Operational Situation Report USSR No. 86
(September 17, 1941)
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
September 17, 1941
OPERATIONAL SITUATION REPORT USSR. No. 86
Eight persons who have provided partisans with food
and information were shot. Among them a Jew who had been hiding his
true decent. He sneaked in as a translator in a German war hospital
and deliberately provided false translations.
The Einsatzkommandos maintain contact with the fighting
troops in order to arrive together with the advance infantry units in
the newly occupied cities and areas. In this process they are frequently
exposed to violent enemy fire.
In spite of their rapid progress, the picture has
by now become the same all over and can be summarized as follows: the
most important officials of the KP and the NKVD and the influential
Jews have fled and destroyed all documentary material. The politically
important fugitives have apparently gone over the Dnieper, while the
less important, among them many Jews, are returning by and by. Therefore,
next to the search for strangers in prison camps and in as many small
localities as possible, particular importance is given to the search
of forest areas, roads, and villages at night. For, according to our
experience, fugitives and partisans show up there for provisions.
The arrival of the security Kommandos is generally
made known very soon and is welcomed by the Army, especially by the
local command headquarters as well as by the population. Village mayors,
militia commanders, and other civilians arrive from distances as far
as 20 km in order to make reports. It is remarkable that up to now the
peasant has hardly ever left the borders of his village. Particularly
frequent are reports on Russian parachutists that have been seen, as
well as bands and hidden Bolsheviks. As all the Einsatz commanders have
noticed, the actions that were subsequently taken were only partly successful
because the information received from the population is exaggerated
or not based on reliable facts. Exaggerated anxiety, the wish to hurt
personal enemies, and the wish for weapons of the Ukrainian militia
are the main reasons for such useless denunciations. Anyway, the trust
of the Ukrainian population is gratifying, particularly as it was possible
to ferret out the places of Bolshevik Jews, and asocial elements following
The above-mentioned exaggerations come at first from
an inability that can be called childish on the part of the population
to express itself clearly and unambiguously and of a narrow-mindedness,
particularly in the southern Ukraine. It frequently happened that persons
timidly denied their strongly biased reports or they weakened them when
they out that the life of the accused was in danger.
In general, such informants are sternly cautioned
in order to avoid unnecessary troubles. In one case, an especially vicious
informant was shot in the hamlet of Rozhyn. He was convicted of former
Communist activity and asocial behavior.
One could also observe that the Jews behave in a brazen
and impertinent manner in spite of the large-scale actions against them.
This is proven by the following example:
In Ushomir where the 1st SS brigade shot all male
Jews, bands led by four Jews entered two hours after the brigade left
and set fire to 48 houses. In Zhitomir, the unarmed Ukrainian militia
were repeatedly molested by Jews and, in one case, even shot at.
The Jews wrote a threatening letter in Kotelnia to the mayor that
ended with the following words, "Long live the party of Lenin
and Stalin! Long live the Jewish Communists! Death to the German bandits."
In Cherniakov, a Jewish woman managed to pose as an
ethnic German in front of the mayor in the presence of a member of the
SD by presenting a forged German document. Referring to this so-called
proof she demanded a plot of land from the local commander.
Smuggling flourishes among the Jews in Zhitomir. They
hoard the products which the peasants exchange for looted goods.
The Jews use work certificates that were given to
them by the Army offices for short-term occupations and do not return
them. They also occupy themselves with forging documents. Thus, certificates
were found like those used by the local Kommandatur in Zhitomir. Although
the 6th Army HQ stamps were forged, the forms appeared to be real. They
stem probably from an Army printing shop where Jews have been employed
as auxiliary workers.
266 Jews were liquidated as further reprisal measures
against the rebellion of the Zhitomir Jews. They even sabotaged the
black-out regulations at night and lit up their windows during Russian
In the vicinity of the town, it was possible to disarm
and arrest a parachutist with the aid of the militia after a rifle skirmish.
He was equipped with explosives.
160 persons were shot in Korosten; during the course
of the actions 68 persons were executed in Byelatserkiev and 109 in
Tarashcha, mostly Jews.
Thus the Sonderkommando 4a has exterminated 6,584 Bolsheviks, Jews,
and asocial elements. In two cases, ethnic Germans had to be arrested.
They were active in the Communist sense, participating actively in
the preparations for the deportation of ethnic Germans and Ukrainians.
The investigations against these have not yet been concluded.
For the time being, Einsatzkommando 5 has been divided
into platoons covering a larger territory, and is systematically combing
the villages of this area. Among others, several Bolshevik mayors and
kolkhoz representatives were taken care of. Besides that, several mentally
retarded persons who were ordered to blow up bridges and railroad tracks
and to carry out other acts of sabotage, were rendered harmless. It
seems that the NKVD favored mentally retarded persons in allocating
these kind of tasks; they, in spite of their inferiority, mustered enough
energy for their criminal activities. Four executions were carried out
in Ulianove, 18 in Uledovka.
It was possible to take care of 229 Jews in the clean-up
action carried out in Khmielnil. As a result, this area, which suffered
especially from Jewish terror, is extensively cleaned up. The reaction
of the population here to their deliverance from the Jews was so strong
that it resulted in a Thanksgiving service.
Einsatzkommando 5 took care of 506 Bolsheviks and
Jews in the course of 14 days.
In the south of the Einsatzgruppen area, there still
exists an empty area with respect to security police work because military
operations do not take place sufficiently far away. So far, the return
of the fugitives has not started in sufficient measure. Therefore, the
number of actions naturally increases in the area which lies further
back [from the front],
The remaining units of Einsatzkommando 6 shot about
600 Jews in Vinnitsa.
Up to now, 140 politically tainted persons were arrested
in Kirovo and 48 of these were shot. Among these were heads of unions,
Komsomol leaders, lay judges, and leaders of other Bolshevik central
In Krivoy-Rog, 39 officials, 11 saboteurs and looters,
and 105 Jews were taken care of.
Several actions for the seizure of officials, terrorists,
and migrating Jews were carried out by the Einsatzgruppen HQ in Novo-Ukrainka
and vicinity. Among others, a caravan of Jews, which was taking along
a wagon of loot, was stopped. The Jews were shot and the goods distributed
to the population. It was possible to find and to take care of two leading
Communists during a night action in Zlinka. On the basis of individual
reports and of road blocks on the streets in the course of official
travels, several Jews or Bolshevik agents were shot.
The office of the Higher SS and Police Leader took
care of a total of 511 Jews in actions in Pilva and Stara-Sieninva.
Even if an immediate hundred percent exclusion of
the Jews were possible, this would not remove the political source of
danger. Bolshevik work depends on Jews, Russians, Georgians, Armenians,
Poles, Latvians, and Ukrainians. The Bolshevik apparatus is very limited
in scope, identical with the Jewish population. In this situation, the
goal of the security police would be missed if the main task of the
destruction of the Communist machine were to become a second or third
choice in favor of the easier task of the exclusion of the Jews. Furthermore,
concentrating on the Bolshevik officials robs the Jews of their most
able forces. Thus, the solution of the Jewish problem becomes more and
more a problem of organization.
In the western and middle Ukraine, the Jews are almost
identical with the city workers, artisans, and the tradesman class.
If the Jewish labor force is entirely discarded, an economic reconstruction
of the Ukrainian industry and the extension of the administration centers
of the cities are almost impossible.
There is only one possibility, which the German administration in
the General Gouvernement has not sufficiently understood for a long
time, the solution of the Jewish problem by extensive labor utilization
of the Jews. This will result in a gradual liquidation of the Jews,
a development which corresponds to the economic conditions of the
Einsatzgruppen Reports by Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and
Shmuel Spector, editors. p. 133-37)