- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
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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
Distinction must be made between
(1) the ultimate goal (which requires a prolonged period of
(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
(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 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
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.
Major on the General Staff (Major i. G.)