The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3363-PS

                         Berlin, 21 September 1939

The Chief of the Security Police
PP (II)-288/39 secret
Special delivery Letter

To The Chiefs of all detail groups
[Einsatzgruppen] of the Security Police.

Concerning:  The Jewish problem in the occupied zone.

I refer to the conference held in Berlin today,
and again point out that the planned joint
measures (i.e. the ultimate goal) are to be kept
strictly secret.

Distinction must be made between

(1)  the ultimate goal (which requires a prolonged period of
  time) and

(2)  the sectors leading to fulfillment of the ultimate
  goal, (each of which will be carried out in a short term).

The planned measures require thorough preparation
both in technique and in the economic aspect.

Obviously the tasks at hand cannot be laid down in
detail from here.  The following instructions and
directives serve at the same time for the purpose
of urging chiefs of the detail groups to practical
consideration of problems.

The first perquisite for the ultimate goal is
first of all, the concentration of the Jews from
the country to the larger cities.

          This is to be carried out speedily.  In
doing so distinction must be made:

  (1)  between the zones of Danzig and West Prussia, Poznan,
    Eastern Upper Silesia;  and

  (2)  the other occupied zone.

If possible, the zone mentioned under item 1 shall
be cleared completely of Jews, or at least the aim
should be to form as few concentration centers as

In zones mentioned under item 2, there shall be
established as few concentration points as
possible so that future measures may be
accomplished more easily.  One must keep in mind
that only such cities are chosen as concentration
points which are located either at railroad
junction or at least along a railroad.

On principle, all Jewish communities under 500
heads are to be dissolved and to be transferred to
the nearest concentration center.

This decree does not count for the zone of detail
group I, which is located East of Cracow and
bounded by Bolanico, Jaroskaw, the new demarcation
line and the previous Polish-Slovakian border.
Within this zone merely an improvised census of
Jews should be carried out.  Furthermore, Councils
of Jewish Elders as discussed below are to be set up.

                  Councils of Jewish Elders

(1)  In each Jewish community, Council of Jewish Elders is
  to be set up which, as far as possible, is to be composed of
  the remaining influential personalities and rabbis.  The
  Council is to be composed of 24 male Jews (depending on the
  size of the Jewish community).

It is to be made fully responsible (in the literal
sense of the word)  for the exact execution
according to term of all instructions released or
yet to be released.

(2)  In case of sabotage of such instructions, the Councils
  are to be warned of severest measures.

(3)  The Jewish Councils are to take an improvised census of
  the Jews of their area, possibly divided into generations
  (according to age)

a.   up to 16 years of age,
b.   from 16-20 years of age,
c.   and those above and also according to the principal

and they are to report the results in the shortest
possible time.

(4)  The Councils of Elders are to be made acquainted with
  the time and date of the evacuation, the evacuation
  possibilities and finally the evacuation routes.  They are,
  then, to be made personally responsible for the evacuation
  of the Jews from the country.

The reason to be given for the concentration of
the Jews to the cities is that Jews have most
decisively participated in sniper attacks and

(5)  The Councils of Elders of the concentration centers are
  to be made responsible for the proper housing of the Jews to
  be brought in from the country.  The concentration of Jews
  in the cities for general reasons of security will probably
  bring about orders to forbid Jews to enter certain wards of
  that city altogether, and that in consideration of economic
  necessity they cannot for instance leave the ghetto, they
  cannot go out after a designated evening hour, ect.

(6)  The Council of Elders is also to be made responsible
  for the adequate maintenance of the Jews on the transport to
  the cities.

The scruples are to be voiced, if the migrating
Jews take with them all their moveable
possessions, as far as that is technically at all

(7)  Jews who do not comply with the order to move into
  cities are to be given a short additional period of grace
  when there is good reason.  They are to be warned of
  strictest penalty if they should not comply by the appointed


      All necessary measures, on principle, are always
                       to be taken up
        in closet agreement and collaboration with the
        civil administration and the competent local

In the execution of this plan, care must be taken
that economic security suffer no harm in the
occupied zones.

(1)  The needs of the army, should particularly be kept in
  mind e.g. it will not be possible to avoid leaving behind
  here and there some Jews engaged in trade who absolutely
  must be left behind for the maintenance of the troops, for
  lack of any other plants is to be planned for and the
  emigration of the Jews is to be completed later in agreement
  with the competent local German administrative authorities.

(2)  For the preservation of German economic interests in
  the occupied territories it is self understood that Jewish
  war and ordinary industries and factories and those
  important to the 4-Year Plan must be kept going for the time

In these cases also, immediate Aryanization must
be planned for the emigration of the Jews must be
completed later.

(3)  Finally, the food situation in the occupied territories
  must be taken into consideration.  For instance, as far as
  possible, real estate of Jewish settlers should be
  provisionally entrusted to the care neighboring German or
  even Polish peasants to be worked by them in order to insure
  harvesting of the crops still in the fields, or cultivation.

In regard to this important question contact
should be made with the agricultural experts of
the (C.d.Z.).

(4)  In all cases in which a conformity of interests of the
  Security Police [Sicherheitspolizei]  on the one hand, and
  the German civil administration on the other hand, can be

I am to be informed of the individual measures in
question as quickly as possible before their
execution and my decision is to be awaited.


The Chiefs of the detail groups [Einsatzgruppen]
are to report to me continuously on the following

(1)  Numerical survey on the Jews present in their
  territories (if possible according to the above mentioned

The number of Jews who are evacuated from the
country and those who are already in cities are to
be listed separately.

(2)  Names of cities which have been designated as
  concentration points.

(3)  The time set for the Jews to be evacuated to the

(4)  Survey of all Jewish war and ordinary industries and
  factories or those important to the 4-Year Plan in their

If possible the following should be specified:

a. Kind of factory (also statement on possible
reconversion of factory to really vital or war-important
factories or those important to the 4-Year Plan) ;
b. which factories should be most urgently Aryanized (in
order to avoid loss) ; what kind of Aryanization is
suggested?  Germans or Poles, (the decision depends on the
importance of the factory) ;
c. number of Jews working in these factories (include
leading positions).

Will it be possible to keep the factory going
after the Jews have been removed or will German or
Polish workers respectively have to be assigned
for that purpose?  To what extent?

If Polish workers have to be used, care should be
taken that they are mainly taken from the former
German provinces in order to somewhat ease the
problem there.  These questions can only be solved
by incorporation and participation of the labor
offices [Arbeitsaemter]  which have been set up.


      For the fulfillment of the goal set, I expect the
      cooperation of all forces of the Security Police
        [Sicherheitspolizei] and the Security Service

The Chiefs of the neighboring detail groups shall
immediately establish contact with each other in
order to be able to cover completely the
territories in question.


The High Command of the Army [OKH] ;  the
commissioner for the 4-Year Plan, (c/o State
Secretary Neumann)  (Staatssekretaer) ;  the Reich
Minister of the interior (c/o State Secretary
Stuckart) ;  the Reich Ministry for Food and
Economy [fuer Ernaehrung und Wirtschaft]  (c/o
State Secretary Landfrie (d)) ;  as well as the
Chief of the civil administration to the occupied
territories have receive copies of this decree.

                                 Signed:  Heydrich

                                  signed:  Schnidt
                                   Office employee

Responsible for
correct copy
signed:  signature
          Major on the General Staff (Major i. G.)