Operational Situation Report USSR No. 106
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD Berlin,
October 7, 1941
Mood and general conduct of the population
It can be observed that, just as before, the population in the area of our
activities abstains from any self-defense action against the Jews. True, the
population reports uniformly about the Jewish terror against them during the
Soviet rule. They also complain to the German offices about new attacks from
the side of the Jews (like unauthorized return from the ghetto to their
previous homes, or hostile remarks against the Germans made by Jews).
However, in spite of our energetic attempts, they are not ready for any
action against the Jews.
The decisive reason here seems to be the fear of
Jewish revenge in case of a return of the Reds. Even very active elements
who help us find Jewish Communists and members of the intelligentsia and
show themselves very efficient in their cooperation prefer to remain
invisible and anonymous in the decisive moments.
Reports on a stable, good mood in the population can be found only in those
areas where economic life is somewhat normal, as, for instance, in the town
of Klintsy that has not been destroyed at all; also in Vitebsk.
As a result of [war] destruction, especially of houses, and the forced order
to evacuate endangered streets, about 23,000 persons became homeless and
were forced to spend the first days of the occupation in the open. They
accepted this inconvenience quietly and did not cause panic.
Meanwhile, locked and empty apartments, insofar as they had not been burned
and damaged, were put at the disposal of the population. A corresponding
number of apartments have also become available through liquidation, thus
far around 36,000 Jews on September 29 and 30, 1941. The housing of the
homeless is assured and has also been taken care of in the meantime.
The population of Kiev before the start of the war numbered around 850,000.
For the time being, no exact indication concerning its national composition
can be given. The number of Jews is said to have been about 300,000. The
total number of ethnic Germans living in Kiev is presently being counted by
a Kommando. The final results will be available in ten days. The temporary
appointed city administration has begun immediately to register all the
inhabitants of Kiev. As a first measure, all males 15-60 must report.
Except for a small part, the non-Jewish population, as far as can now be
established, seems to welcome the German Army, or at least to display loyal
behavior. During the first days of the occupation, serious unrest could be
detected within the population because of rumors that the German Army was
leaving the city. These rumors were successfully squelched with proper
official announcements. The population cooperates very readily by furnishing
information on explosives or secret membership in the NKVD, the Party and
the Red Army.
Unlike the first days, one could note that this
information was 90% correct. The reason for this is that the city
inhabitants are less frightened than is the rural population, since they do
not fear the possibility of a return of the Bolsheviks. There are no food
stocks and these must be provided. A staff in charge of economic affairs was
created by the appointed city administration. It's main task was, for the
time being, the supplying of the most vital food. This economic staff
supplied the required transportation and, thus, the most urgent needs could
be met by bringing in supplies from the nearby collective farms.
II: Executions and other measures
The population was extremely infuriated against the Jews because of their
preferential economical status under Soviet rule. It could also be proved
that the Jews had participated in arson. The population expected adequate
reprisals from the Germans. For this purpose, in agreement with the city
military command, all the Jews of Kiev were ordered to appear at a certain
place on Monday, September 29, by 6 o'clock. This order was publicized by
posters all over the town by members of the newly organized Ukrainian
At the same time, oral information was passed
that all the Jews of Kiev would be moved to another place. In cooperation
with the HQ of EGC and two Kommandos of the police regiment South,
Sonderkommando 4a executed 33,771 Jews on September 29 and 30. (1) Gold and
valuables, linen, and clothing were secured. Part of it was given to the NSV
(National-Sozialistische Versorgung = Nazi Welfare) for the ethnic Germans,
and part to the appointed city administration for distribution among the
needy population. The action was carried out smoothly and no incidents
occurred. The population agreed with the plan to move the Jews to another
That they were actually liquidated has hardly
been made known. However, according to the experience gained so far, this
would not meet with any opposition. The army has also approved the measures
taken. The Jews that have not yet been caught or who will return will be
treated accordingly. At the same time, a number of NKVD men and commissars
were arrested and finished off.
The Bandera members lost power with the arrests made by the Kommandos. Their
activity was restricted to the distribution of leaflets and posters. Three
arrests were made; more are pending.
The HQ of the EGC as well as Sonderkommando 4a and Einsatzkommando 5, both
stationed in Kiev, have made connections with the proper offices. Constant
cooperation with these offices was achieved, and imminent problems are
discussed daily. Because of the vast amounts of information, each time [with
each action] detailed operation reports must be submitted about the activity
of the Einsatzkommandos.
III. Zhitomir, action against the Jews
The Militia headquarters, according to a suggestion of Sonderkommando 4a,
arranged a temporary, local concentration of Jews in Zhitmmir. This resulted
in a quieter atmosphere, for example, in the markets, etc. At the same time,
obstinate rumors diminished and it seemed that together with the
concentration of the Jews, the Communists, too, lost much ground. However,
it became obvious after a few days that concentration of the Jews without
building a ghetto did not suffice, and that the old difficulties emerged
again after a short while.
Complaints about the impertinence of the Jews in
their various places of work stemmed from various quarters. It was noted
that strong propaganda activity among the Ukrainians, claiming that the Red
Army would return very soon into the areas that had been taken away from
them, had their origin in the Jewish quarter. The local militia was shot at,
at night, and even in the daytime from an ambush. It was also established
that Jews exchanged their belongings for money in order to move into Western
Ukraine where a civil administration already exists.
All these phenomena could be observed. However, it was possible to get hold
of the involved Jews only in the rarest cases, as they had sufficient
opportunities to evade arrest. Therefore, a conference was called together
with military H.Q. on September 10, 1941. The resulting decision was the
final and radical liquidation of the Jews of Zhitomir, since all warnings
[threats] and special measures [punishments] had not led to any perceptible
On September 19, 1941, from 4 o'clock [a.m.], the Jewish quarter was emptied
after having been surrounded and closed the previous evening by 60 members
of the Ukrainian militia. The transport [deportation] was accomplished in 12
trucks, part of which had been supplied by military headquarters and part by
the city administration of Zhitomir. After the transport had been carried
out and the necessary preparations made with the help of 150 prisoners,
3,145 Jews were registered and shot.
After 25-30 tons of linen, clothing, shoes, dishes, etc. that had been
confiscated in the course of the action were handed over to the officials of
the NSV in Zhitomir for distribution. Valuables and money were conveyed to
the Sonderkommando 4a.
Translations by Hermann Feuer
Copyright: H.E.A.R.T 2007