80 years later: the names of the killers of the victims of Babi Yar became known

The Holocaust Memorial Center “Babi Yar” named the first 159 Nazi soldiers who killed Jews in Babi Yar. Despite a large amount of evidence gathered after the war, criminals were never prosecuted for 80 years. The Memorial Center began collecting evidence and testimonies of the terrible tragedy and, on the 80th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy, published the first part of an extensive study of those who killed Ukrainian Jews on September 29 and 30, 1941. At that time, at least 33,771 people were killed in a two-day shootings at Babi Yar.

Although the commanders of the Nazi units who carried out the murders are well known to historians, the new information published by the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial describes the life stories and testimonies of Babi Yar’s Jews, women and children, both young and old, and murderers: commanders and soldiers.

Despite confessions, evidence and testimonies given by some Nazi soldiers who committed murders in the 1960s, only a small number of those involved were prosecuted for horrific crimes. The Holocaust Memorial Center formed a scientific team to identify those indirectly or directly involved in the shooting of Jews in Babi Yar.

The participants not only identified the fact that hundreds of German soldiers and SS police officers took part in the shooting of Babi Yar, but also revealed to the world the names of the 159 Nazis involved in the murder.

These were people from all over Germany and other Nazi-controlled countries. They were 20-60 years old. Some were educated, others were not. These included engineers and teachers, drivers and salesmen. Some were married. The vast majority returned to normal life after the war. The soldiers who committed the terrible massacre testified in court and were not convicted, with the exception of a few commanders and linemen.

“Some murdered, others brought Jews from their homes, and still others took their belongings and luggage. Some gave weapons, while others offered sandwiches, tea and vodka to the murderers. They are all guilty of mass crimes. Anyone who was directly or indirectly involved in any way should be convicted, “said Father Patrick Debois, head of the academic council at the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, founder of Yahad-in Unum.

He referred to the record of the testimony of a German murderer: from morning until five in the evening, executions continued, in which thousands after thousands were shot and soldiers were taken for a walk, where they were given alcohol and women were brought to them. Debois noted that one of the killers described in the testimony given during the investigation about how the unit was sent to “recover” in the resort town before returning to the front. Patrick Debois added that the memorial center’s research gives out a signal: “If you are involved in genocide or mass crimes against humanity today, you will be prosecuted.”

“Few of these men were disturbed by the justice system after World War II,” explained Andrei Umansky, a historian and deputy head of the academic council at the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. – ”Of the SS children, only Blobel, Kuno Kallsen, August Hefner, Adolf Jansen and Christian Schulte were convicted of Babi Yar’s crime. Engelbert Kreuzner was the only police officer convicted of murder. No other SS, policeman or Wehrmacht soldier has ever been convicted. Although many acknowledged their involvement in post-war testimony. All these men lived a peaceful and normal life after the war. ”

Examples of evidence found by the Holocaust Memorial Center “Babi Yar” 80 years after the killings in Babi Yar:

Grafgorst, Bernhard. Born in 1913. Studied at a national and administrative school and worked as a rural municipality employee. In 1933 he joined the NSNRP and the SS. He served in the SS unit called “Adolf Hitler”, later joined the SS cadet corps, and after graduating in 1938 he was promoted to the 3rd Standard of the “Thuringian” SS in the “Deadhead” subdivision and was later promoted to SS Untersturmführer. In 1941, in the rank of SS-obersturmführer, he commanded the third company of the 1st Battalion of the 14th SS Infantry Regiment. At the end of July 1941, Task Force C was merged with his company. The various groups of the company were divided among the groups and took part in “Jewish actions.” The first such activity of the group took place on August 7, 1941. in Zhitomir, where 402 Jews were executed.

September 29-30, 1941 a group participated in the murders of Jews in Kiev, forming one shooting team.
Former SS Obersturmführer August Hefner, together with the German Security Service’s 4a Sonderkommando, inspected the killings for two days on Blobel’s orders. November 7, 1967 At the hearing in Darmstadt, he described the involvement of the SS forces in the execution: “The SS forces had a section of road about 30 meters long. The Grafgorst told me that the Jews should lie close to each other. The Jews lay in about 4-6 items. Consequently, they lay until the bottom of the entire landscape front was filled. Then they did the same. Others had to lie down on Jews who had already been killed.

During 2 days 6-7 layers of Jews formed. Initially, the SS troops carried out executions in two teams. The whole activity was called a “bullet in the neck”. In fact, this was not the case. The way the SS soldiers fired could in no way be called a “bullet in the neck”. I watched it all for a long time and went up the plateau. What else could I have done if Grafgorst was there? .. The next morning the matter continued. I had to go again. 12-15 people arrived from the SS forces. Only one group of soldiers fired. The next day was the same shift. Grafgorst left in the middle of the day. I heard that he went to Berlin that day to get permission to take his squad out. ”

Heinrich Geyer, a former SS reservist in Sonderkommando 4a, recalled during the interrogation after the war that “a whole company of young SS soldiers” arrived at the end of September 1941: “I believe there was a mass execution of Jews in Kiev at that time. Otherwise, these people would not have been needed. I know these SS soldiers were sent to shoot the Jews, because at night they wandered around and shouted something like “Nakolino or Nagolino” (on your knees). I did not witness the madness of these people; companions told me about it. This SS company was here for a maximum of 8 days and then left Kiev. Where to, I can’t say. ”

Viktor Trill was born on November 22, 1905 in the Czech Republic. He was an electrician and later became a truck driver. In 1939, his hometown was occupied by the Wehrmacht. Shortly afterwards, he was called to the Gestapo and began to work for them. In 1941, at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, he was assigned to Blobel-led Sonderkommando 4a (Sk 4a). It was a subsidiary of Einsatzgroup C operating in Ukraine. When he arrived in Kiev, he was ordered to take part in the execution of Babi Yar on the second day and ordered to shoot dozens of Jews at the bottom of the landscape front. He was allowed to rest for a while before continuing this terrible work. Viktor Trill was one of those convicted of involvement in the Babi Yar massacre and other crimes in Darmstadt from 1967 to 1968, but was acquitted because investigators failed to prove the “main motives” for his involvement in the killings.

Testimony of Viktor Trill: “We moved to Kiev, I was part of the main unit at that time and had to take part in the great execution of Jews. We had three drivers who drove to Kiev. The next morning, very early, we, all members of the unit, were loaded onto a truck and taken to a place outside Kiev. The trip lasted maybe half an hour. At the place where we were staying, I noticed huge piles of clothes. After we left, we were first given alcohol. It was grok or rum. Then I saw a giant ditch that looked like a dry riverbed. Several layers of corpses lay in it. The shooting was first started by several members of our unit who descended into the abyss. At the same time, about 20 Jews were brought along the road that led to the abyss. Other security police officers were sitting next to the dingle with ammunition and filling stockpiles with ammunition. The Jews had to lie down on the bodies and then they shot them in the neck. The assassins came out of the abyss and then another group of security police had to descend, including myself. Then I also had to shoot for about 10 minutes, and during that time I personally shot about 30-50 Jews. I remember men and women of all ages being shot. Do not remember whether there were children among them now. Maybe there were mothers among them who held their children in their arms. Most Jews were naked. I think they shot until about 3:00 that day, then they took us to our building and we had lunch. On that day, I had to shoot five or six times during the executions, ten minutes each time. It is quite possible that on that day I shot 150 to 250 Jews. All shootings took place without incident. The Jews accepted their fate like lambs. ”

Edgar Lind was born on November 25, 1915 in Odessa, southwestern Ukraine. He was an ethnic German. Edgar worked as a teacher. In April 1941, Edgar Lind was recruited into the Red Army. He was imprisoned in Germany in early July 1941 and about two weeks later was interrogated by a German security officer (SD). Because Edgar spoke flawless German, he was recruited into the security service. At first he was dressed in civilian clothes, but soon got the same uniform as the men of the security service, but without a rank. He then served in Sonderkommando 4a, moving to Kiev and then to Kharkov, and working as an interpreter. In Babi Yar his task was to tell to the Jewish victims (in Russian) to take off their outerwear and go into the holes. From where he stood, he heard shots but could not see the mass execution.

Edgar Lind’s testimony on January 20, 1964: “I know that there was a very large execution in Kiev, in which thousands of Jews (women and children) were killed. All the Jews were expelled from the city, where they had to hand over their luggage and valuables in a certain place, and it seems to me that they had to hand over their outerwear at the same time. I stood in that place and saw a pile of luggage and clothes.

In the case of, for example, it may be used as a means of transport. For the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, there are no such persons.

In addition, I had to tell them to take off their outerwear, and then go to the ravine. I heard shooting, but did not see it in the hole.

Georg Leichtmann was born on September 30, 1915. In 1939 he joined the police force. At the start of the “Russian campaign,” his unit, now known as Police Battalion 303, advanced into Ukraine and arrived in Kiev. In Babi Yar, Leikhtman was assigned to watch along the road leading to the execution site. He was ordered not to allow Jews to return or flee. At first he thought that the Jews were being resettled, but after a while he heard shots. During interrogations on October 13, 1966, Leichtman added: “Shortly before I was released, I walked in the direction of the execution site. I stood on the edge of the ravine about 80 meters from the execution site. I saw a lot of people in the ravine. I don’t know. who shot. The dead were lying in rows to each other. I think I remember that they were still dressed … ”

Source – newsru.co.il

 

Source: https://ieshua.org/80-let-spustya-stali-izvestny-imena-ubijts-zhertv-babego-yara.htm