During the Second World War Nazi-Germany was responsible for the killing of approximately six million Jews. Although the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor and other extermination camps played a significant role in the extermination program, the mass murder had already started before these killing centers even existed. During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet-Union in June 1941, the troops of the Wehrmacht were followed by four so-called Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheidsdienstes (Einsatzgruppen or Special Action Squads), special armed units of the SS which were officially charged with police and safety matters in the military occupation zones.

These fast moving teams carried out arrests and mass executions anywhere they appeared; apart from Jews, Communists, gypsies and psychiatric patients fell victim to them as well. During the Nazi occupation of the Soviet-Union, in addition to the victims of the mass extermination in the camps, more than 1 million Soviet Jews were killed, mainly by shooting. Many of these executions were carried out by the Einsatzgruppen, assisted by local collaborators.


The largest German concentration camp, located in Poland. Liberated on 26 January 1945. An estimated 1,1 million people, mainly Jews, perished here mainly in the gas chambers.
ďTaskforces of Deployment SquadsĒ. Special units composed of various SS and police services under supervision of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). Einsatzgruppen were deployed during the invasion of Poland in 1939 and during operation Barbarossa in 1941. In 1939 these units were ordered to eliminate the Polish intelligentsia. In the Soviet Union they were deployed to execute various political and racial enemies of the Third Reich, like Jews, gypsies and communists. The ďHolocaust by bulletsĒ in the Soviet Union was the horrendous first act of the eventual ďfinal solutionĒ.
Armed incursion.
Middle Eastern people with own religion that lived in Palestine. They distinguished themselves by their strong monotheism and the strict observance of the Law and tradition. During World War 2 the Jewish people were ruthlessly persecuted and annihilated by the German Nazis. . An estimated 6,000,000 Jews were exterminated.
Abbreviation of a national socialist.
German armed military forces, divided in ground forces, air force and navy.

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Picture taken during an execution of Jews from Kiev (Ukraine) in the Ivangorod area in 1942.


Translated by:
Arnold Palthe
Article by:
Kevin Prenger
Published on:
Last edit on:
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