Einsatzgruppen Casualties (mental)

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Xcalibur
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Einsatzgruppen Casualties (mental)

Postby Xcalibur » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:23 am

Often been said that after witnessing a shooting in Minsk Himmler, et al put heads together to move to a more "humane" solution to their stated problem. Clearly von dem Bach had psychological problems over time.

Question: has anyone documented these problems with the rank and file? If so, where is the documentation found. I've only ever come across vague, short, passing anecdotal accounts.

Hans
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Re: Einsatzgruppen Casualties (mental)

Postby Hans » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:51 pm

Some references on the mental strain and its consequences from the West-German investigations can be found here:

The adjutant of Einsatzgruppe B Karl Schulz testified that "the nerves of the members of the shooting squads were subjected to tremendous strain" (interrogation of Schulz of 9 March 1959, BArch B 162/5066, p. 114). Erwin Cz. of the police reserve battalion 9, whose companies were assigned to the Einsatzgruppen up to December 1941, recalled that "my comrades and I - and I can easily say all comrades - were physically and mentally totally done after such action" (interrogation of 23 January 1962, BArch B 162/3275, p. 196).

According to Albert Hartl, head of the RSHA office IV B on ideological enemies and "visitor" of Einsatzgruppe C, the group's head Max Thomas explained that people assigned to the shooting squads developed "the worst sadistic drives" or suffered from "hysterical crying" and "health breakdown" (interrogation of Hartl of 16 January 1957, BArch B 162/1254, p. 986). Georg Bi. of the police reserve battalion 9 remembered a case when some "Sergeant Gan. got a nervous break down during the [two day lasting] execution" (interrogation of of 25 July 1965, BArch B 162/5654, p. 3547). As the police battalion was withdrawn from Russia in December 1941, its new commander Arthur Se. noticed that "these people had experienced rough times" and that they "had to disable one man and sent them to an asylum after he made use of his duty pistol without any reason" (interrogation of Seidel of 12 December 1963, BArch, B 162/964, p. 1320).

Von dem Bach-Zelewski himself suffered under a "nervous state of exhaustion" related to the "shooting of Jews supervised by himself and other heavy experiences in the East" according to a contemporary document from the Reichsarzt SS Ernst-Robert Grawitz (letter Grawitz to Himmler of 4 March 1942, Figure 3, from Bartoszewski, Erich von dem Bach, p. 97).

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... eport.html

Hartl also mentioned sexual impotence:

"Thomas told me that a common appearance among the members of the shooting squads was temporarily sexual impotence."


It was quite possibly also Thomas who passed on this to a German SD deflector reporting to the Swiss in February 1944:

"Most men of the Einsatzkommandos were supposedly totally drunken, often up to 40% loss due to breakdown of the nerves. Achievement [sic!]: brutal persons, who do not back off of any crime. Murder thugs lacking any disclipine. Are all nuts as human-beings."

(Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, E27#1000/721#9928-6*, p. 61)

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Jeffk 1970
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Re: Einsatzgruppen Casualties (mental)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue May 09, 2017 1:57 am

Hans wrote:
It was quite possibly also Thomas who passed on this to a German SD deflector reporting to the Swiss in February 1944:

"Most men of the Einsatzkommandos were supposedly totally drunken, often up to 40% loss due to breakdown of the nerves. Achievement [sic!]: brutal persons, who do not back off of any crime. Murder thugs lacking any disclipine. Are all nuts as human-beings."

(Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, E27#1000/721#9928-6*, p. 61)


The SD officer is unnamed per Gerlach, you can see this at location 3007 in the Extermination of the European Jews (just as another reference).

Also, this unnamed SD officer went into great detail about the systematic unearthing of mass graves and murder techniques.


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