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The SS Einsatzgruppen were the most notorious of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany. Under the leadership of the notorious Otto Ohlendorf they were responsible for the introduction of a regime of terror involving mass killings, primarily by shooting, in occupied territory of the Soviet Union during 1941 and 1942. Under the direction of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and the direct supervision of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich the Einsatzgruppen played the leading role in the implementation of the Final Solution in territories conquered by Nazi Germany, but they were also responsible for combatting partisans and eliminating Soviet political commissars, mental patients and Gypsies throughout Eastern Europe.
Otto Ohlendorf and the other SS Einsatzgruppen leaders were eventually brought to justice and the 1947 Einstazgruppen trial at Nuremburg bears his name. The trial provided a wealth of primary source documents and testimony which proved the guilt of the perpetrators, but also provided a frightening insight into just how closely the SS sponsored Einsatzgruppen had co-operated with the Wehrmacht and local populations.
Emmy AwardTM winning Author and historian Bob Carruthers has revisited and edited the primary source material from the trial to provide a new and chilling insight into the work of the Einsatzgruppen which draws frightening conclusions and blows away the myths with regard to the presumed lack of involvement on the part of the Wehrmacht. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in the true nature of the war on the Russian Front from primary sources.
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