|PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 2273-PS
Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. IV. USGPO, Washington, 1946, pp.944-949
Extract from Report by Einsatzgruppe A
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The systematic mopping up of the Eastern Territories embraced, in accordance with the basic orders, the complete removal if possible, of Jewry. This goal has been substantially attained-with the exception of White Russia-as a result of the execution up to the present time of 229,052 Jews (see Appendix). The remainder still left in the Baltic Provinces is urgently required as labour and housed in Ghettos.
To attain this object various kinds of measures were necessary in the different areas of the [Ostland].
In the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Jewry did not make itself decisively felt until the Bolsheviks had come into power there. But even before that the Jewish influence on the one hand and the anti-Jewish feeling of the population on the other hand, were very strong. In the following the various areas of the Eastern Territories will be dealt with separately:
As Estonia, until the middle of the last century, was part of a closed zone of the Russian Empire, into which it was forbidden for Jews to immigrate, the number of Jews in the country has always been insignificant.
At the beginning of 1940 there were living in Estonia about 4,500 Jews out of a total population of 1.2 millions. Their influence on the economic life of the country was considerably stronger than the proportion of Jews to the whole population. For instance 11% of Estonian industry was in Jewish hands. During the Bolshevik time it is true Jewish private property was nationalized, but nevertheless the Jews themselves were almost everywhere left as Directors of their former enterprises. By means of connections with the NKWD the Jews got themselves into a very strong position. They controlled the Press, cultural institutions, forced their way into the open professions, and were the only minority besides the Germans to have the right to cultural autonomy.
With the advance of the German troops the majority of the Jews, together with the Soviet-Russian authorities, left the country. Approx. 2,000 Jews remained behind in the country. Out of these almost 1,000 lived in Reval alone.
The Estonian Self Protection Movement [ Selbstschutz], formed as the Germans advanced, did begin to arrest Jews, but there were no spontaneous pogroms. Only by the Security Police and the SD were the Jews gradually executed as they became no longer required for work.
Today there are no longer any Jews in Estonia.
The total number of Jews in Latvia amounted in June 1935 to 93,479 or 4.79% of the total population.
When the Bolsheviks came into power in Latvia in June 1940, their Soviet-Russian racial comrades succeeded in obtaining authoritative influence for the Latvian Jews, who previously had been predominantly Zionist. Whereas before 1940 there were no Jews as State officials in Latvia, in fact were no Jews in the State Administration at all, in the Soviet Russian Republic all the influential State positions were quickly in the hands of the Jews. Half of the total number of Judges were Jewish. The number was up to 80% in the Higher Courts and in particular on the Tribunal. Equally strong was the influence of the Jews on the economy and cultural life.
When the German troops marched in there were still 70,000 Jews in Latvia. The remainder had fled with the Bolsheviks. The Jews left behind were actively engaged in sabotage and setting fire to places. In Duenaburg so many fires of this kind were started by the Jews that a large part of the Town was destroyed. After the terror of the Jewish-Bolshevik rule-altogether 33,038 Letts were transported, imprisoned or murdered-an extensive pogrom carried out by the population might have been expected. In fact, however, only a few thousand Jews were eliminated by local forces on their own initiative. In Latvia it was necessary to carry out extensive mopping-up operations by means of Sonderkommandos with the help of forces picked from the Latvian Auxiliary Police (mostly relations of the Letts who had been carried off or murdered).
Up to October 1941 approximately 30,000 Jews had been executed by these Sonderkommandos. The remaining Jews who were still indispensable from the economic point of view were collected in Ghettos, which were established in Riga, Duenaburg and Libau.
As a result of punishments instituted for not wearing the Jewish star, black market, thieving, fraud, but also to prevent the danger of epidemics in the Ghettos, further executions were subsequently carried out. In this way 11,034 Jews were executed in Duenaburg on 9.11.41, and, as the result of an action ordered and carried out by high authorities and Police chiefs, 27,800 were executed in Riga at the beginning of December 1941, and, in the middle of December 1941, 2,350 were executed in Libau. At the moment there are in the Ghettos (other than Jews from the Reich) Latvian Jews in
These are indispensable at the moment as they are specialized workers necessary for maintaining the country's economy.
Until the Bolsheviks marched in, according to a census taken in 1923 there were 153,743 Jews living in Lithuania, forming 7.58% of the total population. Whereas their influence had previously for the greater part been restricted to the business world, the Lithuanian Jews, who had already been working illegally for Bolshevism, now quickly became a dominating influence in public life. In particular Jews of both sexes supported the activities of the NKVD. The transporting of 40,000 Lithuanians to Siberia is traceable to the preliminary work done by the Jews.
When the German troops marched in the Lithuanians expressed their hatred of the Jews in active pogroms, at the same time Jewish communist youths set fire to many towns, through which the German armoured units had passed leaving them little damaged, by means of tins of petrol which they had previously put ready.
As a result of the pogroms carried out by the Lithuanians, who were nevertheless substantially assisted by Sipo and SD, 3,800 Jews in Kauen and 1,200 in the smaller towns were eliminated.
Where Jews were able to escape they were not infrequently handed over to the authorities by the farmers.
These spontaneous mopping-up actions were, however, insufficient to stabilize this rear section of the Front, and at the same time the enthusiasm of the local inhabitants waned.
Therefore by means of selected units-mostly in the proportion of 1: 8-first of all the prisons, and then systematically district by district the Lithuanian sector was cleansed of Jews of both sexes. Altogether 136,421 people were liquidated in a great number of single actions. It is worthy of note that many of the Jews used force against the officials and Lithuanian auxiliaries who were carrying this out, and before their execution still expressed their Bolshevik convictions by cheering Stalin and abusing Germany.
As the complete liquidation of the Jews was not feasible as they were needed for labour, Ghettos were formed which at the moment are occupied as follows:
These Jews are used primarily for work of military importance. For example up to 5,000 Jews are employed in 3 shifts on the aerodrome near Kauen on earth-works and work of that sort.
4. White Russia
The White Russian Sector is more thickly populated by Jews than all the other States in the Ostland. In the year 1926, far more than 400,000 Jews were counted in the then BSSR. The last Polish census showed more than 500,000 Jews in the provinces [ Wojwodschaften] of Bialystock, Nowo Grodlek, Polesien and Wilna. These figures are however approximate and most certainly too low, which is further apparent from the fact that far more people have given "Yiddish" as their mother tongue than there were supposed to be Jews counted in the same area. Quite half of the Jews in the White Russian Settlement Area lived at the beginning of the war in the larger towns. Minsk was occupied to a very particular extent by Jews, in 1939 there were approxi-mately 100,000 out of a total population of 238,000.
The social structure of the Jews shows a broad lower stratum of very poor Jews, both in the area formerly Polish, and in the White Russian Sector which was Bolshevik before the Russo-Polish war.
The proportionately thin upper stratum dominated simply every sphere of life in the former Polish sector, mainly as a result of its strong economic position, and in the former Soviet-Russian sector as a result of their influence in the leading party positions. The Jew in the area formerly Polish is a particularly dangerous element, because of his intelligence and activity. But even the Soviet-Russian Jew has during the 25 years of Bolshevik domination assumed a very self-sufficient and arrogant air, which he has even retained after the entry of the German troops.
The final and fundamental elimination of the Jews remaining in the White Russian sector after the entry of the Germans is fraught with certain difficulties. Just in this place the Jews form an extremely high percentage of the specialized workers, who are indispensable because of the shortage in other reserves in this area.
Furthermore Einsatzgruppe A did not take over this area until after the heavy frost had set in, which made mass executions much more difficult. A further difficulty is that the Jews live widely scattered over the whole country. In view of the enormous distances, the bad conditions of the roads, the shortage of vehicles and petrol and the small forces of Security Police and SD, it needs the utmost effort in order to be able to carry out shootings in the country. Nevertheless 41,000 Jews have been shot up to now. This number does not include those shot in operations by the former Einsatzkommandos. From estimated figures about 19,000 partisans and criminals, that is in the majority Jews, were shot by the Armed Forces [Wehrmacht] up to December 1941. Ait the moment approximately 128,000 Jews must still be reckoned with in the area of the Commissariat-General. In Minsk itself-exclusive of Reich Germans-there are about 1,800 Jews living, whose shooting must be postponed in consideration of their being used as labour.
The Commander in White Russia is instructed to liquidate the Jewish question as soon as possible, despite the difficult situation. However a period of about 2 months is still required-according to the weather.
The shutting up of all the remaining Jews in special Ghettos is also almost completed in the towns in White Russia too. They will be used for work to the fullest extent by the authorities of the Armed Forces, the Civil Administration and German Authorities.
The feeding of the Jews in the Ghettos causes considerable difficulty, especially in White Russia but also in Lithuania. Together with the general decrease in working capacity, there is increased susceptibility to all contagious diseases.
5. Jews from the Reich. Since December 1940 transports containing Jews have arrived at short intervals from the Reich. Of these 20,000 Jews were directed to Riga and 7,000 Jews to Minsk. The first 10,000 Jews evacuated to Riga were housed partly in a provisionally erected reception camp and partly in a newly established hut encampment near Riga. The remaining transports have for the time being been directed into a separate part of the Riga Ghetto.
The building of the hut encampment, as a result of the employ-ment of all Jews fit for work, is so advanced that all evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be put into this camp in the spring.
OnIy a small section of the Jews from the Reich is capable of working. About 70-80% are women and children or old people unfit for work. The death rate is rising continually, also as a result of the extraordinarily hard winter.
The amount done by those few Jews from the Reich who are fit for work is satisfactory. They are preferred as labour to the Russian Jews, because they are German speaking and because of their comparatively greater cleanliness. Worthy of note is the adaptability of the Jews, with which they attempt to form their life in accordance with the circumstances.
The crowding together of the Jews into the smallest space, which occurs in all the Ghettos, naturally causes greater danger of epidemics, which is being combatted as much as possible by the employment of Jewish doctors. In isolated instances sick Jews with contagious diseases were selected under the pretext of putting them into a home for the aged or a hospital and executed.
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