"Seht euch diesen Mann an" Kamenec Podolski 27-29 August 1941

Die Liquidation dieser Juden bis zum 1.9.1941 durchgeführt zu haben Friedrich Jeckeln, 25 August 1941


Körösmezo, Jasinya in Ukrainian: a small rural town of 5.000 inhabitants, located in a remote valley of the Carpathian Ruthenia, along the road that leads, after about thirty kilometers, to the Romanian frontier, through the border point of Velyyky Bychkiv. This hamlet, that no more than 1.500 villagers had, in 1930, hardly would have found own place in History if it had not been that 68 years ago, in August 1941, it become the last stage of a dramatic odyssey, which final destination was just beyond the Dnestr, near the town of Kamenec Podolski. An odyssey that would have led more than 23.000 Jews - mainly from Ruthenia, but also Slovaks, Ukrainians, Polish and Romanians - to meet their tragic fate in a desolate field riddled by bombing, on the western edge of the great Ukrainian plain.


The dismemberment of the Czechoslovakia, between November 1938 and March 1939 not only produced a destabilization of the precarius border maps of the whole Central and Eastern Europe, but even a phenomenon that we may define as "alienization" of the large minorities living within the new frontiers, the Jews in particular, that were stripped of their previous citizenship out of the blue, without the right to receive a new one 1. This kind of phenomenon posed a problem in particular to Hungary, that had gained the largest prewar territorial benefit. A situation furtherly worsened in September 1939, by the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland - that caused the escape to Hungary of many thousands of Jews from Poland and Galicia - but also by the Hungarian annexation of the whole Romanian Transylvania, that occurred in August 1940. According to various estimates, between 15.000 and 35.000 Jews - former Czechoslovak, Polish and Austrian citizens - had found refuge in Hungary in September 1939, but only a small part of them had gained the new citizenship, a provisional residence or a transit permit towards Palestine 2. All the others, the large majority of the refugees, were considered stateless, but subjected to the obligation to report their presence at the KEOKH (National Central Alien Control Office) 3. Nevertheless, while the exiled escaped from abroad were gathered in internment camps, that part of Jews already living within the border areas, from time to time annexed to Hungary (Southern Slovakia, Transylvania, Ruthenia, etc.), continued to reside in their houses, more or less undisturbed. After the outbreak of Barbarossa, the precarious status of the Jews, living within the new Hungarian borders, reached the breaking point. The Council of Ministers of Budapest infact, following a proposal issued on 12 July 1941 by two leaders of KEOKH, approved a resolution that (Third Racial Law) authorized the expulsion from the Great Hungary of all the Jews without Hungarian citizenship: overall 100.000 people 4. As expulsion area was choosed that part of the Soviet territory now under Magyar military administration, beyond the Eastern frontier of the Carphatian Ruthenia. Once the bureaucratic formalities were solved, the expulsions followed immediately since 14 July (the "repatriations", as they were officially defined), especially of the Jews exiled from Poland, those residing in Ruthenia and the former Romanian communities of Maramures 5. Several were also the Slovakian Jews, and even some groups that were in wait of the Hungarian citizenship, but that had not yet received the final papers. The expulsions, that in Ruthenia were perpetrated with particularly harsh methods, were carried out by the Hungarian Gendarmerie, after a short notice and allowing scarce rations to the deportees, who were crammed onto freight cars directed to Körösmezo, choosen as the 2

collection point before the final step over the border. From here onwards, according to the plans, conveys of trucks would have shuttled 1.000 Jews a day to Kolomya, already in Galician territory, but still temporarily under Hungarian military rule 6. Finally, grouped in columns of 3 or 400 and guarded by Hungarian Gendarmes, the deportees would have been chased beyond the Dnestr, in the area of the German military administration and pushed by foot, towards Kamenec Podolski and other places, choosed as their final destinations (Buczacz, Czortkow and Stanislaviv) 7: a last exodus that put the long columns of Jews, exhausted by marches and torrid heat, at the mercy of gangs of Ukrainian militiamens, that robbed them of their possession and murdered those who refused to yield the valuables 8. Alternatively, once arrived beyond the Dnestr, groups of deportees were simply abandoned in the open countryside, free of going wherever they wanted, but menaced of immediate shooting, if they had decided to return to Hungary.

This Hungarian initiative, carried out without any pre-emptive agreement with Berlin, put the Germans before the fait accompli.
Source USHMM

Actually, differently from what was happening in the same days more to the South, along the Southern flow of Dnestr (area of EGD), where the long columns of Romanian Jews expelled from Moldova by the troops of Bucharest were inexorably rejected by the German soldiers, guarding at the bridges 9, in the case of the Hungarian Jews deported to Ukraine (Kamenec Podolski), through Galicia (Kolomya), this not occurred, probably because no specific orders had been issued by the German Commands in Ukraine (area 444. Sich.-Div. and EGC), but also owing to the total confusion that reigned, in that period, around the German SS and Police administration in Galicia, that after having replaced the Hungarians in early August, was still unable to deploy its "filter" along the western frontier with Ruthenia 10. Moreover, adding confusion to confusion, all this was interspersed with sporadic initiatives taken by local administrators, such as the Kreishauptmann of Brzezany, who used the Ukrainian militia to reject the Hungarian Jews off from his kreis 11. No much time had to pass however, before the German military authorities expressed their concern about the uninterrupted arrival of Jews from Hungary. Since 28 July infact, with a message sent to the Berück "Süd", Karl von Roques, the request by the Command of the 444. Sich.-Div. was expressed, for an intervention with the Government of Budapest, in order to persuade it to take its Jews back, even because of the discontent of the Ukrainian population 12: a complaint that, however, does not sorted any effect, seeing the refusal opposed by the Hungarians (30 July) 13. The following day, 31 July, with a message transmitted to the same 444.Sich.-Div., it was the FK 183 that raised the alert about a possible spreading of epidemics among the Jews - left to themselves without any provisions - urging for their removal 14. This is the testimony of a Hungarian soldier, deployed at Kamenec Podolski, between 18 and 19 August 1941: "There are several Jews here, especially women, they are in rags, but they ask for bread wearing jewellery and with lips painted red. They would give any money for it. Some count their steps with the desperation shown on their faces, others are crawling on the road collapsed from exhaustion and hunger. Some others bandage the wounds on their feets with rags from their clothes.... The Jewis quarter of the city is full of Jews, there are many from 3

Budapest among them: they live in unspeakable and in describable dirt, they come and go in scanty attire, the streets stink, unburied dead bodies are lying in some houses. The water of the Dnester is infected, here and there corpses are washed out of the bank" 15. Thus, while the German military authorities were facing with a problem for which they were totally unprepared and that, according to their point of view, would have posed a threat to the communication lines 16, on the other side the Hungarians were engaged with an accelerate completing of the expulsions, before to loose - after the shifting to the Generalgovernement of that part of Galicia that they were temporarily administering - the only area they had, in which their "surplus" Jews could being easily "stored". And infacts, about 14.000 Jews were expelled in various part of Galicia by 10 August, that rose up to 15.567 on 19 August; no more than 3 or 4.000 instead, were those that followed by the end of the month 17. Therefore, there was no apparent solution to a situation that was the result of conflicting interest and that, at that point, would have fallen upon the unfortunate Jews, unwelcome guests of two quarrelsome messmates.

Until that moment, Gyula Spitz had been a lucky man. Hungarian Jews, born in Budapest, instead of being forced into the Compulsory Work Service, he was drafted into the Army and assigned to a regular Honvéd unit, in which he served as truck driver, from 1940 to 1942 18. Thanks to this assignement and deployed in the area of Kamenec Podolski, between 27 and 28 August he become involuntary witness of the passage of long columns of Jews guarded by German troops, marching towards an open field out of the town. From inside his cab, Spitz was able to stealthily take some photos, currently filed in the Archives of the USHMM 19, that on our knowledge, are the only available images of what happened during the stage immediately preceding to what that was the "first five figure massacre" of the Final Solution 20. But what, in the meantime, had happened?
Source USHMM/Gyula Spitz

According to the scheduling prepared in Berlin on the basis of the progresses of the Heeresgruppe "Süd" towards East, those westerner parts of Ukraine, already steadily in German hands, that is Volhynia and Podolia, would have passed from the Wehrmacht military administration, to the civil rule of the RKU of Koch, since 1 September 1941 21. Consequently, a ready solution had to be found as regards the problem of the thousands of Hungarian Jews that continued to arrive in the ghetto of Kamenec Podolski, in which, taking into account also the pre-existing population, the survival condition were now desperate. No wonder, therefore that, on 25 August, during a meeting in Vinnitsa, at the Chef der Abteilung Kriegsverwaltung bei Generalquartiermeister des Heer, the most "willing" participants, among the several high-ranking officers present at the conference 22, that is, the HSSPF Friedrich Jeckeln, offered his help for "solving" the problem, within the expected date. "Bei Kamenetz Podolsk hätten die Ungarn etwa 11.000 Juden über die Grenze geschoben. In den bisherigen Verhandlungen sei es noch nicht gelungen, die Rücknahme dieser Juden zu erreichen. Der HSSPF (SS-Ogruf. Jeckeln) hoffe jedoch, die liquidation dieser Juden bis zum 1.9.1941 durchgeführt zu haben" 23. 4

And after all, who better than Jeckeln, that during the previous weeks had already taken the opportunity to show own genocidal abilities, could have take charge of such a seemengly unsolvable problem? The extermination of thousands of desperates, whose only guilt was of being Jews and that, in no way could have represented any kind of menace, also given their condition of total exhaustion, was the real "egg of Columbus". And infact, not being been raised any objection, by part of the several participants at the meeting, the proposal of Jeckeln was clearly considered more than satisfactory 24.



Well aware of own capabilities, Friedrich Jeckeln acted to keep his promises. But not only. Probably thinking that the Hungarian Jews were an insufficient target, he extended his attentions also on the natives, that lived segregated into the ghetto of Kamenec Podolski since it had been established, on 20 July 1941: in practice, taking as a basis the about 14.000 Jews present in town in 1939, on the eve of the war (38% of the whole population), subtracting from them those that had found shelter in Hungary after this date, in order to escape the Red Army, or towards the internal regions of the Soviet Union to flee from the Nazis after 22 June 1941, and adding the deportees expelled from Hungary, we arrive to a grand total of about 26.000 Jews, crammed into the ghetto of Kamenec Podolski, in June 1941 25. All these people became the target of the cleaver of Jeckeln. At the end of the meeting in Vinnitsa, Jeckeln reached Kamenec Podolski within hour, immediately giving the green light to the preparation of the massacre, helped by his deputy, the SS-Brigadeführer Gerret Korsemann. Both these scoundrels infact, along with some Wehrmacht officers, watched the slaughter from the top of a low hill, overlooking the mass graves 26.
Jeckeln, 1944, before the camera, and.......

In spite of the experience gained during the several massacres perpetrated in the previous weeks between Kovel and Vinnitsa, that of Jeckeln was not an easy operation: both for the large number of Jews that it was expected to liquidate, and for the shortage of units, to which, reasonably this task could be entrusted. As far as the killing field is concerned, a large hilly terrain was choosed, about five or ten kilometers North of Kamenec Podolski, riddled with craters of a previous bombing, which could be easily adapted into mass graves. Instead, as regards the units, it was immediately plain that the choice would been rather limited: first of all, there was the Stabskompanie/HSSPF "Russland-Süd", that followed Jeckeln during his movements and acted as Command Staff and escort unit 27; after which there were a group of Ukrainian hirelings and a platoon of Hungarian engineers, formed with Swabians 28: not enough to carry out the action within the scheduled time. At that point, Jeckeln's problems were solved by a police battalion, coming from Tarnopol, in Galicia, that on 27 July had reached Khmel'nyts'kyy (Proskurov), about 90 kilometers North of Kamenec Podolski. Instead, it is probable that no detail of the EGC has taken part in the slaugher, in spite of the presence of the SS-Sturmbannführer Meyer, assigned to the Stab of Jeckeln 29. As regards the police battalion, it had been formed in Berlin-Spandau in February 1941 and since the beginning it was considered "at disposal" (zur Verfügung Chef der Ordnungspolizei z.V.). In this role, immediately following its entry in the Soviet territory, that happened towards mid-August, it has been assigned to Jeckeln, as unit "for special employment" (zur besonderen Verwendung z.b.V.) 30. The battalion commander was Maj. Kurt Dall, who in those same days had replaced his predecessor. The company commanders were Hptm. Alfred Weber (1/320), Hptm. Hans Wiemer (2/320) and Hptm. Heinrich Scharwey (3/320). The first two companies took part in the massacre already since 27 August, while the 3rd arrived on the killing field on 28 August, towards midday: however, also this company made it on time to participate to several executions. That of Kamenec Podolski was not the very first genocidal action for the Polizei-Bataillon 320, as just a few days before it had already taken part to the slaughter of 439 Jews at Stara Kostantinova (20 August): however, the impact of this first, "limited" massacre, would have been quickly erased by the apocalyptic magnitude of the subsequet events. 6


For what would have become the most dramatic massacre perpetrated until that moment, and point of no-return in the history of the Jewish Genocide, Jeckeln planned a several-days action, during which the victims, progressively rounded-up in the ghetto, would have been compelled to march in long columns to the killing field, guarded by the policemen, that during this first step would have acted mainly in security roles. After which, the executions would have been perpetrated by Jeckeln's Stabskompanie 31. In order to avoid problems, rumors were spread among the Jews that they would have been transferred elsewhere and that, for this reason, they were authorized to carry their baggages, with linen and spare clothes. According to the testimony of a policeman infact, several Jews approached him, hoping to know their destination 32. Women and children were included in the columns, while the elderly, unable to move autonomously, had to be carried by means of improvised stretchers. Any illusion, for the victims, disappeared as the columns came nearer to the killing field, through a rather bumpy terrain, up to a first line of policemen, beyond which many people are visible and the crackling of automatic weapons become clearly hearable.
Source USHMM/Gyula Spitz Source USHMM/Gyula Spitz Source USHMM/Gyula Spitz

Once passed the first blockade, the victims were gathered in large groups, cordoned by other policemen, and each time a new column arrived from the town, the guards enlarged the perimeter of that group, up to contain some thousands of people 33. At that point, the victims were ordered to take off their clothes and abandon their baggages; after which, in small groups they were pushed near the edge of the pits, scattered all over the killing field. Actually, these pits were funnel-shaped bomb craters, that could reach a diameter of 20 or 30 meters and 5 or 6 meters depth, in which the firing squads were in wait, formed by four shooters, armed with submachine guns. Also some policemen had been attached to the squads. According to the testimony of a member of the 3/320, just before the executions the company commander Scharwey took a short speech to his men, about the need to proceed with the annihilation of the Jews "work-shy and origin of the troubles of the world" 34. At the same time, Scharwey informed the policemen that he would not have obliged anyone, individually, to take part in the executions; in spite of this, apart from a single exception, no other policemen refused to shoot 35. The events that happened in the hours that followed, were something similar to a hellish circle.


Without interruption, after having been pushed near the edge of the pits, the naked Jews were compelled to climb down into the crater and lie down directly over the bodies of those who had already been murdered, but in reversed position, in order to maximize the space: this method was the so-called "sardine packing", designed by Jeckeln. Then, the victims were murdered by a shot at the nape or, more summarily, by cross-fire of the automatic weapons. In many cases, the victims standing, were shot at point-blank 36. There was a certain degree of tolerance, towards the perpetrators, just in case any of them was unable - or no longer able - to shot at the children: in this case, he could request to be replaced, go out off the crater, take some schnapps and then, possibily, retake his place at the pit 37. Otherwise, the executions had to proceed without interruption. The witness Hermann K., one of the drivers of Jeckeln, would have continued to kill, plunged into the pit, with no chance to get away, for about an hour or two, until some policemen finally replaced his squad. That day, the executions lasted without interruption from 10 am to 4 pm 38. No doctors were available to ascertain the death of the victims that, sometime, lost their consciousness after having been wounded; in such a cases, the awakening might also happen under the bodies of the murdered, and only then the wounded finally received the deathblow 39. Another testimony of the massacre of Kamenec Podolski is given by Gabor Mermelstein, Jewish survivor and he also, as Gyula Spitz, driver and servicemen in a Hungarian labor unit: "As we approached to the border town of Kamenec Podolski, we began to hire intermittent gunfire [...]. I suspected that this operation must have been of a greater magnitude than the ordinary minor executions or Nazi rampages. The gunfire become louder, and soon we encountered a group of women. We stopped the convoy to ask what was happening nearby. In broken speech mingled with muffled sobs, the women told us that not too far way, people were being slaughtered by the hundreds. I asked them if the victims were Jews. They answered amid wails and uncontrollable weeping, that both Jews and Poles were being murdered. We than drowe for about two miles in direction of the gunfire, until we came upon the edge of the forest. Here we saw hundreds of people undressing. We slowed down and begun moving along a line of birches - we were practically on top of the mass of nude bodies. The contour of the forest began to turn in a semicircle, and suddenly we came within sight of a quadrangular ditch, lined with people on all four sides. It was here that hundreds of innocent people were being toppled by monotonous rounds of machinegun fire. I will never forget what I saw and what I felt: the terrified faces, the unresisting bodies, heaps of men, women and children going knowingly to their graves. My reaction was a combination of panic, outrage and inconsolable pain [...]. As the slaughter proceed, the drivers of the convoy - eighty percent of whom were Jewish - sat in their trucks weeping. The German officer sitting next to me noticed that I was crying. He looked at me placidy, glancing at my yellow armband, and said: "What are you crying about?" I responded: "How could I possibly not cry?" "Oh, don't worry", said the officer, "there will still plenty of Jews in the world" 40. So died many thousands of Jews.

After three days, the appalling bloodbath finally ended. According to the messages transmitted by Jeckeln to Himmler, with copies to the RSHA, 4.200 Jews were murdered on 27 August, 11.000 on 28 August and 7.000 on 29 August 41. Nevertheless, in spite of the "result" obtained, something had not worked well, under the point of view of Jeckeln. It was probably a certain attitude of some officers of the Polizei-Bataillon 320 that caused the rage of Jeckeln, and especially the fact that they would have not obliged their men to participate to the massacre, as well as the authorization they given to some of the policemen of the 3/320, to go out off the craters, after having perpetrated too few executions. Evidently although just a single defection would have been confirmed among the ranks of the battalion 42 - the mere fact that there had not been an unconditioned and total committment to the massacre by all his subordinates, it was sufficient to Jeckeln for flying into a rage: a reaction 8

confirmed by the violent quarrel he had, after the end of the massacre, with Maj. Dall, commander of the Polizei-Bataillon 320 43. We can found a trace of such a bad mood also in the report of 29 August, in which Jeckeln, correcting his previous messages of 26 and 27 August, proudly credited to own Stabskompanie the whole genocidal "performance" and, instead, downgraded the involvement of the PolizeiBataillon 320 just to the role of survellance and escort of the victims 44.
.....Jeckeln, 1945, before the Court

The file, however, had not been closed yet. Once the executions finally ended, probably towards the evening of 29 August, the Polizei-Bataillon 320 was transferred to Khmel'nyts'kyy (Proskurov), where it had its quarters. From here, the following day, some units were deployed to Min'kovtsy, a place about 15 km South-East of Proskurov, to take part in another slaughter; at the same time, patrols were sent again to Kamenec Podolski, in order to prevent the despoiling of the corpses by part of Ukrainian plunderers, but also for searching any possible survivor, or for giving the deathblow to the wounded 45. At that point, the final report transmitted to Himmler on 30 August, gave "credit" to the Stabskompanie of Jeckeln, of a grand total of 23.600 people murdered 46: "Nachtrag die Zahl der durch Stabskompanie HSSPF Russland-Süd. In Kamenec Podolski liquidierten Juden erhoert sich auf 23.600". The pride of Jeckeln had been finally satisfied.

The slaughter of Kamenec Podolski does not passed unnoticed. Already after few week infact, rumors began to spread through the free Europe and in North America: in the United States, for example, the New York Times gave the news on 26 October, while in London, the London Institute of Jewish Affairs, during November returned on the facts 47. Paradoxically, in spite of its sad notoriety, none of the perpetrators of the massacre (Täter), nor even less their accomplices (Gehilfen), were ever called to answer before the Law. Actually, at the begining, some steps had been taken 48. In 1958 infact, with the procedure 204 AR-Z 48/58 a voluminous folder was opened by the ZStL against the KdS "Rowno" and the Polizei-Bataillon 320, as well as the Polizei-Kompanie "Ostland" (Polizei-Bataillon 33), related to a number of crimes perpetrated in Ukraine between 1941 and late 1943, among which there was also the slaughter of Kamenec Podolski. According to Ludwigsburg, there was in these crimes, a direct involvement of the PolizeiBataillon 320, for which, the charge of murder (Mord) and complicity in murder (Beihilfe zum Mord), would have been hypothesizable. A major role would have had in particular, the battalion officers and the NCOs, among which there were the former commander of the 1/320, Alfred Weber and the Polizeirat Hans Wiemer (former commander of the 2/320 and still in service at the Polizeipräsidium Recklinghausen). On the basis of these assumptions, during 1961 the ZStL transmitted the files to the Public Prosecutor of Dortmund, insofar as he was concerned, in order to proceed with the opening of the preliminary investigations versus Wiemer und anderen: an investigation that was really opened with the case file StAwDo 45 Js 7/61. The complexity of the investigations was quite clear right from the start, as no less than 400 policemen were involved, most of which belonging from the Polizei-Bataillon 320, and the other from the Polizei-Kompanie "Ostland". After which, a good 128 of the 131 policemen called to testify, denied their direct involvement in the executions, whereas only three admitted their presence in the firing squads. 9

At that point, after several months of investigations and hearings, on 16 January 1962 the Prosecutor of Dortmung issued his conclusions: that differently from what had been hypothesized by Ludwigsburg, recognized to most of the defendants, just the involvement in support activities during the slaughter: that is to say, a kind of subordinate complicity, that according to the disputable legal interpretation in that period applied to the Nazi crimes, was considered not punishable. Consequently, not less than 363 of the defendants were declared not prosecutable. With regard to the remaining suspects, while about thirty former members of the PolizeiKompanie "Ostland" were later included into a specific case file (StAwDo 45 Js 23/63), an additional investigation was ordered by the Prosecutor of Dortmund against the main defendant, Hans Wiemer. Unfortunately, nothing would have been concretised also by this further development: with deliberation of 13 December 1962 infact, the same Prosecutor of Dortmund decided to apply, to the case of Wiemer, the controversial legal principle of the so-called "Befehlsnotsand", that is, the supposed "necessity to obey", that granted to the defendant the suspension of the proceeding. Against such a deliberation intervened Ludwigsburg, that in February 1963 recommanded to Dortmund the reopening of the investigations, buth without success. The final word about this question was said by the Attorney General of Hamm, who confirmed in last resort, the point of view of Dortmund. There were no guilties, for the massacre of Kamenec Podolski!

According to the words of Klaus-Michael Mallmann, the slaughter of Kamenec Podolski can be considered a real "qualitative leap" in the process of annihilation of the European Jews 49. It was not infact, just an ordinary and brutal massacre, more or less kept "under control" as happened during the previous slaughters - that tendentially had, as their main target, some particular sectors of the involved Jewish communities, or even, that were perpetrated on the basis of "reasons" clearly specious but still "expendable" in one way or the other - but rather, this was the beginning of a new stage, that we could define as "genocidal intentionality": whether there was a "before" Kamenec Podolski, marked by scattered massacres, more or less randomized, from that moment on there would been an "after", in which no more distinctions, nor "motivations", were required, but only and simply the annihilation end in itself. Infact, the more the pretexts to "justify" the massacre, given during the meeting in Vinnitsa of 25 August are ridiculous (the security of the communication lines, the impossibility to maintain the deportees....), the more seems real the will to leave the "experimental" stage, in order to start the "systematic" Genocide. With Kamenec Podolski what is prevailing is the political will (of, and/or through Jeckeln) to begin to resolve, once and for all, the so-called "Jewish question", by using methods no longer political, but of mere annihilation: in this way and probably for the first time, it is possible to clearly distinguish the transition from the so-called "Judenpolitik" to the "Vernichtungspolitik", also thanks to the implicit collaboration - or better, to the non-opposition - of some important leaders of the Wehrmacht. Somehow, in the rapid decisional process that led to the massacre, it seems possible to perceive a precise will to fix a point of no-return along the path towards the Final Solution. After which, it is not clear from what, of the hierarchical levels, really this input was launched: namely, it remains uncertain whether, there was an ascending mechanism from Jeckeln to Berlin, to force the hand, or rather descending, from Berlin to Jeckeln, to concretize a theorem. But not only. With Kamenec Podolski the Genocide is "internationalized": that is, it goes beyond the boundaries of the Nazi empire and contaminates other nations. The Genocide become "complicity", or better, open collaboration: not only by gangs of bravoes, as already happened and still was happening in that same period, in Lithuania and Latvia, but even by part of whole governements, such as those Hungarian and Romanian, that clearly were allied to Germany, but not completely subdued. For the first time, the Genocide could be considered a feasible 10

path, going out of the ideological abstractions in which, in spite of everything, it had remained relegated until that moment. The Genocide become the solution. With Kamenec Podolski anwers are obtained. It was possible infact to evaluate, on large scale, the reactions to the massacre of both the perpetrators and the victims, and it was immediately plain that there would not have been any reaction: the victims would have been carried to death in an orderly way, while the perpetrators would have fulfilled with discipline their ignoble task. Whether it was caused by an ascending or descending mechanism, the risult did not change: the experiment had been successful.

Finally, with Kamenec Podolski there was a clear perception of how much, the estrangement and the marginalization in which Judaism had been casted, during the long years of the ideological bulimia that followed the arise of the Nazism, was inversely proportional to the feeling of empathy that the executioners had, towards their victims: in other words, of how much it had been by now introjected, the idea of "the Jew" as an obstacle to remove, by means of a real "social clearing". And to understand better this concept, there is nothing more explicative than this sentence, delivered to his men by an officer of the Polizei-Bataillon 320 when, ponting at a Jew, who dolefully was going to his death, said: "Seht Euch diesen Mann. Das ist ein typischer Jude, den man ausrotten muss, damit wir Deutschen leben können" 50. "Look at this man. He is a typical Jew: he must be eradicated, so that we German, we can live".

Süss, the "typical" Jews

Angrick, Andrej: Besatzungspolitik und Massenmord: die Einsatzgruppe D in der südliche Sowjetunion 19411943. Hamburg, 2003. Angrick, Andrej: The Escalation of German-Rumanian Anti-Jewish Policy after the Attack on the Soviet Union, June 22, 1941. In Shoah Resource Center, The International School for Holocaust Studies, pages 1-33. Quoted Angrick Escalation. Bankier, David: La conoscenza dell'Olocausto e le reazioni in Europa, negli Stati Uniti e nelle comunità ebraiche. In Cantaruzza/Flores/Levis Sullam/Traverso. Torino, 2005. Brahm, Randolph: The Politics of Genocide: the Holocaust in Hungary. Detroit, 2000. Breitman, Richard: Official Secrets. What the Nazis planned, what the British and American knew. New York, 1998. Curilla, Wolfgang: Die Deutsche Ordnungspolizei und der Holocaust im Baltikum und in Weissrussland, 1941-1944. Paderborn, 2006. Ezergailis, Andrew: The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944. Riga, 1996. Gerlach, Christian/Götz Aly: Das letzte Kapitel. Der Mord an den ungarischen Juden 1944-1945. Frankfurt am Main, 2004. Headland, Ronald: 11

"Messages of Murder". A Study of the Reports of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, 1941-1943. Cranbury, 1992. Hilberg, Raul: La distruzione degli Ebrei d'Europa. Torino, 1995. HIS: Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (Hrsg.): Verbrechen der Wehrmacht. Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941-1945. Hamburg, 2002. Klemp, Stefan: "Nicht Ermittelt". Polizeibataillone und die Nachkriegsjustiz. Ein Handbuch. Essen, 2005. Krausnik, Helmuth/Wilhelm, Hans-Heinrich: Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges. Die Einsatzgruppen der Sichereitspolizei und des SD 1939-1942. Stuttgart, 1981. Longerich, Peter: Politik der Vernichtung. Eine Gesamtdarstellung der nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung. München, 1998. Mallmann, Klaus-Michael/Riess, Volker/Pyta, Wolfram (Hrsg.): Der Weltanschauungskrieg in Photos und Texten. Darmstadt, 2003. Mermall, Gabriel/Yasharoff, Norbert: By the Grace of Strangers: two Boys' Rescue during the Holocaust. Jerusalem, 2006. Pohl, Dieter: Nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien 1941-1944. Organisation und Durchführung einen staatlischen Massenverbrechens. Münich, 1994. Quoted Pohl Ostgalizien. Pohl, Dieter: Hans Krüger and the Morder of the Jews in the Stanislawow Region (Galicia). Yad Vashem Studies, Vol. 26, 1998. Quoted Pohl Krüger. Pohl, Dieter: Die Täter der Shoah. Fanatische Nationalsozialisten oder Ganz Normalen Deutschen? Göttineg, 2003. Citato Pohl Täter. Pohl, Dieter: The Murder of Ukraine's Jews under German Military Administration and in the Reichkommissariat Ukraine. In Brandon/Lower. Bloomington, 2008. Quoted Pohl Ukraine. Ungváry, Krisztián: Magyarország és a második világháboru. Budapest, 2005. Israel State Archives: The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Volume III.

1 The Second Hungarian Racial Law prohibited the naturalization of all those Jews not able to demonstrate
the residence of their ancestors in Hungary, since 1867. Hilberg, page 829. 2 Brahm, page 32. 3 Küföldieket Ellenorzo Országos Központi Hatoság. 4 Actually, the deportation from Hungary of the Jews lacking of Hungarian citizenship had been already decreed in 1939 by the Second Racial Law, and regularly notified to the recipients of expulsion. After which, not having been found any country willing to accept the deportees, the expulsions were postponed by various six-month extentions until when, the Operation Barbarossa opened to the deportees, the large spaces of the occupied Ukraine. Testimony of Pinchas Freudiger - The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Session 5104, 05, Volume III. 5 About the expulsion from Maramures, see Gross /Cohen: The Marmaros Book. In Memory of 160 Jewish Communities. Tel Aviv, 1983 [Sefer Marmarosh; mea ve-shishim kehilot kedoshot be- yishuvan u-vehurbanan]. 6 The Galician districts of Stanislavivi, Horodenka and Kolomya remained under Hungarian military administration from 1 July 1941 to early August, when were officially annexed to the Generalgovernment. Pohl Ostgalizien, page 49, Pohl Krüger, page 2/24, Gerlach/Götz, page 221. 7 Brahm, page 33. Particularly tragic was the fate of about one thousand of Jews that, after having miraculously escaped to thew massacre of Kamenec Podolski, as rerouted to Stanislaviv, they could not escape to the dramatic Blutsonntag Stanislau, just a few weeks later (12 October 1941). Gerlach/Götz, page 221, Pohl Ostgalizien, page 109. 8 Brahm, page 33. 9 In particular, there were a detachment of the SK 10b at the bridges of Mogilev-Podolski and of the EK 12 at the crossing point of Yampol. At a certain point, towards the beginning of August, the troops of Bucarest pushed column of Romanian Jews beyond the Dnestr, near Kamenec Podolski: also in this case, however,


the attempt failed, because of the intervention of a detail of the SK 10b (TK Schuchart), coming from Mogilev Podolski. Angrick, pag. 202. About the tragedy of the Romanian Jews expelled to Transnistria, see Angick Escalation. 10 Since the beginning of August 1941 (when Galicia was annexed to the Generalgovernment - see footnote 6) and until 13 October, the role of the SSPF "Lemberg" was disputed between Friedrich Katzmann - sponsored by Lash, the Governor of Galicia - and Karl-Albrecht Oberg - supported by he HSSPF "Warshau". The former prevailed, but the office remained vacant for two months at least. It is probable that, in such a confused situation, the executive powers concerning the so-called "Jewish question", had been managed by the commander of the Einsatzkommando "Lemberg", Helmuth Tanzamnn, who however was officially appointed to the office of KdS of the District of Galicia, not before 1 September 1941. See Pohl Ostgalizien, pages 84-86. 11 Pohl Ostgalizien, pages 109. 12 HIS, page 129. "Juden von Ungarn aus Ungarischen Konzentrazionlagern mit Lkw in die Gebiete Buczacz, Czortkow, Kamenec Podolski abgesetzt. Ukrainische Bevölkerung beunruhigt. Diese Juden müssen unbedingt zurück. Sich.Div. 444 bitter Ungarn entsprechende Weisung zu erteile". BA/MA RH 22/5. 13 HIS, page 129. "Es handelt sich um Juden, die keine ungar.Staatsbürger sind u. die vor 2 Jahren sich vor d. Sowjets nach Nordostungen geflüchter aben. Diese werden jetzt in ihre Gegend wieder zurückgebracht". BA/MA RH 22/5. 14 HIS, pag. 132, Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 84, 181, Pohl Ukraine, page 29. "Die Zahlreichen Juden wurden vermehrt durch Zugug der aus Ungarn ausgewiesenen Juden, von welchen etwa 3000 in den letzten Tagen hier ankamen. Ihre Ernährung stösst sug grosse Schwierigkeiten; auch besteht Seuchengefahr. Sofortiger Befehl über ihren Abtransport ist dringend erwünscht. 15 Ungváry, pages 177-178. 16 Brahm, page 33, Angrick Escalation, page 18/33. 17 Breitman, page 64, Brahm, page 34, Angrick, page 199, Angrick Escalation, page 18/33, Gerlach/Götz, page 221, Pohl Ostgalizien, page 109. About 13.400 of the Jews deported from Hungary were the natives of Ruthenia, and 4.000 at least, those coming from other parts of the country. 18 Spitz's luck ended some years later, when in was arrested by the Gestapo and Jailed at Dachau, where he died. However, he had the time to deliver the pictures to his son Ivan, as well as the telling of the events he had witnessed. 19 See also HIS, page 133. 20 Brahm, page 34. 21 Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 85, 181. KTB Berüch Süd/Ia v.23.8.1941. BA/MA, RH 22/3, Breitman, page 64. 22 In addition to Jeckeln, there was also the Generalquartiermeister Eduard Wagenr, the Maj. Hans Georg Schmidt von Altenstadt (Chef der Abt. Kriegsverwaltung), the Ministerialdirigent Justus Danckwert (Leiter der Abt. V Verwaltung, in der Abt. Kriegsverwaltung), the Oberst Ernst-Anton von Krosigk (Chef der Generalstabes bei Berüch Süd, the Regierungspräsident Paul Dargel (Vertreter der Reichkommisar Koch) and two officers of the Ministry of the Eastern Territories: the Oberregierungsrat Dr. Walter Labs and the Hptm. Dr. Otto Bräutigam. HIS, page 132, Angrick Escalation, page 23/33. 23 HIS, page 132, Hilberg, pages 830, 964, Gerlach/Götz, page 74. 24 Angrick Escalation, page 23/33, Gerlach/Götz, page 74. While on the part of Jeckeln there was the chance to gain the "quota" of victims sufficient to him for becoming the to-ranking genocidal perpetrator, Rocques could finally solve the supply problem, by getting rid of a large number of "useless eaters" (unnutzer Esser), and keeping, a the same time, good relations with Jeckeln. Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pag. 85. 25 Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pag. 85. 26 Angrick Escalation, page 24/33, Pohl Ukraine, pge 31. 27 The Stabskompanie/HSSPF "Russland-Süd" was formed with Jeckeln's bodyguard (Leibwache), a guard platoon (Wachzug), an administrative detachment, drivers and orderlies. See Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pag. 85. Among these elements, the firing squads were selected, that had a major role, both in the slaughter of Kamenec Podolski and in that of Rumbula, in Latvia (30 November and 8 December). Hilberg, page 317, Ezergailis, page 242. 28 Brahm, page 34, Pohl Täter, page. 213, Klemp page 285, Breitman, page 64, Longerich, page 377. 29 HIS, page 135, Pohl Ukraine, pages 30, 63. August Meyer was the liason officer between the Command of Jeckeln and the EGC. Actually, not far from Kamenec Podolski there were other detachment of the Secority Police that, however, would have not been involved in the massacre: in particular, in Tarnopol had been deployed a detail of the EG zbV of Schöngarth, that in late August had forced back a column of Jews, previously pushed beyond the Dnestr by a Hungarian battalion; in Czernowitz instead, since the beginning of August there was a detachment of the EGC, mainly engaged in keeping the Romanians and the Ukrainians separated from each others. Angrick, page 192, Angrick Escalation, pages 11/33, 18/33, Hilberg, pages 830, 964, Pohl Ostgalizien, page 109, Headland, page 131. 30 Klemp, page 284. 31 Breitman, page 64. 32 Testimony of Wilhelm W., Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, page 87.


33 Ibid 34 "Dass die Juden die Unruhe in die Welt gebracht hätten, das sie arbeitsscheu und beseitigt werden

müssen". Testimony of Herbert H., Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 85-86. 35 Ibid. 36 Testimony of Hermann K., HIS, page 135, Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 86-87. 37 Testimonies of Herbert Stephan and Karl Raddatz, Angrick, page 204, Angrick Escalation, pages 24/33, 25/33. 38 Testimony of Hermann K., HIS, page 135, Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 86-87. 39 Testimony of Hermann K., HIS, page 135. 40 Mermall, pages 126-127. Gábor Mermelstein (Gabriel Mermall) was more lucky than Spitz. After having served until 1943 in a Hungarian labor unit, he was able to escape in early 1944 together with his son, and he found shelter in a Ruthenian forest, where he survived for several months, belped by a Hungarian lumberjack, until the arrival of the Soviets. 41 Angrick, pages 203-204, Angrick Escalation, page 24/33. 42 The witness Herbert H., would have requested and obtained, by his company commander Scharwey, to be exempted by the executions. Mallmann/Riess/Pyta, pages 85-86. 43 Curilla, page 925, Pohl Ukraine, pages 31, 63. Testimony of Ottmar L. 44 "Fernschr. vom 29.8.41: Erfolge: [...] Stabskompanie erschiesst erneut 7.000 Juden, somit Gesamtzahl bei der Aktion in Kamenec Podolski liquidierten Juden rund 20.000. Aenderung zu Tätigkeitsbericht vom 26 und 27.8.41: statt Pol.Batl.320 setzen: Stsbskompanie; i.d. Meldung vom 27.8 statt 5.000, 11.000. Pol.Batl.320 was nur zur Absperrung eingestzt". HIS, page 134, Krausnik/Wilhelm, page 189. 45 Breitmn, pages 64-65, 265. Decoded message of 2 September 1941. 46 HIS, pag. 134, Breitman, page 64. 47 Bankier, pages 1121-1122. 48 Klemp, pages 287-289. 49 Klaus-Michael Mallmann: Der Qualitative Sprung im Vernichtungsprozess. Dass Massaker von Kamenez Podolsk Ende August 1941; in Jahrbuch fuer Antisemitismusforschung 10/2001 50 Testimony of Hermann K., HIS, page 135.

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