Situation Report of Gebeitskimmissar Gerhard Erren

(January 25, 1942)

[…] Upon my arrival here there were about 25,000 Jews in the Slonim area, 16,000 in the actual town itself, making up over two-thirds of the total population of the town. It was not possible to set up a ghetto as neither barbed wire nor guard manpower was available. I thus immediately began preparations for a large-scale action. First of all property was expropriated and all the German official buildings, including the Wehrmacht quarters, were equipped with the furniture and equipment that had been made available…the Jews were then registered accurately according to number, age and profession and all craftsmen and workers with qualifications were singled out and given passes and separate accommodation to distinguish them from the other Jews. The action carried out by the SD on 13 November rid me of unnecessary mouths to feed. The some 7,000 Jews now present in the town of Slonim have all been allocated jobs. They are working willingly because of the constant fear of death. Early next year they will be rigorously checked and sorted for a further reduction […]

[…] The best of the skilled workers among the Jews will be made to pass their skills on to intelligent apprentices in my craft colleges, so that Jews will finally be dispensable in the skilled craft and trade sector and can be eliminated.

Source: Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess et al. (eds)., The Good Old Days: The Holocaust As Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1991, pp. 178-179.