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100,000 Jews Executed by Nazis in Minsk Area and the Baltic States

March 17, 1942
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

More than 100,000 Jews have been executed by the Nazi authorities in Ostland, the section which includes occupied Soviet White-Russia and the Baltic States, according to information received here today by neutral diplomats. In the Minsk area alone more than 80,000 Jews were massacred, the report said.

(A. Savich, JTA correspondent in Moscow, cabled last week that 15,000 Jews were executed by the Nazis in the town of Borisov, near Minsk. The victims were forced to big their own graves, and many of them, including children, were buried alive, the Moscow dispatch reported.)

In Estonia, the small Baltic country where there were only 4,300 Jews before the Nazi invasion, not a single Jew was left alive, the report states. All the 1,800 Jewish residents of Tallin, the capital, were herded by the Nazi into trucks and carried to the outskirts of the city to be machine-gunned and thrown into one huge grave. The same thing took place in all other Estonian towns with Jewish houses being raided and all Jewish families being carried away to their death.


Thousands of Jews were also massacred by the Nazis in Lithuania and in Latvia, according to the report. The order to carry out mass-executions of Jews is reported to have emanated from Heinrich Himmler, chief of the Gestapo. Instructions from Himmler stated that only Jews who could be useful to the German war industry as qualified workers should be left alive.

Prior to killing their Jewish victims, the Nazi authorities ordered the Jewish population in Minsk to surrender to the German army all their warm clothing. Among the Jews massacred in the Minsk area were many from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia who had been deported from their home towns to Nazi-occupied Soviet territory for hard labor.

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