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Einsatzgruppen Of World War Ii Essay

1152 words - 5 pages

On the morning of September 1st, 1939, the German Army stormed Poland, beginning World War II. The Holocaust, which began over six years earlier in 1939, prompted this war. This Holocaust of Eastern Europe went on to become known as on of the most famous genocides in history (When Did World War 2 Start?). The Einsatzgruppen, or mobile killing forces, were employed by Hitler to eradicate Jews and Soviet Nationalists. (Einsatzgruppen-Mobile Killing Units). They murdered a high percentage of victims from this time in various inhumane ways and received various degrees of punishment after the war.
In the beginning of the war, four Einsatzgruppen factions were established; consequently they ...view middle of the document...

These educated men used their highly inventive minds to contrive a multitude of ways to kill that obtained a high casualty number.
Einsatzgruppen had no end of imaginative and different ways to kill. Among them, forcing their prisoners to dig their own graves and then, shooting them point blank was considered a favorite and used often in the beginning of the war. During these shootings, Jews and other enemies of the state would be captured and told to dig. When they finished, Einsatzgruppen would shoot these men, women, and children in such a manner that they would fall backward into the pits. Another method, used later in the war, was mobile gassing trucks. Jews would be forced into the sealed backs of trucks. Exhaust fumes were then pumped into the chamber. Einsatzgruppen began using this method to avoid the ever increasing emotional distress certain members of the groups were beginning to feel over the murders. These killing methods abounded an extremely lofty number of victims in short time periods (Holocaust Education-Methods of Mass Murder). Eleven million people died between 1933 and 1945 as a result of the Holocaust (The Holocaust). An estimated one-fourth, or one point three million people, were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen (Hogan 236). By 1945, five point six million Jews, three million Soviet POWS, two million Soviet citizens, one million Yugoslav civilians, one million Polish civilians, seventy thousand men, women, and children with handicaps, and two hundred thousand Gypsies died. These Einsatzgruppen killed mercilessly and without regard to age, sex, race, or disability a fact which is evident by the sixty-seven percent of minority deaths accounted to them (Holocaust). These heinous murders committed caused leaders of all Einsatzgruppen levels to stand trial.
Twenty-four men stood trial for the Einsatzgruppen mass murders. Trials began July 3rd, 1947 and ended April 10th, 1948, and they were presided over by United States prosecutors. These men were formally charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Of the twenty-four charged, fourteen were given death sentences. Four of these sentences were carried out immediately. One man was released almost as soon as the trial ended. He was released for previously served time. All of the other defendants, who had committed mass murder, had their sentences reduced. This meant that the received a less harsh penalty for their Machiavellian crimes. Another Einsatzgruppen commander, Emil Haussmann, committed suicide on 1947 rather than face his sentence. The only commander, other than Haussmann, not to be tried was Otto Rasch. Rasch was pardoned...

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