photography by swartz



17. The Partisans


The most sinister of all the Nazi security police were the Einsatzgruppen (action squads), who committed the most heinous crimes. They were formed from specially trained police and Gestapo agents. The Einsatzgruppen were attached to nearly every army of the invasion forces throughout Europe. In addition, they became involved in the war against the partisans.

In 1941, the SS invaded the Soviet Union; they sought to destroy, what they called, the "Jewish-Bolshevik subhuman enemy." The Einsatzgruppen killings started immediately in Minsk and Lvov. The Jews were rounded up and marched to nearby woods where they were forced to undress, line up next to long graves, and shot.

Shown here are members of the Einsatzgruppen behind the lines in Russia searching with their trained dogs for partisans. The text is from the Hymn of the Partisans. The image at the bottom right shows the execution of partisans in Russia in January 1943.

Note the sign Fotografieren verboten! Photographs forbidden!

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Last modified: 07/15/03