes that: "Jüri PLINER as well as his spouse SOPHIE are of Jewish
ethnicity according to various documents at the Ministry of Internal
Affairs." It also notes that the children are from his first marriage,
which dates from July 31, 1923. That marriage ended on January 31, 1941,
and on August 20, 1941 he remarried, this time to Elisabeth Letnikov, born
in Poland and ethnically a Russian. The children are determined to be Jews,
but Elisabeth Letnikov is not.
4.  A request from E. Viks, chief of the political police at Tallinn-Harju
Perfecture to SS-Hauptscharführer Dörsam concerning actions to be taken
with respect to the Pliner children.            

Die Politische Polizei
der Präfektur Tallinn-Harju
29 Dezember 1941.

Nr.   5880          An den 
                    SS-Hauptscharführer Dörsam,

   Mit u/Heutigen teilen wir Ihnen mit, dass 3 Kinder des Juden  P i l n e
r, Jüri (exekutiert) und seiner Ehefrau Sofie (Befinden unbekannt):

          David geb. 1934
          Siima   "  1934
          Mirjam  "  1927

   gegenwärtig sich bei Elisabeth Litzenko, Nõmme, Nurme 39-7, befinden.
   Wir bitten Sie um Ihre Stellungnahme in dieser Abgelegenheit.

                                      [signed: E. Viks]
                                Chef der politischen Polizei
                                der Präfektus Tallinn-Harju

5. SS-Sturmbahnführer Seyler's decision of March 21, 1942 concerning the
fate of the Pliner children.
                                             Reval, den 21.3.1942
Der SS- und Polizeiführer
Der Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD.
Tgb. IV - Pä/A. Nr. 9/42.

An die
Politische Abteilung
z Hd. von Herrn W i c k s .
R e v a l

Betrifft: Kinder des Juden  P l i n e r .
Vorgang;  Dort. Schr. v. 10.3.42/Nr. 5880.
Anlagen: Ohne.

Die Kinder des Obengenannten mit Namen David, Siima und Mirjam sind zu
Frau E. Letinkov ist unter Polizei-Aufsicht zu stellen.

                                               I. V.
                                                S e y l e r

6. A letter in Estonian to assistant Leopold Jügensson of the Directorate
of the Tallinn-Harju Perecture dated 27.03.1942 announcing that the
property of the children has been registered and confiscated by the German
occupation government, and that the children have been brought to the
Political Police of Tallinn-Harju Prefecture.

7. An extract from the dossier on the Pliner children reporting that they
have been executed. [ERA.F.R-64.N.4.S.615.L.18].

Politische Abteiling                          Reval, den 28.3.1942
der Pol. Präfejtur Reval-Harrien.

An den 
Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD
beim SS- und Polizeiführer,
R e v a l .

Betrifft:    Kinder des Juden  P l i n e r
Vorgang:     I/Schr.v. 21.3.1942, Tgb.Nr. 9.
Anlagen:     1

In Erledigung Ihres obigen Schreibens berichte ich:
                 P.1 - Ist befolgt
                 P.2 - Frau E. L e t i n k o v, ist unter polit.
Polizei-Aufsicht gestellt.

                                       Leiter der Politschen Abteiling
                                      der Polizei Präfektur Reval-Harrien

8. An extract in Estonian containing an inventory of the the personal
property confiscated from the three Pilner children in conjunction with
their arrest and delivery to the Political Police on March 27, 1942. The
list notes that the children's property was in two cardboard suitcases, one
beige and one brown, and that, including the suitcases, it consists of 43
items, including [8] 12 pairs of childrens socks, [17] nine skirts of
various colors, [23] 5 pairs of white gloves, and [35] a dark blue winter
coat with a gray fur collar. It is signed by constable Artur Braun and
dated May 5, 1942. [ERA.F.R-64.N.4.S.615.L.22,22p.]

9. The Pilner children disappear from history with this final document from
the Estonian Security Police to the inspector of police in Nõmme.

Estonian Security Police
IV Division
14 May, 1942

               To the Police Inspector at Nõmme

Concerns:   Mirjam, Siima and David  P l i n e r's moveable property.
Reference:  German Security Police, correspondence April 20, 1942 Tgb. IV Bu/A
                                                  Nr. 9/42 2592

Appendices: 1 page

I request the property of Mirjam, Siima, and David  P l i n e r which is
located in Tallin-Nõmme, Nurm St. 39-7 in Elisabeth Letinkov's apartment
and which was  inventoried by constable Artur Braun on March 28, 1942, in
accordance with the list in the dossier of the German Security Police April
20, 1942, Tgb. IV - Bu/nr. 9/42, 2592, of which a copy is included.

                                            [signed: EsM]
                                          Director of the Division

                                                            Fa. M
                                                          Senior assistant

Another thing that we learn from these documents is that the
characterization of Estonia as 'judenfrei' at the Wannsee Conference
(January 20, 1942) was overoptimistic.

Eugene Holman

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