The anti-Jewish campaign became furious in Germany following the assassination in Paris of the German Legation Councillor von Rath. Heydrich, Gestapo head, sent a teletype to all Gestapo and SD offices with directions for handling “spontaneous” uprising anticipated for the nights of November 9th and 10, 1938, so as to aid in destruction of Jewish-owned property and protect only that of Germans (374-PS; 765-PS). No more cynical document ever came into evidence. Then there is a report by an SS Brigade Leader, Dr. Stahlecher, to Himmler, which recites that:
“Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to start pogroms against Jews during the first hours after capture, though this inducement proved to be very difficult. Following out orders, the Security Police was determined to solve the Jewish question with all possible means and most decisively. But it was desirable that the Security Police should not put in an immediate appearance, at least in the beginning, since the extraordinarily harsh measures were apt to stir even German circles. It had to be shown to the world that the native population itself took the first action by way of natural reaction against the suppression by Jews during several decades and against the terror exercised by the Communists during the preceding period.”
“In view of the extension of the area of operations and the great number of duties which had to be performed by the Security Police, it was intended from the very beginning to obtain the co-operation of the reliable population for the fight against verminthat is mainly the Jews and Communists. Beyond our directing of the first spontaneous actions of self-cleansing, which will be reported elsewhere, care had to be taken that reliable people should be put to the cleansing job and that they were appointed auxiliary members of the Security Police.”
“Kowno *********To our surprise it was not easy at first to set in motion an extensive pogrom against Jews. KLIMATIS, the leader of the partisan unit, mentioned above, who was used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small advanced detachment acting in Kowno, and in such a way that no German order or German instigation was noticed from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night from 25. to 26.6 the Lithuanian partisans did away with more than 1,500 Jews, set fire to several synagogues or destroyed them by other means and burned down a Jewish dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During the following nights about 2,300 Jews were made harmless in a similar way. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions followed the example of Kowno, though smaller and extending to the Communists who had been left behind.
“These self-cleansing actions went smoothly because the Army authorities who had been informed showed understand-
ing for this procedure. From the beginning it was obvious that only the first days after the occupation would offer the opportunity for carrying out pogroms. After the disarmament of the partisans the self- cleansing actions ceased necessarily.
“It proved much more difficult to set in motion similar cleansing actions in Latvia.”
“From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with the basic orders received, however, the cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at a complete annihilation of the Jews *********
“The sum total of the Jews liquidated in Lithuania amounts to 71,105.” (L-180).
Of course, it is self-evident that these “uprisings” were managed by the government and the Nazi Party. If we were in doubt, we could resort to Streicher’s memorandum of April 14, 1939, which says, “The anti-Jewish action-of November, 1938 did not arise spontaneously from the people. *********Part of the party formation have been charged with the execution of the anti-Jewish action.” (406-PS). Jews as a whole were fined a billion Reichsmarks. They were excluded from all businesses, and claims against insurance companies for their burned properties were confiscated, all by decree of the defendant Goering (Reichsesetzblatt, 1938, Part I, Pp. 1579- 1582).
Synagogues were the objects of a special vengeance. On November 10, 1938, the following order was given: “By order of the Group Commander, all Jewish Synagogues in the area of Brigade 50 have to be blown up or set afire. *********The operation will be carried out in civilian clothing. ********* Execution of the order will be reported *********.” (1721-PS). Some 40 teletype messages from various police headquarters will tell the fury with which all Jews were pursued in Germany on those awful November nights. The SS troops were turned loose and the Gestapo supervised. Jewish owned property was authorized to be destroyed. The Gestapo ordered twenty to thirty thousand “well-to-do Jews” to be arrested. Concentration camps were to receive them. Healthy Jews, fit for labor, were to be taken (051-PS) .
As the German frontiers were expanded by war, so the campaign against the Jews expanded. The Nazi plan never was limited to extermination in Germany; always it contemplated extin-
guishing the Jew in Europe and often in the world. In the wet, the Jews were killed and their property taken over. But the campaign achieved it zenith of savagery in the East. The Eastern Jew has suffered as no people ever suffered. Their sufferings were carefully reported to the Nazi authorities to show faithful adherence to the Nazi design. I shall refer only to enough of the evidence of these to show the extent of the Nazi design for killing Jews.
If I should recite these horrors in words of my own, you would think me intemperate and unreliable. Fortunately, we need not take the word of any witness but the Germans themselves. I invite you now to look at a few of the vast number of captured German orders and reports that will be offered in evidence, to see what a Nazi invasion meant. We will present such evidence as the report of Einsatzgruppe (Action Group) A of 10/16/1941, which boasts that in overrunning the Baltic States, “Native Anti-Semitic forces were induced to start pogroms against the Jews during the first hours after occupation *********.” The report continues:
“From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with the basic orders received, however, the cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at a complete annihilation of the Jews. Special detachments reinforced by selected units in Lithuania — partisan detachments, in Latvia units of the Latvian auxiliary police — therefore performed extensive executions both in the towns and in rural areas. The actions of the execution detachments were performed smoothly.
“The sum total of the Jews liquidated in Lithuania amounts to 71,105. During the pogroms in Kowno .800 Jews were eliminated, in the smaller towns about 1,200 Jews.
“In Latvia, up to now a total of 30,000 Jews were executed. 500 were eliminated by pogroms in Riga.” (L-180).
This is a captured report from the Commissioner of Sluzk on October 30, 1941, which describes the scene in more detail. It says:
“The first lieutenant explained that the police battalion had received the assignment to effect the liquidation of all Jews here in the town of Sluzk, within two days. Then I requested him to postpone the action one day. However, he reacted this with the remark that he had to carry out this action everywhere and in all towns and that only two days
were allotted for Sluzk. Within these two days, the town of Sluzk had to be cleared of Jews by all means. *** ******All Jews without exception were taken out of the factories and shops and deported in spite of our agreement. It is true that part of the Jews was moved by way of the ghetto where many of them were processed and still segregated by me, but a large part was loaded directly on trucks and liquidated without further delay outside of the town. *** ******For the rest, as regards the execution of the action. I must point out to my deepest regret that the latter bordered already on sadism.
The town itself offered a picture of horror during the action. With indescribable brutality on the part of both the German police officers and particularly the Lithuanian partisans, the Jewish people, but also among them White Ruthenians, were taken out of their dwellings and herded together. Everywhere in the town shots were to be heard and in different streets the corpses of shot Jews accumulated. The White Ruthenians were in greatest distress to free themselves from the encirclement.
Regardless of the fact that the Jewish people, among whom were also tradesmen, were mistreated in a terribly barbarous way in the face of the White Ruthenian people, the White Ruthenians themselves were also worked over with rubber clubs and rifle butts. There was no question of an action against the Jews any more. It rather looked like a revolution. *********” (1104-PS).