Book Review: SS Einsatzgruppen
Author: Gerry Von Tonder
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
Subtitled, Nazi Death Squads, 1939-1945 this 130 pager is not a large book but what it contains should be essential reading in every school. It’s the story of the dedicated Nazi death squads who operated behind the front lines, ethnically cleansing areas of Jews, gypsies, intellectuals and anyone else the Nazi state decided to get rid of.
It opens with a map of Einsatzgruppen massacre sites in eastern Europe and a timeline that starts in 1921.
The author pulls no punches, describing, in sometimes distressing detail, the slaughter and who was responsible. This includes the nationalist sympathisers of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Belorussia as well. The statistics are staggering. By the end of 1941, 80% of Lithuanian Jews had been liquidated and by 1943 over 150,000 Ukranian and Romanian Jews has been murdered.
The book continues, names those in charge of squads, explains the fate of many of those responsible after the war. If anything, this book deserved to be bigger but the author must be congratulated for being able to stomach what is presented. It’s horrific, but an essential counter to Holocaust deniers and those as culpable as the Nazis.
Purchase directly from Pen & Sword here
• 130 pages • Softback • £12.99
As reviewed in The Armourer August 2018
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