On December 16, 1942, the Wehrmacht leadership also issued orders against the harshest orders of German military history, raucous and children, to combat Soviet partisans

On June 22, 1941, the. In a short campaign they wanted to down the USSR and build up a huge German Ostimperium. With the break-up of the Soviet Union at the same time an alternative to capitalism social system and the state basis of the communist world movement should be destroyed. According to the Nazis, the Eastern empire secures its rule over Europe and creates the precondition for the struggle for world dominance (see Junge Welt, 18.12.2010).

Martin Seckendorf wrote at this point last on 8 November 2017 about the opening of a second front in North Africa during the Second World War by the Western Allies

Despite collective punishment and veritable extermination operations, the Nazis could not cope with the growing influence of the partisans in the back of the Eastern Front

Despite collective punishment and veritable extermination operations, the Nazis could not cope with the growing influence of the partisans in the back of the Eastern Front

Criminal goals

On January 9, 1941, Hitler told generals that the »Russian Giant Space« was »immeasurable wealth«. Hermann Göring, the second man in the Nazi hierarchy and responsible for the economic “exploitation” of the “East Empire,” made a guideline on November 8, 1941: “In the long run, the newly occupied eastern territories will be exploited economically from a colonial point of view and colonial methods . “Therefore,” Russia should (…) produce raw materials and food “. Every industry at a higher processing level has to “die off”. The head of the Wehrwirtschaftsamt in the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW), Georg Thomas, who was considered as a representative of big business in the military leadership, said in February 1941, one could get out of the USSR considerable agricultural surpluses. A prerequisite is the drastic reduction of self-consumption of the “Russians”. The traditional “grant areas” (cities such as Moscow and Leningrad and the forest zone) should be completely cut off from supply.

Goering said in November 1941 on the effects of this strategy: “This year, between 20 and 30 million people will starve to death in Russia.” In addition, the millionaire starvation was an opportunity to create “man-diluted” zones in order, as the later Reichsminister for Already on April 2, 1941, the occupied eastern territories demanded that Alfred Rosenberg procure land for “the settlement of a quantitatively significant” German population.

The Nazis knew that enforcing these plans had to provoke uproar. Since February / March 1941, they have been working intensively on how to secure the »Giant Space«. As organizers of possible resistance they saw the Soviet Communists. In February 1941, Hitler had told Goering that in order to “pacify” the conquered territory and to ensure maximum “exploitation,” communism had to be “eradicated” by the elimination of all political leaders. The doctrine of annihilating communism by liquidating its human “bearers” was the basis of all orders issued since March 1941. The term “bearer of Bolshevism” was interpreted broadly and included, in addition to the members of the CPSU and its youth organization, the Komsomol, all so-called state-bound Soviet citizens. The number of people destined for death was further extended by the fact that the Nazis not only classed the Jews as “hostile race,” but also counted them as “bearers of Bolshevism.” According to fascist ideology, Soviet communism was influenced by Judaism and dominated by Jews. The term “Jewish-Bolshevist” became the overarching killing formula that justified any bestiality.

The Nazis assumed that the coming campaign would be a different war from the one against the capitalist countries before. Hitler said on March 30, 1941, before the general, that the war would “be very different from the struggle in the West.” It is about a “fight between two world views against each other – it is a battle of annihilation”. The instructions of the preparatory phase stipulated that in case of resistance “collective acts of violence” were to be carried out against the population.

From the first day of the attack, the Wehrmacht, police and SS special forces attacked the population with incredible brutality. Although there was little organized resistance until the end of 1941, the mass murders of the aggressors reached proportions previously unknown in World War II. Thus, between June 24 and 27, 1941, 526 men and women were shot in the German-Lithuanian border area, saying that “the Jewish population,” according to the statement, “had supported the Russian frontier guard against the German attacks.” According to the final report, “mainly Jews” and “Bolshevik officials and snipers” were killed. When the Wehrmacht occupied Kiev on 19 September 1941, explosions occurred in the city. The Wehrmacht and SS then carried out a “retaliatory action” against the Jewish population of the city. The report of “Einsatzgruppe C” of 7 October 1941 states: “On 29 and 30 September. (were) 33,771 Jews executed. “This and other bloodbaths tried to found the occupiers with” deterrence “in the face of feared resistance. The German military believed that the period of shock in which Soviet society had come through the attack would one day be overcome. Then Stalin’s call for Partisan War of July 3, 1941 will be implemented.

Jews equated with partisans

Meanwhile, the Nazis managed to occupy more areas. The Wehrmacht demanded more security forces. Because of the situation at the front these were not available. The German leadership came up with the idea to drastically tighten violence against the population once again. On July 23, 1941, the OKW issued instruction No. 33a. It states: “The troops available to secure the conquered eastern territories are only sufficient for the vastness of these areas (…) if the occupying power spreads terror to those who alone are incapable of dissuading the population (… ). Using appropriate draconian measures, commanders must find the means to keep their security rooms in order. ”

The mass murders of the first phase point to another principle of German terrorist policy: Under the guise of fighting partisans, the destruction of all “racial” and political “enemy groups,” “useless eaters” and “ballast existences,” was physically or mentally handicapped Called people, as well as the “thinning” of the population operated. Nazi general Hans Röttiger, writing in November 1945 in connection with the Nuremberg trials of war criminals, wrote: “The purpose of the anti-gang campaign we had was to allow (…) the ruthless liquidation of Judaism and other undesirable elements.” Röttiger later became Inspector of the Army in the Bundeswehr. As of September 1941, Army Group Center had the proviso: “Where the partisan is, is the Jew, and where the Jew is, is the partisan.” The extent to which the murder practice of the Wehrmacht had taken part in antipartisan actions in 1941 is illustrated by a report from the Einsatzgruppe A “of the security police and the security service (see young world of 31.3.2016). According to this, between the end of June and the beginning of December 1941 the Wehrmacht had in Bjelorussland “about 19,000 partisans and criminals, ie. H. so in the majority of Jews shot. ”

Sand in the gears

By the end of 1941 / beginning of 1942, the Communist Party and the Soviet security organs in the occupied territories were able to establish illegal structures that organized resistance against the German occupiers and their local helpers, and often led them in coordination with the Red Army. The partisan movement took a significant boost. About 100,000 Soviet citizens, together in about 2,000 partisan units, were at that time in the rear of the enemy in the fight. They hindered the exploitation of the occupied territories, paralyzed the fascist collaboration system, provided scouting services to the Red Army, and struck smaller units of the Wehrmacht and the enemy’s supply lines. The close-to-front large-scale formations of the Red Army formed separate staffs for cooperation with the partisans. In May 1942, the Soviet High Command created a central staff headquarters for the partisan movement. The partisan units maintained stable connections with services in the unoccupied part of the Soviet Union and received from there fighting instructions, trained personnel and weapons and other supplies. Large areas were liberated. The partisans had become a militarily serious problem for the Wehrmacht, which also played a more and more important role in the briefings of Hitler with his generals. In the World War 2 diary of the OKW you will find from this time almost daily entries on the guerrilla war in the Soviet Union.

Above all, the preparation and execution of the summer campaign in 1942 was significantly disturbed by partisans. With the offensive in the south of the German-Soviet front, the Wehrmacht wanted to finally overthrow the Soviet Union (see Junge Welt vom 27.6.2017). The chief of the General Staff of the Army, Franz Halder, urged draconian orders. At the OKW briefing on May 25, 1942, he drew the attention of the Fiihrer to increasing partisan activity (…). Measures for a scheduled stop «are required. In a briefing on June 25, Hitler stated, “that in the (…) partisan fight in Russia we are not hard enough.” “The goal can only be achieved by brutally cracking down and brushing off all European inhibitions.” It was decided to set up new, specialized Wehrmacht units to fight partisans.

With tremendous cruelty the Germans went forward. Deserted, desert-like zones should deprive the partisans of the bases of life and recruitment. The III. Battalion of Police Regiment 15 reported z. For example, in September 1942 he talked about a “mission” that has become almost commonplace. The action was directed against three villages in Byelorussia. All residents, including women and children, a total of 1,163 people, the report has been shot. After that, “the livestock, the equipment and the grain were seized” and the villages were destroyed.

Spread fear and terror

But even the brutal warfare against the population did not bring the desired results. The OKW decided therefore to take an unusual step and issued on August 18, 1942, the instruction No. 46 entitled “Guidelines for the increased fight against gang violence in the East” out. Such “instructions for the conduct of World War 2” served until then the Nazi leadership as instruments for the control of strategic projects. In the introduction to the order, the motive for the drastic change in leadership practice is stated: “The gang violence in the East (from this time on the term” partisan “has been replaced by” bandit “, MS) has become more and more unbearable in recent months and threatens to become a serious threat to the supply of the front and the economic exploitation of the country. “The partisan movement should be quickly” exterminated “and the hinterland” pacified “. One must handle the “extermination” of the partisans “like the leadership against the enemy at the front” and organize it by special staffs. Wehrmacht, SS and police were obliged to close cooperation. “The toughest measures against anyone involved in banding or guilty of supporting the gangs” are needed. The inclusion of the “supporters”, later called the circle of people mostly “helper,” in the catalog of “people” to be eradicated, led to gigantic murders against civilians of all ages and both sexes. For the “gang fight” further new guidelines were announced.

The final impetus for the issue of the announced “combat order for the fight against gangs in the East” was the briefing on 2 November. In the presence of Hitler it was reported that there were great problems on the railway lines, for which Soviet partisans were responsible, according to a statement by deputy chief of the Wehrmacht command staff, Walter Warlimont. At the height of the battle for Stalingrad and the Caucasus, these disturbances “would have led to considerable supply difficulties on the entire eastern front,” the statement from the Fiihrer’s Headquarters says.

On November 11, the new “Combat Command” was issued, which was expressly stated to have been drafted in “agreement” with the SS leadership. It was until the end of the war the central rule for all soldiers, SS people and police officers for the fight against armed resistance movements, especially in the USSR, but also in the Balkans and from 8 September 1943 in Italy (see Junge Welt, 15.12.2012) ,

It was stated that “helpers” and “beneficiaries” should be treated as well as partisans. The term “helper” was broad. The refusal to give the Germans hints at the guerrilla hiding places was regarded as “favoring” and was “worthy of death”. Under the heading “Treatment of the bandits and their helpers” brutal action was required. “The very severity of the measures and the fear of the penalties to be expected,” the document says, “must keep people from supporting or favoring the gangs.” It was instructed that “captured bandits and civilians, the in active combat (including women) are shot or better hanged «. Far-reaching collective punishments were ordered: “Collective measures are usually required against villages in which the gangs have found support of any kind. These can (…) consist in increased use for levies, removal of part or all of the livestock, removal of able-bodied men to work to Germany or even annihilation of the entire village. «

Charge for murder

On this basis, the fight against the partisans became an extermination war against the civilian population. The actions continued to depopulate and devastate tracts of land with mountains of corpses. They were used by the occupants for economic looting and for the “extraction” of hundreds of thousands of slave laborers who had to toil for the Germans under particularly difficult conditions. The Wehrmacht led, usually in league with other repressive organs, more and more regular campaigns with front-facing associations, tanks, artillery and aircraft against those areas in which partisans were suspected. About 70 such missions have been handed down.

In the fight against partisans, the occupants also used Lithuanian, Latvian and Ukrainian collaborators in other Soviet republics. Spurred on by German officers, they were particularly cruel to the people. By using such forces, the Germans did not only want to free German soldiers for service at the front, but also to bind the collaborators to the occupiers. It was also intended by their involvement in the war of annihilation to split the peoples of the Soviet Union sustainable.

With the directive 46 and the “guerrilla warrant” of November 1942, the war escalated completely, an extermination war against civilians, in which indescribable bestialities, especially against women and children, were perpetrated. Even the Wehrmacht justice, which was not squeamish on such issues, was forced to take action against the sadistic murderers in individual cases. When reports about this arrived at the Fiihrer’s headquarters, the Wehrmacht command staff was instructed to amend the “Bandenkampfverordnung” just issued. An additional order should ensure that no restrictions are imposed on the task forces and that the Wehrmacht justice system is turned off in these cases. In the “evening situation” of December 1, the chief of staff, Alfred Jodl, confirmed that the soldiers could “do whatever they want against women and children: they can hang them, hang them upside down, or quarter them.”

On 16 December 1942, the order was issued. As a preliminary point, the OKW pointed out that the principles of “soldierly chivalry or (the) agreements in the Geneva Convention” do not apply in the fight against the “gangs or their followers”. “Both in the East and in the Balkans” the struggle was to be conducted “with the most brutal means.” “The troop is therefore entitled and obliged (…) to use every means whatsoever against women and children.” The soldiers were promised impunity. The order states: “No German employed in the fight against gangsters may be held accountable for disciplinary or warlike judicial proceedings because of his behavior in the fight against the gangs and their fellow travelers.” Even the lowest instincts could be prosecuted without punishment. Those soldiers who took “considerations of any kind” were accused of “committing a crime against the German people.”

Despite the brutalization of the Wehrmacht operations, the partisans were able to increase their military effectiveness in 1943 and 1944. They became an operational factor of warfare. In the spring of 1943, the fascists planned to regain lost strategic initiative through an offensive at Kursk after the battles at Stalingrad and in the Caucasus. The march for the company Citadel, as the cover designation of the planned attack, took place mainly over Byelorussia. The partisans operating there informed the Soviet leadership comprehensively about the preparations of the Wehrmacht. As a result, a decisive condition was lost in the calculus of the fascists, the surprise of the Red Army. When the offensive began on July 5, 1943, the generals realized that the Soviet Army had expected the attack. In the run-up to and during the battle, the partisans had unleashed a “rail war” against the connecting lines, which caused considerable problems for the Wehrmacht. The fascists avenged themselves on the population. Thus, in the Byelorussian Soviet Republic, the center of the partisan movement, thousands of villages were destroyed and in about 600 of them the entire population was murdered. More than 25 percent of the inhabitants of the Republic lost their lives through German aggression and occupation.