|The Nazi execution of Soviet civilians kneeling by the side of a mass
grave at Kraigonev, USSR, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Anyone suspected of being a Communist official, along with Red Army officers
and male Jews were chosen for execution.
Hitler's Commissar Order
to his Generals
"The war against Russia cannot be fought in knightly fashion. The
struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be
waged with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting hardness. All officers
will have to get rid of any old fashioned ideas they may have. I realize
that the necessity for conducting such warfare is beyond the comprehension
of you generals, but I must insist that my orders be followed without complaint.
The commissars hold views directly opposite to those of National Socialism.
Hence these commissars must be eliminated. Any German soldier who breaks
international law will be pardoned. Russia did not take part in the Hague
Convention and, therefore, has no rights under it."
(Photo credit: U.S. National Archives, courtesy of USHMM
Return to The History Place - Holocaust Timeline: 1941
The History Place Main Page
non-Internet re-usage only is allowed of any text, graphics, photos, audio clips,
other electronic files or materials from The History Place.