Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jews Shot because They Were Jews

Author: Jonathan Harrison
In response to the brainless denier meme that Jews were only shot in the USSR because they were partisans, Communists, saboteurs or provocateurs (a meme that is antisemitic on its face, because no other group was automatically shot because it was assumed to inherently possess those characteristics), below are a list of quotes from Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Reports [hereafter EMs] which show that being a Jew alone - and for no other reason - was sufficient to get a person shot, regardless of age, class, gender or political history.

1) EM 173:
In the course of a routine Security Police screening of an additional part of the civilian population around Leningrad, 140 more people had to be shot. The reasons for this were as follows:

a) Active participation in the Communist Party before the arrival of the German troops;

b) Seditious and provocative activity since the arrival of the German Army;
c) Partisan activity;

d) Espionage;

e) Belonging to the Jewish race. 
2) EM 133. Although various pretexts are given here, the inclusion of children of all ages clearly shows that the motive was exclusively racial:
As a result of numereous complaints about their provocative behavior in Gorki (northeast of Mogilev) as well as in the surrounding area, a total of 2,200 Jews of all ages were liquidated in mopping-up operations in eight localities. They were, for the most part, Jews who had immigrated from the district of Minsk. Like the rest, they committed offences against the regulations of the German [occupation] forces. The operation was carried out in close cooperation with the Military Police.
In Mstislavl, about 80 km east of Mogilev, 900 Jews were liquidated for breaking regulations of the German forces, harboring partisans in transit, and providing them with food and clothing.
On October 19, 1941, a large-scale operation against the Jews was carried out in Mogilev with the aid of the Police Regiment 'Center.' 3,726 Jews of both sexes and all ages were liquidated by this action. These measures were necessary because, ever since the town of Mogilev was occupied by German troops, the Jews ignored the authority of the Occupying forces. In spite of previous measures taken against them, they not only failed to desist but continued their anti-German activities (sabotage, support of partisans, refusal to work, etc.) to such an extent and with such persistance that, in the interests of establishing order in the rear areas, it could no longer be tolerated.
On October 23, 1941, to prevent further acts of sabotage and to combat the partisans, a further number of Jews from Mogilev and the surrounding area, 239 of both sexes, were liquidated.
3) EM 92 demonstrates that "racial inferiority" was a criterion in Minsk:
All the executed persons were inferior elements whose presence here could not be tolerated [The Einsatzgruppen Reports edited Yitzak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, Yad Vashem, 1999, p. 154].
In addition to this, the term "Jewish question" or "Jewish problem" appears regularly in these reports. For example, EM 128 views the Reichenau Order in the context of the "Jewish problem":
Only with respect to the Jewish problem could a complete understanding with junior Army officers not be reached until quite recently. This was most noticeable during the taking over of prisoner-of-war camps. As a particularly clear example, the conduct of a camp commander in Vinitsa is to be mentioned. He strongly objected to the transfer of 362 Jewish prisoners-of-war carried out by his deputy, and even started court martial proceedings against the deputy and two other officers. Unfortunately, it often occurred that the Einsatzkommandos had to suffer more or less hidden reproaches for their persistent stand on the Jewish problem. Another difficulty was added by the order from the Army High Command prohibiting entry by the SD into the POW transit camps. (1) These difficulties have probably been overcome by now due to a new order from the Army High Command. This order clearly states that the Wehrmacht has to cooperate in the solution of this problem, and, in particular, that the necessary authorizations must be granted the SD to the fullest extent. However, it became evident in the past few days that this policy-making order still has not reached lower [military] authorities. In the future, further cooperation and assistance by the Wehrmacht authorities can be expected. As far as the province of the 6th Army HQ is concerned, Generalfeldmarschall von Reichenau issued an order on October 10, 1941, which states clearly that the Russian soldier has to be considered in principal to be a representative of Bolshevism and thus to be treated accordingly by the Wehrmacht.
Given that Reichenau had referred to "pitiless extermination" and "Jewish subhumanity" (and excused the killing of captured women because they were "unnatural women"), there can be no doubt that the application of the order was purely racist.   

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