Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:27 pm

I posted too quickly on the Buczacz procedure, as Bartov (pp 179-182) returns to the first EG shooting action somewhat later and adds still more details. Two Jews survived the shooting, whilst others who were not among the 100s of Jews taken to the pits later testified about what they had seen.

- Decision of timing of action: made by local Gestapo or a regional Gestapo office In the case of the first EG shooting in Buczacz, the timing was at the command of the Tarnopol Security Police; a dozen Gestapo men came to the offices of the local police to inform them that "they would be carrying out an execution" (Kaznovskkyi) and required police assistance. - The execution was known as the "registration action," because it was preceded by the imprisonment of the town's leading Jews after the Germans had demanded Jews assemble for a labor registration. The assembly of the Jews for registration began at 5pm on 25 August 1941.

- Choice of execution site: made by local Gestapo The site, in a forest outside Buczacz, was chosen by three Gestapo men who brought a group of local police with them. - The area where the Jews were executed was known as Fedor Hill.

- Notification of action to local police: made by police chief of Schutzmannschaft, e.g. the day before an action over telephone, with deployment of armed policemen to take place that night; the nature of action and orders for the mass executions are given to the ranked policemen on the day of the action In person by delegation of Gestapo officers from Tarnopol; list of names of victims (men held in local prison) provided to local police by Tarnopol Gestapo - the shooting action was explained as a registration for labor and later the Judenrat was told it had been an execution of 400 Communists ostensibly requested by the Jews of Buczacz

- Overall supervision of execution process: chief of SD along with chief of Schutzmannschaft Tarnopol Gestapo - Sturmbanführer Hermann Müller from the Tarnopol Sipo station oversaw the selection process

- Requisitions of locals for various jobs: diggers, transporting Jews by cart to killing sites, erecting barbed wire enclosures, plank providers and movers, pushers, grave fillers, sorting, mending and/or selling clothes, pulling out gold teeth, cooks, translators local policemen were requisitioned for helping with site selection, to dig the grave, and to help shepherd the convoy of selected victims to the site; no additional information - fifteen to eighteen Ukrainian policemen had been assigned to dig the pits and to "escort the 'Jewish intellectuals' to the site"; they in turn requisitioned Ukrainians from the nearby village of Nagórzanka; these locals fled leaving the task to the local policemen

- Rapes: by both Germans and local policemen prior to the first EG shooting action, according to another witness, "German soldiers, led by Ukrainian dregs, broke into Jewish houses and raped young girls"; yet another witness saw Ukrainian policemen taking Jewish women from their homes and how they "mishandled" the women, p 167 - not more on rapes but the victims held in the prison were assaulted and tortured by Ukrainian policemen led by Kaznovskkyi the night before the shooting

- Jews to the pits: mainly local policemen and SS, sometimes assisted by local Volksdeutsche as above, "the Gestapo men, along with the selected policemen" (Kaznovskkyi), walked the column of victims through town to the pits in the forest - "a tight cordon of Ukrainian policemen," according to Jewish witnesses, the column was followed by a car with Germans with machine guns

- Shooters: generally identified as “Germans” or “SS” or “Gestapo” but also local police Gestapo men with participation of local police participated as instructed by Gestapo - machine guns were used

- Dealing with victims' clothes/belongings: initial sorting and culling by local policemen supervised by SD officer; final mending, etc by locals – who sometimes received some items for their labor - in this case: local policemen returned from the site with articles of clothing taken from the victims, the victims' valuables had been collected in boxes at the murder site and the victims were shot naked - local policemen later traded in goods from the site for brandy, vodka, etc; the Germans made the surviving Jews of Buczacz pay a ransom following the shooting action

- Grave fillers: locals, often bringing their own shovels, supervised by SS Huzar: "the grave with the corpses was covered up by the policemen" - because the local police had covered the mass grave with very little soil, according to Huzar, they were made to return later and do a better job at covering the site; three locals, including a Judenrat member and a local Polish doctor, went to the site the evening after the shooting and found the mass grave with bodies in it

- Evening debrief and celebration: might be presided over by Gebeitskommissar, includes German and local policemen - in this case: there was a drinking celebration the night of 25 August, after the selection and imprisonment of those slated for execution but before the shooting, at the home of local Dr Alexius Banach where the Gestapo men gathered that evening - interestingly, one witness reported that as they returned from Fedor Hill, in a celebratory mood, the Ukrainian policemen chanted, "Death for the Jews and Poles, long live independent Ukriana!"
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:20 pm

NathanC wrote:. . . Monstrous tried to downplay "do not divide the dead" by saying that it was only in Stalin's era. The second half of the 40s was still Stalin's era, so he's now backtracking and contradicting himself in this thread. Pathetic.

Bartov describes two interesting aspects of this.

First, in the Stalin era, in fact, immediately after the war, there were investigations of the killing site outside Buczacz in western Galicia, Fedor Hill in the forests there. Although a 1944 inquiry concluded in the formulaic manner of Stalinist discourse of the genocide that in the Czortlów district as a whole "13,000 entirely innocent peaceful Soviet citizens" had been slaughtered, the body of the report of the investigation specifically referred to "mass executions ('pogroms') of the Jewish population" and said that "the entire Jewish population" of the town of Czortlów had "been annihilated." Detailed descriptions of the actions and methods were included. The report even called out Ukrainian "traitors" who'd assisted in the extermination actions and named names.

Later in 1944, in October, the local branch of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission carried out an investigation of the killings in Buczacz:
The investigators exhumed mass graves [Bartov includes a sketch of the site from Soviet archives] and carried out forensic analysis, interviewed locals, and tried to obtain information from survivors. The commission also identified by name . . . many Sipo men, gendarmes, Ukrainian policemen, and other local collaborators involved in the killings. An interim report issued in mid-October identified fourteen mass graves on Fedor Hill containing altogether 13,670 victims; it was followed a few days later by a report on three mass graves found at the Jewish cemetery with an additional 5,000 victims.

A final report was issued in November; this final SEC report on Buczacz
omitted all previous references to local collaborators, and while witness testimonies had unambiguously pointed out that the vast majority of the victims were Jews, the conclusion merely stated that these were "crimes against Soviet citizens."

At the same time, the report described forensic findings - saying of decomposed corpses examined that there were indications of gunshot wounds to the back of the head.

Second, in the post Stalin USSR, in 1982, a local history museum was opened in Buczacz. It contained many materials from the so-called "Great Patriotic War and the liberation of the city from the German-Fascist occupants." Not only did the museum exhibits neglect to give information about prewar Jewry in Buczacz (e.g., Emanuel Ringelblum and Simon Wiesenthal had been students at the local school, and the famous Hebrew writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon was born in the town and wrote about the region) but also a recommended tour of the city ended feet from the mass graves in the Jewish cemetery: "But the guide made no mention of the Jews who lived and died in Buczacz."

Bartov, Anatomy of a Genocide, pp 277-279, 292
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:04 pm

two posts by Jon Harrison related to the above discussion on the Crimea:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... ks-in.html
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... togno.html
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:22 pm

It’s weird, I no longer get alerts for new HC articles.
“Today I saw one of those places, saw it in all of its horror, all its filth, all its death.”
Soldier entering the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:31 pm

Another piece by Jon Harrison on the Crimea, this one on the role of Manstein and the Wehrmacht in the extermination of Crimean Jews.

Dmitri Baltermants' "Grief," photographed at Kerch, January 1942

Image
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:45 pm

yet another great piece at HC, this one near and dear to my heart: "How many people were killed at Ponary?"
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:04 am

Looks like I finally comment again.
“Today I saw one of those places, saw it in all of its horror, all its filth, all its death.”
Soldier entering the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat May 26, 2018 12:14 am

excellent article by Roberto Muehlenkamp, drawing on a variety of sources to show the emptiness of Mattogno's speculations about the 1941 extermination of Jews at Marijampole: "Mattogno’s Marijampolė Mass Graves Controversy"
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944

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Re: Monstrous on the Einsatzgruppen

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun May 27, 2018 12:24 pm

This morning I made the odd decision to re-read this thread. Doing so provides insight into why Monstrous and Mary Q Contrary have fled this subforum.
You know, my dear Colonel General, I don't really believe that the Russians will attack at all. It's all an enormous bluff. - Heinrich Himmler to Heinz Guderian, December 1944


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