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CHAPTER 4

Sources of Manpower

In the period before and immediately following the invasion of Poland, the Nazis set up 'Einsatzgruppen': quasi-military auxiliary SS units to secure the areas captured by the Wehrmacht and undertake special duties. The Einsatzgruppen were quite distinct from other established security units as their establishment, as a separate force, added a political dimension to the agenda and a function that was only to be used in cases of State emergency. The control of these units was held by a small élite band of high officials within the Nazi leadership. Within a very short time a number of these armed units started to appear in the General Government: Kommandostab Reichsführer - SS:[1] the Sonderdienst,[2] Schutzmannschaften,[3] and Schutzpolizei.[4]

The HHE was continually competing with the Wehrmacht for manpower and requested state funding in order to complement and bolster its own special requirements. As the Wehrmacht had priority in amassing manpower through direct conscription, Himmler was well aware that this was depleting his SS of potential material. Therefore, to satisfy the demands of the Waffen-SS, the Reich Interior Ministry turned to the occupied territories to fill the gaps.[5] In this way, the problems surrounding matters of recruitment were solved, since the Army High Command was now able to maintain its first call on personnel within the borders of Germany.[6]

The best that Globocnik and the KdF could hope for by way of satisfying their own special requirements was to select men from the concentration camps and the police. It is more than likely this policy was the main reason why we find police officers and concentration camp guards being incorporated into T4 and Reinhardt). [7]

Selbstschutz Units

Himmler authorized Globocnik to form Selbstschutz units to overcome his shortage of manpower. These units consisted of Volksdeutsche personnel and other applicants who had been rejected by the SS. Fervently aroused by political indoctrination, the recruits aligned themselves with the Führer's vision of the 'battle for the racial re-alignment of Europe'. The Selbstschutz was placed under the supervision of the Befehelshaber der Ordnungspolizei (BdO), the Commander of the Order Police (Orpo) in Kraków, and used by Globocnik as his own personal police force. He molded them into a ruthless body of ghetto clearers and perpetrators of anti-Jewish atrocities in the Lublin District.[8] In this way he was able to demonstrate to Himmler how he could take a thousand Volksdeutsche farmhands and convert them into brutal torturers and killers,[9] and in the period November 1939 - April 1940, the Selbstschutz grew to over 12,000 men.[10] Governor Hans Frank, it would seem, had recognized the warning signs and refused to take any responsibility for police units acting outside regular police channels. He referred to them contemptuously as 'the murder gang of the SS-Police Führer in Lublin' (Globocnik).[11]

In mid-March 1942, when Belzec commenced operations, Governor Hans Frank, in a series of lectures, warned the establishment that a police State was emerging.[12] Such pronouncements were the beginning of his demise, exclusion from the inner sanctum of the Party and fall from absolute power in the General Government. Although he was to remain official head of the General Government for the rest of the war, his position was increasingly compromised and power greatly reduced. Germany now appeared to be embarking on a system of administration that was effectively evolving into a 'State-within-a-State,' the consequence of which, should events have continued in its favor, the SS would have emerged as the supreme leadership in Germany and the conquered territories. With the implementation of Reinhardt, a third structure emerged which also acted independently of both the civil government and the SS. Reinhardt would sweep aside all established conventions, rules and principles, dispensing its own justice.

As the war progressed and operations against the Jews increased, greater use was made of the auxiliary units, particularly in the towns and villages of the Lublin District and the area between the Bug and the Vistula rivers in eastern Poland. During its short but distinctive existence, the members of the Selbstschutz distinguished themselves with their extreme brutality: shooting, raping and plundering when rounding up Poles and Jews for forced labor to satisfy the economic demands of the Reich. The Selbstschutz was the main policing resource for the arrest and detention of Jews and Gypsies.[13])

The manner in which they operated came under severe scrutiny by the HHE, who were concerned with the brutal way these units were carrying out their duties, and Governor General Frank, not missing a chance to snipe at the SS, demanded that his HSSPF, Krüger, justify their actions.[14] Matters came to a head when reports of atrocities committed in the town of Jozefów[15]) reached the desk of Hermann Goering in Berlin, in his capacity as Reich Minister for Defence.

By the end of June 1940, the Selbstschutz was so completely out of control that Ernst Zörner, the Governor of Lublin District, informed Frank of their undisciplined behavior, prompting him to instigate further enquiries. The result was that on August 31,1940, the Selbstschutz was disbanded and the best recruits transferred to the Waffen -SS and the Wehrmacht.[16] Globocnik, however, would neither submit to nor accept this as a fait accompli.[17] With the probable backing of Himmler, he took measures to ensure that he could retain his most trusted lieutenants for the future.

In October 1941, an extermination campaign was launched against the Jewish population in southern Poland, surpassed in cruelty only by the SS murder squads of SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krüger in Nadworna and Stanislawów. On instructions from Globocnik, Hauptmann (Captain) Kleinschmidt, the company leader of a transport unit, reported with 15 men to the Lublin barracks, and each one was given a lorry and instructed to drive to a nearby Jewish labor camp. A total of 450 Jewish men women and children were loaded onto lorries and driven to an abandoned airfield 25 miles outside of Lublin. The prisoners were forced to dig ditches six cubic metres in size. After finishing the ditches, the victims had to undress and were given corrugated-paper shirts to wear. In batches of 10, they then had to lie in the bottoms of the ditches lined with straw. Grenades were tossed into the ditches, and body parts flew everywhere. Any survivors were shot. Lime was then spread over their remains and the next 10 victims, who had been watching, were forced to submit to the same treatment. Women were kicked in the stomach and breasts, and children smashed against rocks. According to witnesses, Globocnik's men subsequently killed many Jews in this manner,[18] which was about as far as one could go in streamlining the process of mass murder, in the absence of more advanced technology.[19]

On October 21,1941, Globocnik received permission to set up a training establishment at Trawniki, a village 25 km. south-east of Lublin.[20] The manpower consisted of recently captured Soviet prisoners, who had until recently been held in conditions of the utmost squalor. Soviet troops who were captured or had surrendered were not given the status of POWs because Stalin had not signed the relevant international conventions—hence, their appalling maltreatment and murder in the 'cages' in which they were held.

These renegade troops signed up for duty with the Germans primarily for self-preservation rather than ideological reasons, and were to prove an invaluable asset to the Nazis. They were used to brutal effect in the concentration camps, ghettos, and in all of the ongoing Jewish actions.[21] Their primary role, however, was as additional manpower to guard the Reinhardt death camps, while other units performed security duties in SS-run enterprises, guarded supply dumps, and manned checkpoints on the main roads.

The Third Reich could not have benefited from a more firmly established and historically-rooted source of anti-Semitic manpower than the Ukrainians. This was partly rooted in their mistaken belief that the Germans would grant them an independent state once the war had been won. In the pre-war years, the Ukraine had been subjected to German propaganda designed to encourage them towards self-determination and had been encouraged to perceive themselves as an ally, with the tacit suggestion that Germany would reward them once the military situation had stabilized. This deception by the Germans was for purely pragmatic reasons since they had no intention of offering the Ukrainians an independent state. Once this deception became apparent, the consequence among the ex-POW collaborators was a state of mutual mistrust and suspicion. Despite their misgivings, the Ukrainians engaged in a co-operative relationship, albeit lethargically. Easily contaminated by the Nazi racial virus, the Ukrainian militias joined the Germans in their 'Drang nach Osten' ('Drive to the East') and all that it entailed. The Nazis had found a reticent but acceptable partner to pursue their aims of domination and Jewish destruction, even though their hatred and contempt for 'racially inferior' beings also encompassed the Slavs.

Ukrainian collaboration in the General Government can be divided into two categories: collaboration by the indigenous population of western Ukraine, and the Ukrainians who had fought under the Soviet banner and had been taken prisoner or surrendered during the Germans' eastward thrust. It is the second group that is of particular interest, since these were the men selected for service within the concentration camp system and the death camps.

The Ukrainians now collaborated with the Germans in a conspiracy to engage in mass murder with each one dependent on the other, although motivated by entirely different goals.[22] While the Germans were motivated by their policies of rabid anti-Semitism and genocide, the Ukrainians were prepared to do their 'dirty work' in return for immediate and future reward. It is important to understand the difficult personal circumstances through which the Soviet auxiliaries - the majority of whom were Ukrainians - came to be involved at the heart of the genocidal activity in Reinhardt.[23]

By the end of 1941, about 3,350,000 Soviet soldiers had been taken prisoner or had surrendered to the Germans, and were incarcerated in primitive enclosures known as 'cages' in the towns of Zhitomir, Belaya Tserkov and Rovno in the Soviet Union, and Chelm and Zamosc in eastern Poland, where the conditions were primitive in the extreme – the prisoners were simply herded by the thousand into open fields surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by Wehrmacht sentries. There was no shelter of any kind[24] and the inmates resorted to digging holes in the ground with their bare hands.

No food, water, or the most basic sanitation was provided, which reduced the starving prisoners to eating the grass in the 'cages'. Cannibalism was a fact.[25]The fate of many had been provisionally sealed by virtue of the 'Operation Orders' issued by the Chief of the Sipo and SD, Reinhardt Heydrich, before the commencement of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.[26] The selections among these prisoners took place before the onset of winter; this was a decisive factor for the 'volunteers' who had no wish to starve or freeze to death.[27]

However, the SS recruiting officers were very selective in choosing suitable volunteers from the many hundreds of thousands of prisoners available. Once selected, they were removed to two 'cages' in the city of Chelm in eastern Poland for further assessment. The criteria for selection were age, fitness, appearance, and a willingness to serve the Reich. An added advantage was knowledge of the German language.

In September 1941, many of these prisoners were scrutinized to assess their allegiance, and when reviewing their fate, as a gesture of 'friendship' the Germans showed special preference for prisoners identified as Ukrainians. German military documents seized after the war show that by the end of January 1942, of a total of 280,108 prisoners released, not a single one was Russian, but an astonishing 270,095 were Ukrainians.[28]The rest came from annexed countries. Those identified as Jews were handed over to the SD for 'special treatment'-- i.e., immediate execution.

In the early autumn of 1941, SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Streibel,[29] commandant of the Trawniki camp, toured the 'cages' with a team of his officers, searching for Volksdeutsche, who proved to be few and far between. Of the 100 prisoners selected by the end of the month, only five were Volksdeutsche. Groups of 50 –300 politically suitable prisoners were eventually selected to be trained in Trawniki as auxiliary guards.[30] A final filter in the selection process was a medical team which examined each 'volunteer'.

None of these Soviet prisoners knew why they had been selected or for what purpose, and those that survived the war have stated that they were prompted to 'volunteer' to escape their present situation in which many thousands were dying each day from starvation, typhus and dysentery.[31] The 'volunteer' Sergei Vasilenko stated, “I did so for a crust of bread … I did not think the Red Army could defeat the German Army.”[32]

Those who passed the test as suitable for training were taken in small groups to the Trawniki camp. Only then were they told that they were being inducted as SS-Wachmänner (guards) for military establishments and concentration camps and operational duties in the Jewish ghettos.[33] There was no mention of death camps. Objectors were threatened with ' Majdanek', and although they had no idea what this meant, they had no desire to return to any kind of 'camp'.[34]

In Trawniki, each man had to fill in a Personalbogen (personal questionnaire), written in German and Russian, concerning their military postings, disciplinary record, transfers, promotions, and linguistic abilities, and to which was added their photograph, thumb print and an Erkennungsmarke (identity number.) After signing a Dienstverpflichtung ('obligation to duty') each one was sworn-in and welcomed as soldiers of the SS.[35]

Globocnik, having retained his SS/Police officers and NCOs as instructors, opened the 'SS Training Camp Trawniki' on October 27, 1941, and with the experience gained with his Selbstschutz and Sonderdienst units, had now created another band of murderous helpers. Over 5,000 auxiliary guards were trained at this camp.[36]

This special unit was extremely useful to the Germans because they could be relied upon to carry out on-site mass murder shooting operations, and thus spare the German murder squads the ordeal of shooting men, women and children face-to-face. While German SS/Police officers undertook the initial preparations for rounding-up the victims, it was usually the Trawnikmänner who carried out the actual shooting, and the Germans would often wait patiently while the Trawnikimänner first consumed quantities of vodka, usually in the presence of their victims, before commencing their murderous work.[37]

The basic training at Trawniki usually lasted four to six weeks with three companies of 120 men each divided into several Züge (platoons) led by a Zugführer. By the beginning of 1942, there were 720 recruits (six companies of 120 men each) undergoing training at the camp with bi-lingual Zugführers acting as interpreters.[38] During this period, the recruits underwent courses by German SS/Police instructors in understanding basic military commands in German, singing German songs, small arms and marching drill, guard procedures and ghetto-clearance techniques.[39] Each man was issued a captured Russian rifle[40]; only the Zugführers had pistols.

When a Jewish labor camp was constructed adjacent to the Trawniki training compound, the trainee guards were sent out on exercises, rounding up Jews in towns in the Lublin District and bringing them into the labor camp. Trawniki had become a central staging point for daily 'Judenaktionen' ('Jewish operations') as Wachmann Engelgard recalled. The final part of the training course consisted of Jews selected from the labor camp being shot individually by each Trawnikimann.

On completing their training, the bi-lingual Trawnikimänner were designated Oberwachmann and Zugwachmann[41] and posted to various establishments.[42] Others were simply designated as Wachmann and posted in groups to military establishments as armed auxiliaries to support the German security services. The majority were assigned to Reinhardt camps.

Once the Jewish destruction commenced, the Ukrainians were liberally used in 'Jewish operations' – ghetto clearances, preparation of killing sites, execution duties, and manning the death camps. The 20-30 strong Ukrainian guard at the Sipo/SD School Rabka and the nearby Plaszów labor camp were all posted from Trawniki. Although their duties were at the discretion of the commander where they served, they remained under Trawniki camp administration for all transfers, records, discipline, pay and uniforms. In the places where they served they were known as 'Trawnikimänner', 'Askaris', 'Hiwis', or 'Czarni' ('Blacks' in Polish).[43] There was always a residue of Ukrainian tradesmen stationed at Trawniki engaged at building and maintenance projects. However, these men were often called upon to dig mass graves in various locations and guard the killing sites until the SS delivered the victims for shooting operations.[44] Once this had been accomplished, they returned to Trawniki awaiting their next call-out.[45] Much use was made of this cadre by police regiments who were active in the Lublin area for Jewish operations, especially during mid- to late 1942.

Between 70 and 120 Trawnikimänner were selected to act as the guard unit at each of the three Reinhardt death camps and came under the jurisdiction of the relevant camp commandant. Although these guards remained under the auspices of Trawniki camp, in the death camps they were under the control of SS-Obersturmführer/ Kriminalkommissat Wirth, who also arranged their transfers between the camps.

Because for administrative purposes, the three Reinhardt camps at Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka were treated as a single unit with interchangeable personnel, we see the same personnel appearing in different post-war trials, facing completely separate indictments relating to Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibór. Although the Trawnikimänner were also available for transfer to other establishments in the General Government, such as concentration camps Plaszów, Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and other detention centers in Germany ,this occurred only after their duty with Reinhardt had concluded.[46]

During the opening phase of the Jewish deportations in March 1942, Globocnik relied on the Trawnikimänner for carrying out these operations, the first of which was the clearing of the Lublin ghetto. The Jews were driven out of their houses to the Lublin slaughter yards, where they boarded the trains for Belzec.

As Globocnik continued to establish new Jewish labor camps in the Lublin District, Trawnikimänner provided the guard units. Such camps in Lublin included the SS-Bekleidungswerke located on the pre-war Lublin airfield, and the Linden Strasse camp, also known as the Lipowerlager after the Polish name for the street. By mid-1942, this team of seasoned thugs was at the forefront of all Jewish operations, including the emergency 'fire brigade' operations during the suppression of the uprisings in the major ghettos of Warsaw, Bialystock, and Czestochowa.

A much clearer picture of the activities and lives of the Ukrainian Trawnikimänner has emerged in the wake of the much-publicised John Demjanjuk trial in Israel, which began on February 16, 1987 and concluded on April 25, 1988. Demjanjuk was found guilty and sentenced to death, but, remarkably, on appeal the conviction was reversed. The evidence presented by the prosecution covered the method of recruitment and activities of these guard units in the Reinhardt camps. This previously obscure and murky aspect of the Holocaust has had more light shed on it as the result of recently-developed co-operation between Israel, the United States, and the former Soviet Union, during which the post-war testimonies of several hundred former Ukrainian guards recalling their time in the Reinhardt death camps have been made available to the West.

Ukrainians in Belzec

The first contingent of 70 Trawnikimänner, mostly Ukrainians, arrived in Belzec at the beginning of 1942.[47] They were to claim subsequently that the purpose of Belzec was unknown to them. Initially brought to the camp by SS- Oberscharführer Josef Oberhauser, they were trained for their special duty by other nominated SS staff (i.e., SS-Untersturmführer Schwarz) under the express directions of Wirth.[48]

The SS-Scharführer at Trawniki, Reinhold Feix, was placed in charge of the Ukrainians. He had been brought in to maintain order and discipline. Feix set a standard for cruelty and with the Latvian Volksdeutsche, Schmidt, was unsurpassed in brutality in the treatment of Jewish victims.[49] As a mark of the respect with which this brute was regarded, a road leading from the Ukrainian barracks to the high watchtower overlooking the camp in Phase Two of Belzec was named Feixstrasse.[50]

The Volksdeutsche were very close to the camp SS and later deputized for them in killing operations. The Ukrainian overseers and supervisors were given wide discretion by the camp leadership in their daily duties, including executions, which were sometimes accompanied by intense cruelty.[51] The most favored Ukrainians – those of proven loyalty – were armed with a pistol.[52] The lower rank guards were all housed in barracks inside the camp and delegated for duties such as patrolling, manning watch-towers, guarding the rail sidings between Belzec station and the camp, and supervising the Jewish victims on arrival.[53]

Even though these guards had undergone extensive training in Trawniki, a different interpretation of their duties manifested itself once they arrived in Belzec. The procedure for training them was set out in detail by Wirth. It was designed to complement the duties of his SS personnel and Jewish 'work brigades.' Throughout the entire period of genocide in all three Reinhardt camps, it was the Volksdeutsche NCOs and Ukrainians, assisted by the Jewish 'death brigades', who - under the supervision of the camp SS – carried out the process of genocide from start to finish. The role of the Jewish 'death brigades' was vital for the extermination operation: they were the ones who daily had to handle the corpses. Wirth, in conversation with the SS investigating Judge SS-Obersturmführer Konrad Morgan, stated: “Give me my Jewish'work brigades' and I could send everyone else home and do the job myself.”[54] It is clearly evident that the auxiliary elements in Belzec and elsewhere were carefully selected for this duty. Despite the challenging conditions under which they were pressured to volunteer for duty as German auxiliaries, many of them were inherently cruel by nature. The small group T4, SS and policemen, acted only as supervisors.


Footnotes

  1. See: Yehoshua Buchler, 'Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS - Himmler's Personal Murder Brigade, 1941' in: Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1 (1986), 11-25. On the 17 August 1938, Himmler had segregated part of the SS for his own personal needs in cases of State and wartime emergency. The 'Verfugungsstruppe' (Readiness or Disposal Troops) - the forerunner of the Waffen-SS - were at the disposal of the Wehrmacht in wartime, but only with the personal authorisation of the Reichsführer-SS and Chief of the German police, Himmler. By September 1939, this SS-Division consisted of over 25,000 men, (* At the outbreak of war the Verfügungstruppen were renamed the Waffen-SS).
  2. Return

  3. After HSSPF Krüger had submitted his report and recommendations to Frank about the 'Selbstschütz', it was agreed (perhaps as a compromise) to set-up a similar but more closely supervised auxiliary security force, which would keep everyone happy and further placate Globocnik in the process. This new unit, the Sonderdienst, was transferred to the authority of the SSPF in Lublin where Jewish 'operations' were concentrated. However, there was one subtle change, the real authority was now held by the civilian government in Kraków, not Globocnik in Lublin. With the removal of the 'Selbstschütz', the continued persecution and murder was now continued under a different name.
  4. Return

  5. Once operations commenced, formations of Schützmannschaften were recruited from local Volksdeutsche, ethnic German personnel who acted under the direct orders of German commanders. The 'Schuma', as they were known, were mainly employed on traffic duties with very limited powers of authority, and by example, could only to direct motor vehicles and enforce traffic regulations. They had no powers over ethnic Germans as such, but when acting in emergency military situations, they had the same rights and duties as the German police.
  6. Return

  7. TAL/ZStL: No. 1/4544/47 Juc. KI/Si, collection UdSSR, vol. 410, 509-10: Operations in Kolomyja by the Schützpolizei. Generally known as 'Schupo,' they were recruited and organised within the German police forces in the Reich and sent to the cities of East Galicia where they initially acted as metropolitan police officers engaged in normal policing duties. However, they soon became enmeshed in Jewish 'operations' and were particularly evident in the Galician towns of Stanislawów and Kolomyja.
  8. Return

  9. Suitable candidates from Austria, Czechoslovakia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine, who also included many Volksdeutsche, were recruited into the Reichsprotektorat for this purpose. Many women were also used as police and guard auxiliaries in the KZs and ghettos.
  10. Return

  11. This was the case in the early days of the war, but when the manpower resources diminished these principles vanished.
  12. Return

  13. The SS 'Totenkopf' troops from the KZs were utilized because they were Himmler's élite who had been entrusted before the war with guarding 'enemies of the State'. It was now to be their task to rid Europe of the 'danger to the Reich' of Jews – the Jewish exterminations were a matter only for the SS/Police under Heydrich/Himmler. Their leaders, the police officers, were also SS-officers under Himmler's command.
  14. Return

  15. Globocnik was the key security manager in eastern Poland and was already directing the Sipo-SD, Ordnungspolizei, Schützpolizei, rural Gendarmerie, the Polish Police and Ukrainian auxiliary units.
  16. Return

  17. See Burleigh, Third Reich, 640.
  18. Return

  19. Black, Rehearsal, 204-226. Emergence of this force appeared on 23 November 1939 in Janów County.
  20. Return

  21. Paechter, Nazi Deutsch, 49.Return

  22. Ibid. Return

  23. Frank had issued decrees on 26. 10. 39 and 24. 1. 1940, authorizing the seizure of labour and property for the benefit of the Reich. The main warehouse was at Ulica Chopin Street 27 in Lublin where confiscated Jewish property sorted and stored. The warehouse came under the authority of SS-Hauptsturmführer Höfle. (* This building was not established until early summer 1942). Working under the direction of Globocnik, SS- Standartenführer Walter Gunst who was later dismissed for corruption and replaced by Hermann Dolp. Dolp, a habitual drunkard, was later to serve in the Belzec district (organising the labour camps.) (* Dolp was commandant of Lipowa Street camp in Lublin, then overall commander of the Belzec labour camp complex). Return

  24. Black, Rehearsal, 218.Return

  25. Ibid. 220: The brutal killings in Józefów on 14 April 1940, where 150 Poles (not Jews) lay dead in a field shocked the Nazi leadership. The day before these killings, it was alleged that Poles had killed a German family. The investigation by the Polish police and German gendarmerie concluded the motive for these murders was robbery. Globocnik overruled requests for restraint and let his Selbstschütz off their leashes. These marauders surrounded the village and selected all males between 20 - 70 years of age. Then shot them down. It did not stop here…. in the same locality, 27 farms and 71 other buildings were destroyed. In a further action on 3 May 1940, SS units assisted by the Selbstschütz shot several Jews (including an 80-year-old blind woman) and destroyed a small ghetto. The ghetto survivors of this operation were sent to the much larger ghetto nearby of Majdan Tartarski. This is not the better known Majdan Tatarski ghetto in Lublin, opened for the last survivors of Lublin main ghetto. There are several places in Poland called Majdan Tatarski). On 16 June 1940, further atrocities occurred in the village of Radawiec, near Lublin, where 27 Poles and Jews were shot. Return

  26. SS Troops (Waffen SS): Originated in the so-called 'Leibstandarte,' (The 'Leibstandatre originated from the old 'Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler', a small group of Hitler's bodyguards in the 1920s. The Waffen-SS originated from the 'pre-war 'Verfügungstruppen'. The 'Totenkopf' regiments were established solely for the purpose of guarding the KZs). Return

  27. Among those he retained: SS- Hauptsturmführer Karl Streibel and SS-Sturmbannführer Anton Binner. Return

  28. See: www. Nizkor Project: Operation Reinhard, location Belzec, which quotes Commanding General, Eighth Service Command, ASF Dallas, to Provost Marshall, dated 21 May 1945, account of POW Willi Kempf. NA RG 153, entry 143, box 571, folder 19-99. Return

  29. Breitman, Genocide, 198-201. Return

  30. Soviet trial source material comes from three main sources: 1) Russian, 2) Ukrainian and 3) Baltic archives of the former Soviet KGB which contain prosecution files of the Trawniki men. German documentation re: Trawniki camp administration records in GstA Hamburg. The author obtained quality source information from a number of external sources: Yad Vashem, Washington DC, Majdanek Camp Museum and the Tregenza Archives in Lublin. Return

  31. Ghettos: Hrubieszów, Izbica, Leczna, Lomaza, Miedzyrzec, Piaski and Wlodawa. Return

  32. The Nazis only tolerated the German-Ukrainian alliance for collaboration purposes, moulded to Nazi requirements for the time being, and not considered an immediate threat. The Ukrainians were to remain an expendable commodity in the future. Return

  33. USDC, Nikolay Petrovich Malagon, Protocol, 00887 18 March 1978. Return

  34. Lord Russell of Liverpool, Scourge of the Swastika, Cassell, London 1954, 51-52. Several months before Barbarossa, Lieut-Gen. Reinecke of the OKW ordered that all Soviet troops captured or who surrendered were be kept in open-air 'cages' surrounded only by barbed wire, and further to shoot 'without warning' any prisoner attempting to escape. To feed Soviet prisoners was 'misconceived humanitarianism'. Return

  35. Post-mortems carried out on several Soviet prisoners in Lvóv showed the stomach contents to consist of grass, worms, etc. Return

  36. Ibid. 'Operational Order' No. 8 of the Chief of the Sipo and SD, dated 17 June 1941in Berlin clearly sets out the modus operandi for the summary execution of all Soviet prisoners. The follow-up Orders, Nos. 9 and 14, confirm the manner in which these executions were to be carried out. See: IMT, Speeches, 155. Return

  37. The number of 'volunteers' was minimal compared to the several million prisoners held by the Germans; Streibel mentions a maximum of 5,000 throughout the war. It was largely a matter of finding men who were still reasonably healthy despite the privations. Return

  38. Eichmann Trial Reports, vol. 2, session 39, 713: witness Musmanno. After the Kiev battle, over 600,000 Soviets were taken prisoner. Under code name 'Operation Zepplin', many (mostly Ukrainian) were recruited to the KZ system; many others were shot out of hand by the EG under the direction of Brig. Gen. Neumann, Commander of EG 'B'. In Belarus, 700,000 Soviet prisoners were shot out of hand. Return

  39. BDC: No. 834: Personal file Karl Streibel sent to the author by Yad Vashem. Streibel was commandant of the SS Training Camp at Trawniki (1941-1944) and then commander of SS-Battalion Streibel (1944-1945). See Zentralestelle Ludwigsburg 208 AR 643-71 for trial records and judgment. Return

  40. Hilberg, Destruction, vol. 3, 899: Chelm (Stalag 325) in Lublin District. Rovno, 200 miles east of Lublin, was the main collecting centre for Soviet prisoners. In September 1942, Streibel visited Treblinka to see how his guards were performing. See: TAL/GstA Düsseldorf, File No. 8 Js 10904/59, vol. 19a (1969), 5030. Return

  41. PMML: Aleksei Nikolaevich Kolgushkin: Protocol, 0012724, September 1980. See also Nikolay Petrovich Malagon, Protocol, 00889, 18 March 1978, which corroborates induction procedures. Return

  42. Rich, Footsoldiers, 690. Return

  43. Ibid. Return

  44. Ibid. Return

  45. Ibid. Personal description requested at Trawniki: Warrant No, full name, father's name, date and place of birth, nationality, citizenship, occupation, marital status, children, wife's maiden name, mothers maiden name, military service, type, service rank, military service, remarks, languages known, special skills, height, facial form, hair, eyes, special markings (USDC, Protocol, 00285, Statement of Ivan Marchenko, 11 January 1941). Return

  46. Hilberg, Destruction, Vol. 3, 899 n. 23. See also Tagebuch, 428-430: the stand made by Globocnik on the Gendarmerie 17 October, 1941; For further comment see: on his poor handling of the Sonderdienst recruiting 8 April 1941; his conflict with Zoerner 20 May 1942; remarks of Frank made against Globocnik 16 July 1941. Return

  47. Goldhagen, Executioners, 224. Return

  48. Rich, Footsoldiers, 690/1. Return

  49. Michael Janczak, a German police officer, was drafted to Trawniki to train these prisoners of war mainly from the Baltic's and Ukraine. He corroborates the training procedures and postings to Reinhardt camps. See: TAL/Sobibór Case, Kurt Bolender and others, vol. 5, 915-916. Return

  50. Ibid. Return

  51. The word 'wachman' (guard) or plural, 'wachmänner' (guards) is used throughout. In Russian it is written 'vachman' (plural 'vachmaenner'), a transliteration from the German. Return

  52. USDC, Protocol, 00089: Statement of Kharkovski. Return

  53. Hiwis: 'Hilfswilliger' ('volunteer'), subordinates who performed the unpleasant work. 'Blacks' – so-called because of their SS-'Totenkopf' style uniforms. Return

  54. USDC, Protocol, 00109: Statement of Yakov Limentevich Savenko, 11 September 1980. At the end of 1942, Savenko was employed on building maintenance in Trawniki when his group were taken out of the camp to the forest to dig a pit. A transport with 30 Jews were brought to the site by the SS and shot in the pit. Savenko and his group returned to Trawniki and carried on working. Return

  55. Ibid, Protocol, 00107: Sevenko, 11 September 1980. Return

  56. USDC, Protocol, 00887, Statement of Nikolai Petrovich Malagon, 18 March 1978. Return

  57. Among these Soviet were Ukrainians, Soviets, Latvians and Mongolians. (* Ukrs. and Latvians were Soviet citizens). The Volksdeutsche were a special breed and relied on by the SS to 'work the camp': Schneider, Kaiser and Siviert, among others. Return

  58. Josef Oberhauser, on his transfer from T4 was attached to Reinhardt in Lublin working directly under SS-Hauptsturmführer Höfle (* Höfle was Globocnik's chief-of-staff until 1942). SS-Hauptscharführer Schwarz was later appointed. Schwarz had overall responsibility for the Ukr. guards, especially in matters of discipline. Wirth appointed individual SS-NCOs as their instructors, including Franz). TAL/Belzec Case: Statement of Kurt Franz, 14 September 1961. Return

  59. Not accounting for Feix's crimes in Belzec, he moved on to even greater crimes in the Budzyn forced labour camp near Krasnik and in the surrounding area. After the war Feix was indicted on fifteen counts of the most barbarous acts committed on camp prisoners and the civilian population. TAL/ZStL, File No. 208 AR-Z 384/61: Case Against Bruno Muttersbach. Return

  60. See: phase two map. Return

  61. USDC, Protocol, 00893, Malagon, 18 March 1978. Return

  62. Nina Dmitriyevna Shiyenko, 3 May 1951: ‘he (Ivan Ivanovich Marchenko) wore a black uniform of the German ‘SS’ forces; on his belt in a holster he carried a weapon’ Return

  63. TAL/ZStL, Belzec Case: Statement of Kurt Franz 14 September 1961. Return

  64. PRO, File No. WO/208/4673: Interrogation of George Konrad Morgan. In the summer of 1943, Morgan was sent by Himmler to Lublin to investigate corruption between the SS-guards and Jewish prisoners. (See: TAL/Belzec verdict: Statement of Heinrich Unverhau, 21 July 1960). Return

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