5 Months=137,346 deaths, that is the disturbing mathematical equation that could be made from the Jäger report.
Not human beings, just numbers on a spreadsheet created by a man who claimed “I was always a person with a heightened sense of duty”
The so-called Jäger Report (full title: Complete tabulation of executions carried out in the Einsatzkommando 3 zone up to December 1, 1941) was written on 1 December 1941 by Karl Jäger, commander of Einsatzkommando 3 (EK 3), a killing unit of Einsatzgruppe A which was attached to Army Group North during the Operation Barbarossa.
It is the most detailed and precise surviving chronicle of the activities of one individual Einsatzkommando, and a key record documenting the Holocaust in Lithuania as well as in Latvia and Belarus.
SS-Standartenfuehrer Karl Jaeger, was a Swiss-born mid-ranking official in the SS of Nazi Germany and Einsatzkommando
Among all Nazi documents detailing dastardly acts of mass murder and other atrocities, the “Jaeger Report” is one of the most horrifying. It provides a very detailed account of the murderous rampage of this “special squad” in Nazi-occupied USSR. Usually, the figures for Jews who were murdered by EK 3 are broken into “Jewish men”, “Jewish women”, and “Jewish children”.
The report commences with:
- “Secret Reich Business! 5 copies Complete list of executions carried out in theEK 3 area up to 1 December 1941.”
And goes on to list the daily numbers of the victims; some typical entries are (see the sixth page):
- 20.9.41 in Nemencing
- 128 Jews, 176 Jewesses, 99 Jewish children
- 22.9.41 in Novo-Wilejka
- 468 Jews, 495 Jewesses, 196 Jewish children
- 24.9.41 in Riess
- 512 Jews, 744 Jewesses, 511 Jewish children
- 25.9.41 in Jahiunai
- 215 Jews, 229 Jewesses, 131 Jewish children 27.9.41 in Eysisky
- 989 Jews, 1,636 Jewesses, 821 Jewish children.
Jaeger flatly describes how the victims were rounded up, taken into secluded areas, and shot – men, women, and children:
“Depending on the number of Jews a place for the graves had to be found and then the graves dug. The distance from the assembly point to the graves was on average 4 to 5 Km. The Jews were transported in detachments of 500 to the execution area, with a distance of at least 2 Km between them.”
The most shocking aspect of the report is the ‘matter of fact- another day in the office’ type of language was used.
“I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem for Lithuania has been achieved by Einsatzkommando 3. In Lithuania, there are no more Jews, other than the Work Jews, including their families. They are:
In Schaulen around 4,500 In Kauen “ 15,000 In Wilna “ 15,000
I also wanted to kill these Work Jews, including their families, which however brought upon me acrimonious challenges from the civil administration (the Reichskommisar) and the army and caused the prohibition: the Work Jews and their families are not to be shot!
The goal of making Lithuania free of Jews could only be attained through the deployment of a raiding commando with selected men under the leadership of SS First Lieutenant Hamann, who completely and entirely adopted my goals and understood the importance of ensuring the co-operation of the Lithuanian partisans and the competent civilian positions.
The implementation of such activities is primarily a question of organization. The decision to systematically make every district free of Jews necessitated an exhaustive preparation of each individual operation and reconnaissance of the prevailing circumstances in the applicable district. The Jews had to be assembled at one or several locations. Depending on the number, a place for the required pits had to be found and the pits dug. The marching route from the assembly place to the pits amounted on average to 4 to 5 kilometers. The Jews were transported to the place of execution in detachments of 500, at intervals of at least 2 kilometers. The attendant difficulties and nerve-wracking activity occasioned in doing this are shown in a randomly selected example:
In Rokiskis, 3,208 people had to be transported 4.5 kilometers before they could be liquidated. To accomplish this task in 24 hours, more than 60 of the 80 available Lithuanian partisans had to be allocated for transportation and cordoning off duty.”
Jäger escaped capture by the Allies when the war ended, assumed a false identity, and was able to assimilate back into society as a farm hand until his report was discovered in March 1959. Arrested and charged with his crimes, Jäger committed suicide by hanging himself in prison in Hohenasperg while he was awaiting trial in June 1959.
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