Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Friday, March 23, 2012

‘Fill in the pits.’

The task of the mass killings of Jews in the Soviet territories was given to SS formations called Einsatzgruppen ("Task-groups"). These had been previously used on a smaller scale in 1939 in Poland. One of the underground newspapers obtained a statement from a witness of a mass-killing that took the life of 1,600 Jews:

“I saw them do the killing. At 5:00 p.m. they gave the command, ‘Fill in the pits.’ Screams and groans were coming from the pits. Suddenly I saw my neighbor Ruderman rise from under the soil … His eyes were bloody and he was screaming: ‘Finish me off!’ … A murdered woman lay at my feet. A boy of five years crawled out from under her body and began to scream desperately. ‘Mommy!’ That was all I saw, since I fell unconscious.”

The paper also reported that on September 29–30, 1941 in a ravine outside Kiev, 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation. The large crowd was gathered by the local cemetery and expected that they would be loaded onto trains. Suddenly they heard machine-gun fire. There was no chance to escape. They were all herded down a corridor of soldiers, in groups of ten, and then shot. A truck driver described the scene:

“One after the other, they had to remove their luggage, then their coats, shoes, and over-garments and also underwear … Once undressed, they were led into the ravine which was about 150 meters long and 30 meters wide and a good 15 meters deep … When they reached the bottom of the ravine they were seized by members of the Schutzpolizei and made to lie down on top of Jews who had already been shot … The corpses were literally in layers. A police marksman came along and shot each Jew in the neck with a submachine gun … I saw these marksmen stand on layers of corpses and shoot one after the other … The marksman would walk across the bodies of the executed Jews to the next Jew, who had meanwhile lain down, and shoot him.” [1]

“At the extermination camps that had gas chambers all the prisoners arrived by freight trains. At times all the passengers were sent directly to gas chambers, but more than often the camp doctor inspected them and some were deemed fit enough to work in the slave labor camps. The rest were moved from the train station platforms to an area where they were stripped of their clothes and possessions. These were seized by the Nazis to continue to assist is funding the war. Then they were herded naked into the gas chambers, usually being told that they were about to be showered or deloused. There were even signs outside that hung outside saying ‘baths’ and ‘sauna.’ To keep them from panicking and causing problems they were sometimes issued with a small piece of soap and a towel, and told to remember where they had left their belongings. When they pleaded for water after their long journey in the cattle trains, they were informed to move along quickly because there was a cup of coffee waiting for them in the camp, and it was getting cold.” [2]

To be continued.

[1] Hilberg, Raul cited in Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, John Hopkins University Press, 2nd edition, 2006, p. 93.

[2] Piper, Franciszek in Berenbaum, Michael & Gutman, Yisrael (Eds.) (1998). Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 173. ISBN 0-253-20884-X.