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clickWhat Prof. Browning said about the document in his Expert Witness Report



15.6 The massacres of the four Einsatzgruppen, the task forces consisting of SS and police personnel subordinate to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, commenced with the beginning of the war in the East. They are extensively documented, above all in the situational reports (Ereignismeldungen) for the UdSSR, put out by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; these reports openly describe the murder of hundreds of thousands of people, more of 90% of them Jews.

These reports were relatively widely circulated: for example 45 copies of situational report No. 40 of 1 August 1941 were distributed; they were sent not only to numerous offices of the SS and police but also to the Leadership staff of the Wehrmacht. In a radio telegram to the Einsatzgruppen on 2 August [sic], Gestapo Chief Müller, who was responsible for the compilation of situational reports, ordered that "especially interesting illustrative material" should be sent to Berlin because "the Führer should be presented with continuous reports on the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the East from here". [1]

The distribution list of the situational report No 128 of 3 November 1941, of which there were 55 copies, included the Party Chancellery[2] (Hitler's office responsible for communication between him and the Nazi Party).

It is therefore not possible to argue that the mass murders by the Einsatzgruppen were kept secret from other agencies by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt; in fact, these reports were available to many - including also to Hitler. The grounds for the mass executions which were given by the Einsatzgruppen precisely correspond to the justifications offered by Hitler for the extermination of the "Jewish-Bolshevik complex" before the beginning of the war.



1. 'besonders interessantes Anschauungsmaterial'. 'Dem Führer soll von hier aus lfd. Berichte über die Arbeit der Einsatzgruppen im Osten vorgelegt weren.' ZSt, Dok. UdSSR No. 401.

2. Printed in Headland, Messages, pp. 22f.



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