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Chapter 9 Revision Questions
Answer the assigned questions in detail. Your answers will be shared/explained in front of the class.
1. Who were the Einsatzgruppen? What did they do? (Hannah B)
The Einsatzgruppen were a group of mobile killing units that were active in German-occupied Europe during WW2.
They were responsible for the security of the regime. But it was the invasion of Poland that turned them from occasional to wholesale murder.
In total, all groups of the Einsatzgruppen numbered around 3,000 men. Many of the men were representing the intellectual elite of the Nazi party. Of the 25 Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommando leaders, 15 of them were doctors of jurisprudence or philosophy or had a PhD.
The job that the Einsatzgruppen had was to eliminate Polish political opponents and Jews. Initially, they were able to not only use force against armed resistance, strikes and sabotage, but also accuse irregulars and spies before a court and sentence them to death. This was still not satisfactory for Reinhardt Heydrich and although 200 people were being executed a day he thought that they must be shot and hanged without trial.
The Einsatzgruppen received their orders from Heydrich or Bruno Streckenbach and evidence proved that the orders included the killing of Soviet Jews.
On June 22 1941 German soldiers invaded the Soviet Union and the Einsatzgruppen followed, now their orders were written, not given orally and the written orders demanded them to execute all people of many different parties and groups, including Jews.
The Einsatzgruppen went to the streets and killed all Jews. Feliz Landau, a member of the Einsatzkommando wrote:
“There were hundreds of Jews walking along the street with blood pouring downt heir faces, holes in their heads, their hands broken and their eyes hanging out of their sockets.”
By late July 1941 all Jewish men, women and children were to be killed and if there was ever any doubt about what the Nazi policy was the be in...