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Research paper on the Holocaust Extermination methods
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  Pyle-Fields 1Wendi Pyle-FieldsMr. NeuburgerEng. Comp 101-13019 April 2012Research PaperExtermination Methods During the HolocaustIn 1941 many of the Nazi party were already carrying out executions on Jewish citizensbut it was not until the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” was put into effect by differentauthorities at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin on January 20, 1942 that a lot of the masskillings began. This was where the Jewish population would be deported to exterminationcamps. The Final Solution was carried out by members of the Nazi party and a paramilitary unitthat was known as Schutzstaffel, or SS, which had members broken up into smaller groups calledthe Einsatzgruppen who would carry out the executions of the Jews, Romas (Gypsies), and other “undesirables” (gays, mentally/physically disabled, and criminals) that the Germans thoughtwere a threat to their idea of a superior race.The Holocaust Research Project states that therewere four main groups of the Einsatzgruppen - A, B, C,and D, all under General Reinhard Heydrich’s command,  all were ordered to carry out the executions of the Jewishpopulation by firing squad (The Einstazgruppen) . Jewish people, “undesirables,” political “criminals,” and gypsies were rounded up in every village andtransported to a wooded area, or ravine. There, either ditches where already dug or they would A German police officer shoots Jewish women stillalive after a mass execution of Jews from the Mizoczghetto.Source: http://bit.ly/InzTGH    Pyle-Fields 2have the captured population dig the trenches. The soldiers would order the people to strip off their clothing and stand near the ravine. The Einsatzgruppen would either order the first groupof the Jews to lie face down on the ground in the trenches where they would then be shot by theGerman soldiers or they were ordered to stand beside the trench to be shot in hopes they wouldfall into the ditch. The first group would be covered with a thin layer of dirt and the processwould be repeated.The History Place states that on October 5, 1942, a German engineer, Hermann Graebe,came upon an Einsatzgruppen execution squad killing Jews from the town of Dubno, Ukraine.Graebe gave the following eyewitness account to the executions at Dubno:My foreman and I went directly to the pits.Nobody bothered us. Now I heard rifle shots inquick succession from behind one of the earthmounds. The people who had got off the trucks -men, women and children of all ages - had toundress upon the order of an SS man who carrieda riding or dog whip. They had to put down theirclothes in fixed places, sorted according to shoes,top clothing and undergarments. I saw heaps of shoes of about 800 to 1000 pairs,great piles of under-linen and clothing. Without screaming or weeping thesepeople undressed, stood around in family groups, kissed each other, saidfarewells, and waited for a sign from another SS man, who stood near the pit, alsowith a whip in his hand. During the fifteen minutes I stood near, I heard nocomplaint or plea for mercy. I watched a family of about eight persons, a man and Nazi soldier shooting a Jewish manSource: http://bit.ly/J7OVFk   Pyle-Fields 3 Family awaiting execution over a mass grave.Source: http://bit.ly/I78zNt a woman both of about fifty, with their children of about twenty to twenty-four,and two grown-up daughters about twenty-eight or twenty-nine. An old womanwith snow white hair was holding a one year old child in her arms and singing toit and tickling it. The child was cooing with delight. The parents were looking onwith tears in their eyes. The father was holding the hand of a boy about ten yearsold and speaking to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears. The father pointedto the sky, stroked his head and seemed to explain something to him. At thatmoment the SS man at the pit started shouting something to his comrade. Thelatter counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earthmound. Among them was the family I have just mentioned. I well remember agirl, slim with black hair, who, as she passed me, pointedto herself and said, twenty-three years old. I walkedaround the mound and found myself confronted by atremendous grave. People were closely wedged togetherand lying on top of each other so that only their headswere visible. Nearly all had blood running over theirshoulders from their heads. Some of the people shot werestill moving. Some were lifting their arms and turning their heads to show thatthey were still alive. The pit was nearly two-thirds full. I estimated that it alreadycontained about a thousand people. I looked for the man who did the shooting. Hewas an SS man, who sat at the edge of the narrow end of the pit, his feet danglinginto the pit. He had a tommy-gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette. Thepeople, completely naked, went down some steps which were cut in the clay wall  Pyle-Fields 4of the pit and clambered over the heads of the people lying there to the place towhich the SS man directed them. They lay down in front of the dead or woundedpeople; some caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a lowvoice. Then I heard a series of shots. I looked into the pit and saw that the bodieswere twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that laybeneath them. Blood was running from their necks. The next batch wasapproaching already. They went down into the pit, lined themselves up against theprevious victims and were shot. (  Eyewitness Account of Einsatz Executions) .From this horrifying and gruesome eyewitness account it could be seen how this couldaffect the mentality of those who witnessed it, let alone carried out the executions. A web articlefrom the Public Broadcasting Station, Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, states that in 1941, SSGeneral Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski told his superior, Heinrich Himmler, of the Nazismurdering Jews at close range all summer and stressed the issue of the traumatizing effects of theGerman soldiers.   Himmler recorded in his diary his concerns: And he said to me, 'Reichsfuhrer,these men are finished for the rest of their lives. What kind of followers are we producing here-either neurotics or brutes?' ”   (The Killing Evolution). This spurred Himmler to pursue othermethods for exterminations.The United States Holocaust MemorialMuseum (USHMM) says that gas vans made their firstappearance on the eastern front in late fall 1941 andwere eventually utilized, along with shooting, tomurder Jews and other victims in most areas where the Einsatzgruppen operated. The idea of using carbon monoxide would be cheaper and less stressful to the Nazi soldiers and from this A group of Jewish men awaiting death in a gas vanat the Chelmno death camp.Source: http://bit.ly/HIqu3i
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