Home Contact Us
Index Purchase Info
About Site About Us
Appendices Credits
Further Reading Links
Special Features
By Keyword:

Page Number:
Click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture.
1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 278 
Women and children lost their lives as victims of mass executions. This photograph shows a mother and her two children, as well as several hundred others, just before the mass shooting at Lubny, Ukraine, on October 16, 1941.
Photo: Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Jewish women and children were usually forced to surrender their belongings and strip off their clothes shortly before their executions. These items usually were stolen by the killers. At Lubny, Sonderkommandos murdered 1363 Jews, Communists, and partisans.
Photo: Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

Nazi racial policy in the conquered Eastern Territories centered on the extermination of undesirables. Yet, Heinrich Himmler, the erstwhile selective breeder of chickens, initiated a further goal: the identification and preservation of "racially valuable" Aryan elements among the region's population.

To this end, the SS kidnapped blond, blue-eyed children from their parents in occupied areas and sent them to Germany for adoption. Operating under the code name "Haymaking," this sinister campaign was carried out with particular viciousness in Poland and Russia. Thousands of children were cruelly taken from their families. Most of the children were placed in Lebensborn homes and later adopted by suitably Nordic couples, often by households in which the father was a member of the SS. This unconscionable criminality was planned also for Latvia and other occupied nations.

This was but one aspect of Himmler's Lebensborn (Fountain of life) program, designed to preserve, improve, and extend "pure" Aryan blood. In order to encourage the propagation of "good blood," Himmler also issued procreation orders to the SS. It mattered not if the children produced were illegitimate--only that the parents were of pure Aryan stock. Thirteen special institutions throughout Germany served as both "stud farms" for SS men and maternity homes for unwed German mothers.

 October 27, 1941: Jews of Sluzk, 60 miles south of Minsk, Belorussia, are annihilated by Einsatzkommando troops, half of whom are German, half Lithuanian.
 October 28, 1941: More elderly Jews from a convalescent home in Kalisz, Poland, are taken away in gassing vans.
 October 28, 1941: 27,000 Jews assembled in Democracy Square in Kovno, Lithuania, must pass before an SS officer named Rauca, who signals life or death for each. 9200 of the Jews-- 4300 of them children--are sent to their deaths at pits at the nearby Ninth Fort; See October 30, 1941.
 October 30, 1941: Four thousand Jews are murdered at Nesvizh, Belorussia.
1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 278 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.