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1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 259 
Estonian police march Jewish men to internment or, more probably, to their deaths. Because of the high rate of antisemitism in the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), the Germans could find large numbers of native people willing to assist with the extermination of the Jews. Most of the Estonian Jews (5000 as of 1933) escaped into the Soviet Union because Estonia was the last Baltic country to be conquered by Germany.
Photo: Zentrales Partei Archiv / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Cloth circles with "J" for Jew at the center identify these women walking on a Lithuanian street. This symbol marked Jews for vilification and abuse as they struggled to buy the basics of life for their families. Life soon took a more ominous turn as Einsatzkommando forces (mobile killing units) began to exterminate Lithuania's Jews. Nearly 180,000 of Lithuania's 220,000 Jews were killed by the end of 1941.
Photo: AP/Wide World
British Code Breakers

Despite Nazi attempts to keep secret the Einsatzgruppen extermination of Jews, news of mass murders did filter back into Germany and Allied countries. Reports of the unimaginable Nazi atrocities were met with disbelief and skepticism, and were assumed to pertain to military actions involving Russian defense forces.

The British government had detailed knowledge of the killings. On August 24, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in a radio address, made public the scope of Einsatzgruppen activities in Eastern Europe. He disclosed that "whole districts" were being exterminated, and that "scores of thousands of executions in cold blood" were being perpetrated by "German police-troops upon the Russian patriots who defend their native soil."

Churchill didn't mention that Jews were being exterminated. He could not reveal this since it would have warned the Germans that British intelligence forces had cracked their secret radio codes.

 August 25, 1941: Fifteen hundred Jews are murdered at Tykocin, Poland.
 August 25, 1941: In Yugoslavia, 8000 Jewish residents of Belgrade are transported to Topovske Supe, where they are murdered.
 August 27-29, 1941: Nearly 25,000 Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers are shot to death in bomb craters near Kamenets-Podolski, Ukraine.
 August 28, 1941: A Jewish butcher, one of 2000 Jews forced into a ditch at Kédainiai, Lithuania, resists by inflicting a fatal bite upon the throat of one of the Einsatzkommando soldiers. The butcher and the other Jews are immediately shot.
 August 28, 1941: Thousands of Jews are murdered at Czyzewo-Szlachecki, Poland.
 August 28, 1941: At Kedainiai, Lithuania, the entire Jewish population is murdered.
 August 31, 1941: More than 3600 Jewish men, women, and children are taken from Vilna, Lithuania, to nearby Ponary, where they are shot as retribution for the partisan ambush of a German patrol.
1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 259 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.