The tragedy is repeated for generations in Eastern Europe

11 Sep

One example among thousands, a city Pinsk, now in Belarus.

 Pinsk
PINSK

First by the Polish in 1919.

The Pinsk massacre was the mass execution of thirty-five Jewish residents of Pinsk on April 5, 1919 by the Polish Army. The event occurred during the opening stages of the Polish-Soviet War, after the Polish Army had captured Pinsk. The Jews who were executed had been arrested whilst engaged in an illegal gathering presumably of a Bolshevik cell. The Polish officer-in-charge ordered the summary execution of the meeting participants without trial in fear of a trap, and based on the information about the gathering’s purpose that was founded on hearsay. The officer’s decision was defended by high-ranking Polish military officers, but was widely criticized by international public opinion.

 Asesinados en 1919
Photographs of those killed

Initial reports of the massacre, echoing the claims that the victims were Bolshevik conspirators, were based on an account given by an American investigator, Franciszek (Francis) Fronczak. Fronczak, a former health commissioner of Buffalo, New York and a member of Roman Dmowski‘s Polish National Committee, where he directed the organization’s Department of Public Welfare, had arrived in Europe in May 1918, with permission of the State Department. He was a leader of the National Polish Department of America, a major organization of Polish-American expats. Upon his arrival, he falsely identified himself to local authorities as a United States Army lieutenant colonel who was sent to investigate local health conditions.[16]Fronczak was a member of Roman Dmowski‘s . Although not an eyewitness, Fronczak accepted Luczynski’s claims that the aid distribution meeting was actually a Bolshevik conspiracy to obtain arms and destroy the small Polish garrison in Pinsk, and he himself claimed to have heard shots being fired from the Jewish meeting hall when Polish troops approached. He also claimed he had heard a confession from a mortally wounded Jew when he arrived at the town square where the executions had taken place. The initial wire reports of the massacre and a Polish military report which cleared the local authorities of any wrongdoing and denounced the Jewish victims, was based largely on Fronczak’s testimony.

The version of the events cited by Jewish sources were based on the account of Barnet Zuckerman, a representative of theAmerican Jewish Joint Distribution Committee who was known as an “ardent Jewish nationalist”. He was in charge of delivering the relief aid to the Committee, which was discussing the appropriate way to distribute it. He was not present in Pinsk at the time of the murders, but as soon as he learned of what had happened, he went to Warsaw, where he publicized his version of the events -“A Massacre of Innocent Civilians”.

Despite attempts of the Polish authorities to suppress the story, accounts of the incident in the international press caused a scandal which would have strong repercussions abroad.

In the Western press of the time, the massacre was referred to as the Polish Pogrom at Pinsk, and was noticed by wider public opinion. Upon a request of Polish authorities to president Wilson, an American mission was sent to Poland to investigate nature of the alleged atrocities. The mission, led by American diplomat Henry Morgenthau, Sr., published theMorgenthau Report on October 3, 1919. According to the findings of this commission, a total of about 300 Jews lost their lives in this and related incidents. The commission also severely criticized the actions of Major Łuczyński and his superiors with regards to handling of the events in Pinsk.

Morgenthau later recounted the massacre in autobiography, where he wrote:

Who were these thirty-five victims? They were the leaders of the local Jewish community, the spiritual and moral leader of the 5,000 Jews in a city, eighty-five percent of the population of which was Jewish, the organizers of the charities, the directors of the hospitals, the friends of the poor. And yet, to that incredibly brutal, and even more incredibly stupid, officer who ordered their execution, they were only so many Jews.

And again in 1941 by the Germans.

Sturmbannführer Franz Magill and his men of the SS Cavalry Regiment 2, assisted in the roundup of all the men aged 18 to 55 in the city of Pinsk, where 5,000 to 8,000 men were shot and shortly afterwards, another 2,000 residents including women, children and older men were executed.

 Two photos of the murder of thousands of men in Pinsk on the 5th of August 1941, near the village Posenich.
Two photos of the murder of thousands of men in Pinsk on the 5th of August 1941, near the village Posenich.

On the 4th of July 1941, the Nazi-German army conquered Pinsk. It was the first large city in occupied territories whose Jewish population was to be completely annihilated. On the 9th of July, part of the Einsatz gruppe of the SS (for special tasks) arrived in Pinsk and immediately began persecuting the Jews including the murdering of several of them. On 30 July 1941, Reichsf hrer SS Heinrich Himmler order in this manner: “All of the Jewish men in Pinsk should be executed, and the women and children should be driven into the swamps”. On the 2nd of August 1941, Bruno Magil –Cavalier Commander of the 2nd SS Cavlary Brigade – sent his first and fourth companies with the order to begin murdering the Jews of Pinsk. On the 4th of August, the commander of the first company, Charwat, went to Pinsk to coordinate activities with Pinsk’s Commandent – Werthof. Werthof demurred saying that it was not possible to execute Himmler’s orders precisely. The women and the children could not be pushed into the swamps because they were not deep enough during this season of the year for drowning people. In order to follow Himmler’s precise instructions, delivery trucks would be needed to transport the Jews and their murderers to the murder site. This notion is implicit in Charwats’s August 4th message to the Cavlary Brigade headquarters requesting the delivery trucks, and these were not available. In the meantime, Charwat and Werthof agreed to begin the murder of all Jewish males between the ages of 16-60.

 Pinsk, Poland, The sisters Debora and Zelda Liberman
Pinsk,, The sisters Debora and Zelda Liberman

On the next day, the 5th of August, 8,000 Jewish males were killed by the first cavalry company of the SS, near the village of Posenich – 4 Km. from Pinsk. The Nazis used the pretext that they were being taken to work as laborers for three days. The murdering continued through the 6th of August, but ona more limited scale. The fourth cavalry arrived in Pinsk later that day to help expedite the actions. On the 7th of August, the two companies along with the local militia drove Jews out of their homes to the gathering area near the village of Koslakowich. The murder of Jewish males from the age of 6 upwards continued and another 3,000 were murdered. During these two tragic days at least 11,000 Jewish males lost their lives. During the evening of the 8th of August, orders were received by the cavalry company to leave Pinsk and continue on to other destinations while combing the area as per the original plan. This later order enabled part of the Pinsk community – made up mainly of women and children – to live for a little over a year. During the Pinsk operation, at least 11,000 Jews were murdered, and approximately 20,000 were left behind after the departure of the SS cavalry units. Regarding the events and chronicles of those who departed from Pinsk during the interim period of the 9 months from the murder of 11,000 males until the establishment of the Ghetto on 1 May 1942.

The SS Cavalry Brigade (SS-Kavallerie-Brigade) was a unit of theWaffen SS formed from cavalry regiments created for occupation duties in German-occupied Poland. Later, while serving in German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, the brigade was involved in the genocide of the Jewish population and anti-partisan operations. It also filled gaps in the front line when called upon in emergencies. In 1942, the brigade was disbanded and became the cadre of the 8th SS Cavalry (“Florian Geyer”) Division, during its formation.

As usual in the post war Germany :

A trial was held in Germany against 7 of the murderers of the Jews of Pinsk, and it lasted for 14 months. Several of the Pinsk Ghetto survivors testified at this trial. The conclusion of the trial resulted in light punishments.

A war criminal , among millions, Walter Gade :

 Walter gade war criminal
Walter Gade
 Walter Gade with two German soldiers
Walter Gade woth two German Soldiers
 Walter Gade viejo
Walter Gade old. He does not seem very sorry, right?

Incredibly the IMT in Nuremberg trials declared the Leadership Corps of the NSDAP, the Gestapo, the SD and SS (excluding the SS Cavalry Corps) to be criminal organisations.

Ex-nazi Officer Admits Passing Order to Kill All Jews in Pinsk

The Jewish community of Pinsk

More about Jewish of Pinsk

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