Operational Situation Report USSR No. 17
1) Organization and March Route
One June 23, Einsatzgruppe B met in Poznan in order
to continue the march towards Warsaw the following morning. According
to the order of RSHA, contact was established with Army Group Center
and the commander of the Rear Army Group Area 102 in Warsaw. As was
agreed, Sonderkommando 7a started the march on June 26 attached to 9th
Army HQ and Sonderkommando 7b on June 27 to 4th Army HQ. Sonderkommando
7a marched via East Prussia in order to enter Vilnius with the troops.
After being relieved by the Einsatzkommando 9, it proceeded on road
4, and turned south towards Minsk, the capital, and arrived on July
Sonderkommando 7b marched via Brest, Kobrin, Pruzhany,
Rushana, Slonim, Baranovichi, Stolpce, via Route 2 towards Minsk and
arrived there with the Vorkommando on July 4.
Einsatzkommando 9: Proceeded towards Vilnius
on June 29 according to instructions issued by the commander of the
Rear Army Group Area.
Einsatzkommando 8 proceeded, according to orders of
the commander of the Rear Army Group Area, to Bialystok on July 1, and
marched on with the two commands towards Slonim, Novogrudok and Baranovichi.
The staff continued towards Bialystok on July 3 with the advancing units
of the Rear Army Group Area.
In conjunction with the commander of the Security
Police for the General Gouvernement, six supporting units were set up
for Byelorussia, who relieved the Sonderkommandos and Einsatzkommandos
on July 3 and advanced from Warsaw to the assigned areas.
Based on these tactics, all towns in the Polish and
Russian sections of Byelorussia are occupied as far as the fighting
zone. A supporting unit is posted in Brest, one supporting unit in Pinsk
and another in Slutsk with the aim of marching into Gomel after occupying
the area. One supporting unit is posted in Bialystok with the task of
also taking care of Bielsk. One supporting unit is in Vilnius, with
the task of also taking care of Grodno and Lida. One supporting unit
will be moved forward to Minsk in order to assume the work in Minsk
after Einsatzgruppe C will march on Moscow.
is stationed, until further notice, in Bialystok.
Einsatzkommando 9 is stationed in Vilnius so that it can be moved via
Minsk towards Moscow at a later time. The staff of Einsatzgruppe C (1) has been posted in Minsk since July 6 with its headquarters in the
Soviet building of the USSR. (2)
Because of the encirclement and due to the highway
system, a rear and a front line cannot be delineated. Thus the Sonderkommandos
4a and 7b, as well as their staff, are constantly in the fighting zone
and have been exposed on the highways to Russian sniping. At this time,
Minsk is still in the fighting zone. Army Group B HQ is located 150
km in the rear in Baranovichi. After consultations in Minsk, Sonderkommando
7a was transferred from the 9th Army HQ, which is to march to the north
of Moscow, to the newly formed 4th Armored Army HQ. Sonderkommando 7a
is joined by a Vorauskommando with translators and persons familiar
with Moscow, under the direction of SS-Standartenführer Dr. Six.
The former army HQ 4 is now Army HQ 2, and Sonderkommando 7 has been
put at its disposal.
In the course of further advances, the towns of Gomel,
Mogilev, Vitebsk, Orsha, and Smolensk are to be bypassed.
2) Police Work
According to the instructions by RSHA, liquidations
of government and party officials, in all named cities of Byelorussia,
were carried out. Concerning the Jews, according to orders, the same
policy was adopted. The exact number of the liquidated has not as yet
been established. On June 22, almost all the officials of the Communist
party has fled, probably following higher instructions, and had taken
with them all well-prepared documents. It is likely that some of the
officials will try to return. Some will be identified with the help
of the network of informants. The city of Minsk was an exception, although
the officials had fled from there; surprisingly, the documentation remained
intact in the sole government building - the house of the BSSR Soviet
that had not been destroyed. On the other side, in destroyed Minsk,
the NKVD and the internal party materials were destroyed by fire caused
by the bombardment. Evaluating reports on Minsk follows.
Special report on the political situation and activity
in the area of Vilnius
Police Matters The Lithuanian police branches
in Vilnius, subordinated to the Einsatzkommando, were given the task
of drawing up current lists of names of Jews in Vilnius; first intelligentsia,
political activists, and wealthy Jews. Subsequently, searches and arrests
were made and 54 Jews were liquidated on July 4, and 93 were liquidated
on July 5. Sizeable property belonging to Jews were secured. With the
help of Lithuanian police officials, a search was started for Communists
and NKVD agents, most of whom, however, are said to have fled.
A search was also started for hidden weapons of the
Polish secret military organizations, of which the Lithuanian police
has yet not made an accurate estimate. The establishment of a Jewish
quarter is being prepared. Upon suggestion of the EK, the Jewish quarter
will be declared to be out of bounds to military personnel by order
of the Field Command HQ.
(2) Obviously, it is
meant to be building of the Council of BSSR.
Einsatzgruppen Reports by Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski
and Shmuel Spector, editors. p. 13-15)