|Special Motivation - The
Motivation and Actions of the Einsatzgruppen
by Walter S. Zapotoczny
* * * Warning: This article describes certain actions taken by the
Einsatzgruppen that may be disturbing to some readers. * * *
"...Then, stark naked, they had to run down more steps to an underground
corridor that led back up the ramp, where the gas van awaited them." 
Like every historical event, the Holocaust evokes certain specific images. When
mentioning the Holocaust, most people think of the concentration camps. They
immediately envision emaciated victims in dirty striped uniforms staring
incomprehensibly at their liberators or piles of corpses, too numerous to bury
individually, bulldozed into mass graves. While those are accurate images, they
are merely the product of the systematization of the genocide committed by the
Third Reich. The reality of that genocide began not in the camps or in the gas
chambers but with four small groups of murderers known as the Einsatzgruppen.
Formed by Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfuhrer-SS, and Reinhard Heydrich,
head of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), they operated in the territories
captured by the German armies with the cooperation of German army units (Wehrmacht
) and local militias. By the spring of 1943, when the Germans began their
retreat from Soviet territory, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered 1.25
million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian
and Soviet nationals, including prisoners of war. The Einsatzgruppen massacres
preceded the invention of the death camps and significantly influenced their
development. The Einsatzgruppen story offers insight into a
fundamental Holocaust question of what made it possible for men, some of them
ordinary men, to kill so many people so ruthlessly. The members of the Einsatzgruppen
had developed a special motivation to kill.
Full name, Einsatzgruppen des Sicherheitsdienstes und der
Sicherheitspolizei (Operational Squads of the Security Service and the
Security Police) is the task force of mobile killing units operated in
German-occupied territories during World War II. The fundamental structure of
the Einsatzgruppen was in place during the Anschluss , the
incorporation of Austria into the Reich in March 1938. These were intelligence
units of the police accompanying the invading army. They reappeared in the
invasion of Czechoslovakia, in March 1939, and of Poland, on September 1 of
that year. In the invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia, the task of the Einsatzgruppen
was to act as mobile offices of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst; Security
Service), and the Sipo (Sicherheitspolizei; Security Police), which
consisted of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei; Secret State Police)
and the Kripo (Kriminalpolizei ; Criminal Police) until these
organizations established their permanent offices. The Einsatzgruppen were
immediately behind the advancing military units and assumed responsibility for
the security of the political regime. In the Sudetenland, the Einsatzgruppen,
in close cooperation with the advancing military forces, lost no time in
uncovering and imprisoning the Marxist traitors and other enemies of the state
in the liberated areas.
In spring 1941, in contemplation of the coming assault upon the Soviet Union,
the Einsatzgruppen were created as military units, but not to fight as
soldiers. They were organized for murder. In his book, Masters of Death
, Richard Rhodes describes how early in May 1941, the men who had been chosen
as candidates for the Eastern Front Einsatzgruppen were assembled in the
training school of the German border guards in Pretzsch (a town on the Elbe
River, northeast of Leipzig), in the Saxony region. They were not told what
their assignment would be, but the commonalities offered a clue. Many of them
had served in the SS (Schutzstaffel: Protective Squadron)
detachments in Poland and preference was given to men who spoke Russian. Large
contingents from the Berlin-Charlottenburg SS leadership school, as
well as Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei were also assigned there.
Some of them were passed on gratefully by their home regiments because they
were considered too wild.
The commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and the commanders of the Sonderkommando
and Einsatzkommandos (sub-units of the Einsatzgruppen) were
chosen by Himmler and Heydrich from a list compiled by the RSHA. Most of the
handpicked leaders were lawyers. A few were physicians or educators and most
had earned doctoral degrees. A reserve battalion of the regular Ordnungspolizei
(Order Police), completed the Pretzsch roster. In addition to Sipo and
SS officers, a support staff of drivers, translators, radio operators,
and clerks was also assembled. They later came from all over Germany, though
most were members of the SS .
Many of the candidates assembled were former members of the Hitler Jugend (HJ)
(Hitler Youth). Gisela McBride describes the Hitler Youth and the Bund
Deutscher Maedchen (BDM) (The League of German Girls Branch of the
Hitler Youth) in her book Memoirs of a One Thousand-Year-Old Women.
She said: "The BDM 's purpose was to mold girls as closely as possible
to conform to the Nazi ideal of womanhood. They were to learn to be obedient,
dutiful, disciplined, and self-sacrificing. These virtues were to be emphasized
and continually reinforced so the girls would become willing and faithful
followers of Nazi doctrine." Of the Hitler Youth leaders McBride said, "The
youth leaders were ardent Nazis. Adolf Hitler, the boys and girls were taught,
was the infallible leader,”
The training that SS recruits received before their arrival in
Pretzsch, prepared them very well for the new mission of the Einsatzgruppen.
The SS was to be the living embodiment of the Nazi doctrine of the
superiority of Nordic blood, and of the Nazi conception of a master race. SS
candidates were thoroughly examined and checked. They were asked for the
political reputation record of their parents, brothers and sisters, the record
of their ancestry as far back as 1750 and their physical examination and any
records from the Hitler Youth. Further, they were asked for a record of
hereditary health showing that no hereditary disease exists in their parents
and in their family. Last, but perhaps most important, was a certification from
the race commission. This examining commission was composed of SS leaders,
anthropologists, and physicians. The very process of selection and acceptance
gave the new member a sense of superiority. Only pureblooded Germans in good
health could become a member. He must have been of excellent character, had no
criminal record, and been well versed in all National Socialist doctrines. The
members had to be ready and willing tools, prepared to carry out tasks of any
nature, however distasteful. Absolute obedience was therefore the necessary
foundation stone of the SS. Obedience had to be unconditional. It
corresponded to the conviction that the National Socialist ideology must reign
supreme. Every SS man was prepared, therefore, to carry out blindly
every order that was issued by the Fuhrer. The SS troops were also
taught a view of the past based on racial struggle and Lebensraum (Living
Space). The past provided a sense of continuity and showed the recruit that the
Jews and Slavs had always been the enemies of Germany. This meant that the need
for living space and a solution to the Jewish question was deemed inevitable.
The SS soldiers, as well as the other men who arrived in Pretzsch, had
also been exposed to the ideas of Euthanasia.
The T-4 Euthanasia Program was established in the fall of 1939 in order to
maintain the supposed purity (eugenics) of the so-called Aryan race by
systematically killing children and adults born with physical deformities or
suffering from mental illness. It put much emphasis on the survival of the
fittest and argued that genetic selection should be practiced deliberately.
This included the breeding of a racial elite and the extermination of racially
inferior or damaging groups. Slavs, Gypsies, and Africans were considered
racially inferior to a supposed race of German Aryans - a race that the Nazi
ideologues believed to be weakened by what they called the Jewish cancer. This
propaganda added to the overall state of mind of the soldiers assembled in
Pretzsch and contributed to their special motivation.
The course of training given the Einsatzgruppen at Pretzsch consisted
of lectures and speeches on their new and special functions. There were a
number of briefings about the aims and activities of the Einsatzgruppen
in the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union. At a briefing, which
probably took place shortly before June 22, 1941, high-level SS and
Police chiefs attend. As Heydrich was unable to attend he sent them a
memorandum specifying who was to be eliminated: "All the following are to be
executed: Officials of the Commintern, together with professional Communist
politicians in general, top and medium level officials and radical lower level
officials of the Party, Central committee and district and sub-district
committees. In addition, peoples commissars, Jews in Party and State
employment, and other radical elements, saboteurs, propagandists, snipers,
assassins, inciters, etc., insofar as they are, of special importance for the
further economic reconstruction of the Occupied Territories." More details are
contained in Report No. 111, dated October 12, 1941: “The principal targets of
execution by the Einsatzgruppen will be political functionaries, Jews
mistakenly released from POW camps, Jewish sadists and avengers, and Jews in
general.” The mission of the soldiers in Pretzsch was thoroughly understood,
from the highest-ranking leader of a Gruppe down to the lowest SS
On 22 June 1941, Germany invaded Soviet Russia. The Einsatzgruppen,
already alerted, fell in behind the marching columns of the Wehrmacht as
an integral part of the machine constructed for swift and total war. Within a
space of three days, the training grounds in Saxony were empty and all Einsatzgruppen
had entered upon the performance of their various missions.
The Wehrmacht rapidly overran vast territory in the early months of
the invasion of the Soviet Union. Einsatzgruppe A started out from
East Prussia, and its units rapidly spread out across Lithuania, Latvia, and
Estonia. Einsatzgruppe B had Warsaw as its starting point. Some of its
units passed through Vilna and Grodno on the way to Minsk, where they arrived
on July 5, 1941. Other units belonging to Einsatzgruppe B passed
through Brest-Litovsk, Slonim, Baranovichi, and Minsk, and from there proceeded
to southern Belorussia: Mogilev, Bobruisk, and Gomel, advancing as far as
Briansk, Kursk, Orel, and Tula. Along their route, in all the places through
which they passed, they murdered masses of people - Jews, Gypsies, Communist
activists, and prisoners of war. Einsatzgruppe C made its way from
Upper Silesia to the western Ukraine, by way of Krakow. Two of its units, Einsatzkommandos
5 and 6, went to Lvov, where they organized a pogrom (from Russian meaning
"wreaking of havoc") against the Jews with the participation of Ukrainian
nationalists. Sonderkommando 4b organized the mass murders at Ternopol
and Zolochev, and then continued on its way to the east. On September 29 and
30, Sonderkommando 4a, commanded by Paul Blobel, perpetrated the mass
slaughter of 34,000 Kiev Jews at Babi Yar. Einsatzgruppe D was
attached to the Eleventh Army. During its advance, it carried out massacres in
the southern Ukraine (Nikolayev and Kherson), in the Crimea (Simferopol,
Sevastopol, Feodosiya, and other places), and in the Krasnodar and Stavropol
districts (Maykop, Novorossisk, Armavir, and Piatigorsk). Jewish prisoners of
war were separated from the rest and put to death at an early stage, in the
advance transit camps.
Einsatzgruppen men were told of Joseph Stalin's order of July 3, 1941,
calling on the entire Soviet civilian population to conduct a campaign of
terror, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare against the Germans. The soldiers knew
that Jews were especially active in this campaign, as numerous Jewish
historians have proudly acknowledged. This news added to their motivation.
As the Einsatzgruppen moved east, political functionaries were shot
where found. Prisoners of war who fell in the category of opponents of National
Socialism were handed by the Wehrmacht to the Einsatzgruppen and killed.
These swift methods were also applied in disposing of Jews, gypsies, and
persons falling under that vague denomination - undesirables. The Einsatzgruppen
first promoted pogroms by inciting already existing ant-Semitism and age-old
grievances against the Jews by the local population. Many were killed by the
locals, as the Einsatzgruppen assisted and watched. However, the number
of humans marked for slaughter was too large to be disposed of by casual
assassination. Their very numbers demanded that they be killed en masse.
The methods of extermination varied little. Mass shooting, the commonest means
of slaughter, was described with classic simplicity by Herman Graebe, a German
civilian, before the International Military Tribunal. Graebe was in charge of a
building firm in the Ukraine:
I walked around the mound, and found myself confronted by a tremendous grave.
People were closely wedged together and lying on top of each other so that
their heads were visible. Nearly all had blood running over their shoulders
from their heads. Some of the people shot were still moving. Some were lifting
their arms and turning their heads to show that they were still alive. The pit
was already 2/3 full. I estimated that it contained about 1,000 people. I
looked for the man who did the shooting. He was an SS man, who sat at
the edge of the narrow end of the pit, his feet dangling into the pit. He had a
tommy gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette. The people, completely
naked, went down some steps, which were cut in the clay wall of the pit and
clambered over the heads of the people lying there, to the place to which the SS
man directed them. They lay down in front of the dead or injured people; some
caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice. Then I
heard a series of shots. I looked into the pit and saw that the bodies were
twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that lay
before them. Blood was running from their necks. I was surprised that I was not
ordered away, but I saw that there were two or three postmen in uniform nearby.
The next batch was approaching already. They went down into the pit, lined
themselves up against the previous victims, and were shot. When I walked back
around the mound, I noticed another truckload of people, which had just
arrived. This time it included sick and infirm persons. An old, very thin women
appeared. Naked people held her up. The woman appeared to be paralyzed. The
naked people carried the woman around the mound. I left and drove in my car
back to Dubno. On the morning of the next day, when I again visited the site, I
saw about 30 naked people lying near the pit-about 30 to 50 meters away from
it. Some of them were still alive; they looked straight in front of them with a
fixed stare and seemed to notice neither the chilliness of the morning nor the
workers of my firm who stood around. A girl of about 20 spoke to me and asked
me to give her clothes, and help her escape. At that moment, we heard a fast
car approach and I noticed that it was an SS detail. I moved away to
my site. Ten minutes later, we heard shots from the vicinity of the pit. The
Jews still alive had been ordered to throw the corpses into the pit; then they
had themselves to lie down in this to be shot in the neck.
The method that the Einsatzgruppen employed was to shoot their victims
in ravines, abandoned quarries, mines, antitank ditches, or huge trenches that
had been dug for this purpose. The brutality of many of the SS men is
illustrated in a description of a typical Russian village. Hearing of the
approach of a murder commando, the Jews of the village has gone into hiding.
When the commando reached the village, the only person whom the SS men
saw in the street was a women with a baby in her arms. She refused to tell them
where the Jews were hidden. One of the men snatched the baby from he, gripped
it by the legs, and smashed its head against a door. An SS man
recalled: "It went off with a bang." Beside herself, the women gave away the
hiding place. The Einsatzgruppen performed their murderous work in broad
daylight and in the presence of the local population. Only when the Germans
began their retreat was an effort made to erase the traces of their crimes.
This was the job of Sonderkommandos : to open the mass graves,
disinter the corpses, cremate them, and spread the ashes over the fields and
The killing by shooting, especially of women and children, had a devastating
effect on many of the Einsatzgruppen member's mental state, which even
heavy drinking of hard liquor (of which they were given a generous supply)
could not suppress. A few committed suicide and some asked for transfer to
other units. Units began experimenting with methods that would ease the burden
on the shooters. Some units experimented with using quick lime (Calcium
Hydroxide). Used in the trenches between the layers of bodies, it was thought
that if the victims were made to lie down on top of each other, quick lime
could be spread over them and then water could be added. The Calcium Hydroxide
reacted with the water and actually boiled away the flesh of the victims. This
method proved too grotesque, since the victims were still alive when the water
was added, and was discontinued. Other experiments such as alternating victims
with wood in piles then burning the piles was attempted but found to be to time
After trying to dynamite the victims and burn them alive in their homes and
barns proved unproductive, the RSHA in Berlin, in August 1941, began to look
for an alternative method of execution. It was found in the form of gas vans
(heavy trucks with hermetically sealed vans into which the trucks' exhaust
fumes were piped). Within a short time, these trucks were supplied to all the Einsatzgruppen.
The carbon monoxide from the car's exhaust would be channeled into the sealed
cabin, in which the victims stood. The gassing process took between fifteen and
thirty minutes. During this time, the van was driven from the loading site to
prepared graves. The shootings continued, augmented with the gas vans. The gas
vans lead to the construction of the gas chambers at the concentration
camps. With the construction of the camps with gassing facilities, the Einsatzgruppen
would soon be out of the business of killing Jews. From the beginning of 1942
onward, the Einsatzgruppen increasingly turned to fighting Soviet
In his book German Anti-Partisan Warfare in Europe, 1939-1945, Colin
Heaton describes how the SS was dispatched to handle the
partisan/guerrilla threat in a unique way. Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm
Keitel ordered decrees allowing for the seizure or property and the execution
without trial of all persons suspected of compromising German security in the
occupied zones. Various SS units created their own counterinsurgency
teams that were usually comprised of company sized elements numbering
approximately 200 men. These units were motorized, well armed, and would be
rushed rapidly to an area of suspected partisan activity.
Clearly, the Einsatzgruppen record is one of brutality and devastation.
They were indoctrinated to view Jews, Slavs, partisans, and Bolsheviks as
threats to the German people. They viewed this people as sub-human. Through
indoctrination and training, they developed a special motivation to conduct
violence. This special motivation not only enabled them to kill, it enabled
them to carry out cruel and bestial acts on their victims. One theory that
accounts for their behavior is based upon causal rather than correlation
evidence is the violent-socialization theory of the American criminologist
Lonnie Athens. Richard Rhodes describes his theory, in detail. Athens did not
study violent officials. Some violent officials (notably police) are
self-selected and come to the profession already experienced with violence, as
many of the Einsatzgruppen did. For those officials who acquire their
violent skills in official training, there are clear parallels between their
training experiences and the four-stage development process that Athens
identified in the backgrounds of violent criminals.
Since violence, official or private, is learned through violent experience,
such parallels are to be expected and should not be surprising. The violent
socialization process, Athens found, divides into four stages, which he calls:
brutalization; belligerency; violent performances and virulency. The stages are
sequential. Each stage has to be fully experienced before the subject advances
to the next one, a process that can occur cataclysmically in a short period of
time or across a period of years. That violence is a choice rather than a
compulsion or a release is taken for granted in the military and among
Brutalization, the first stage of violent socialization, Athens found to
consist of three distinct but related significant experiences that might occur
in any order and at differing times and places: (a) violent subjugation (an
authority figure from one of the novice's primary groups uses violence or
threat of violence to force the novice to submit to his authority by showing
obedience and respect); (b) personal horrification (the novice witnesses people
close to him undergoing violent subjugation); (c) violent coaching (to prompt
violent conduct, people whom the novice perceives to be or to have been
authentically violent instruct the novice in how to conduct himself when
confronted with conflict, emphasizing that he has an inescapable personal
responsibility to physically attack people who provoke him). Harsh military
discipline had a long tradition in Germany. SS training, as Himmler
organized it, was known for its brutality. Even ordinary police training before
the war was brutalizing. This was in keeping in the Prussian tradition. All of
the Einsatzgruppen members who came together in Pretzsch had had intense
and brutal training.
Brutalization is an obvious and traumatic experience, Athens observes. It
leaves the novice shaken, deeply troubled, and confused. Breaking down a
recruit's identity is the purpose of military basic training. Moving into
belligerency, the second stage of violent socialization, the novice questions
his previous values. Brooding over his brutalization experiences, he comes to
focus on his personal performance and responsibly, finally identifying the
specific question he has to answer: What can I do to stop other people from
violently subjugating me and people I value? When people have undergone social
trauma and fragmentation, they seek guidance from others who successfully
overcome comparable experiences. The Einsatzgruppen members had plenty
of violence coaches to provide guidance. Struck by his insight, which takes on
the force of personal revelation, and convinced of its correctness, the
belligerent subject now firmly resolves to resort to violence in his future
relations with people. The subject is prepared to use violence defensively, to
protect himself or the people he values against imminent danger. The Nazi
propaganda the Einsatzgruppen members had been exposed to clearly
couched that the Jews, Slavs, and Bolsheviks would bring destruction to the
German way of life and to the Aryan race, if not eliminated.
The final components of violent socialization constitute stage four, virulency.
However personally satisfied a violent performer may be with his defensive
victories, they will not change this fundamental view of himself, his
self-conception, his identity, unless other people acknowledge them and
demonstrate their full significance to him by their actions. When people learn
of a successful violent performance by someone whom they previously judged not
to be violent, they act differently toward him. They begin treating him as if
he were dangerous. For the first time, the subject keenly senses genuine
trepidation when he approaches people. These heady experiences of violent
notoriety, especially when combined with his painful memories of feeling
powerless and inadequate during the brutalization and belligerency stages,
encourage the subject to believe that violence works. Once the Einsatzgruppen
members reached this point, they were firmly resolved to attack people
physically for the slightest or no provocation whatsoever.
One factor must be made clear regarding the average German soldier and his
participation in what may be deemed atrocities. Men who are fighting for their
lives, especially against a cloaked enemy hiding among the local population,
uncertain as to their duty and without proper leadership and guidance seldom
take the time to disseminate between friendly and hostile indigenous personnel.
Regardless of the individual's thoughts and beliefs, it mattered very little,
for the killing of even suspected Jews in even the most anti-Semitic region
only fanned the flames of resistance among the civilian population. Another
detrimental factor was the propaganda issues facing the German, as well as the
fact that the primitive living conditions of the average peasant and the
seemingly endless numbers of non-European races impressed upon the Germans
their own sense on cultural and ethnic superiority. The German was also
psychologically unprepared for what awaited him. He was subjected to many
varieties of friendly propaganda, although all forms continued to purport his
racial superiority. One day he may hear, that all of the sub-humans must be
relocated further east, especially Jews. Later he would hear that they must be
eradicated, eliminated from potentially poisoning the pure German blood supply,
that they were deemed to be a biological threat to the German people. He would
also be told that not all Russians were Communists, and that the German crusade
was established to free the Russians from Bolshevism, while at the same time
condemning all Russians for supporting the Bolsheviks, while the Jews supported
and assisted the powers in Moscow.
In conclusion, we can see how the Einsatzgruppen grew out of a Germany
that was economically crippled by World War I reparations, global depression
and a national sense that the Jew was significantly to blame for their
problems. Fostered by the ideals of National Socialism, the naivety of youth,
the sense of pride and accomplishment that military service gave them, the
members of the Einsatzgruppen became fully indoctrinated into the
beliefs of Adolph Hitler. They accepted Hitler's anti-Semitism by placing his
desire to remove the Jews in the context of a wider theory of the struggle
between races for living space. They accepted Hitler's view that the Jews,
lacking a state of their own, were parasites trying to destroy those states,
which had been established by superior races. They accepted that Bolshevism was
a threat to the survival of Germany and to Europe. They believed their duty was
to eliminate the threats. As there were some who asked to be relieved or
transferred from their killing responsibilities, there were more to take their
place. They moved through the stages of violent socialization rather quickly
due to the support of an entire government system. When one believes so
strongly in his cause that he will do anything, then he truly has a special
The results of the Einsatzgruppen help in understanding the magnitude of
their deeds. They averaged over thirteen hundred and fifty murders per day
during a two-year period. Thirteen hundred and fifty human beings were
slaughtered on the average each day, seven days a week for more than one
hundred weeks. That is over three hundred thirty seven murders per average day
by each group of five to nine hundred men during the two-year period. All these
thousands of men, women, and children had first to be selected, brought
together, held in restraint and transported to a place of death. They had to be
counted, stripped of possessions, shot or gassed and buried. In addition,
burial did not end the job, for all of the possessions taken from the dead had
to be salvaged, crated and shipped to the Reich. Finally, books were kept to
cover these transactions. Details of all these things has to be recorded and
The attitude of most of the Einsatzgruppen can be summed up in a quote
from SS General Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppen D,
during the Nuremburg Trials:
The men, women, deeply excavated antitank ditches. Then they were shot,
kneeling or standing, and the corpses thrown into the ditch. I never permitted
the shooting by individuals in group D, but ordered that several of the men
should shoot at the same time in order to avoid direct personal responsibility.
He, like most of the Einsatzgruppen, expressed no remorse for his
actions and was more concerned about the moral strain on those carrying out the
executions than those actually being executed. He went to the gallows believing
he had done his duty for his country. He, like most of the Einsatzgruppen,
had a special motivation to carry out their work.
"In the original article published on July 8, 2005, it was implied that Gisela
McBride was a member of the Bund Deutscher Maedchen (BDM). This was a mistake.
Ms. McBride states in both her publications and her lectures that she was never
a member of the BDM or other associated Nazi organizations."
Show Footnotes and
. Claude Lanzmann. Shoah
. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985) p. 76.
. Yale Edeiken. "An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen." The Holocaust
. Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention
of the Holocaust
(New York: Vintage Books, 2002) p. xii.
. The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Einsatzgruppen
. Rhodes. pp. 3-4.
. New York Holocaust Library. The Einsatzgruppen Reports
. ed. by
Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector
. Gisela McBride. Memoirs of a 1000-Year-Old Woman: Berlin 1925-1945
. (Bloomington: First Books, 2000) pp.182-186.
. The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Einsatzgruppen
. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
. (New York: Macmillan Publishing
Company, 1990) p. 45.
. Heinz Hohne. The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971) pp. 407-409.
. The Schutzstaffeln (SS). The Nuremberg Indictment. Nazi Conspiracy and
. Vol. II. (Washington: United States Government Publishing
Office, 1946) pp.173-237.
. Colin Heaton. German Anti-Partisan Warfare in Europe, 1939-1945
(Atglen: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2001) p. 133.
. Rhodes. pp. 21-23.
. Athens, Lonnie. The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992) pp. 57-60.
. Heaton. pp. 120-121.
. The Einsatzgruppen Case. Military Tribunal II Case No. 9: Trials of War
Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No.
10, Vol. IV.
(Washington: United States Government Publishing Office,
1946) pp. 38-42.
Arad, Yitzak, Shmuel Krakowski and Shmuel Spector, editors. The Einsatzgruppen
. New York Holocaust Library.
Athens, Lonnie. The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals
IL: University of Illinois Press, 1992.
Edeiken, Yale. "An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen." The Holocaust History
. The Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
. ed. by Israel Gutman. New York, NY:
Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.
Heaton, Colin. German Anti-Partisan Warfare in Europe, 1939-1945
Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2001.
Hohne, Heinz. The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1971.
Lanzmann, Claude. Shoah
. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1985.
McBride, Gisela. Memoirs of a 1000-Year-Old Woman: Berlin 1925-1945
Bloomington, IN: First Books, 2000.
McBride, Gisela Interview. 07 April 2005.
Rhodes, Richard. Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of
. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2002.
The Einsatzgruppen Case. Military Tribunal II Case No. 9: Trials of War
Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No.
10, Vol. IV
. Washington, DC: United States Government Publishing
The Schutzstaffeln (SS). The Nuremberg Indictment. Nazi Conspiracy and
. Vol. II. Washington, DC: United States Government
Publishing Office, 1946.
Copyright © 2005 Walter S. Zapotoczny
Written by Walter S. Zapotoczny. If you have questions or comments on this
article, please contact Walter Zapotoczny at:
To read more from the author, go to his web site at http://www.wzaponline.com.
About the Author:
Walter lives in Pennsylvania. He is pursuing his masters degree in history and
writes articles for numerous publications. He is currently writing an historical
fiction novel about the Einsatzgruppen (a task force of mobile killing units
that operated in German-occupied territories during World War II).
Published online: 07/08/2005. Revised: 02/26/2006.
* Views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent
those of MHO.