Killing Squads

Sadie Hewitt- 5th Period

What was Einsatgruppen, and what'd they do?

These killing squads were made up of German SS and Police. The “final solution” was to send Einsatzgruppen to Europe. Their mission was to kill ALL European Jews. Before killing the Jews they took them out of their hometowns, or in other words the “ghetto” and transported them to places known as killing centers. Then they went directly to their home communities, and murdered them, in front of all the other prisoners.

The Events and Their Impact on Real People. New York, NY: DK, 2007.

How did they do it? Who led them to do such sins?

The Einsatzgruppen were led by a man by the name of Reinhard Heydrich. The group was created in 1942 to kill mainly Palestinians. Many of the people that they killed were innocent people. And some weren’t. Einsatzgruppen killed millions of Jews. Around 3,000 Romanians, handicapped, partisans, Communist, and Soviets. Wherever the Einsatzgruppen went they killed all Jews. No matter their age, sex, or family name. Einsatzgruppen wanted more capable ways of killing than shooting or starving their victims. They adapted vans by sealing off the front compartment and piping exhaust fumes into the back compartment. They loaded their victims into the back and drove them to a trench or grave. Later, the victims then died within 30 minutes.

What did it look like when it happened?

The holocaust in Liepaja. Skedes. 1941.


1. Three of the four leaders of Einsatzgruppen had their doctorate, while one was a double PhD; Dr Franz Walter Stahlecker (A), Dr. Dr Otto Rasch, Dr Otto Ohlendorf. Einsatzgruppe B was commanded by Artur Nebe, then head of the Criminal Police.

2. The total number of men that made up Einsatzgruppen was about 2,700.

3. In the time between September 1st through October 25th, over 500 towns and villages were burned and over 16,000 people were killed by Einsatzgruppen

4. Before the killing was all over more than 1.2 million Jews were killed. Their bodies were piled high in HUGE graves throughout the occupied Soviet territories.

5. The German SS Historians have the responsibility for more than one million deaths at the feet of the Einsatzgruppen and their two-year killing spree bringing death to every Jew they knew of.


In conclusion, the Einsatzgruppen was an important factor in the Holocaust because they were the people who killed most of the Jews. No matter the struggle, they still did it. Many people believed that they were the bad guys in this. But they really weren't the WORST! HITLER WAS THE ABSOLUTE WORST! These men just worked under him and many other sinful men. To conclude, Einsatzgruppen were the "killing machines" of the Holocaust.