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Posted Friday, August 13, 1999

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Eichmann in the Ukraine?

Submitted by Michael Mills

From the article on "Ukraine" in the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia on 1943 (vol 10, p. 339).

In August, 1941, the notorious Eichmann, formerly Gestapo head in Vienna, was appointed head of the Gestapo in the Ukraine, with complete authority to deal with the Jews there as he saw fit. Two months later great massacres of Jews in the Ukraine behind the battle lines took place. Thousands of Jews unable to retreat with the Soviet armies into the interior of Russia were mowed down by Nazi machine gun fire.

In the course of these massacres, which were reported to have begun as early as the month of August, 1941, more than 50,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered in Kiev alone. Nazi troops and agents spread anti-Jewish reports among the Ukrainian population, which, however, remained sympathetic toward the Jews, refusing to participate in the massacres and in many instances giving shelter to refugee Jews from the Ukraine, Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe.

Mills comments: "The references to Eichmann are of course extremely inaccurate. He was not Gestapo head in Vienna, although he was head of the Zentralstelle fuer jüdische Auswanderung there in 1938. And he was certainly never head of the Gestapo in Ukraine, and never held any position there. What is remarkable is that the author of this article, a certain Abraham I. Shinedling, had even heard of Eichmann in 1943. By all accounts, Eichmann operated in relative obscurity until he stepped into the limelight in 1944 as the manager of the Hungarian deportation. It is possible that Eichmann was known to Shinedling through refugees from Vienna who knew of his pre-war activities there. The article shows that wildly inaccurate rumours about Eichmann must have been circulating in 1942-3. The article appears to make Eichmann responsible for the massacres in the Ukraine. There is a further interesting item of information in the article:

New massacres of Jews in Ukrainian towns, including Novozibkovo, in the district of Kiev, and Unich, occurred in September and October, 1942. In the latter month large numbers of Jews were deported from Limbourg, Liege and Antwerp, Belgium, to the Ukraine.

Mills writes: "This is the first contemporary reference that I have seen to Jews from Belgium arriving in Ukraine."

[Eichmann index]

Website comment: The typescript of Eichmann's memoirs in our possession states that he was alarmed by US newspaper references to his name during the Vienna and Czech periods of his infamous career.

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
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