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1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 244 
Jewish victims of the advancing Einsatzgruppen mounted steadily as the invading German Army moved into the Soviet Union. Ordered to kill Jews and political commissars, the notorious Einsatzgruppen operated with deadly efficiency. Following on the heels of the rampaging German Army, they quickly rounded up the Jews and systematically executed them. The killing techniques of the early campaigns required the members of the Einsatzgruppen and their accomplices to directly confront their victims. Typically, the Jews were killed with a single shot to the base of the skull.
Photo: Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Jews of Lvov, Ukraine, experienced a wave of violence just days after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. From June 30 to July 3, 1941, Einsatzgruppe C as well as Ukrainians rampaged through the city, murdering 4000 Jews. Two thousand more died during vicious pogroms in late July.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Fate of Lvov

At the beginning of the war, the Jews of Lvov numbered 110,000--the third largest Jewish community in Poland. A flood of refugees brought an additional 100,000. The SS and their Ukrainian helpers murdered all but a few thousand.

The killing began in June 1941. Encouraged by Einsatzgruppe C, Ukrainian nationalists unleashed hellish pogroms that over the next two months claimed 6000 Jewish lives. That fall the Nazis forced Jews to move into a section of the city that was sealed with barbed wire. While moving into this ghetto, 5000 elderly and disabled people were murdered; the women were bludgeoned, the men lined against a wall and shot.

In 1941 the SS set up a camp and forced Lvov's Jews to perform slave labor. Sadistic camp commanders used Jews for target practice, aiming at noses or fingers. The injured were finished off with a shot. Those judged unfit for work were marched to a sandy area away from camp, where they were murdered. As many as 200,000 were executed in this "Valley of Death." Tens of thousands were shipped to the Belzec, Poland, death camp.

While liquidating the Lvov Ghetto in 1943, SS members hunted down and killed every Jew they could find. Some fled to nearby forests. A handful survived by hiding in sewers.
Photo: Yad Vashem

 July 3, 1941: One hundred Jews are murdered at Bialystok, Poland.
 July 3, 1941: In the Ukraine, 3500 Jews are killed at Zloczow and hundreds die at Drogobych.
 July 3, 1941: Fifty Jews in Novogroduk, Belorussia, who volunteer for a German-organized Jewish council, "disappear." Another 50, selected at random, are shot in the town square to the accompaniment of music played by a German band.
 July 3, 1941: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orders the establishment of partisan units to harass German troops in occupied Soviet territory.
 July 4, 1941: Two thousand Jews from Lutsk, Ukraine, are transported to the Lubard Fortress and killed.
 July 4, 1941: Fifty-four Jews are killed at Vilna, Lithuania.
1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 244 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.