The Holocaust Historiography Project

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Translation of document 078-PS

COPY OFFICE IV Berlin 28 June 1941


Directives for the Chiefs of Security police and Secret Service

Teams Assigned to PW Camps

These teams are assigned after agreement has been reached between the chiefs of the Security Police, secret service and the Supreme Command of the Army and * * * (see annex). The Commands work upon the special authorization and according to the general directives in the Camp regulations which was given to them and is independently in close harmony with the AO.

The duty of the Commands is the political screening of prisoners and the segregation and further handling of undesirable elements among them with regard to political, criminal or similar respects.

Resources cannot be placed at the disposal of the Commands for the fulfillment of their missions. The “German penal code” [Fahndungsbuch], the “Temporary permit of Leave List” [Aufenthaltsermittlungsliste], and “Special Penal Code USSR” will prove to be of little value; the Special Penal Code USSR therefore does not suffice as only a small part therein is dangerous to the designated Soviet Russians.

The Commands will therefore have to rely on their own specialty and ingenuity upon establishment and self-producing knowledge. Therefore they will only then be able to begin with the fulfillment of their mission when they have gathered an appropriate amount of material.

For their work, the Commands are to make as much use of the experiences of the Camp Commanders as possible, who in the meantime have profited by the observation and examination of prisoners.

Further, the Commands will have to take pains from the beginning to search among the prisoners for seemingly trustworthy elements, may they be communists or not, in order to make them useful for their intelligence purposes.

Through the establishment of such trusted personnel [V-Personen] and through the use of all other present possibilities among the prisoners, it must succeed to screen all elements.

In every case the Commands are to provide themselves with definite clarity over the encountered measures through the examination and eventual questioning of prisoners.

Above all it is important to find out:

  1. all outstanding functionaries of the State and of the Party, especially
  2. professional revolutionists,
  3. the functionaries of the Comintern,
  4. all leading Party functionaries of the Russian Secret Police [KPdSU] and their associated organizations in the Central, district, and county Committees,
  5. all the Peoples' Commissars and their Assistants,
  6. all the former Polit-Commissars in the Red Army,
  7. all leading personalities of the Central and Middle Offices among the State authorities,
  8. the leading economic personalities,
  9. the Soviet Russian Intelligence agents,
  10. all Jews,
  11. all persons who are established as being instigators or fanatical communists.

Just as important is the finding of persons who are devoted to the reconstruction, the administration, and management of the conquered Russian provinces.

Finally, such persons must be secured who can be used to transact further discoveries, whether of the Police or similar work, and for the clarification of universal interesting questions. In this category fall all the higher State and Party functionaries who are in the camp on the basis of their position and knowledge and who can give information on the measures and working methods of the Soviet State, the Communistic Party or the Cominterns.

In view of the pending decisions, considerations must also be given to the peoples' membership. At the end of the screening, measures, to be decided later, as to the transfer of prisoners from one command to another, will follow.

The Camp Commanders are directed by the Supreme Command of the Army to report such proposals.

Executions will not be carried out in the camps or immediate vicinity. Should the camps in the General Government be situated in the immediate vicinity of the border, then the prisoners for special handling are to be taken care of in former Soviet Russian Provinces.

The commands are to Keep records of the fulfillment of special handlings; which must include:

Serial number Family and Surname Date of birth and place Military rank Profession Last residence Reason for special handling Day and place of special handling


Supplement to the Directives for the Commands of the Security Police and Security Service assigned to P. W. camps

1. In the directives of the 17th July 1941, I have repeatedly pointed to the fact that it is the duty of the Special Purpose Command of the Security Police and Security Service to find not only the untrustworthy but also those trustworthy elements in general which can come into consideration for the reconstruction of the Eastern provinces.

I reemphasize that one duty is as important as the other.

In order to obtain a most extensive view of the co-activity of the Special Purpose Command, I order that the numeral 4 (number of those persons found to be trustworthy) will be especially heeded in the weekly reports.

The war prisoners who are found to be trustworthy and who were formerly in leading positions in the Soviet Russian economic circles, are to be listed, if possible, according to branch their last employment, and by name.

2. I reemphasize again the fact that in view of the pending decisions, consideration must especially be given to the peoples' citizenship.

Ukranians, White Russians, Aserbeidschanians, Armenians, North Caucasians, Georgians, Turks are only to be designated as definitely untrustworthy and dealt with according to the directive when they are definitely proven to be Bolshevists, Polit-Commissars, or other dangerous functionaries.

One must be careful, in as much as the Turkish people frequently have a Jewish appearance and the circumcision alone does not denote a Jewish descent (for example, Mohammedans).

3. The conception “highbrow” [Intelligenzler] should not be interpreted along European viewpoints.

The simplest, most primitive Soviet-Russian illiterate can, in his political fanaticism, be more dangerous than, for instance, the Soviet-Russian engineer, who due to his ability, went to High School, even though, he only outwardly appeared to be in accord with the Bolshevistic system.

In this respect the highbrow are mainly the professional revolutionists, writers, editors, and persons in the Comintern.

4. Those Soviet Russians who are definitely found to be untrustworthy are to be forthwith reported-as designated in the directives of the 17th July 1941. Following the introduction of the execution authorization, further fulfillment of the designated measures are to begin without further delay.

A further custody in the camps in question are to be avoided for various reasons.

Finally I reemphasize that under no circumstances are the executions to be carried out either in the Camp or in the near vicinity.

It is self-understood that these executions are not public. It is a matter of principle not to admit spectators.

5. I again charge the leaders and members of the Special Service Staff with the following: exemplary behavior during and after duty hours, top cooperation with camp commanders and careful checking of work.

signed: Heydrich (S) Verified: signed: Wolfert, Member of the Chancellory