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The “Final Solution”: Exchange of Letters Concerning the “Final Solution” in the East

(November 15, 1941)

Riga, November 15, 1941

Reichskommissar for Ostland

IIa 4 M.219/41g




Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories


Re: Execution of Jews

in reply to letter I/259141 of October 31, 1941

Report from: Government Counselor Trampedach


I have forbidden the unauthorized ("wild") executions of Jews in Libau because the manner in which they were carried out was irresponsible.

Will you please inform me whether your inquiry of October 31 should be interpreted as a directive to liquidate all the Jews in Ostland? Is this to be done regardless of age, sex, and economic requirements (for instance, the Wehrmacht’s demand for skilled workers in the armament industry)? Of course the cleansing of Ostland of Jews is a most important task; its solution, however, must be in accord with the requirements of war production.

So far I have not been able to find such a directive either in the regulations concerning the Jewish question in the "Brown Portfolio" (Braune Mappe) or in any other decree.




Berlin, December 18, 1941


Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories

Nr. I/1/157/41



Reichskommissar for Ostland



Re: Jewish question

in reply to your letter of November 15, 1941


The Jewish question has presumably been clarified meanwhile by means of verbal discussion. In principle, economic considerations are not to be taken into account in the settlement of the problem. It is further requested that any questions that arise be settled directly with the Higher SS and Police Leader (Hoeherer SS- und Polizeifuehrer).





Source:Yad Vashem