"The Einsatzgruppen Case"


Case No. 9

Extract from Operational Order No. 8, 17 July 1941



The Chief of the Security Police and the SD
2 1 B/4 1-top secret IV A 1 C
[stamp] top secret
Berlin, 17 July 1941
crossed out by hand
530 copies
276th copy

Operational Order No. 8

Subject: Directives for the Kommandos of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD which are to be detailed to the

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permanent prisoner-of-war camps [Stalags] and transit camps [Dulags].

Appendices: 2 stitched enclosures, 1 and 2, 1 loose enclosure.

I am enclosing directives for the purging of the prisoner camps which contain Soviet Russians. These directives have been formulated in agreement with the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces - Prisoners of war department - (see enclosure 1). The commanders of the prisoner of war and transit camps (Stalags and Dulags) have been informed by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

I am requesting that a Kommando consisting of one SS Leader and 4 - 6 men be detailed for the prisoner-of-war camps in that area. If additional forces are needed to carry out the required tasks, I am to be informed at once. I draw attention, however, to the fact that the state police offices in the Reich, which are not concerned, are so understaffed that further forces cannot be taken from them.

In order to facilitate the execution of the purge, a liaison officer is to be sent to Generalmajor [Brigadier General] von Hindenburg, Commander in Chief of the prisoner-of-war camps in the Military District I, East Prussia, in Koenigsberg, Prussia, and to Generallieutnant [Major General] Herrgott, Commander in Chief of the prisoner-of-war camps in the General Government in Kielce.

The following are to be detained at once as liaison officers: criminal Councilor Schiffer, regional Gestapo headquarters Stettin, to Brigadier General von Hindenburg* in Koenigsberg, Prussia, and criminal Commissar Raschwitz, with the commander of the Security Police and of the SD in Krakow, to Major General Herrgott in Kielce.

The duty of these liaison officers is to coordinate from time to time, and especialy in the initial stages of the action, the operations of the Kommandos uniformly and in accordance with those directives, and to see that there are smooth communications with the offices of the armed forces.

For the execution of the tasks assigned to the Kommandos in the prisoner-of-war camps, I attach - as enclosure 2 - directives for the Kommandos of the chief of the Security Police and of the SD to be detailed to the permanent [prisoner-of-war] camps (Stalags), of which the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces and, therefore, also the regional commanders and camp commanders have been informed.

Before carrying out the executions, the leaders of the Einsatz-

* Oskar von Hindenburg, son of the former Reich president.

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kommandos are to contact, in each case, the heads of the regional Gestapo headquarters which has jurisdiction or the commanders of the area competent for their camp, with regard to carrying them out. The executions must not be carried out in the camp itself or in its immediate neighborhood. They are not public and are to be carried out as inconspicuously as possible.

With regard to the screening of the transit camps in the newly occupied territories, seperate instructions are being issued to the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD. The transit camps which lie in the areas of the additional Einsatzkommandos detailed by the commanders of the Security Police and the SD and of the state police offices are to be screened by those.

A list of the permanent prisoner-of-war camps existing as of now is attached as enclosure 3.

Supplement - I request that the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen try to execute the purge of the transit camps with their own forces as far as possible.

Supplement - for the state police office Stettin.

The attached directives are to be handed over to Criminal Councilor Schiffer, who is to report immediately to Brigadier General von Hindenburg in Koenigsberg, Prussia.

Supplement - for the commander of the Security Police and of the SD in Krakow.

The attached directives are to be given to the criminal police Commissioner Raschwitz, who is to report immediately to Major General Herrgott.



a. The Commander of the Security Police and of the SD, Krakow
b. The Commander of the Security Police and of the SD, Radom
c. The Commander of the Security Police and of the SD, Warsaw
d. The Commander of the Security Police and of the SD, Lublin
e. The Regional Gestapo Headquarters, Koenigsberg, Prussia
f. The Regional Gestapo Headquarters, Tilsit
g. The Regional Gestapo Headquarters, Zichenau-Schroettersburg
h. The Regional Gestapo Headquarters, Allenstein
i. The Regional Gestapo Headquarters, Stettin

For information:
To the Reich Leader SS and Chief of the German Police

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To the Chief of the Security Police and of the SD
To office chiefs I, II, III, (?), IV, and VI
To the Subdepartments IV D 2 and IV D 3

To -
The Higher SS and Police Leader North - East Koenigsberg - Prussia
The Higher SS and Police Leader Krakow
The Inspector of the Security Police and the SD Koenigsberg - Prussia
The Commander of the Security Police and the SD in the General Government, Krakow

To the -
Einsatzgruppe A
Sonderkommando 1 A
Sonderkommando 1 b
Einsatzkommando II
Einsatzkommando III
Einsatzgruppe B
Sonderkommando 7 a
Sonderkommando 7 b
Einsatzkommando VIII
Einsatzkommando IX
Einsatzgruppe C
Sonderkommando 4 a
Sonderkommando 4 b
Einsatzkommando V
Einsatzkommando VI
Einsatzgruppe D
Sonderkommando 10 a
Sonderkommando 10 b
Einsatzkommando XI
Einsatzkommando XII

[Signed] Wolfert
Office Clerk
[Stamp] Secret State Police


Top Secret
Enclosure 1

Directives for the segregation of civilians and suspicious prisoners of war from the Eastern campaign, in the prisoner-of-war camps lo-

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cated in the occupied territories, in the zone operations, in the General Government, and in the camps of the Reich territory.

I. Purpose
The Wehrmacht must immediately free itself of all those elements among the prisoners of war who must be regarded as bolshevist influences. The special situation of the campaign in the East therefore demands special measures [Italics original] which have to be carried out in a spirit free from bureautic and administrative influences and with an eagernes to assume responsibility.

While the regulations and orders of the prisoners of war system were hitherto based exclusively on considerations of a military nature, now the political goal must be attained, namely, to protect the German people from Bolshevist agitators and to gain a firm grip on the occupied territory at the earliest possible moment.

II. Means to attain the objective
A. The inmates of the camps containing Russians, therefore, have first to be segregated within the camps according to the following point of view:
1. Civilians;
2. Soldiers (inclusive those who doubtlessly have dressed in civilian clothes);
3. Politically intolerable elements from 1 and 2;
4. Persons from 1 and 2 who seem to be particularly trustworthy and who are, therefore, suitable for employment for the reconstruction of the occupied territory;
5. Ethnic groups among the civilians and soldiers.
B. While the rough seperation pursuant to A 1 to 5 is made by camp authorities themselves, the Reich Leader SS will make available for the segregation of the persons pursuant to A 3 and 4.

"Einsatzkommandos of the security police and security service."

They are directly subordinated to the chief of the security police and security service [SD], especially trained for their special assignment, and take their measures and make their investigations within the framework of the camp regulations according to directives which they have received from the chief of the security police and the security service.

The commanders, particularly their counterintelligence officers, are duty bound to cooperate closely with the Einsatzkommandos.

III. Further treatment of the segregated groups

A. Civilians, if suspected, remain segregated in the camp until their repatriation to the occupied territory appears possible.

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The date for it is fixed by the competent armed forces commander (respectively the commander of the army [group] rear area) after approval by the competent agencies of the chief of the security police and security service. The main condition for repatriation is that the person in question can with certainty be utilized for labor at his or her native place, or in labor units to be set up specifically.

The armed forces commander (respectively the commander of the army [group] rear area) is responsible for supplying guards during the transport. As far as possible the camp will provide an escort detachment.

As for "suspects" see II A 3

B. Militay personnel

Because of a possible deployment within the Reich territory, Asiatics have to be segregated from soldiers of European appearance. Officers in many cases will have to be segregated as "suspects". On the other hand officers, in order to prevent them from influencing enlisted personnel, are to be seperated from them at an early stage.

A special order will be issued regarding the final assignment of military personnel. Already here it must be stressed that no Asiatics and persons speaking the German language are to be considered for employment in Germany.

C. As for persons segregated as "suspects" (see II A 3) the Einsatzkommandos of the security police and the security service will make further decisions.

Should some persons who were regarded as suspects later on turn out to be nonsuspects, they are to be sent back to the other civilians or soldiers in the camp.

The request of the Einsatzkommandos for the surrender of any other persons must be complied with.

D. Trustworthy persons are first to be employed for segregating suspects (II A 3) and for other tasks of the camp administration. (Special reference is made to "Volga-Germans".)

If they are particularly fit for reconstruction work in the occupied territory, a request for release made to the Einsatzkommando of the security police and the security service may be denied only if there is any special interest in an individual person from a counterintelligence viewpoint.

E. Ethnic groups, e. g. Ukrainians, White Russians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Finns, Georgians, and Volga-Germans. Seperation of both soldiers and civilians, unless these are sent to the occupied territory in the near future, anyway.

As to the employment of the individual ethnic groups, a seperate order will be issued.

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[Stamp] Top Secret

Enclosure 2

Berlin, 17 July 1941

Office IV

Directives for the Kommandos of the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service to be detailed to the permanent prisoner-of-war camps [Stalags].

The Kommandos will be detailed in accordance with the agreement between the chief of the security police and the security service and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, of 16 July 1941 (see encl. 1).

Within the framework of the camp regulations the Kommandos are operating independently by virtue of special authorization and in accordance with the general directives issued to them. It goes without saying that the Kommandos will keep closest contact with the camp commander and the counterintelligence officer attached to him.

The task of the Kommandos is the political screening of all inmates of the camp and the segregation and further treatment of -

a, elements which are undesirable for political, criminal, or other reasons,

b. those persons who can be used in the reconstruction of the occupied territories,

No aids can be made available for the Kommandos in the performance of their task. The "German Register of Wanted Persons", the "list compiled by the Office for the Investgation of Domiciles", and the "Special Register of Wanted Persons, U.S.S.R." will be of very little use in most cases; the "Special Register of Wanted Persons, U.S.S.R." is not sufficient because only a small proportion of the Soviet Russians classified as dangereous are listen therein.

The Kommandos, therefore, will have to rely on their own specialized knowledge and ability, on their own clues and self-acquired experiences. For this reason they will not be able to start on their task until they have accumulated sufficient material.

For the time being and also later on, the Kommandos in performing their tasks will utilize to the fullest possible extent the experience which the camp commanders have accumulated from observation of the prisoners and from interrogation of camp inmates.

Furthermore, the Kommandos must endeavor right at the start to single out those elements among the prisoners which appear to be reliable, regardless of whether or not they are Communists,

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so as to utilize them for their information service inside the camo and later on, if available, also in the occupied territories.

It must be possible through the employment of these confidential agents and by making use of any other means available to single out, as a first step, all those elements among the prisoners which are to be segregated. By a short interrogation of the singled-out persons and, possible, by questioning other prisoners, the Kommandos will be in a position to take the final decisions in each individual case.

The statement of one confidential agent is as such not sufficient proof to class a camp inmate as suspicious. Somehow or other, a confirmation should be obtained if possible.

Above all, it is necessaey to find out all important officials of the state and the Party, in particular -

Professional revolutionaries.
The official of the Comintern.
All influential officials of the Communist Party.
Of the Soviet Union and its subdivisions in the central committees, the regional and district committees.
All People's Commisars and their deputies.
All former Political Commissars in the Red Army.
The leading personalities on the central and intermediate level of the state administration.
The leading personalities of the economy, the Soviet-Russian intellectuals.
All Jews.
All persons found to be agitators or fanatical Communists.

As already mentioned, it is no less important to sort out those persons who may be used for the reconstruction, the administration, and economic management of the conquered Russian territories.

Finally, it will be necessary to sort out those persons who will yet be wanted for the conclusion of further investigations, no matter whether of a political nature or otherwise, and for the clarification of questions of general interest. This category includes in particular all higher state and Party officials who are able to give information regarding the measures and working methods of the Soviet-Russian state, the Communist Party or the Comintern, owing to their position and their knowledge.

Finally when making any decisions the racial origin has to be taken into consideration.

The leader of the Einsatzkommando will transmit a weekly brief report to the Reich Security Main Office by teletype or express [special delivery] letter. This report will contain -

1. A short account of the operations of the past week.

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2. Number of persons definitely regarded dangereous (statement of numbers sufficient)

3. Lists of names of persons classified as -

Officials of the Comintern,
important party officials,
People's Commissars,
Political Commissars,
leading personalities

giving a concise description of their positions.

4. Number of persons to be classified as unsuspected.

a. Prisoners of war.
b. Civilians.
On the strength of these operational reports the Reich Security Main Office will communicate further measures to be taken at the earliest possible moment.

In order to carry out successively the measures indicated in these instructions, the Kommandos will request the camp authorities to surrender the prisoners in question.

Camp autorities have been instructed by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces to comply with such requests (see enc. 1).

Executions must not be carried out in or near the camp. If the camps are in the General Government close to the frontier, prisoners are to be moved to former Soviet territory, if possible, for special treatment.

In the event of executions being necessary for reasons of camp discipline, the leader of the Einsatzkommando has to get in touch with the camp commander for this purpose.

The Kommandos are required to keep records of the completed special treatments. These records must contain serial numbers, surnames and first names, date and place of birth, military rank, trade or profession, last place of residence, reason for the special treatment, and date and place of the special treatment (sheaves of files).

As regards the carrying out of the executions, the removal of reliable civilians and the eventual drafting of confidential agents into the occupied territories to be employed by the Einsatzgruppen, the leader of the Einsaztkommando will get in touch with the leader of the nearest Gestapo headquarters or with the commander of the security police and the security service and, via the latter, with the chief of the Einsatzgruppe in question in the occupied territories.

As a metter of principle, such communications must be transmitted to the Reich Security Main Office IV A 1 for information.

Exemplary conduct on and off duty, smoothest possible co-

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operation with the camp commandant, careful scrutiny is enjoined on the leaders of the Einsatzkommandos and all members.

The members of the Einsatzkommandos have at all times to bear in mind the special importance of the tasks set them.

[Stamp] Top Secret

Enclosure 3


Berlin, 21 August 1941

List of the prisoner-of-war camps in the area of Military District I and the General Government

Military District I

1. Officer's {PW] camp [Oflag] 63..in Proekuls
2. Officer's [PW] camp [Oflag] 53..in Heydekrug
3. Officer's [PW] camp [Oflag] 60..in Schirwindt
4. Officer's [PW] camp [Oflag] 52..in Schuetzenort (Ebenrode)
5. Officer's [PW] camp [Oflag] 56..in Prostken
6. Officer's [PW] camp [Oflag] 68..in Suwalki
7. Permanent PW camp [Stalag] 331..in Fischborn-Turosel
8. Officer's camp 57..in Jaroslaw

General Government

1. Permanent PW Camp 324..in Ostrov-Mazoviecka
2. Permanent PW Camp 316..in Siedlce
3. Permanent PW Camp 307..in Biala-Podlaska
4. Permanent PW Camp 319..in Chelm
5. Permanent PW Camp 325..in Zamosc
6. Permanent PW Camp 327..in Jaroslaw

The officer's camps are at present used as Stalags.

The transit camps are, according to the communication by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, in the zone of operations and are from time to time moved nearer to the front as locally required. Their present location may be found by inquiry at the Quartermaster General, Department Prisoners of War - telephone: Anna 757 (military line) - Captain Sohn.

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Trials of War Criminals Before the Nurenberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10, Volume IV, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 123 - 132

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Electric Zen
Ken Lewis
April 25, 2002
Rev. 1.0