The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

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The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:36 pm

In a way this is a continuation of this article in Holocaust Controversies:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/10/thats-why-it-is-denial-not-revisionism.html?m=1

Just as a reminder:

1. The Karaim (called “Karaites” in Arad’s book, Holocaust in the Soviet Union), a Turkic people that adhered to Judaism;

2. The Krimchaks or Krymchaks: according to Angrick, they were descendants of Spanish Sephardic Jews who no longer adhered to the Jewish religion.

(See additional links in the HC article)

Arad writes that initially because the Einsatzgruppen couldn’t distinguish between the two groups, the Krymchaks and the Karaim, they murdered both during the invasion of the Ukraine.

Arad provides some background regarding the Karaites in Germany. After the passage of the Nuremberg Laws the small Karaite community requested they be excluded from these laws based on their lack of Jewish origins even though they worshipped the Jewish religion. The reply stated that while not part of a Jewish community, “it is impossible to determine that, as a group, the Karaites belong to another race.”

After the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Generalkommisar of Lithuania, Adrian von Rentlen, dispatched a group of officials to the Karaite community there to examine the matter. The Karaite leader provided proof that the community was not of Jewish origin but of Turkish-Tartar origin. Rentlen accepted this proof and told his subordinates not to compare the Karaites to the Jews. The Ministry for Eastern Occupied Territories issued a general directive differentiating the Karaites from the Jewish community.

As an aside, Arad states that Jewish historians in the Vilnius, Warsaw and Lvov ghettos stressed this Turkish-Tartar origin in replies to German officials. They did this to protect them from the fate reserved for other Jews.

Because of this, the Karaite community in Simferopol was spared, as noted in the above article. Karaites even served in Tartar Battalions in the German army and police.

I found this interesting so I wanted to share some more of the background.
Last edited by Jeffk 1970 on Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Karaites and Krimchaks

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:47 pm

FWIW Feferman's book, The Holocaust in the Crimea and the North Caucasus, discusses these two groups of Crimean people in depth and also the so-called Mountain Jews in the North Caucasus.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:58 pm

I added “Mountain Jews” to this. They lived in the Stavropolski-Krai region that the Germans captured in the Summer and Fall of 1942. The Einsatzgruppen found some in the Crimea in February of 1942 and murdered them, considering them Jews. These murders continued until the Germans captured the capital of Kabardino-Balkar on October 28th, 1942.

The Mountain Jews living in this area were long term residents and enjoyed a good relationship with the native Muslims. The deputy head of the political department in the Ministry for the Occupied Territories, Otto Brautigam, wanted to prevent the murder of these Jews to foster a good relationship with the Muslims in the region.

He met with the commander of Einsatzgruppen D, W. Bierkamp and explained that murdering these Jews would offend the other residents in this region and that these Jews only practiced the Jewish religion. They were racially Jews.

Bierkamp visited the Mountain Jews and came to the conclusion that these Jews were harmless and related to the Turks. This conclusion matched what the head of the National Council also told him.

The decision to murder these Jews was passed along to Berlin. Berlin failed to send a decision before the Red Army liberated the region on January 4th, 1943.

Arad states that out of 5,000 Mountain Jews living in this region the Germans murdered about 1,000 before the killings stopped.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:40 am

‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:23 am

Could the relative clemency shown to the Mountian Jews ( who maintian an excellent relationship with the Azeris to this day) be a by-product of the general tendency of the German occupiers to show favoratisim to Turkic ethnic groups in the occupied east?

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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:18 am

Jeff_36 wrote:Could the relative clemency shown to the Mountian Jews ( who maintian an excellent relationship with the Azeris to this day) be a by-product of the general tendency of the German occupiers to show favoratisim to Turkic ethnic groups in the occupied east?



I think so, based upon the racial relationship.

And where the hell have you been???????? Did your (((handler))) give you time off? Lucky bastard, all I got was a copy of the Talmud and a “well done!”

:D
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:49 pm

Feferman takes a different position, attributing the survival of most Mountain Jews to a number of factors, including the portion falling under German control, unclarity and indecision on the part of the Germans, local actors (both German and non-Russian peoples in the region), and even possibly Soviet agents.

Per Feferman, Quartermaster Wagner recognized “attitudes toward the Jews of the peoples in the North Caucasus as a special problem” and thus “advised putting the extermination of the Jews in the North Caucasus on hold until the completion of the conquest” of the region (pp 178-179). However, large numbers of slaughters had been carried out before Wagner’s report was submitted and considered in late 1942. Among the Jews murdered in the North Caucasus were many Mountain Jews.

The Mountain Jews were an object of study, also, of various German research groups involved in research on the East and which attempted to fix % of Jewishness of various peoples (pp 259-261). “[T]here was ambiguity regarding Mountain Jews,” with their language, for example, being deemed a mix of various languages, “With respect to the Mountain Jews, it was recommended that they be regarded as a foreign body in the Caucasus - but what that actually meant was open to interpretation” (p 262).

Feferman notes that Mountain Jews had been subjected to pogroms in the region during 1920s. He describes their way of life as identical to their neighbors - e.g., men enlisted or were drafted in the Red Army - except for religion and for “some elements of Hebrew” in their language, which was the local language. He says that it is not clear how observant most Mountain Jews were by the time of the war.

During a Red Army clothing collection in Nal’chik in October 1941, authorities warned that “Our Jewish brethren have become Hitler’s victims; it is ordered to kill, top under, or to bury them in the earth.” This warning made many Mountain Jews want to escape the region, but it was too late for escape. (pp 293-295)

Already, after the massacre of Jews at the Shaumian kolkhoz in Crimea in early 1942, the Mountain Jews left behind there were slaughtered by EG-D in a month later, March 1942. EG-D did not try to get approval from Berlin for killing Mountain Jews; the military report on the liquidations mentioned the Mountain Jews but the EM did not (Feferman believes that the decision was simply considered by the EG to be a local matter). EG-D would be the EG which confronted the Mountain Jews in the North Caucasus. (pp 296-297) There, in summer-fall 1942, more - a few 1000s out of the total of 35,000 - Mountain Jews came under control of the Germans, mostly in the Nal’chik and Mozdok areas, At this point, no German policy toward the Mountain Jews existed, perhaps because the Germans believed that all Mountain Jews lived well east and south of the conquered territory. In the first kolkhozy taken by the Germans in the North Caucasus, Ashkenazi and Mountain Jews lived and worked side by side; the Germans made no distinctions at this time and slaughtered both groups, possibly without even knowing that there were two groups of Jews present. (pp 298-299)

In Mozdok EK 10b of EG-D subjected the Mountain Jews to the early stages of annihilation - and some seem to have been executed. Feferman speculates that at about this time “while implementing the preliminary stages of their Judenpolitik, the Germans realized that there was a group that should be treated differently from the European Jews.” It was with this “multi-faceted,” “ambiguous” approach that the Germans at this point took control of as many as 1,500 Mountain Jews in Nal’chik in October 1942. The Mountain Jews of Nal’chik, unlike their non-Jewish neighbors, were plundered on a “particularly large scale” and sent to forced and humiliating labor; some were placed in a special camp where beatings were common. Clarifications on the status of Mountain Jews were not forthcoming from Berlin; local investigations by officers of the SD took place and the question came before the Berlin Office for Genealogical Affairs, but it is not clear whether the agency focused on the issue. Local EG officers found that Mountain Jews didn’t, in their view, appear Jewish and that polygamy was practiced, which the EG commander “regarded . . . [as] a result of the influence of Islam.” On the other hand, in the Reports from the Occupied Territories the problem of the Mountain Jews was not raised. (pp 300-302).

Feferman believes that, contrary to postwar claims of having saved the Mountain Jews advanced by a number of Nazi officials (e.g, Bräutigam in the Ostministerium), a swirl of opinion, delay and study, and indecision characterized German policy, with no firm central viewpoint and various innovations on the ground locally. There is even a claim that a Soviet agent, “P,” inserted into the German administration was able to bend local policy toward leniency. By the time the Germans were forced out of the area, “a preliminary decision had been reached not to treat the Mountain Jews as Jews” but not clear, final policy (pp 304-305, 492) Feferman also points out that, as most of the non-Russian local population by the time of the war viewed the Mountain Jews as another local people, Mountain Jews found protection from the Germans and made efforts to convince the occupying authorities that the Mountain Jews were Tats, another local group. (p 458)
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:41 pm

Arad failed to mention the treatment these Jews received under the occupation but did mention that the EG murdered some of these Jews while passing through.

It’s only a guess but initially this connection (similar to how the Germans viewed Karaim) saved these Mountain Jews from wholesale murder in October of 1942. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Berlin would have ruled in their favor.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:42 pm

It’s also just as likely that Berlin would’ve ordered their wholesale slaughter.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:47 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Arad failed to mention the treatment these Jews received under the occupation but did mention that the EG murdered some of these Jews while passing through.

It’s only a guess but initially this connection (similar to how the Germans viewed Karaim) saved these Mountain Jews from wholesale murder in October of 1942. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Berlin would have ruled in their favor.

According to Feferman, not more than 3,000 of the 35,000 Mountain Jews were ever under German control; he sees central policy as leaning toward differentiating this group from European Jews but deems the combination of factors described above as determining their actual fate.
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:57 pm

and with that said, good to see Jeff_36 back :)
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:21 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:and with that said, good to see Jeff_36 back :)


His (((handler))) let him have some time off, I’m extremely jealous. All I got was a copy of the Talmud and an updated version of the Antifa Handbook.

:lol:
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:25 pm

LOL
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Re: The Karaites, Krimchaks and the Gorskie Evrei (Mountain Jews)

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:08 am

LOL thanks gents. My final round of exams have been taking a lot of my time.

Feferman is on to something when he mentions the local attitude towards Mountian Jews - they by all accounts are very assimilated into caucases turkic society and have had a historically close bond with Azeris in particular.

Insofar as their observance is concerned - the Mountian Jews in Israel are known to be secular and non-observant. In Azerbijan they maintian a number of practices antithical to Orthodox Judiasim - gravestones are often inscribed with an image of tbe deceased for example.


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