The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
October 9, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 108
- Einsatzgruppe B
- Location: Smolensk
1) General Situation
In general, the situation at the front is unchanged, except for the souther part of the area of Einsatzgruppe B. This permitted, at the time of this report, the conduct once more of intensive searches in many areas and localities. General organizational measures were also continued, like the introduction of the Order Service, (1) marking of Jews, registration, putting up ghettos, planting of informants, and calling upon the population to cooperate with the police. We are also concerned with the fight against partisans and agitators who were hostile toward the Germans. The actions that were required were difficult because of the streets and roads that had turned into mire due to bad and wet weather.
In any case, the endeavors and the attempts that were made to convert the partisan movement into a real popular movement to be use against German operations and plans have failed. This is without a doubt due to the enthusiasm of the German Security Police and the SD, the alertness of the Army, and the systematic approach to these problems on the part of the Army and the Security Force. This is by no means to belittle the danger of the partisan movement. First of all. attention will have to be paid to the effect of partisan activity on the feelings of the population. Partisans, Jews, and other Communists constantly try to intimidate the friendly population through Bolshevik pamphlets or whispering campaigns. They threaten that, as soon as the Reds return, they will take revenge on everyone who has rendered the smallest service to the Germans. Troop movements away from the front line cause the population to worry and to ask the German offices if they must really count on a return of the Red Regime.
2. Fight against the Partisans
The Vorkommando was urgently called to Khoslavichi by the local commander, since partisans were sad to have invaded the place. After having shot a German soldier, the partisans retreated when the Kommando arrived. Confidential information showed that several hundred partisans had committed their evil deeds in the localities and forests around Khoslavichi. Because of extremely bad road conditions, only two smaller places could be searched. In the each of them two partisans were caught and liquidated.
SK7a has repeatedly reported that a large number of partisans have carried out plunderous attacks from the dense forests south of Demidov. They caused considerable anxiety in the area as well as endangering the roads. According to reliable reports, one had to reckon with 800 to 2,000 partisans. The 9th Army headquarters supplied two divisions for a thorough search of the area. Each male between the ages of 15 and 55 was sent to the Demidov prison camp for an interrogation. The examination was conducted during several fire fights with the partisans. They resulted in the arrest of 493 people; 438, most of them kolkhoz farmers free of suspicion, were released. 72 former Red Army members who lived in the area of the action, with no proven connection to the partisans, were brought into the prisoner-of-war camp. SK 7a uncovered 183 partisans and Communists. Interrogations revealed that they had repeatedly carried out attacks on members of the German Army. Five partisans admitted killing a total of 14 German soldiers. One German soldier was strangled as he fetched eggs; the others were shot. They had also thrown hand grenades into trucks and cars.
In response, several kolkhoz farmers that had supported the partisans, even if only under duress, and five partisans who murdered 14 German soldiers were hanged in the market-place in the presence of about 400 Kolkhozniki farmers. The other partisans were shot.
SK 7a, in cooperation with a unit of the 9th Army headquarters conducted, on different days, actions against the partisan groups that were known in the area of Trosty, Shitiki, Shlyki, Novi-Masyolok, Kupioly, Yanki, and Buly, some 20 km southwest of Velish. Also, the areas of Osinovka, Doroshkino, Prudok, Burschina and Shility, about 20 km north of Velish, were thoroughly combed. In these actions, a total of 27 partisans were arrested and liquidated.
After careful investigations, eight partisans were taken by surprise as they were having their supper in the village of Mikhailovo. They were arrested and hanged together on the following morning in the place that was particularly infested with partisans.
Kommando 7b stated that "sabotage units" were posted prior to the occupation of Koseletz at the time of the police activities. Systematically conducted searches led to the arrest of five persons belonging to these units according to concurrent testimonies.
Actions against functionaries, agents, saboteurs and Jews
In Khoslavichi, the Jews living in the ghetto there, according to reports of the Russian population, tried to create panic by spreading false rumors to the effect that the Bolsheviks were supposed to be advancing. Furthermore, they threatened to take revenge after the return of the Bolsheviks. Thereupon, the Vorkommando sent a Kommando and liquidated 114 Jews.
SK 7a also reports of juvenile Communists who were liquidated. They intended to blow up a railway bridge nearing completion. Explosives had already been supplied and were on hand.
In Velikye Luki a group of juveniles intending to blow up a railway bridge was also rendered harmless. The ringleader of the group had persuaded the others to participate.
Sonderkommando 7a executed a local leading Bolshevik official and 21 Jewish plunderers and terrorists in Gorodnia. In Klintsy, 83 Jewish terrorists and three leading Party officials were likewise liquidated. At another check, three Communist officials, one Politruk, and 82 Jewish terrorists were dealt with according to orders.
In Chernigov, 19 Jews who were under suspicion of having wither been Communists or of having committed arson were given special treatment.. During the search operations in Beresna, east of Chernigov, eight Jews who had committed Bolshevik acts, that is to say, had sabotaged the regulations of the German authorities, were seized and shot. In Gomel, 41 Jews and nine Russians were liquidated; they were equipped with firearms and carried out acts of sabotage and looting. In addition it was ascertained that two women started fires in houses by igniting wood shavings. The accused were shot after confessing their deeds. In Rechiza, 216 Jews were liquidated for having committed acts of sabotage and for refusing to work. They had, in addition, accommodated partisans and provided them with food.
Special stress is given to the fact that, according to information given by SK 7b, evacuated Jews in the towns where they were located reported that the Jews from Koseletz informed the remaining Ukrainians that they could plunder their [the Jews'] homes, since they would not return.
In Mogilev, 18 persons who had been political functionaries, politruks, and guerrillas were liquidated by Einsatzkommando 8. One of them was found at a Dnieper bridge with four Russian hand grenades in his pocket. The village of Krugloye, approximately 50 km west of Mogilev, was checked. While carrying out these operations, we were struck by the fact that practically the whole of the male Jewish population was missing. According to reports by the local Russian population, they were supposed to have left with the retreating Russian forces, that is to say, they are in hiding in the surrounding woods. The Jewish women were extremely restive and not one was wearing the prescribed badge. In the course of the operations, 28 Jewish women and three men were liquidated. In Mogilev as well, an increased resistance on the part of the Jews was noticeable, so that energetic measures, such as shooting 80 Jews and Jewesses, had to be taken. When even these measures did not suffice and the Jews continued to spread false rumors and sabotage the regulations of the German Occupation authorities, 215 Jews and 337 Jewesses were shot. In Minsk, at the city check points, 142 Jews were arrested and shot for loitering outside the ghetto without the prescribed identification badges.
According to reports received, large numbers of Jews of the district of Marina-Borka are supposed to have taken refuge in the woods, cooperating with the partisans and plundering in the vicinity of Marina-Morka. In some cases even Byelorussian mayors have been shot by these gangs. The mopping-up operations carried out in this area resulted in the arrest of 70 Uzbekis, Kirghizes, Tarters, and Jews. After a short interrogation, the arrested were liquidated; it had been proved that they had participated in the aforementioned acts of terrorism and violence.
Various acts of sabotage committed by Jews in Borisov were confirmed. At a mopping-up operation there, a total of 321 Jews were liquidated. Near Smolovich, the Jews were under suspicion as well of having several times, together with the partisans and other criminal elements, blown up the Minsk-Smolensk railway line. In conjunction with the Kommando from Minsk, 1,041 Jews were shot during large-scale operations carried out in Smolovich. After these mopping-up operations, there were no more Jews left north, south, and west of Borisov. In Borisov itself, a further 118 Jews were liquidated because of sabotage at work and for having been engaged in plundering. In Bobruisk and its vicinity, about 1,380 persons were liquidated during the time of this report, 20 of them while escaping. The persons executed were mainly Jews, persons engaged in sabotage, and those who until the last minute were engaged in spreading hate propaganda against the German Occupation authorities.
5. Measures against criminals and marauders
According to information obtained by SK 7b, the Red troops had, before leaving Chernigov, opened the door of the Asylum for the Insane and had armed part of the inmates. These were marching down the streets marauding. 21 of them were caught in the act and liquidated. Others left the town for the surrounding villages, probably in order to live there. The population, however, is cooperating with regard to the capture of these insane persons. Soon again there will be quite a few in the asylum. Then, they will be treated according to the usual procedure. In Minsk, 632 mentally deficient people and, in Mogilev, 836 were accorded special treatment.
The liquidations carried out during the time of this report up to and including September 28, 1941, increased the final figures as follows:
Staff and VKM 2,029 SK 7a 1,252 SK 7b 1,544 EK 8 15,000 EK 9 10,2695 Total 30,094 persons liquidated by the group
Construction work achieved so far by the Kommandos of Einsatzgruppe D
f) Strengthening of German consciousness in the different villages by bringing the deported inhabitants [Germans]: removing Ukrainians and replacing them as far as possible with Germans mostly from Ukrainian communities.
2) Economic Safeguarding
...Distribution of Jewish possessions and Jewish property, in the first place to widows and families of deported persons.
(1) Ordnungsdienst - Police.
(The Einsatzgruppen Reports by Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, editors. p. 177-182)
Source: The Nizkor Project