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The Einsatzgruppen were officially created in order to carry out security missions, including fighting partisans, but are alleged to have been an important part of the Holocaust, especially in occupied eastern territories before the alleged genocidal gassings in the Holocaust camps, and to have killed large number of Jews by shootings or by using gas vans.

Holocaust revisionists have argued that the Einsatzgruppen committed killings for reasons such as anti-partisan warfare, including killings of certain Jews in association with this, but that there were no genocidal plans and no genocidal killings.


Infamous photo of an alleged Einsatzgruppen killing. The revisionist David Thomas has argued that a closer examination shows that it is a forgery.[1]

Regarding revisionist criticisms of claimed Holocaust photographs more generally, see: External link.

The Einsatzgruppen had its origin in the Einsatzkommando created by the SS officer Reinhard Heydrich in 1938 to secure government buildings and documents following the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938. This was expanded into several Einsatzgruppen consisting of several Einsatzkommandos. The different Einsatzgruppen operated in different territories during WWII. In 1939, they became part of the Reich Main Security Office of the SS.

The full German name was "Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD" which translates as "deployment groups of the security police and the security service".[2]

Partisan warfare

The Einsatzgruppen were officially created in order to carry out security missions, which included fighting partisans.[2]

The book Lectures on the Holocaust states that initially the strength of the Einsatzgruppen in the occupied Soviet Union was only 4,000 men, but by summer 1942 there were approximately 15,000 Germans and 240,000 auxiliaries. This is argued to not be surprising considering that the partisan number also rose drastically. The auxiliaries were mostly volunteers from other nations, for whom the German invasion of the Soviet Union came as liberation from Stalinist oppression: Ukrainians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, but also many Russians.[2] Other sources state even lower numbers of German Einsatzgruppen operating in occupied Soviet areas. The term "Einsatzgruppen" often refers only to the Germans SS units. The auxiliaries are often ignored or downplayed in mainstream descriptions of the Einsatzgruppen.

Partisans numbers are argued to have been high from the start, which would have given the Einsatzgruppen very limited time for activities other than fighting partisans. "The most reliable data seems to be that provided by Bernd Bonwetsch,[7] who gives the numbers of partisans as follows: late 1941: 90,000; early 1942: 80,000; mid-1942: 150,000; spring 1943: 280,000; by 1944, skyrocketing to approximately half a million. These figures are based both on Soviet and on contemporaneous Reich-German sources."[3][2] "Partisan attacks began immediately following the start of the eastern war; certain partisan units deliberately let themselves be overrun, in order then to engage in sabotage behind the advancing German troops and to commit horrific atrocities against soldiers and civilians they caught unaware. Later on, partisan units as large as entire divisions were flown into the hinterland of the German troops, or smuggled in through the lines."[3]

See also National Socialist Germany and partisans/resistance movements‎, which discusses aspects such as partisans attacks being war crimes and large-scale atrocities by the partisans against Germans and the civilian populations.

The Einsatzgruppen and the Holocaust

The Einsatzgruppen are (in addition to their many "official" security missions) alleged to have been an important part of the Holocaust, especially in occupied eastern territories before the alleged genocidal gassings in the Holocaust camps, and to have killed large number of Jews by shootings or by using gas vans. The corpses were then allegedly at first buried in mass graves, but allegedly later in "Aktion 1005" dug up and completely destroyed as the Germans retreated.[4]

Holocaust revisionists have criticized this genocidal version for a large number of reasons.[4]

For example, the Einsatzgruppen are argued to have been completely overburdened by just the task of fighting partisans.[4][5]

The Einsatzgruppen reports

Revisionists argue that the only non-testimonial evidence supporting the alleged genocidal mass killings are claimed reports sent by the Einsatzgruppen regarding the numbers killed, claimed summaries of such reports, and some claimed related documents. These documents have been admitted to be unreliable also by some mainstream historians and revisionists have argued that at least some of the reports have been edited or fabricated, possibly as part of the war propaganda, and to be clearly proven to be false in some cases.[4][6][7]

Furthermore, it has been argued to be strange that these documents should not have been destroyed, when the Germans supposedly went to enormous lengths to destroy other forms of evidence, including the supposed enormous efforts to destroy the corpses.[4]

Many of these documents were allegedly found in association with the Einsatzgruppen trial, which was one of the Nuremberg trials. See the article on this topic regarding general criticisms of the Nuremberg trials. The Jewish chief prosecutor at the Einsatzgruppen trial, Benjamin Ferencz‎, has made controversial statements on obtaining "evidence", as described in the section "Trial confessions" in this article.

Unlike other alleged Holocaust documents, many of these documents use explicit language (no "code words") regarding the killing of Jews (although often in the context of the anti-partisan/anti-resistance actions of the Einsatzgruppen). Another difference with other Holocaust documents (and despite the claimed extreme secrecy surrounding the Holocaust) is that many of these documents were supposedly mass duplicated and were supposedly sent to many National Socialist leaders (including non-military party leaders such as Baldur von Schirach, despite not being involved in the Eastern Front fighting or administration). As such, they were useful during the Nuremberg trials against such leaders.

At the Nuremberg trials where they were used as evidence, "even this court was surprised at how conspicuously vague the existing 'USSR Event Reports' were with respect to location, point in time, units, and other details such as troop strength, armaments, auxiliary forces, logistics etc. Merely the number on a piece of paper, which was written or is supposed to have been written in Berlin, is too little a proof for a historian, even if the report itself is possibly authentic and only the number legible today on this piece of paper may have been manipulated, which at a closer examination of the documents seems to be the case."[7]

Similarly, non-revisionists have been puzzled by alleged wide circulation of the reports (with sometimes as many as a hundred claimed copies claimed to have been distributed). The non-revisionist Gerald Reitlinger has thus written that “It is not easy to see why the murderers left such an abundant testimony behind them, for in spite of their wide circulation list, Knobloch’s [the Gestapo official who edited the reports] reports seem to have been designed primarily to appeal to Himmler and Heydrich."[8]

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, arguing for the documents often being fabricated/edited, states that "It is not difficult to see why these documents exist: without them, the authors of the lie would have no evidence for their claims except testimony. We have seen that with Auschwitz there was an abundance of material facts to work with and whose meanings could be distorted: shipments of Jews to Auschwitz, many of whom did not return to their original homes, large shipments of a source of hydrogen cyanide gas, elaborate cremation facilities, selections, the stench. The situation with the Einsatzgruppen was different; there was only one fact: the executions. Standing alone, this fact does not appear impressive as evidence, and this consideration was no doubt the motivation for manufacturing these documents on such a large scale. This is in contrast to the Auschwitz hoax, for which forgery of documents is not nearly so prominent and where the forgeries were accomplished with more care. With Auschwitz, we are dealing with a lie manufactured by Washington, but with the Einsatzgruppen, we are dealing with one manufactured by Moscow, and the hand is correspondingly heavier."[8]

Various other forgeries of Nuremberg documents have also been argued. See Holocaust documentary evidence: Forgeries and famous documents at the Nuremberg trials and Allied psychological warfare.

The contents of a document may in some places in the document have been interpreted incorrectly and may in other places have been fabricated/edited. This could occur if the editor/fabricator used an original document as a template and made relatively minor changes when creating the new false document, but with these changes creating an overall misleading impression also regarding the parts that were not edited/fabricated. The motivations for only making relatively minor changes include that it is often very difficult and risky to forge a convincing completely new document, while making relatively minor changes to an already existing document is much easier and quicker.

The revisionist Carlos Porter has stated that "I think this is the way most of the Nuremberg documents were produced: by altering a single word or inserting a paragraph or page or occasionally an entire text, retaining the headings, if any. Faking an entire document is far from easy, but alteration is child's play; note the second paragraph above. That way, if necessary, you have the references, everything, so it fits into an entire file of authentic documents, if necessary, and may never be noticed, especially if the originals are never examined."[9]

Lack of other Einsatzgruppen documents and genocidal orders

If the Einsatzgruppen reports were real, then it is argued that there would have been documentation of genocidal orders, documentation of the location of mass graves (necessary in order to find the mass graves if later wanting to burn the corpses as alleged), documentation of the burning of corpses, and so on, but all such documents are absent.[4]

Revisionists have also argued that mainstream historians have admitted that it is utterly unclear how the Einsatzgruppen received their supposed genocidal orders and have in effect invoked methods such as secret "code words".[4]

Due to this lack of genocidal orders, a politically correct theory is that the Einsatzgruppen started genocidal killings despite not having any such orders, a theory that arguably creates a number of new problems. See Holocaust intentionalism and Holocaust functionalism.

Not genocidal orders to the Einsatzgruppen

Mark Weber testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 that "The tasks of the Einsatzgruppen were clearly laid out in an order by Heydrich, the chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, dated July 2, 1941, I said. This order specified that the only ones to be executed in the occupied Soviet territories as Jews were Jews in [Communist] Party and [Soviet] government positions." It also ordered the executions of "other radical elements (saboteurs, propagandists, snipers, assassins, inciters, etc.)" as well as high-level, middle-level Communist officials along with radical lower-level Communist officials. When I mentioned that this document had only come to light in recent years, Jews in the back of the courtroom expressed audible skepticism that such an order ever really existed. So I quickly added that it has appeared in several works, including Documents on the Holocaust, published by the Israeli government's Yad Vashem center in 1981. The courtroom crowd seemed struck by this citation. The basic German policy towards the Jews in the Soviet territories is also laid out in the "Guidelines for the Handling of the Jewish Question." (Nuremberg document 212-PS.) There is no mention of extermination, but instead this Security Police directive emphasized the importance of putting Jews to work, and specifically refers to the Peaceful solution of the Jewish question."[10]

Partisans and reprisals

National Socialist Germany has often been accused of mass killings of civilians in relation to partisan activity. Revisionists have argued that, at the time of WWII and earlier times, certain forms of regulated reprisals were not illegal, and were committed also by the Allies and others. Thus, "a wartime reprisal is the case if one warring party retaliates against another by means which are otherwise unlawful acts of warfare, and with which he wants to force his opponent, his opponent’s branches and the members of the opposing armed forces to give up their illegal acts of war and to return to the principles of lawful warfare."[11]

However, revisionists have also argued that "We have no difficulty admitting that the German reprisal measures in the East, and not only there, were at times excessive and disproportionate, sometimes even performed with false pretenses, but this has nothing to do with a “radicalization” which would have almost automatically led to a mass extermination of the Jews."[12]

Another revisionist view is that "Dr. jur. Karl Siegert, Professor at the University of Göttingen, drew up a legal expert report shortly after the end of World War Two, in which he showed that reprisal killings were, to a certain degree, common practice and not against international law.[5] Hence, reprisals and shootings of hostages can be considered as tactically questionable and possibly as morally reprehensible, but strictly speaking this was not against the law at that time. This should always be kept in mind when the topic at issue is the reactions of German troops in Russia and Serbia, i.e., in vast regions where a weak occupation power had to battle brutal partisans in order to facilitate the oft-disrupted flow of supplies to the eastern front."[3]

See also National Socialist Germany and partisans/resistance movements‎, which discusses aspects such as partisans attacks being war crimes and large-scale atrocities by the partisans against Germans and the civilian populations.

Argued real killings and persecutions of Jews and other groups

Revisionists have not denied that the Einsatzgruppen and other units (such as non-German auxiliary troops) killed individual Jews and non-Jews, for reasons such as being accused of having participated in the Soviet regime/occupation/terrors as well as because of being accused of being partisans or as reprisals against partisan attacks (see the section "Partisans and reprisals"). There were also pogroms against Jews by non-German civilians in these areas with similar argued motivations. As such, some of the Einsatzgruppen documents stating that Jews were killed are argued to possibly be authentic also by those who have criticized some of the documents as not authentic, although also the authentic documents may have problems such as double counting.[7][13]

However, such killings and persecutions are argued to not have been parts of a general genocide of all Jews. This argued to be supported by several Einsatzgruppen reports that proposed various future large scale projects using Jewish labor, such as "Cultivation of the Pripyet marshes and the marshes on the northern Dnieper as well as the Volga." Furthermore, it is argued that those unable to work were not selectively killed, based on documents showing many children and old people in areas such as ghettos, which supposedly only allowed those who worked.[7]

See also the section "Not genocidal orders to the Einsatzgruppenst" regarding the orders to the Einsatzgruppen.

When Jews are listed as being killed in the reports, there is often a justification stated for the killing, such as sabotage or support of partisans. Such justifications would not have been necessary if there was a general genocidal policy of killing all Jews.

The two Einsatzgruppen reports below and other forms of evidence are argued to support that many Jews had fled/been evacuated before they came under German control and that "the solution of the Jewish question in Europe" referred to removal and not killing:[10]

  • A report dated 12 September 1941 stated that "During the first weeks [of the military campaign] considerable numbers of Jews fell under our control, whereas in the central and eastern Ukrainian districts it has been observed that in many cases 70 to 90 percent, and sometimes 100 percent, of the Jewish population has fled. This can be seen as an indirect result of the work of the Security Police [Einsatzgruppen], since the removal [Abschiebung] at no cost of hundreds of thousands of Jews -- most of them reportedly to beyond the Urals -- represents a considerable contribution to the solution of the Jewish question in Europe."[10]
  • A report dated 25 August 1941 stated that "Slowly but surely, one of the most important problems, the solution of the Jewish question [emphasis in original], is being tackled. In Kishinev [the capital of Bessarabia, a Rumanian-speaking province], there were approximately 60 -- 80 thousand Jews before the war. Most of them were deported with the withdrawal of the Russians. When the city was captured, there were only about 4,000 Jews present, but that number has since increased. Upon the initiative of the Einsatzkomando the Rumanian city commander established a Jewish ghetto in the old city which currently contains about 9,000 Jews. The Jews are being organized into work groups and assigned to various German and Rumanian units for clean-up work and other kinds of labor."[10]

Mark Weber testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 that "In Weber's opinion, the Einsatzgruppen reports, viewed as a whole and taken into context, did not substantiate the extermination story. There were several reasons for this: firstly, the reports showed that there was no German policy to exterminate the Jews of Russia as Jews. While the reports showed large numbers of Jews were shot by German security forces, the reports also made it clear that these shootings were carried out for specific security reasons or in reprisals or for other specific reasons, not simply because these people were Jews. Secondly, the reports themselves grossly exaggerated, sometimes by as much as ten times, the number of Jews allegedly killed. These exaggerations, said Weber, were akin to the gross exaggerations during the Vietnam War by the U.S. government of the daily body count of Vietcong dead. Said Weber, "During the Vietnam War, there was repeatedly on television, night after night, wildly exaggerated stories or figures of Vietcong that were dead." [...] Weber repeated that the Einsatzgruppen reports did not evidence any plan to exterminate the Jews. The Jews were shot for security reasons, as alleged spies, and for reprisals. If a German soldier was shot by a sniper or killed in a village somewhere, the normal policy of the German forces was to shoot hostages or shoot people in the village as a reprisal. This was a very grim policy but a policy which had been carried out by almost all governments faced with any kind of guerrilla or partisan warfare."[14]

See also Posen speeches: The Einsatzgruppen.

Claimed numbers of victims of the Einsatzgruppen

The Einsatzgruppen are alleged to have killed 0.9 - 3 million Jews by different mainstream sources. Most of this allegedly occurred during the 1941-42 period.[7][6][4]

Mainstream historians have made statements that revisionists argue demonstrate the difficulty of the alleged killings, such as "The Einsatzgruppen […] numbered a total of approximately 3,000 men. […] These units had to cover an enormous area that stretched from the suburbs of Leningrad in the north to east of the Sea of Azov in the south, a front hundreds of miles long. […] The means at their disposal to achieve this goal [of murdering all Jews] were in most cases solely conventional firearms – machine guns, rifles and pistols. […] Yet despite this limitation and the fact that the relatively small number of men in these units had to operate over such a wide geographical area, the Einsatzgruppen managed to murder approximately 900,000 Jews within 15 months.[4]

Weber testified that "In the major book on the Einsatzgruppen entitled Die Truppe des Weltanschaungskrieges, the two authors calculated that if all the figures in the German reports were added up, there would be a total of 2.2 million Jewish dead. The authors admitted frankly that this was impossible and conceded that the Einsatzgruppen report figures were exaggerated. In his book, The Destruction of the European Jews, Hilberg came up with a figure of 1.3 million Jewish dead in the occupied Soviet territories, which by implication meant that he too believed the Einsatzgruppen reports were exaggerated. Hilberg didn't say so outright, however, which was typical of how he operated. Even the figure of 1.3 million was not believable in Weber's opinion, because it was known that the great majority of Jews fled or were evacuated by the Soviet government before the Germans invaded in 1941."[14]

Also the reduced number claimed by Hilberg has been argued to be impossibly large, considering the small number of German Einsatzgruppen members, the fighting against the partisans, and that the massacres are alleged to have occurred mostly during limited time periods in 1941-42. Thus, the book The Giant With Feet of Clay : Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the Holocaust states that:[15]

The claimed numbers of victims of the Einsatzgruppen are impossibly large. The largest of the four, Einsatzgruppe A, had 990 members. If we subtract from this the 172 vehicle drivers, 3 women employees, 51 interpreters, 3 teletypewriter operators and 8 radio operators, there are about 750 combatants left to use for the mass killings (p. 303; DEJ, p. 289). Up to 15th October 1941, Einsatzgruppe A supposedly killed 125,000 Jews (p. 309; DEJ, p. 289). Considering the fact that the mass murders first began in August (p. 307; DEJ, na), the overwhelming majority of the 125,000 victims, let us say 120,000, must have been killed in a period of ten weeks.

Since the Jews certainly cannot have gone to their deaths willingly, they must have been tracked down and driven together in the cities, where there certainly would have been escape attempts and resistance. Also there would have been the difficulty of moving the condemned to the outskirts of the city, where most of the pits undoubtedly would have had to have been newly dug.

Besides carrying out the massacres, the Einsatzgruppen were required to comb the POW camps for commissars, fanatical Communists and Jews. This would have been an immense task, because, up to the end of 1941, no less than 3,350,000 Red Army members had fallen into German hands (p. 351; DEJ, p. 334). Even when one considers that only a part of them had been captured by the middle of October, that the Einsatzgruppen did not have to do all the work, only “the major part” of it, and that there were four Einsatzgruppen, under these conditions, during the ten weeks from the beginning of August until the middle of October Einsatzgruppe A must have searched through hundreds of thousands of POWs for the persons to be liquidated – in addition to shooting 120,000 Jews and fighting partisans!

Non-revisionists have argued that the supposed assistance from very large numbers of non-Germans would make the killings in theory logistically possible. However, this implies that very large numbers of non-German are supposed to have participated in the Holocaust, which is a politically problematic view.

This argument has also been criticized by the revisionist Joseph Bishop. "At this point I must add into the equation the fact that other echelons of personnel assisted or worked with the Einsatzgruppen. These included Police battalions, 'Schuma' (Schutzmannshaft, i.e. self-defense) companies of Ukrainians, Latvians et al, even sometimes Wehrmacht security divisions or elements thereof. However, these forces were mostly used to cordon off areas and provide security for the alleged killing units, i.e. when they were not themselves engaged in anti-partisan actions which was their prime activity too. Still, the task is enormous, indeed very problematic, if not impossible.

What about transportation? The actual fighting armies at the front always had priority in receiving vehicles, fuel, and supply. Vehicles in particular were always hard to come by. What little was left for the Einsatzgruppen had to suffice for the transportation of these tiny bands of men to traverse huge distances to carry out their tasks. To get a handle on these problems, consider a comparative provided some years ago by revisionists: The LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] has perhaps 10,000 officers, all plentifully supplied with modern, fast vehicles, and they have a single task to control crime and in one very small area, yet even they have great difficulty and much of the time crime is out of control. How on earth can 2,000 men accomplish this task and many and more important tasks in an area about the size of the USA and in which much of their transport is horse-drawn or nonexistent?"[5]

Various mainstream military history studies are argued to indirectly make it clear that the Einsatzgruppen were completely overburdened by just the task of fighting partisans and that they had little time for anything else.[4][5]

The revisionists Vincent Reynouard and Siegfried Verbeke stated in 2015 that a detailed examination of the Einsatzgruppen report revealed that they actually stated only 372,567 Jews killed during the time period when detailed reports are available (until June 1942). If the unknown persons reportedly killed were supposed to be all Jews, then the maximum recorded deaths of Jews would be 445,000. This included recorded killings from all sources, including militia and the regular army. This is much lower than the number that was claimed to be supported by these documents at the Nuremberg trials and by later historians who uncritically have copied the Nuremberg claims without making the effort of checking the numbers themselves. Also, even if accepting the reports as authentic, these numbers were argued to be greatly exaggerated and the killings that did occur were argued to not have been part of a genocidal policy. One example of evidence for this is that the records were often accompanied by specific justifications for why specific Jews were killed, which would not be necessary if there was a genocidal policy directed at all Jews.[16]

Numbers of Jews in the occupied Soviet Union

Revisionists have questioned that there were large numbers of Jews available to be killed in the German occupied areas of the Soviet Union, due to the large scale Jewish emigrations before the German invasion and due to the large scale evacuations eastwards by the Soviets as they retreated before the invading German forces.[5]

See also Holocaust demographics.

Gas vans

Gas vans are claimed to have been started to be used by the Einsatzgruppen for some of the killings in December 1941. Not because mass shootings did not work (as noted above small numbers of men are claimed to have killed enormous numbers by shooting), but allegedly because the mass shootings were stressful to the shooters.[15]

Any use of gas vans would have complicated the logistics of alleged killings even further, since gas killings of small groups in a van using diesel exhaust (if at all possible) is a much slower process than shooting.

See the Gas vans article and the links there regarding revisionist criticisms of gas vans.


While Einsatzgruppen were allegedly committing genocidal killings (or between the two different "sweeps" of such killings), there is also argued to have been a "ghettoization" of some Jews. This claimed to have occurred because Jews who had fled "were drifting back into the cities from which they had fled. […] Whenever the Einsatzgruppe had left a town, it returned to find more Jews than had already been killed there" and Jews were therefore placed in ghettos in order to "prevent the dispersal of the victims and to facilitate their future seizure for shootings". Also, the purpose of such ghettos was the economic utilization of such Jews who were able to work.[15]

Revisionists have argued that the supposed timetable regarding killings and ghettoization is impossibly inconsistent, that Jews would not have returned to cities where large scale massacres of Jews had occurred, that there would not have been a need for temporary "storage" of Jews in ghettos since allegedly very few men could kill quickly enormous numbers of Jews (thus, allegedly, in Riga 10,600 Jews were murdered by only 21 men in one massacre), that there would not have been a simultaneous policy of genocide/massacres of Jews (able to work or not) and economic utilization of Jews able to work, and that records show that the ghettos contained many persons unable to work.[15]

Instead, revisionists have argued that there was a policy of concentration Jews in ghettos for security and economic reasons, and killings of some Jews (as discussed in the section "Argued real killings and persecutions of Jews and other groups"), but no genocidal policy.[15]

See also Holocaust ghettos.

Alleged specific reports, documents, and massacres

29 December 1942 report

The most often cited Einsatzgruppen document may be an alleged report from Himmler to Hitler, on anti-partisan warfare, dated 29 December 1942. It can be referred to as "Meldung Nr. 51" (Rapport Nr. 51) or with the Nuremberg trials document number NO-1128. In one place in this report, there is a claim that 363,211 Jews were killed in August-November 1942.

Other Einsatzgruppen documents are typically dated before this time period. Revisionists have argued that "these alleged massacres are mostly unconfirmed by any other document: it is unknown where, when, and by whom they were performed. [...] How is it possible to kill 363,211 persons without leaving a major amount of documentary traces?"[17]

Furthermore, the "extermination camps" were allegedly created due to the alleged mass shootings being considered problematic, raising the question of why such mass shootings allegedly continued long after the "extermination camps" started operating.

David Irving has testified that "It's a document that raises my eyebrows. It's a document I am unhappy about because it -- it is so -- it's a rare document. It pokes out above the clouds of the other archives like Mount Kilimanjaro. You wonder what it's doing there. If you work in the archives, you're familiar with documents and you're familiar with statistics and tables and suddenly you come across this document which is the only one of its kind containing this kind of statistics. [...] and to have that item, 'c) Jews executed', inserted there almost as an afterthought, a figure that is twenty or thirty times as large as any other figure on the page."[18]

Arthur R. Butz has written on this and other Einsatzgruppen documents that "They were mimeographed, and signatures are most rare and, when they occur, appear on non-incriminating pages. Document NO-3159, for example, has a signature of a R. R. Strauch, but only on a covering page giving the locations of various units of the Einsatzgruppen. There is also NO-1128, allegedly from Himmler to Hitler reporting, among other things, the execution of 363,211 Russian Jews in August-November 1942. This claim occurs on page 4 of NO-1128, while initials said to be Himmler's occur on the irrelevant page 1. Moreover, Himmler's initials were easy to forge: three vertical lines with a horizontal line drawn through them."[8]

Another criticism of this and many other Einsatzgruppen documents is that they lack the "Top Secret" or similar stamp marks that should have been present. There are also other criticisms of this and other Einsatzgruppen documents.[19]

Jäger and Stahlecker Reports

Infamous "Coffin Map" in the alleged Stahlecker Report that is dated 31 January 1942. The map shows alleged numbers of Jews executed in the Baltic States and Belarus, with the numbers placed next to large coffin symbols (despite supposedly being a formal German report and despite the supposed use of mass graves). The report was allegedly "captured" by the Soviet Union. One Holocaust revisionist criticism is that the map uses Soviet administrative divisions, instead of the expected German ones.[20]. Another that there is also a seldom mentioned draft of the map with several differences.[21]

By non-revisionists often cited claimed reports include the Jäger Report (or Jaeger Report) and the Stahlecker Reports on killings by one of the Einsatzgruppen (Einsatzgruppe A). Revisionists argue that examinations show that the statistics are not reliable.[21][7]

Franz Stahlecker died in 1942. Karl Jäger avoided capture until 1959. Jäger thereafter allegedly committed suicide in custody while awaiting trial. The Soviet Union "revealed" the Jäger report in 1963. Stahlecker and Jäger could thus never publicly state their views on the alleged reports.

The revisionist Arthur R. Butz writes that "Document numbers are 180-L - said to be a report of Stahlecker found in Himmler's files[352] - 2273-PS - said to be another Stahlecker report on actions up to January 31, 1942, "captured by Russians in Riga" [...] In connection with these matters, the reader should be informed that, when examining printed reproductions of documents in the IMT and NMT volumes, a handwritten signature not be assumed unless it is specifically stated that the signature is handwritten; "signed" generally means only a typewritten signature. Document 180-L, for example, is reproduced in German in the IMT volumes, and excerpts in English are reproduced in the NMT volumes. In both cases signatures are indicated, but the actual document merely has "gez. Dr. Stahlecker" (signed Dr. Stahlecker) typewritten in two places."[8]

The Jäger Report is frequently cited in politically correct descriptions of the Holocaust, likely because of its unusually brutal language and claims, even for an Einsatzgruppen document.

  • The Soviet KGB in the postwar period instituted a disinformation campaign intended to discredit Ukrainian and Lithuanian anti-Communist nationalism (which caused great problems for the Communists both inside and outside the Soviet Union) and to cause Jewish hostility to such opposition to the Soviet system. This included black propaganda and fabricating evidence of participation in alleged "Nazi" war crimes against Jews. One example is John Demjanjuk.[22] The Jäger Report (and Stahlecker Reports) which make many accusations of participation in war crimes by Lithuanian nationalists may have been part of this.
  • Jäger, while in custody before his alleged suicide in 1959, made very different statements regarding what had occurred compared to what is claimed in the Jäger Report, which was "revealed" in 1963 by the Soviet Union.
  • In addition to alleging large scale killings of non-German civilians, the Jäger Report also alleged killings of German civilians, such as for having married a Jew, despite this not being punished with the death penalty and this therefore likely being considered murder, something Jäger and his superiors would likely not have wanted in writing, even if the alleged explicit confession of mass killings of non-German civilians was considered to be unproblematic.
  • The document makes extraordinary claims, such as a single German "raiding squad" of about 10 men together with an unspecified number of Lithuanians killing almost 100,000 individuals (mostly Jews but also other groups such as Lithuanians) during a few months in 1941 in Lithuania (counting all claims, 137,346 are alleged to have been killed during this time period).
  • Thus, according to the Jäger Report, most of the participants in the killings must have been (anti-Communist and nationalist) Lithuanians supporting the Germans. The document also alleged that these Lithuanians on a large scale mistreated other Lithuanians. This to such a degree that even the Germans supposedly protested and intervened and for which the Germans were supposedly thanked by the Lithuanian population. This supposed mistreatment is arguably strange, considering that the anti-Communist nationalists in the Baltic States strongly criticized the Communist mistreatment during the preceding Communist occupation. See, for example, the article on the book Latvia: Year of Horror.
  • Strangely, the document refers to these pro-German Lithuanians as "Lithuanian partisans", which is incorrect terminology, since "partisans" by definition oppose an occupation. However, this usage gives, possibly deliberately by a pro-Soviet forger, the impression that these Lithuanians were identical with the anti-Communist Lithuanian partisans who opposed the Soviet occupation of Lithuania before and after the German occupation.

Babi Yar

A particularly well-known and large massacre and burial by Einsatzgruppen (and a later digging up of the corpses in order to burn them) is claimed to have occurred at the Babi Yar ravine near Kiev on 29–30 September 1941. Depending on the source, 3,000 - 300,000 are claimed to have been killed. For example, 100,000 killed was claimed at the Nuremberg trials. Revisionists argue that this is contradicted by wartime air reconnaissance photos showing no mass graves, disturbed terrain, or other human activity. This in contrast to the clearly visible and extensive mass graves dug after communist massacres at other places. There are also many other criticisms, such as the Soviet Union making no forensic investigation but instead using the site as a garbage dump and incineration area. The claims by "witnesses" regarding what occurred are contradictory. Thus, there are widely different dates for the alleged killings, widely different alleged methods, widely different alleged numbers killed, widely different allegations regarding locations, and various other highly contradictory claims.[4][23]

"Udo Walendy and Herbert Tiedemann have documented the wild implausibility of the official version of Babi Yar. As just one example, the various “witnesses” to this alleged crime flagrantly contradict each other on the most basic issue of identifying the killing instrument: the victims were shot with rifles, or submachine guns, or slaughtered with bayonets, or buried alive, or blown up by mines, or squashed with tanks, or killed by means of lethal injections, or drowned in the Dnieper, or exploded by hand grenades, or had their heads crushed with rocks, or were suffocated in gas vans."[17]

Revisionists have argued that if a mass killing of this magnitude had occurred in Kiev, then the Soviet government would have learned of it in days and would have used it for large scale propaganda purposes. Instead, it was first on 6 January 1942, several months later, that the Soviet foreign minister alleged that a large number of Jews had been shot in the Jewish cemetery of Kiev.[17]

Claimed victim numbers at Babi Yar according to different sources:[4]

  • 300,000 Vitaly Korotych
  • 200,000 Vladimir Posner
  • 150,000 Speech during inauguration of memorial
  • 110,000 – 140,000 New York Times (Rudolf 2003a, p. 514)
  • 100,000 IMT (vol. 7, p. 556), Western Encyclopedias 236
  • 80,000 Soviet Commission
  • 70,000 Soviet Encyclopedias
  • 52,000 World Jewish Congress
  • 50,000 Genadi Udovenko
  • 38,000 Polish resistance
  • 33,771 Activity- and Situation Report No. 6
  • 30,000 Leni Yahil (Rudolf 2003a, p. 520)
  • 10,000 Grand Dictionnaire Encyclopédique Larousse
  • 3,000 Encyclopedia of Ukraine

A Soviet commission published a report that was introduced as evidence during the Nuremberg trials. 100,000 killed was claimed. Despite the corpses supposedly having been destroyed, the report included an image supposedly depicting a small mass grave supposedly located at Babi Yar. This is the only image supposedly from Babi Yar that shows corpses rather than scattered clothes and other unclear scenes. The report also contains other claims, such as that Germans in Kiev "resorted to all sort of methods in exterminating Soviet people. They, for instance, invented the following murder ‘technique’: some Soviet people were forced to climb a tree, others were ordered to cut that tree. People fell down along with the tree, thus finding their deaths."[24]

Various other criticisms have also been stated, such as the alleged very large scale mass killing not being prominently mentioned by the Ukrainian resistance press, despite mentioning killings of its members in Kiev, and also not being prominently mentioned for a long time after the war by Ukrainian or Jewish emigrants from Kiev. Furthermore, there may have been conflations with various other killings and mass burials. Thus, the Communist secret police is stated to have used the Babi Yar ravine as a mass burial place for a long time before the war, the German labor camp Syretz is stated to have had a mass burial place, and Germans are stated to have executed and buried partisans at the nearby small Orthodox cemetery.[25]

Non-revisionists today usually cite the 33,771 number that is stated in one of the Einsatzgruppen reports. However, same document alleges that there were about 300,000 Jews in Kiev when the German occupation of the city began. Revisionists argue that this for various reasons is an absurd claim (such as by implying that there were no non-Jews in Kiev at this time after earlier Soviet evacuations having reduced the total population of the city to about 300,000) and contradicted by many sources. Also other evidence is argued to show that this document is a fabrication.[23]

Furthermore, this and other alleged Einsatzgruppen reports alleged various forms of support/participation by Ukrainians in this and other alleged mass killings, which may fit with Soviet propaganda efforts to discredit Ukrainian nationalism (see the section "Jäger and Stahlecker Reports"). Thus, the alleged Babi Yar mass killing was according the report partially due to that "''The population expected adequate reprisals from the Germans. [...] all the Jews of Kiev were ordered to appear at a certain place on Monday, September 29, by 6 o'clock. This order was publicized by posters all over the town by members of the newly organized Ukrainian militia. [...] The population agreed with the plan to move the Jews to another place. That they were actually liquidated has hardly been made known. However, according to the experience gained so far, this would not meet with any opposition." The report also alleged that "The population was extremely infuriated against the Jews because of their preferential economical status under Soviet rule", but rather strangely did not mention the common National Socialist accusation of Jewish involvement in Communist atrocities and in particular did not mention the Communist atrocities during the Holodomor in Ukraine.


Mass shootings of Jews and others (and later digging up of the corpses in order to burn them) is claimed to have been done by Germans and Lithuanians at Ponary (now Paneriai) near Vilnius, Lithuania. Around 100,000 are claimed to have been killed (including 70,000 Jews). Allegations of such very high victim numbers is primarily based on claimed affidavits by Szloma Gol, used as evidence during the Nuremberg trials. Allegedly, despite the Germans wanting to destroy the evidence by digging up the corpses and burning them, they ordered two Jewish prisoners to, as their sole job, document the number of corpses. The affidavits allege that 68,000 corpses were dug up, gold teeth were removed, and the corpses were then burned, including the corpse of Gol's own brother, allegedly killed and buried two years earlier, but that Gol supposedly identified among the other 68,000 decomposing corpses. Also, the affidavits made the unusual claim of prominent SA involvement. The SA was not part of the Einsatzgruppen or the SS. This was used as claimed evidence against the SA as a "criminal organization" during the Nuremberg trials. The defense stated that there was no SA in Lithuania and this claim is not mentioned in current politically correct descriptions of Ponary.[26]

Another claimed important witness was the Polish Kazimierz Sakowicz, claimed to have documented Ponary killings in his diary before his death. Fragments of the diary were supposedly found and "reconstructed" after the war by the Jewish Communist partisan Rachel Margolis. Lithuanians have accused Margolis of war crimes, terrorism, and murder.[27]

Another Jewish partisan and writer on Ponary is Yitzhak Arad, accused of being a member of the Soviet NKVD and to have participated in war crimes in Lithuania.


The Rumbula massacre was an alleged mass killing of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen in the Rumbula forest near Riga, Latvia. See the article on Walter Bruns.


The former Higher Leader of the SS and Police of Ostland, Friedrich Jeckeln, allegedly stated while in Soviet custody that 55,000 - 87,000 Jews were exterminated at the Salaspils camp in Latvia. Russia as late as 2004 claimed that 101,000 “Soviet citizens” had been killed at Salaspils, and a Soviet encyclopedia in 1970 gave the victim number as at least 53,700. Even non-revisionists now instead estimate a few thousand deaths.[28]


The Jedwabne mass killing was a mass killing at a similar time and place as the claimed Einsatzgruppen mass killings. It was for a long time claimed to have been done mainly by Germans. Even non-revisionists now admit that this is incorrect. See the article on Jedwabne.

Bila Tserkva

The Bila Tserkva (or Belaya Tserkov) massacre was an alleged mass killing of adult Jews, and later their children, at Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, by Germans and Ukrainians. Even if this is correct, or partially correct, then this may refer to a killing in a context such as anti-partisan warfare/reprisals. See also Posen Speeches: The Einsatzgruppen.

Furthermore, claimed evidence for this was presented in the 1960s in a German trial (the "Callsen trial"). This occurred at a time when claims of a "Clean Wehrmacht" (innocent of the alleged National Socialist crimes) started to be attacked. The claimed Bila Tserkva massacre evidence was part of this attack, with the high-ranking Wehrmacht Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau claimed to be involved with the killing of the children. Reichenau had died during the war and could thus not respond to allegations. The claimed evidence may thus be problematic, especially considering the criticisms of other "evidence" involving the Holocaust and the Einsatzgruppen presented during this time period, such as regarding Communist falsification of evidence involving the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials and the Jäger report.

1 August 1941 order

Himmler on 1 August 1941 allegedly ordered regarding Jews in the Pripet Marshes (which contained many partisans during WWII) that "All Jews must be shot. Drive the female Jews into the swamp." He supposedly received a reply that the swamp killing method did not have the intended effect, because the swamp was not deep enough. Holocaust revisionists have doubted that something so nonsensical would have been attempted and have doubted the authenticity of this order for this and other reasons.[17] Furthermore, even if authentic (or partially authentic), this may refer to a killing in a context such as anti-partisan warfare/reprisals. See also Posen Speeches: The Einsatzgruppen.

Hermann Graebe

Hermann Graebe made important testimonies during the IMT and Einsatzgruppen trials. Accusations included claimed mass executions of Jews at Dubno on 5 October 1942. See the article on Hermann Graebe on him being discredited as a false witness and perjurer.

Johannes Blaskowitz

Johannes Blaskowitz was a military officer who allegedly made early complaints of Einsatzgruppen atrocities in Poland and who allegedly and mysteriously committed suicide during the Nuremberg trials.

Hinrich Lohse‎ and Wilhelm Kube

See the articles on Hinrich Lohse‎ and Wilhelm Kube‎ regarding documents with these individuals as claimed authors.

Alleged destruction of the corpses

As stated elsewhere, revisionists have argued that limited numbers of Jews and others were killed by the Einsatzgruppen. As such, finding limited corpse remains, or even limited mass graves, of Jews and others who had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen would not contradict the revisionist version. More generally, there were enormous causalities (both civilian and military) due to the war and due to the mass killings under Communist regimes (before, during, and after the war), so finding remains of many corpses (including Jewish) do not necessarily contradict the revisionist version.

During WWII, the Germans found and showed to outsiders (such as journalists and experts from neutral countries) mass graves from Communist massacres, such as the Katyn massacre and the Vinnytsia massacre.

The Soviet Union during and after the war claimed to have found large mass graves with very high number of corpses from German massacres, but did not show them outsiders, and no such mass graves with very high number of corpses have been presented in the post-Soviet period. The Soviet Union/post-Soviet countries do have shown to outsiders relatively small mass graves with limited number of corpses, claimed to be from German massacres. However, the numbers of found corpses in these mass graves are very small compared to the numbers claimed to have been killed by the Einsatzgruppen.

The explanation for this, according to non-revisionists, is the operation "Aktion 1005". It is alleged that some time after the massacres and the burials, the Germans involved in this operation returned to the burial sites in order to dig up and completely destroy the corpses. "Longerich (2010: 410) explains: “In June 1943 the commandos began to open the mass graves in the occupied Soviet territories, first in the Ukraine, then in White Russia, and finally in the Baltic states.” These teams were “extraordinarily thorough,” he says: The mass graves were opened up, the corpses were burned on piles of wood or steel grilles, then the ashes were examined for valuable objects, gold teeth above all, before the bones were ground and the ashes scattered or buried. Then all other traces that could have indicated the places of execution were removed, and the murder scene dug over and planted."[6]

Revisionists have criticized this for a large number of reasons:[6][4][15][29]

  • The only evidence for the existence of "Aktion 1005" as alleged is "eyewitness evidence”, "confessions” and post-war trials, where such "eyewitness evidence” and "confessions” formed the sole basis of the accusation.
  • The testimonies were inconsistent.
  • The conspirators involved in the cover-up are supposed to have completely destroyed all large mass graves, yet not destroyed other alleged forms of evidence much easier to destroy (and fabricate), such as the Einsatzgruppen reports.
  • Very detailed descriptions/maps of the locations of all the burial sites would have been necessary to find them again years later, and most likely would have accompanied the Einsatzgruppen reports allegedly documenting the massacres, yet all detailed descriptions/maps are missing.
  • Digging up the rotting and decomposing corpses would have been much more complicated and resource-consuming than burying them, which already is argued to have been very complicated, as stated in earlier sections.
  • The number of men involved in the alleged operation was much smaller than the number of men in the Einsatzgruppen (and due to the extremely secretive nature of the alleged operation it is unlikely that any outsiders would have been involved) and the operation is alleged to have taken place during little more than a year, from the beginning of June 1943 until the end of July 1944. (Before this, during the 1942-43 time period, these units are alleged to have destroyed the corpses in mass graves at "extermination camps").
  • Digging up and destroying the corpses would have been essentially impossible during the cold winter months, leaving an even shorter time period available for the alleged disposals.
  • Allegedly valuable gasoline was used for burning the corpses. This would have required vast amounts, at a time when the scarcity of fuel for airplanes, armored vehicles and trucks was causing the Germans severe difficulties.
  • If firewood was used instead, "To do this on an open-air fire requires an immense amount of fuel, something like 160 kg (350 pounds) of wood per body, at minimum. A modest, 1,000-person grave would thus demand at least 160,000 kg (175 tons) of firewood. And the fire would have failed in the case of cold, rain, wind, or other adverse conditions."
  • "And if – as the witnesses report – thousands of pyres were burning during the night despite blackout regulations, no Soviet reconnaissance plane discovered and photographed them – for otherwise the photographs would have been exploited at once for propaganda purposes."
  • "The ash would have been overwhelming. Each body, plus the wood to burn it, would produce about 9 kg (20 pounds) of ash; 1,000 bodies yields 20,000 pounds, or 10 tons of ash. Can we imagine the Germans “sifting” through mountains of ash, in the cold and rain, pulling out teeth and bones—each tooth individually inspected for gold, each bone tossed into the “grinder” pile?"
  • Open air incineration leaves behind bones, and usually not only splinters, but large pieces of shoulder and pelvic bones. In addition, teeth are not destroyed. These remains would have to be destroyed separately after the burning by large, power-driven grinding machinery, evidence of which is lacking, and requiring further time and resources.
  • Even if all the remains were reduced to ash, ash remains as ash for very long time periods. Such ash, or just large scale disturbing of the earth from digging and refilling, can be easily detected by modern technologies, even from the air.

"Holocaust by Bullets"

See the article on Patrick Desbois and the external links there regarding criticisms of the 2008 book Holocaust by Bullets.

Partisans using German uniforms when committing atrocities

Partisans have been stated to have used German uniforms when committing atrocities against the civilian population.[30] Such partisan atrocities may easily have been mistaken for Einsatzgruppen atrocities.

The Extraordinary State Commission and other Soviet agencies

The Soviet Extraordinary State Commission and other Soviet agencies are other sources for allegations against the Einsatzgruppen. They made reports that were important evidence during the Nuremberg trials and other trials. See the article on the Extraordinary State Commission regarding criticisms.

Trial confessions

See the Nuremberg trials article regarding criticisms of these trials. Alleged crimes by the Einsatzgruppen were topics in both the main IMT Nuremberg trial and in later Nuremberg trials, in particular in the "Einsatzgruppen trial".

Regarding trials confessions supporting the politically correct view on the Einsatzgruppen, revisionists have argued that they in part reflect real killings by the Einsatzgruppen of various groups, that they in later trials reflect that the main IMT trial had established many aspects of the Einsatzgruppen killings as "facts" that were forbidden to be questioned by later trials, that they sometimes attempted to buy leniency by falsely testifying against others and/or supporting the politically correct Holocaust version, that they were sometimes greatly inconsistent and changed between different trials, that they sometimes contested various aspects of the politically correct version such as the numbers stated in the Einsatzgruppen documents, and that they sometimes rejected the politically correct version completely.[8][31]

See Holocaust testimonial evidence regarding general criticisms of witness testimonies and trials confessions and in particular the section on the legal strategy of acknowledging the Holocaust while attempting to shift blame. The accused often tried this defense strategy by "confessing", expressed support for the politically correct view on the Holocaust, and stated the superior orders defense.

Many of those supporting the politically correct version at the Nuremberg trials in practice received surprisingly mild punishments, considering the genocidal killings they were convicted of. In many cases, the initial harsh sentences, even death sentences, were quietly later commuted to much milder ones and in addition many were quietly released from prison after relatively brief time periods.

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century described several problems with the testimony of Otto Ohlendorf (see the section "Otto Ohlendorf"), and stated that "Ohlendorf’s testimony contrasts with that of Haensch, an SS Lieutenant Colonel who was in command of a Sonderkommando in group C for about seven weeks. The fact that Haensch had not testified previously when others were on trial and the fact that his lower rank made the a priori constraints on Case 9 of lesser effect in his case, gave him a freedom that Ohlendorf did not enjoy. He testified that absolutely nobody, in giving him his orders, had ever mentioned Jews as such in connection with executive activities of the Einsatzgruppen and that his Sonderkommando had not, as a matter of fact, had a policy of executing Jews as such. He estimated that his Sonderkommando executed about sixty people during his period of service. All of these claims were completely in conflict with what are said to be the reports of the Einsatzgruppen."[8]

Also non-revisionists historians such as "Kershaw concedes that some post-war court testimony of German military officers about the existence of an order from Hitler to exterminate the Jews is bogus: "The early post-war testimony of Einsatzkommando leaders about the prior existence of a Führer order has been shown to be demonstrably false, concocted to provide a unified defense of the leader of Einsatzgruppe D, Otto Ohlendorf, at his trial in 1947. [...] The tribunals that these German military men and National Socialist officials faced were committed, a priori, to the dictum that there was a Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews, and Adolf Hitler personally ordered this. It was not possible for them to contest this in court, so they simply built their defense strategies accordingly. By so doing, they placed the responsibility on Hitler and his National Socialist government in order to support their courtroom defense that they were only obeying the Führer’s commands–thus falsifying the historical record along the way."[32] Similarly, "Alfred Streim, Director of the Ludwigsburg Central Office for the Resolution of NS Crimes, wrote regarding this: "Ohlendorf 's testimony and submissions concerning the inauguration of the 'Führer Order' [...] are false. In the Einsatzgruppen Trial the former Head of Einsatzgruppe D was able to get his co-defendants to submit to a line of defense put forward by him with the suggestion that if one had, from the very beginning, carried out the extermination operations against the Jews on 'order of the Führer,' one could count upon a more lenient sentence."[7] Such deliberate lying by trial confessors regarding central aspects, and even a conspiracy involving several trial confessors to deliberately lie in a unified way, arguably casts doubts on the trial confessions in general.

According to a 2005 article, the Jewish Chief Prosecutor of the Einsatzgruppen trial. Benjamin Ferencz, "says it's important to recall that military legal norms at the time permitted a host of flexibilities that wouldn't fly today. "You know how I got witness statements?" he says. "I'd go into a village where, say, an American pilot had parachuted and been beaten to death and line everyone one up against the wall. Then I'd say, 'Anyone who lies will be shot on the spot.' It never occurred to me that statements taken under duress would be invalid." On the practice of taking suspects to DPs (displaced persons, former camp prisoners) for legal "further questioning" (but this possibly being illegal executions): "cautions against making sweeping armchair moral judgments. "Someone who was not there could never really grasp how unreal the situation was," he says. "I once saw DPs beat an SS man and then strap him to the steel gurney of a crematorium. They slid him in the oven, turned on the heat and took him back out. Beat him again, and put him back in until he was burnt alive. I did nothing to stop it. I suppose I could have brandished my weapon or shot in the air, but I was not inclined to do so. Does that make me an accomplice to murder?""[33] Ferencz has also made controversial statements on human soap and human lampshades as described in the "Quotes" section in the article on Benjamin Ferencz.

The presiding judge Michael Muusmanno directly supported and helped the inexperienced prosecution during the trial (it was Ferencz's first trial), aiding the prosecution in the cross-examination of each defendant, and making accusations and persecution arguments not made by the formal persecution.[34]

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski was in charge of major Einsatzgruppen operations in the Soviet Union and elsewhere during the war. At the Nuremberg trials, he was a prominent politically correct witness and likely as a reward was never punished for various alleged wartime crimes. In 1961, he repudiated his Nuremberg testimony, stating regarding the alleged Einsatzgruppen atrocities that he had only heard rumors during the war.[35] After this less politically correct statement, he was sentenced to additional imprisonment for alleged prewar crimes and died in prison.

See also the article on Hermann Graebe.

Otto Ohlendorf

The book The Myth of Six Million stated that "The action of the Einsatzgruppen played a large role in the case presented by Soviet Prosecutor Rudenko at Nuremberg in the major trial [the IMT trial] and also at the three later trials of SS leaders. [...] charged that these four groups of security troops assigned to fight partisans and commissars had killed not less than a million Jewish civilians in Western Russia and the Ukraine merely because they were Jews. There were no reliable statistics to support this claim, but Otto Ohlendorf, the chief of Einsatzgruppen D in the South, had been "persuaded" on November 5, 1945 to sign a statement to the effect that 90,000 Jews had been killed under his command. Ohlendorf did not come on trial until 1948, long after the main Nuremberg trial, and by that time he was insisting that his earlier statement had been extorted from him by torture. [...] He denied that all the Einsatzgruppen ever employed in the war on the eastern front inflicted one quarter of the casualties claimed by the prosecution, and he insisted that the illegal partisan warfare in the USSR had taken a much higher toll of lives -- the Soviets boasted of 500,000 -- from the regular German army. Ohlendorf wrote a bitter appeal shortly before his execution in 1951, and he charged that the Western Allies were hypocritical in holding Germany to account by conventional laws of warfare while engaged with a savage Soviet opponent which did not respect those laws."[36]

David Irving testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 on whether he had any indication of Ohlendorf being tortured. ""Oh, yes," said Irving. "The SS General Ohlendorf and the SS General Pohl were both very severely maltreated at Nuremberg and in the internment camps where they were held by the Allies after the Second World War and prior to their testimony. They subsequently testified to that to their fellow prisoners like Field Marshal Milch, who kept a diary which I have and also in the subsequent trials."[18]

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century states that at the IMT, where Ohlendorf appeared as a prosecution witness, he testified that he had received oral orders to add extermination of Jews to his activities and that gas vans were used. These claims regarding the Einsatzgruppen were thereafter not open for debate in the subsequent trials, as the IMT judgment was explicitly forbidden to be questioned by the later Nuremberg trials, such as the Einsatzgruppen trial where Ohlendorf himself was put on trial.[8]

An example of Ohlendorf argued to be proven to be lying at the IMT is an affidavit and a witness testimony by Ohlendorf regarding the alleged use of gas vans that "contradict the facts in several decisive respects and cannot in any way be considered evidence for actions which are technically impossible."[37] See also "The Manstein Trial" section regarding other argued to be proven false statements made by Ohlensdorf.

At the Einsatzgruppen trial, Ohlendorf’s testimony is argued to be "simply contradictory; he was stuck with his IMT testimony, which the prosecution was mindful of holding him to, but he tried to squirm out anyway, and the result was a story having no coherency whatever. He retracted his earlier statement that there had been specific extermination orders, but under cross examination he said that he was killing all Jews and gypsies anyway, but that this was just an anti-partisan operation, not part of a program to exterminate all Jews and gypsies on racial or religious grounds. However, the total number of persons of all categories executed by group D during his year in Russia was only 40,000, and not the 90,000 that he had testified to at the IMT and which the NMT prosecutor attempted to hold him to. Either figure, of course, especially the former, makes some sense, if the executions were only in connection with anti-partisan measure, but make no sense at all if one is supposed to be executing all Jews and gypsies at the same time, including women and children. Ohlendorf’s NMT testimony is thus hopelessly contradictory, as it was bound to be in the circumstances, in which he found himself."[8]

The Manstein Trial

General Field Marshall Erich von Manstein in 1949 came before a British military court on charges of complicity in the massacres committed by Einsatzgruppen under the command of Ohlendorf. His defense counsel wrote a book about the trial. In it, he reports the following concerning the activities of Einsatzgruppe D in the Crimea:[7]

It seemed to me that the S.D. claims were quite impossible. Single companies of about 100 with about 8 vehicles were reporting the killing of up to 10,000 and 12,000 Jews in two or three days. They could not have got more than about 20 or 30 Jews who, be it remembered, thought they were being resettled and had their traps with them, into a single truck. Loading, travelling at least 10 kilometres, unloading and returning trucks would have taken nearer two hours than one. The Russian winter day is short and there was no travelling by night. Killing 10,000 Jews would have taken at least three weeks.

In one instance we were able to check their figures. The S.D. claimed that they had killed 10,000 in Simferopol during November and in December they reported Simferopol clear of Jews. By a series of cross checks we were able to establish that the execution of the Jews in Simferopol had taken place on a single day, 16th November. Only one company of S.D. were in Simferopol. The place of execution was 15 kilometres from the town. The numbers involved could not have been more than about 300. These 300 were probably not exclusively Jews but a miscellaneous collection of people whe were being held on suspicion of resistance activity. The Simferopol incident received a good deal of publicity because it was spoken of by the prosecution's only witness, an Austrian corporal called Gaffa who said that he heard anti-Jewish activities mentioned on an engineers' mess when he was oderly and had passed the scene of the Simferopol execution. As a result we received a large number of letters, and where able to call several witnesses who had been billeted with Jewish families and also spoke of the functioning of the local synagogue and of a Jewish market where they bought icons and similar bric-a-brac right up to the time that Manstein left the Crimea and after.

It was indeed clear that the Jewish community had continued to function quite openly in Simferopol and although several of our witnesses had heard rumours about an S.D. excess committed against Jews in Simferopol, it certainly appeared that this Jewish community was unaware of any special danger.

Ohlendorf had reported that not only Simferopol but the whole Crimea was cleared of Jews. He was clearly a man who was prepared to say anything that would please his employers. The Americans found him a perfect witness.

The Einsatzgruppen in the Occupied Eastern Territories—Genesis, Missions and Actions

In 2018, Holocaust revisionist Carlo Mattogno's book The Einsatzgruppen in the Occupied Eastern Territories—Genesis, Missions and Actions was published in English. The 800 pages book is by far the most detailed Holocaust revisionist study on the Einsatzgruppen and can be downloaded for free. The book, due to the unreliable nature of many of the sources on the Einsatzgruppen, does not give an estimate regarding how many were killed. However, as the book rejects the systemic destruction of corpses by "Aktion 1005", the book argues that estimates in the future may be based on evidence from forensic examinations finding corpses shown to be killed by the Einsatzgruppen.[38]

See also

  • Gas vans - Regarding alleged use of gas vans by the Einsatzgruppen.
  • The Holocaust - Regarding general topics such as the reliability of testimonies and confessions.
  • Nuremberg trials - Regarding topics such as torture and fabrications
  • Posen speeches - In particular, the section "The Einsatzgruppen"
  • See also the "External links" section regarding further arguments

External links


Alleged specific atrocities

Article archives

In online or downloadable books



  1. A Closer look at a German "Atrocity Photo" https://codoh.com/library/document/912/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Partisan War and Reprisal Killings http://codoh.com/library/document/1493/
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Einsatzgruppen and the Holocaust http://codoh.com/library/document/3103/
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Thomas Dalton. The Great Holocaust Mystery: Reconsidering the Evidence. https://codoh.com/library/document/3331/?lang=en
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf. Treblinka Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?: Chapter VII: The Role of the Einsatzgruppen in the Occupied Eastern Territories http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=8
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. 4th, corrected and expanded edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=7
  9. Carlos Porter. LETTER 25, On the Einsatzgruppen Reports, etc. http://www.cwporter.com/letter25.htm
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 My Role in the Zündel Trial http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v09/v09p389_Weber.html
  11. Reprisals and Orders From Higher Up http://codoh.com/library/document/1174/
  12. Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
  13. Jewish Co-Responsibility for Jewish Persecution in 1941 http://codoh.com/library/document/1439/
  14. 14.0 14.1 The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988: Mark Weber http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/20weber.html
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Jürgen Graf. The Giant With Feet of Clay—Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the ‘Holocaust’ http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=3
  16. Vincent Reynouard and Siegfried Verbeke. Vincent Reynouard - Les Einsatzgruppen partie 4 : Juges et historiens pris en flagrant délit de mensonges - Einsatzgruppen part 4 : Lying Judges and Historians Caught Red-Handed https://archive.org/details/VincentReynouardLesEinsatzgruppenPartie4JugesEtHistoriensPrisEnFlagrantDelitDeMensonges
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
  18. 18.0 18.1 Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/35irving.html
  19. Carlos Porter. Letter 25. On the Einsatzgruppen Reports, etc. http://www.cwporter.com/letter25.htm
  20. Ostland and the "Stahlecker map" https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7404&p=54811
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Rumbula Massacre – A Critical Examination of the Facts, Part 1 https://codoh.com/library/document/3198/?lang=en
  22. Divide and Conquer: The KGB disinformation campaign against Ukrainians and Jews http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/divide-and-conquer-the-kgb-disinformation-campaign-against-ukrainians-and-jews
  23. 23.0 23.1 Herbert Tiedemann. Babi Yar: Critical Questions and Comments http://codoh.com/library/document/920/
  24. Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined. Third edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
  25. What Happened at Babi Yar? Fact vs. Myth https://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/30/what-happened-at-babi-yar-fact-vs-myth/
  26. Volume 21 in Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal : Proceedings Volumes.
  27. Rachel Margolis https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rachel_Margolis&oldid=808122839
  28. Evidence for the Presence of “Gassed” Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories, Part 1 https://codoh.com/library/document/3111/
  29. Jürgen Graf. The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of a Scholar: Dr. Christian Lindtner and Holocaust Revisionism https://codoh.com/library/document/3167/?lang=en
  30. The suppressed History of Crimes committed on German soldiers in WWII. Part V http://revblog.codoh.com/2012/05/the-suppressed-history-of-crimes-committed-on-german-soldiers-in-wwii-part-v/
  31. Jürgen Graf. The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of a Scholar: Dr. Christian Lindtner and Holocaust Revisionism https://codoh.com/library/document/3167/?lang=en
  32. The Final Solution: A Response to Christopher Browning http://codoh.com/library/document/162/
  33. Matthew Brzezinski. Sunday, July 24, 2005. Giving Hitler Hell. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/21/AR2005072101680_5.html Archive.is: https://archive.is/i0pm
  34. Evading the Hangman’s Noose: Clemency in a Nazi War Crimes Trial By: Allison Ernest, as cited in https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2897&start=160
  35. Peter Winter. The Six Million: Fact or Fiction. Seventh Edition. Section 38: Bach-Zelewski Repudiates his “Confession. http://thesixmillionfactorfiction.blogspot.com/
  36. The Myth of the Six Million http://www.ihr.org/books/hoggan/12.html
  37. The Gas Vans http://codoh.com/library/document/933/
  38. The Einsatzgruppen in the Occupied Eastern Territories—Genesis, Missions and Actions http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=39