Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
[ OSR's #8 - #195 ]
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 126
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD Berlin,
October 27, 1941
Occupied Territories: General Government
The Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Lvov Reports:
In a letter signed OUN "Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists" sent to the Secret State Police in Lvov, the Bandera group again advocates the political independence of the Ukraine.
It is stated in the letter that Hitler cheated the Ukraine and America, England, and Russia would create an independent Ukraine stretching from the San to the Black sea.
Furthermore the letter expresses doubts that Germany will be victorious in the war, and that Germany can not win without the Ukraine. The letter also demands that detained Ukrainians be released.
As for executions to date, about 80,000 persons have been liquidated by the Kommandos of the Einsatzgruppe. Among them, about 8,000 persons were convicted, as a result of interrogations, on the grounds of activity against Germans or for sponsoring Communism.
The remaining have been executed as reprisal measures.
Several reprisal measures were carried out within the framework of Grossaktionen. The most extensive of these actions took place immediately after Kiev was taken; it exclusively concerned Jews with their entire families. The difficulties in carrying out such a large action — first of all with respect to sowing disunity among the Jews, were overcome in Kiev by a call via posters to the Jewish population that they were to move.
Although at the start, one could reasonably count on the participation of about 5,000-9,000 Jews, more than 30,000 Jews turned up who, due to extraordinarily skillful organization, believed in the transfer right up to the moment of their execution. Thus, even if about 75,000 Jews had been liquidated so far, it has already become clean that a solution of the Jewish question will not be possible in this way.
True, we have succeeded in bringing about a total solution to the Jewish problem, particularly in smaller towns and also in the villages. However, in bigger towns it was observed that all the Jews have disappeared after such an execution. Yet if a Kommando returns after a period, a number of Jews is always found that is significantly larger than the number of executed Jews. Cooperation with army and the Secret Field Police 1 This concerns the relationship of the Einsatzgruppe and its Kommando to other offices and authorities.
The relation to the Army deserves special attention. The Einsatzgruppe has managed to establish an excellent relationship with all Army offices. It was Aus possible for the Einsatzgruppe never to remain in the rear of the Army from the start of its activity. The Army has again and again made the request that the Einsatzgruppe should move up to the front as far as possible. In very many instances, the fighting troops asked for the support of the Einsatzkommandos.
In every larger military action, there always were Vorausabteilungen [advance units] of the Einsatzgruppe who entered the newly conquered places together with the fighting troops. Thus, maximal support was given m all in- stances. In this respect, it is worthwhile mentioning the support during the capture of Zhitomir, where, immediately after the first tanks, three cars of Einsatzkommando 4a moved into the town.
The successful work of the Einsatzgruppe has also resulted in the fact that the Security Police enjoys great respect, especially with Army staffs. The Verbindungsfiirer [liaison officers] who have been stationed at the headquarters are loyally kept informed about all the military operations, and, in addition, receive extensive support. The commanding officer of AOK 6, Brigadier General von Reichenau, has also repeatedly expressed his appreciation of the work of the Einsatzkommando and has, accordingly, represented the interests of the SD vis-a-vis his staff.
The complete success of the Kommandos have contributed to this: for instance, the capture of Lieutenant Gen- eral Sokolov, the report of the imminent blasting of a bridge by parachutists, and the transmission of other militarily important information. Only in the Jewish question has there not been an absolute under- standing with the junior Army officers, until most recently. This revealed itself in particular during the thorough search of prisoner camps.
A particularly blatant example is the behavior of the camp commander in Vinnitsa who absolutely refused to deliver 362 Jewish prisoners of war through his representative. He even initiated a court martial against him and two other officers. The Einsatzkommando was exposed too frequently to more or less veiled accusations because of their persistent attitude with respect to the Jewish question. An- other aggravating factor was the fact that the SD was completely for- bidden by order of Army headquarters to enter the camp. These difficulties are likely to be removed by a new order of the OKH, since this order clearly states that the Army, too, must contribute towards the solution of these problems and, in particular, that the SD should be given maximum authority.
During these last days it has been noted, however, that this basic order has not yet reached the lower ranks. Further support and readiness to help on the parte of the Army is expected in the future as far as the competence of AOKS is concerned. This is due to Brigadier General von Reichenau's order issued on October 10, 1941, stating unambiguously that the Russian soldier is to be regarded as an exponent of Bolshevism and is to be treated accordingly by the Army. Cooperation with the Secret Field Police did not meet with any difficulties.
True, one could note that the Secret Field Police mainly took care of security police matters, obviously because there were no other tasks; however, these irregularities have been stopped each time after they were discussed. Furthermore, the most recent order of the Chief of the Field Police must have removed any remaining doubts. Exchange of documents between the SD and the Secret Field Police took place without any friction, and the initial fears that the G.P. would sometimes withhold information seem not to have been justified.
Besides, pressure was put on the AOKs and their staffs that matters concerning the Security Police would be passed on directly to the Kommandos. Work has progressed smoothly on the counter-intelligence positions established in the rear area. On the one hand, counter- intelligence officers regularly visit HQ and its Kommandos in order to report on their work; on the other hand, they come to receive advice.
Since the work of the security police has been carried out without a hitch and has gained unanimous respect, it can be assumed that this useful association will continue unchanged in the future.
Translations by Hermann Feuer
Copyright: H.E.A.R.T 2008