Nazi Killing Squads

Jacob Crowley 1st


The Einsatzgruppen played a very important and interesting role in the Holocaust. They were part of the reason for the creation of the gas chambers. Their methods of killing were very gruesome. They arrested thousands and killed millions.

Einsatzgruppen means task forces.They were formed in 1941, with about 2,700 members. There were four different Einsatzgruppen squads. Squads A, B, C, and D. Each squad was divided into smaller groups called Einsatzcommandos. They got help from German and Axis soldiers, local collaborators, and other SS units.The Einsatzgruppen didn’t just kill Jews. They killed anyone suspected of political opposition of the Nazi regime.At first they only shot Jewish men, but eventually wherever they went they killed the women and the children. Heinrich Himmler saw the psychological burden the shooting had on the soldiers. In 1941, he requested that a more convenient way of killing needed to be developed. This resulted in the gas chambers.

In the first few weeks of the Polish campaign, they had already carried out more than 10,000 arrests.By 1943, the Einsatzgruppen had killed over a million soviet Jews.The soldiers made the captives dig their own graves and put their valuables in a pile before they were executed. They would make them stand in the hole the just dug and then open fire upon them. The soldiers would often be drunk before the execution so the psychological burden would be lessened on them. The Einsatzgruppen forced the Jews to wear the Star of David to identify them. Eventually, instead of killing the Jews on the spot, they started to round them up at checkpoints and execute them by gas chambers.

Interesting Facts:

After World War Two, the members in the Einsatzgruppen were put on trial.

The first concentration camp was established in 1933.

A bunch of the Einsatzgruppen were volunteers.

They operated from behind the front line.

Sometimes they would execute people on the spot.

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