The Most Famous Photo?
Maybe. This photo was found in an SS member’s personal album. The SS man was probably in the infamous Einsatzgruppen (probably Einsatzgruppe D) who were charged with ridding the land of the “undesirables” so that German citizens could move there. They were brutal, and their victims are often forgotten because they were simply shot in the forest near where they lived. Sometimes there would be 30,000+ people killed in one spot. The Germans would make them line up and shoot them into a trench, then the next batch would come and look down at the pile of bodies he’s about to join. This photo was taken in 1941, in Ukraine, and scrawled on the back “The Last Jew of Vinnitsa.”
The Nazis Began to Suffer Mentally.
Yes, it’s true. Heinrich Himmler himself wrote a letter to Berlin in 1941 that said he was concerned about the mental stability of the German soldiers who are forced to shoot people day after day. He had just watched the execution of 100 Jews in Minsk, and a lesser ranked officer (Erich Von dem Bach-Zelewski) pulled Himmler aside and told him that they needed to come up with more humane methods. Now, don’t mistake that for sympathy. No, it was for the benefit of the poor SS men who had to shoot people. This development is part of the reason that the gas chambers were invented – so that SS soldiers could remain detached from their massacring. Himmler then asked Nebe to consider alternative killing methods less hands-on than shooting. Nebe at first tries Dynamite in a mental hospital – he later admits that there were people left alive after the explosion and it was gruesome. Finally the idea for poison gas to mass murder comes up and thus the infamous gas chamber idea begins its cultivation.
I’ve been particularly disturbed by the amount of denial surrounding “The Last Jew of Vinnitsa.” In the above photo I have linked the official testimony of Erwin Bingel, who was an eyewitness to the horrors. The testimony is pages long and extremely specific in all its details. I don’t know when this story started to get twisted, but for the record “Ukrainians and Germans murdered Jews.” Some bogus websites are saying that there was a massacre by Soviet Jews against Ukrainian partisans? Simply untrue. The Einsatzgruppen were murder machines and ravaged the entire Pale of Settlement area when they moved eastwards towards Russia.