The Stroop Report- souvenir turned evidence.

A report by SS Brigadefuhrer Jurgen Stroop dealing with the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Stroop was sent to Warsaw to remove the 56.000 surviving Jews from the ghetto, and he recorded his deeds – daily killings with cold-blooded brutality – in a boastful seventy-five-page report bound together in black pebble leather and including copies of all daily communiqués sent to his superior officer as well af photos with captions in Gothic script.Originally titled The Jewish Quarter of Warsaw is No More! (Es gibt keinen jüdischen Wohnbezirk in Warschau mehr!),

The Report was commissioned by Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger, high SS and police leader in Kraków and was intended as a souvenir album for Heinrich Himmler.

It was prepared in three distinct leather-bound copies for Heinrich Himmler, Friedrich Krueger and Jürgen Stroop, with one unbound file copy of the report (das Konzept) remained in Warsaw, in the care of Chief of Staff Max Jesuiter.

jesuiter-max

According to statement given in 1945 by Stroop’s adjutant Karl Kaleshke, to US authorities in Wiesbaden, he ordered Stroops copy of the report burnt with other secret documents in Burg Kranzberg.

The Report was a 125-page typed document, bound in black pebble leather, with 53 photographs . It consisted of the following sections:

It consisted of three parts:
a) an introduction and summary of SS operations
b) a collection of all daily communiqués sent to SS Police Leader East Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger
c) a series of approximately 52 photographs.

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The Stroop Report alludes repeatedly to the participation of the Polish Resistance in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Jürgen Stroop referred to Polish underground fighters as “Polnische Banditen” – “Polish Bandits”, he noted:

“When we invaded the Ghetto for the first time, the Jews and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire. … The main Jewish battle group, mixed with Polish bandits, had already retired during the first and second day to the so-called Muranowski Square. There, it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto by every means in order to prevent us from invading it. … Time and again Polish bandits found refuge in the Ghetto and remained there undisturbed, since we had no forces at our disposal to comb out this maze. … One such battle group succeeded in mounting a truck by ascending from a sewer in the so-called Prosta [Street], and in escaping with it (about 30 to 35 bandits). … The bandits and Jews – there were Polish bandits among these gangs armed with carbines, small arms, and in one case a light machine gun – mounted the truck and drove away in an unknown direction.”

— Jürgen Stroop, 1943

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“Our setting the block on fire achieved the result in the course of the night that those Jews whom we had not been able to find despite all our search operations left their hideouts under the roofs, in the cellars, and elsewhere, and appeared on the outside of the buildings, trying to escape the flames. Masses of them – entire families – were already aflame and jumped from the windows or endeavored to let themselves down by means of sheets tied together or the like. Steps had been taken so that these Jews as well as the remaining ones were liquidated at once”

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“When the blocks of buildings mentioned above were destroyed, 120 Jews were caught and numerous Jews were destroyed when they jumped from the attics to the inner courtyards, trying to escape the flames. Many more Jews perished in the flames or were destroyed when the dugouts a sewer entrances were blown up.”

“Of the total of 56,065 caught about 7,000 were destroyed in the former Ghetto during large scale operation. 6,929 Jews were destroyed by transporting them to T.II (Treblinka Camp No. 2). The sum total of Jews destroyed is therefore 13,929. Beyond the number of 56.065 an estimated number of 5 to 6,000 Jews were destroyed by being blown up or by perishing in the flames”

After the war only two of the four copies were discovered, those belonging to Himmler and Jesuiter. Himmler’s copy went to Seventh Army Intelligence Center (SAIC) and Jesuiter’s to Military Intelligence Research Section (MIRS) in London.Several sources stated that German Bundesarchiv also had a copy in Koblenz.However, in reply to inquiries by Richard Raskin, Bundesarchiv stated that third copy of report was never in their possession.Both copies were introduced as evidence at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, sharing the document number 1061-PS, and used in the trial as “US Exhibit 275”.It was first displayed by the chief U.S. prosecutor Robert H. Jackson for the judges during his opening address.

roberthjackson

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