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German Reports

The Yad Vashem Archives hold many millions of pages of documents gathered from numerous German archives (West and East).

From the Einsatzgruppen Reports
December 12, 1941
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 145
Einsatzgruppe D
An additional 2,910 Jews and 19 Communist officials were shot after summary proceedings. …"
Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, eds., The Einsatzgruppen Reportsi, New York, 1989, p. 256.
From the Einsatzgruppen Reports
January 9, 1942
Operational Situation Report USSR No. 153
Einsatzgruppe D
...In Simferopol, apart from Jews, the Krimchak and Gypsy question was also solved….
Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, eds., The Einsatzgruppen Reports, New York, 1989, p. 273.
From the Einsatzgruppen Reports
February 18, 1942
Operational Situation Report USSR no. 170
Einsatzgruppe D
... The search for isolated Jews who, up to now, have avoided being shot, by hiding or giving false personal data, was continued. From January 9 to February 15, more that 300 Jews were arrested in Simferopol and executed. With this the number of persons executed in Simferopol increased to almost 10,000 Jews, about 300 more than the number of Jews registered... .
Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, eds., The Einsatzgruppen Reports, New York,1989, p. 296.
From the activity reports that supplement the war diary of the staff officer of the military police for the period January 1-January 31, 1942:
February 2,1942
From the report of the 2th Company of the 683th Motorized Military Police Detachment
… On January 18, 1942 the members of the 1st Platoon of the 2nd Company arrested 73 Jews in Simferopol. … On January 25, 1942 a squad of the 1st Platoon of the 2nd Company was attached to the Simferopol SD. It took part in arresting the Jews and conducting searches of their apartments.
BA-MA RH 20-11/417, copy YVA M.29.FR/118
From the records of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals
February 24, 1947
From the affidavit of Heinz Hermann Schubert, an adjutant of Otto Ohlendorf, the Chief of Einsatzgruppe D, concerning the extermination of Jews in Russia
In December 1941… I was assigned by Ohlendorf or Seibert to supervise and inspect the shooting of approximately 700 to 800 people, which was to take place in the close vicinity of Simferopol. The shooting was undertaken by the special Kommando 11b, one of the formations of the Einsatzgruppe D. My task in connection with the shooting consisted of three parts -
a. To see that the location of the shooting [site] be remote enough, so that there could be no witnesses to the shooting;
b. To supervise that the collection of money, jewels, and other valuables of the persons who were to be shot be completed without the use of force; and that the persons, designated for this by the special Kommando 11b, hand over the collected items to the administration leaders and their deputies in order to have them passed on to Einsatzgruppe D;
c. To supervise, that the execution be completed in the most human [sic.] and military manner possible, exactly according to Ohlendorf's orders.
After the execution I had to report personally to Ohlendorf that the execution had been carried out exactly according to his orders. … The place which was designated for the shooting of these … Jews was several kilometers outside of Simferopol and about 500 meters off the [Feodosiya] road, in an anti-tank ditch. Among other things I ascertained that the traffic in that region was stopped by the persons designated for this and was detoured on side roads. When the condemned persons arrived at the place of the execution, they were ordered to leave their money, their valuables, and papers at a place designated for this. I watched that none of the deposited items were kept by the SS and regular police who were designated for the collection. The depositing of this property by the condemned persons was fnished without use of force. I supervised this phase carefully, in order to make sure that all the valuables would be handed over to the Einsatzgruppe D…. For a short time, when the people who were to be shot were already standing in their positions in the anti-tank ditch, I supervised the actual shooting, which was carried out in strictest conformity with Ohlendorf's order – in a military and human manner [sic.] as far as possible. The people were shot to death with submachine guns and rifles. I know that it was of the greatest importance to Ohlendorf to have the persons who were to be shot killed in the most human and military manner possible, because otherwise – in other methods of killing – the moral strain would have been too great for the execution squad.
Trials of War Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals , Vol. IV, Nuernberg, 1946-1949, pp. 119-120.
From the records of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals
July 8, 1947
From the affidavit of Karl Rudolf Werner Braune, a former commander of Einsatzdkommando 11b, concerning the executions of Jews in Russia
During the time I was chief of the Einsatzkommando 11b, a number of Jews were executed. I can still remember exactly an execution which took place in Simferopol, a few days before Christmas. The 11th Army had ordered that the execution in Simferopol should be finished before Christmas. For this reason the army placed trucks, gasoline, and personnel at our disposal. I personally drove with the chief of the Einsatzgruppe D, Otto Ohlendorf, to the place of the execution which was situated outside of the city. The place of the execution was isolated in order to avoid that the civilian population would unnecessarily become witness of a spectacle. Already previously - I don't know anymore whether immediately before the execution or already in the internment camp – money and valuables were taken away from the persons who were about to be executed. Immediately before the shooting, the outer garments, that is, heavy winter overcoats and similar things, were taken away from the persons…. They kept their other clothes. The persons to be executed were then assembled near the place of the execution and were posted in small groups before an antitank ditch, their faces turned away from the ditch. The execution commando [squad], which in the individual case was composed of 8 or 10 men from the police company attached to us, was posted on the other side of the anti-tank ditch and the persons who were designated to be executed were shot dead from behind as quickly as possible.
Trials of Was Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals, Vol. IV, Nuernberg, 1946-1949, p. 215.
From the Judicial proceedings against Heinz Zeetzen, a former commander of Einsatzkommando 10a
April 18, 1966
From the interrogation of Ernst Hinrich Danker, former member of Einsatzkommando 10a
At the end of November 1941 the entire Einsatzkommando 11b was moved from Odessa to Simferopol. Initially, I was ill there for several days, between December 10 and 15 during the two or three days when the shooting of the Jews was carried out by our squad. As far as I remember, several thousand Jews, including women and children, were shot to death. The Russian militia was assigned to guard the Jews in the prisons and at collection points. In every operation the Jews were transported to the murder site by truck. The murder site was an abandoned anti-tank trench. One day in Simferopol I had to guard the transport [of the Jews] to the murder site. On another day I was again assigned to the murder squad, but I managed to get out of this because I still didn't feel well due to my health problem. Then I had to guard the Jews on the way from the road (where they were loaded onto trucks) to the murder site. Considerable chaos reigned in Simferopol during the shootings. The execution [area] was quite muddy. It was impossible to make anything out. The chaos, however, didn't relate to the shooting itself. The uniformed policemen handled [things] in the same way as they did during the previous shootings. As far as I remember, the delinquents [sic] were once again made to stand at the edge of the shooting trench. The bodies were not covered after the volley of shots. There is no doubt that once again men, women, and children were [all] shot to death in Simferopol.
ZStL/Ludwigsburg 213-AR-1900/66,copy YVA/TR.10/1423
From the judicial proceedings against Paul Zapp, former commander of Einsatzkommando 11 a
January 8, 1968, Munich
From the interrogation of Paul Zapp
I know that a large-scale Jewish extermination operation was carried out in Simferopol. As far as I remember, it was in the second half of December 1941. The execution in Simferopol, however, was not carried out on my orders but rather on the orders of the [Einsatz]gruppe [HQ, i.e] of O[hlendorf]. As far as I remember, I must have been in Yalta at that time. I do remember that O[hlendorf] requested me to dispatch members of my unit to Simferopol for this operation. Thus, I knew that these people would be assigned to carrying out the Jewish extermination operation. Thereupon, I selected the people requested by Ohlendorf, and sent them to Simferopol. In this regard I also remember specifically that SS-Untersturmfuehrer S. was requested [to be sent] by Ohlendorf.
ZStL/Ludwigsburg 213-AR-1900/66, copy YVA TR.10/1076
From the records of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals
September 12, 1947
From the statement under oath by Robert Bart, a former member of Sonderkommando 10b
… After the relocation of Einsatzkommando 12 squad and the headquarters of [the Einsatzgruppe D] to Simferopol, in Feodosiya, where Sonderkommado 10b was stationed, I learned that Einsatzkommando 12 had shot to death about 12,000 Jews in Simferopol. Drivers from the Einsatzgruppe D headquarters and other killing groups were once again the source of such information….
IMT NO/4992, copy YVA JM/2093
From the Einsatzgruppen Reports
May 22, 1942
Reports from the Occupied Eastern Territories No. 4
Jews in Crimea
Of the Krimchaks (about 6,000) who were usually counted as part of the Jewish population, well over half lived in Simferopol (2,500) and in Karasubatsar [sic]. Their extermination, together with that of the Jews and the Gypsies in the Crimea, was accomplished for the most part by the beginning of December, 1941.
Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, (eds.), The Einsatzgruppen Reports, (New York, 1989), p.344
From the judicial proceedings against Max Drexel, former commander of a detachment of Einsatzkommando 12a, and Walter Kehrer, the translator for Einsatzkommando 12a and also former commander of the Caucasian Company of Einsatzkommando 12a.
September 28, 1973, Krasnodar (USSR)
From the interrogation of Azat Sarkisyan, former member of the Caucasian Company of Einsatzkommando 12a
Question: What do you know about the murder operations in Simferopol?
Answer: I knew that the Jews were collected and put into a detention center [the city prison]. When many detainees were collected there, a gas van drove up. I personally took part in these operations twice. Several of us were taken and placed like a "corridor" [cordon] around the vehicles. One van backed up to the doors of the prison and the arrestees were driven out of the building. Some of them figured out what the vans were for and began to resist: they were pushed into the van. Then the doors [of the van] were hermetically closed and the gas was turned on. The van stood for 5-10 minutes with the motor running. From inside one could hear cries and banging on the sides of the van. Then all was quiet. [Walter] Kehrer ordered the van moved. He himself sat in a passenger car, along with other Germans. Eight to ten or twelve clothed Jews were put into another vehicle, a truck, and driven to a field where there was a large pit [anti-tank trench]. When they drove up to the pit, the doors of the truck were opened and the clothed Jews were ordered out of the truck. They took those Jews who were already dead by their arms or legs and threw them into the pit. I saw how Kehrer himself shot from his pistol, finishing off wounded Jews who, before that, had been pulling the bodies of people who had been gassed from the van.
Question: What specifically did Kehrer do during the loading of people into the gas vans?
Answer: Kehrer himself directed the loading. He shouted at the victims and pushed them into the body of the van. At the burial site Kehrer finished off wounded Jews who had been brought to unload bodies from the gas van. Personally I twice rode out to the place where the gas vans were unloaded. I saw the corpses in the body of the van before they were unloaded; they lay one on top of another, covered with vomit and excrement, and with the clothing on many of them torn. Among those gassed were old people and children.
Question: What can you tell us about the gas vans? Describe their exterior and how you decided that this vehicle was a gas van.
Answer: It was an ordinary truck, the body of which was sealed hermetically.
ZStL/Ludwigsburg 213-AR-1902/66,copyYVA/TR.10/1157
Leonid Belyavskiy, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Simferopol in 1931 and was living there during the war years.
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Leonid Belyavskiy, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Simferopol in 1931 and was living there during the war years.
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