The Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service
October 7, 1941
OPERATIONAL SITUATION REPORT USSR No. 106
- Einsatzgruppe B
- Location: Smolensk
Mood and general conduct of the population
It can be observed that, just as before, the population in the area of our activities abstains from any self-defense action against the Jews. True, the population reports uniformly about the Jewish terror against them during the Soviet rule. They also complain to the German offices about new attacks from the side of the Jews (like unauthorized return from the ghetto to their previous homes, or hostile remarks against the Germans made by Jews). However, in spite of our energetic attempts, they are not ready for any action against the Jews. The decisive reason here seems to be the fear of Jewish revenge in case of a return of the Reds. Even very active elements who help us find Jewish Communists and members of the intelligentsia and show themselves very efficient in their cooperation prefer to remain invisible and anonymous in the decisive moments.
Reports on a stable, good mood in the population can be found only in those areas where economic life is somewhat normal, as, for instance, in the town of Klintsy that has not been destroyed at all; also in Vitebsk.
- Einsatzgruppe C
- Location: Kiev
As a result of [war] destruction, especially of houses, and the forced order to evacuate endangered streets, about 23,000 persons became homeless and were forced to spend the first days of the occupation in the open. They accepted this inconvenience quietly and did not cause panic.
Meanwhile, locked and empty apartments, insofar as they had not been burned and damaged, were put at the disposal of the population. A corresponding number of apartments have also become available through liquidation, thus far around 36,000 Jews on September 29 and 30, 1941. The housing of the homeless is assured and has also been taken care of in the meantime.
The population of Kiev before the start of the war numbered around 850,000. For the time being, no exact indication concerning its national composition can be given. The number of Jews is said to have been about 300,000. The total number of ethnic Germans living in Kiev is presently being counted by a Kommando. The final results will be available in ten days. The temporary appointed city administration has begun immediately to register all the inhabitants of Kiev. As a first measure, all males 15-60 must report.
Except for a small part, the non-Jewish population, as far as can now be established, seems to welcome the German Army, or at least to display loyal behavior. During the first days of the occupation, serious unrest could be detected within the population because of rumors that the German Army was leaving the city. These rumors were successfully squelched with proper official announcements. The population cooperates very readily by furnishing information on explosives or secret membership in the NKVD, the Party and the Red Army. Unlike the first days, one could note that this information was 90% correct. The reason for this is that the city inhabitants are less frightened than is the rural population, since they do not fear the possibility of a return of the Bolsheviks. There are no food stocks and these must be provided. A staff in charge of economic affairs was created by the appointed city administration. It's main task was, for the time being, the supplying of the most vital food. This economic staff supplied the required transportation and, thus, the most urgent needs could be met by bringing in supplies from the nearby collective farms.
II: Executions and other measures
The population was extremely infuriated against the Jews because of their preferential economical status under Soviet rule. It could also be proved that the Jews had participated in arson. The population expected adequate reprisals from the Germans. For this purpose, in agreement with the city military command, all the Jews of Kiev were ordered to appear at a certain place on Monday, September 29, by 6 o'clock. This order was publicized by posters all over the town by members of the newly organized Ukrainian militia. At the same time, oral information was passed that all the Jews of Kiev would be moved to another place. In cooperation with the HQ of EGC and two Kommandos of the police regiment South, Sonderkommando 4a executed 33,771 Jews on September 29 and 30. (1) Gold and valuables, linen, and clothing were secured. Part of it was given to the NSV (National-Sozialistische Versorgung = Nazi Welfare) for the ethnic Germans, and part to the appointed city administration for distribution among the needy population. The action was carried out smoothly and no incidents occurred. The population agreed with the plan to move the Jews to another place. That they were actually liquidated has hardly been made known. However, according to the experience gained so far, this would not meet with any opposition. The army has also approved the measures taken. The Jews that have not yet been caught or who will return will be treated accordingly. At the same time, a number of NKVD men and commissars were arrested and finished off.
The Bandera members lost power with the arrests made by the Kommandos. Their activity was restricted to the distribution of leaflets and posters. Three arrests were made; more are pending.
The HQ of the EGC as well as Sonderkommando 4a and Einsatzkommando 5, both stationed in Kiev, have made connections with the proper offices. Constant cooperation with these offices was achieved, and imminent problems are discussed daily. Because of the vast amounts of information, each time [with each action] detailed operation reports must be submitted about the activity of the Einsatzkommandos.
III. Zhitomir, action against the Jews
The Militia headquarters, according to a suggestion of Sonderkommando 4a, arranged a temporary, local concentration of Jews in Zhitmmir. This resulted in a quieter atmosphere, for example, in the markets, etc. At the same time, obstinate rumors diminished and it seemed that together with the concentration of the Jews, the Communists, too, lost much ground. However, it became obvious after a few days that concentration of the Jews without building a ghetto did not suffice, and that the old difficulties emerged again after a short while. Complaints about the impertinence of the Jews in their various places of work stemmed from various quarters. It was noted that strong propaganda activity among the Ukrainians, claiming that the Red Army would return very soon into the areas that had been taken away from them, had their origin in the Jewish quarter. The local militia was shot at, at night, and even in the daytime from an ambush. It was also established that Jews exchanged their belongings for money in order to move into Western Ukraine where a civil administration already exists.
All these phenomena could be observed. However, it was possible to get hold of the involved Jews only in the rarest cases, as they had sufficient opportunities to evade arrest. Therefore, a conference was called together with military H.Q. on September 10, 1941. The resulting decision was the final and radical liquidation of the Jews of Zhitomir, since all warnings [threats] and special measures [punishments] had not led to any perceptible change.
On September 19, 1941, from 4 o'clock [a.m.], the Jewish quarter was emptied after having been surrounded and closed the previous evening by 60 members of the Ukrainian militia. The transport [deportation] was accomplished in 12 trucks, part of which had been supplied by military headquarters and part by the city administration of Zhitomir. After the transport had been carried out and the necessary preparations made with the help of 150 prisoners, 3,145 Jews were registered and shot.
After 25-30 tons of linen, clothing, shoes, dishes, etc. that had been confiscated in the course of the action were handed over to the officials of the NSV in Zhitomir for distribution. Valuables and money were conveyed to the Sonderkommando 4a.
(The Einsatzgruppen Reports by Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, editors. p. 171-174)
For additional information about the mobile killing units, and what the Allies had discovered about their operations, see Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew by Richard Breitman, and Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning
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