Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team




Einsatzgruppen Operational Situational Reports 

[ OSR's #8 - #195 ]















Operational Situation Report USSR No. 73





The Chief of the Security Police and the SD, Berlin,
September 4, 1941

48 Copies
(36th copy)



Location: Smolensk

Execution activity

a. General Situation

Execution activity continues with unmitigated severity during the period of this report. Certain rearrangements, however, have be- come necessary in the various branches of this task-sector as the ad- vance eastwards continued. As is well known, Jews were forbidden, during the tsarist regime, to settle in the central parts of Russia. The eastern border of the Jew- ish Zone ran along a line running through Vitebsk, Orsha, Mogilev, and Gomel.

As the prohibition was lifted, in February 1917, the Jews streamed in masses into that zone and also eastwards.

They were mostly intellectual Jews who, of course, settled almost exclusively in the larger towns in order to be active in politics and economics. Rel- atively few Jews could, therefore, be found in the villages and smaller towns of this area.

The larger part of the intellectual Jews from the [provincial] capitals have managed to escape the German armies and go east. It has been also established without any doubt that the Jews who, up to this point, usually returned to their homes after fleeing into the forests, etc., do not return so soon, or not at all, to the area where the Einsatzgruppe of the Security Police is active. This proves that the activity of the Security Police has become rather well known in Jewish circles. It is, therefore, hardly possible at present to continue the number of liquidations on the same scale as before, since the Jewish elements are to a great extent missing. In this manner the local and field Kommandaturen could be supported more effectively than previously in accomplishing their administrative and economic aims.

It has become clear that quite often these authorities need the help of the Security Police in such matters as installing new mayors, establishing ghettos, marking and registering Jews, and organizing work groups from the population. It was necessary more than once to break the intransigent behavior of hostile persons through the intervention of the Security Police.

The forces that have become available through the absence of Jewish elements can thus proceed more than before with the organization of our work in accordance with the general police. Researches and investigations could be carried out more effectively. Greater numbers of dangerous agents and officials could be rendered harmless in cooperation with secret agents.

b. Fight against partisans


A squad operating in Slutsk raided the villages of Ogrodniki, Kvasinitse and Novido liquidating 39 snipers, among them a Russian major who had camouflaged himself by wearing civilian clothes and taken up some employment.

In the village of Oshidkoviche five persons were arrested and liquidated. It was found that they had sup- ported partisan groups and given them information about the Ger- man forces. The squad operating in Borisov liquidated another 118 persons. With the aid of the 10th Company of the 354th Infantry Regiment, they combed through the area north of Borisov for partisans.

This purge was directed chiefly against the village ofSachistshe, about 25 km distance from Borisov, which was considered the center of the guerrilla activity. Investigations proved that the partisans had been supported by the leaders of the kolkhoz. Most of the persons liquidated were Jewish activists.


c. Actions against officials, agents, saboteurs and Jews


The HQ of Einsatzgruppe B succeeded in arresting three NKGB informers in Smolensk and one of the small places in the area. They terrorized the sector of the population that had no Bolshevik inclinations for years, by informing on many persons to the NKGB.


The population expressed its satisfaction about the liquidation of these per- sons. Sonderkommando 7a carried out another action in Nevel against the Jews, in which 74 persons were shot. This action was carried out as a reprisal for arson committed by Jews. The action was carried out as a punitive measure for arson committed by Jews in Nevel. According to the voluntary confession of many Jews, many members of that race participated in these arsons which destroyed the center of the town which was only slightly damaged during the fighting. Further steps must be taken against the Jews after their return.


An additional number of active Communists and Jewish intellectuals were executed in a number of smaller localities. A squad of Sonderkommando 7b carried out a search action in Chautsy for Communist functionaries. They arrested four Communists who spread rumors that the German forces were beaten and were retreating. They were dealt with pursuant to orders. 20 Jews who had been active as Communists were also executed.


An NKGB agent was found in the village Isobishche and subjected to special treatment. The search in the village Novoselld led to the discovery of a Communist who was also notorious outside his home village. In addition to his activities as party official, he had been guilty of theft from ethnic Germans. He was liquidated. The Construction Battalion 9 of Minsk handed over to Einsatzkommando 8 a Ukrainian prisoner of war who made no secret of his Communist views.


While being arrested he still tried to make propaganda for Communist ideas, especially for the system of collective farms. He was liquidated. A Russian who had been active in the Communist party for many years and had been a pronounced activist and troublemaker, had also to be shot. In Minsk, another 21 persons, who spread anti-German agitation by whispering propaganda among the population, were liquidated. The squad operating in Slutsk carried out special purges in Rzhev and in Borisov. Except for 96 Red Army soldiers who were handed over to the prisoner-of-war camp, a number of Jews were liquidated who had remained active Communists to the end.


Among them were ten fugitive Jewish families who came from former Polish territory and had moved east with the retreating Russian soldiers. While searching their horse-drawn carts considerable quantities of tinned food belonging to the German Army were found. Five members of the Soviet People s Court of Slutsk were done away with. One of them was a Jew. In the village of Komarovka they were able to arrest a former Public Prosecutor who had been denounced.


The squad stationed in Slutsk liquidated 115 people in all during the time covered by this report. Einsatzkommando 8 received information that in the ghetto of Minsk the Jews were spreading anti-German propaganda in a whispering campaign. It was especially effective with the rural population who tried to sell their products in the ghetto. Because Jews had attacked a member of the local auxiliary police and had repeatedly destroyed German Army sign-posts, a new spe- cial action was carried out against the Jews of Minsk in which 214 per- sons were shot. Einsatzkommando 9 found 149 Jews of Yanovichi to be NKGB informers and political functionaries who were handled accordingly.


Some of these Jews sabotaged German projects. They stayed in hiding in order not to be drafted to gather the harvest, and for road and aerodrome construction work. After three German soldiers were killed in the vicinity of Vitebsk a German Army pacification-action was carried out. On this occasion we seized 19 Jews and Jewesses wandering around in the forest where the murder had been committed.


They were executed on the strong suspicion of having taken part in the attack and committing arson in Vitebsk. The Vorkommando Moscow was forced to execute another 46 per- sons, among them 38 intellectual Jews who had tried to create unrest and discontent in the newly established ghetto of Smolensk.


The Kommandos can make the gratifying observation almost everywhere that because of the strict and fair attitude of the Security Police, the population is becoming more open all the time. Also our pacification activity is supported by reports on Communists.


The search action of the civilian prison camp of Minsk continues. Another 733 civilian prisoners were seized and all of them were liquidated. All the persons executed were absolutely inferior elements with a predominant mixture of Asiatic blood. No responsibility could be assumed if they were left in the occupied zone.


In Vitebsk the German Army handed over to Einsatzkommando 9 (after searching through the civilian prisoners' camp) 397 Jews who had committed acts of sabotage and attacked German troops. Formation of labor groups, Jewish Councils, ghettos etc. As in the other towns until now, Jews were also picked up in Nevel in the course of systematic search actions and were organized in labor groups that were used for town-cleaning. A Jewish Council was chosen from the more intelligent Jews.


As a first task, they were ordered to register the Jews of both sexes and to mark them with a yellow star. b. Statistics of the liquidations.

The total figures of persons liquidated by Einsatzgruppe B as of Au- gust 20, 1941 were:

    1. H.Q. and Vorkommando Moscow   144
    2. Vorkommando 7a                          996
    3. Vorkommando 7b                          886
    4. Einsatzkommando 8                      6,842
    5. Einsatzkommando 9                      8,096

    Total                                                16,964 Confiscations

A member of the local auxiliary police of Minsk, a Volga German, found in a Jewish doctor s apartment 17,980 rubles which the Jew had hidden. The amount was confiscated. On the occasion of a purge in Cherven 125,880 rubles were found on 139 liquidated Jews and were confiscated. This brings the total of 1. An ethnic German from the German Soviet Autonomous Republic on the Volga River the money confiscated to date by Einsatzkommando 8 to 1.510,399 rubles.


Einsatzkommando 9 succeeded in securing nine folders containing extracts of censured letters that were written by civilians and soldiers. The letters were confiscated and studied in the censor's office of the NKVD in Novogruduk. The NKVD was obviously interested to find out what the mood was in the area of Poland that had been under Russian occupation.








Translation by Hermann Feuer










Copyright: H.E.A.R.T  2007



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