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Ghettos: Himmler Orders Liquidation of Ostland Ghettos

(June 21, 1943)

Field Command, June 21, 1943

Reichsfuehrer SS



1. The Higher SS and Police Leader (Hoherer SS- und Polizeifuehrer) Ostland

2. Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (Chef des SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamtes)1) I order that all Jews still remaining in ghettos in the Ostland area be collected in concentration camps.2) I prohibit the withdrawal of Jews from concentration camps for [outside] work from August 1, 1943.3) A concentration camp is to be built near Riga to which will be transferred the entire manufacture of clothing and equipment now operated by the Wehrmacht outside. All private firms will be eliminated. The workshops are to be solely concentration camp workshops. The Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office is requested to see to it that there will be no shortfall in the production required by the Wehrmacht as the result of this reorganization.4) Inmates of the Jewish ghettos who are not required are to be evacuated to the East.5) As many male Jews as possible are to be taken to the concentration camp in the oil-shale area for the mining of oil-shale.6) The date set for the reorganization of the concentration camps is August 1, 1943.

signed H. Himmler


Sources: Yad Vashem

* Ostland was one of the two major administrative units of the German civil administration in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, headed by Alfred Rosenberg, as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories; the other was Reichskommissariat Ukraine. Ostland included the three Baltic states -- Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia -- as well as western Belorussia and the western Minsk district in Soviet Belorussia.