Nuremberg (Dec. 14)
A German secret police report estimating that the Nazis murdered 6,000,000 Jews in Europe was submitted today to the International for Crimes Tribunal, as U.S. prosecutors completed the "Jewish" section of their case.
The prosecutors placed before the court an affidavit by Wilhelm Hoettl, assistant to Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was former Chief of the Nazi Security Police, stating that "approximately 4,000,000 Jews have been killed in the various extermination camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways, the major part of which were shot by operational squads of security police during the campaign against Inssia."
Hoettl said that his estimate was based on figures submitted to him by Adolf fichman, Palestine-born Nazi, who was the chief exterminator of Jews for the Gestapo. He also revealed that Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler thought that the Eichman figure was too low.
Major Frank Walsh, Assistant U.S. Prosecutor, also presented to the court estailed records of how tens of thousands of Jews were wiped out during the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, 434,000 murdered in Galicia, and 120,000 in the Baltic countries.
A report by "Action Group A", dated Jan. 1942, tells how native anti-Semitic forces in Lithuania were encouraged to launch pogroms immediately after the occupation of the country by the Germans. The report said that "the Security Police were determined to solve the Jewish question with all possible means, and most decisively, but it was desirable that the Security Police should not put in an immediate appearance, at least in the beginning, since extraordinarily harsh measures would be apt to stir up even the German circles. It had to be shown to the world that the native population itself took the first action."
NAZIS HAD DIFFICULTY IN LAUNCHING POGROMS IN BALTIC STATES
The report admits that "to our surprise, it was not easy at first to set in action an extensive pogrom. Limatis, a leader of a partisan unit, who was used for this purpose, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given him by a small advance detachment acting in Kovno, in such a way that no German order, or German instigation, would be noticed from outside." The report then gave details of how many Jews were killed in the various pogroms.
In a section devoted to Latvia, it discloses that it "proved even more difficult to set in motion similar sotions in Latvia," but eventually pogroms were started and all synagogues in Riga destroyed and hundreds of Jews killed. In Estonia, it continues, "no opportunity presented itself to instigate pogroms."
The Security Police report adds: "From the beginning it was expected that the Jewish problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with basic orders, however, cleansing activities of the Security Police were aimed at complete annihilation of Jews. Special detachments, reinforced by selected units, therefore performed extensive executions, both in towns and rural areas." It adds that some civil authorities offered resistance against carrying out large-scale executions, but this resistance was met by citing the fact that the executions were "a matter of carrying out orders."
The situation in Galicia was described in a report submitted in June, 1943, by Group Leader Katzmann to his superiors in Berlin, entitled "Solution of the Jewish Question in the District of Galicia."