Lithuanian Security Police

The Lithuanian Security Police (LSP), also known as Saugumas (Lithuanian: Saugumo policija), was a local police force that operated in German-occupied Lithuania from 1941 to 1944, in collaboration with the occupational authorities.[1] Collaborating with the Nazi Sipo (security police) and SD (intelligence agency of the SS),[2] the unit was directly subordinate to the German Kripo (criminal police).[3] The LSP took part in perpetrating the Holocaust in Lithuania, persecuting Polish resistance and communist underground.

Background and formation

When Soviet Union occupied Lithuania on 15 June 1940, the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs was liquidated and replaced by the Soviet NKVD. Many former employees of the Ministry were arrested and imprisoned as so-called enemies of the people. When Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Lithuanians organized an anti-Soviet June Uprising in hopes that they could restore Lithuanian independence. Therefore, they started restoring pre-Soviet state institutions under the Provisional Government of Lithuania. On 24 June 1941, the Provisional Government recreated the pre-war Ministry of Internal Affairs with three departments – State Security, Police, and Prisons.[3] The State Security Department headed by Vytautas Reivytis. The government asked all those who worked there prior to 15 June 1940 to report back for duty. Many of them were just released from Soviet prisons.[3]

After the German take-over of Lithuania, it became apparent that the Germans had no intention to grant autonomy to Lithuania and the Provisional Government was dissolved on 5 August 1941. At the same time, the police and intelligence agencies recreated during the transitional period were found useful and were incorporated into the German security system. The former State Security Department was reorganised to the Lithuanian Security Police.[3]

Organization

External structure

The police in German-occupied Lithuania consisted of separate German and Lithuanian units. The most important German police organizations were the SiPo (security police, German: Sicherheitspolizei) and SD (security service, German: Sicherheitsdienst), commanded by Karl Jäger and headquartered in Kaunas, and the public police (German: Schutzpolizei).[4] The major Lithuanian police organisations were the Public Police, Lithuanian Security and Criminal Police (combined at the end of 1942 into one force), Lithuanian Self-Defence Units (Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft), Railway Police and Fire Police. Lithuanian police organizations were subordinate to their respective German counterparts.[4] Neighboring Latvia and Estonia did not have an equivalent to LSP.[5]

The LSP was dependent on the German SiPo and SD. It had the authority to sentence suspects up to three years.[4] Larger sentences had to be reviewed and approved by Karl Jäger who always increased the sentences.[5] Wilhelm Fuchs,[5] the new commander of Einsatzkommando 3, wanted to liquidate LSP and incorporate it into the German police, but Stasys Čenkus wrote him a letter defending LSP usefulness and it was left undisturbed.[3]

Internal structure

The head of the Lithuanian Security and Criminal Police was Stasys Čenkus, an agent of Abwehr. He kept this position until the end of the German occupation. His deputy assistants were head of the Security Police Kazys Matulis and personal secretary Vytenis Stasiškis. Petras Pamataitis headed Criminal Police.[3]

LSP had a staff of approximately 400 people, 250 of them in Kaunas[3] and around another 130 in Vilnius.[6] Many of its members came from the fascist Iron Wolf organisation.[2] For comparison, as of December 1943, the German SiPo and SD had 112 employees in Kaunas and 40 employees in Vilnius.[3] The combined Lithuanian Security and Criminal Police had 886 employees in 1943.[3]

LSP was headquartered in Kaunas. The headquarters were divided onto several directories: Organization (recruitment and employee selection), Economical and Financial (general administration), and Information (collected reports from other departments and agencies, created registry of state enemies, organized archive).[3]

LSP had six regional branches in Kaunas (headed by Albinas Čiuoderis), Vilnius (Aleksandras Lileikis), Šiauliai (Juozas Pakulis), Ukmergė (Aleksandras Braziukaitis), Marijampolė (Petras Banys) and Panevėžys (Antanas Liepa). Regional branches usually had seven commissariats:[3]

  • Guards' Commissariat – guarded buildings and prisons
  • General Commissariat – general administrative functions
  • Information Commissariat – screened applicants to governmental institutions, gathered operative information, created lists of state enemies, gathered information on political attitudes of local population, preparing reports and publications
  • Communist Commissariat – gathered information on communists and Soviet partisans, arrested and interrogated suspects, recruited agents
  • Polish Commissariat – investigated activities of illegal Polish organizations, arrested and interrogated suspects, recruited agents
  • Commissariat of Ethnic Minorities – investigated activities of Russians, Belarusians and other ethnic minorities
  • Reconnaissance Commissariat

Regional branches sometimes had different set of commissariats, for example Kaunas's branch had a separate commissariat for right-wing organizations.[3]

Activities

Persecution of communists and Polish resistance

The initial task of LSP was identifying and arresting communists. During the first months of German occupation, the Communist Commissariat of the Vilnius branch, headed by Juozas Bagdonis, was especially active. This commissariat in documents of 1941 is sometimes referred to as the Communist-Jewish section (Komunistų-žydų sekcija). This commissariat was responsible for spying on, arresting and interrogating communists, members of Komsomol, former Soviet government workers, NKVD collaborators, Jews and supporters of Jews.[4] In Kaunas, the LSP arrested about 200 communists; about 170 of them were on a list of known communists. On 26 June 1941, this group was transferred to the Seventh Fort and executed. The next day Germans forbade Lithuanians to order executions independently.[4]

As the war continued, the focus shifted to operations against Soviet partisans and Polish resistance particularly active in eastern Lithuania.[4] In February 1942, German SiPo and SD mandated registration of Polish intelligentsia (cf. proscription list).[5]

Persecution of Jews

During the first weeks of German occupation, LSP was focused on persecuting communists regardless of their nationality. At that time, Jews were persecuted only if they were involved in communist activities.[4] Members of LSP collected at least some evidence to support the charge. However, that quickly changed and Jews became persecuted because of their ethnicity. The LSP targeted Jews and suspected Jews, supporters of Jews, people evading imprisonment in the ghettos, escapees from ghettos,[7] or those who violated the Nazi racial laws.[4]

The activities of the LSP offices in major cities (Vilnius, Kaunas) and in the provinces differed in principle.[4] The LSP officers in major cities would most often study more complicated cases of political and strategic character, thus not directly participating in mass killings of the Jews. After interrogations, the Jews were handed over either to the Gestapo or to another Lithuanian collaborationist force named Ypatingasis būrys, which then transported them to the mass murder site of Paneriai or to other places of mass execution.[8][9] The LSP offices in the province took an active role in the Holocaust and, altogether, were more active. Here, the LSP officials would not only conduct the interrogations, but would also organize mass arrests, transport Jews to the venues of imprisonment or execution, and carry out the executions.[4] As an estimated 80% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered by the end of 1941, the Jewish problem lost its prominence.[4]

Postwar developments

At the end of the war many members of the Lithuanian Security Police fled to Western Europe, notably to Germany.[6] In 1955, the former commander of its Vilnius branch, Aleksandras Lileikis, emigrated to the United States, where he obtained citizenship, of which he was stripped in 1996.[1] In Lithuania, Lileikis's trial was postponed several times due to his poor health; he died at age 93 without trial.[10] Lileikis gave interviews to the press and published a memoir Pažadinto laiko pėdsakais (ISBN 9789986847281) in which he denied any wrongdoing.[4]

Kazys Gimžauskas, deputy of Lileikis, who returned to Lithuania after US authorities began to investigate him in 1996, was convicted in 2001 of participation in genocide.[11] In 2006 Algimantas Dailidė was convicted in Lithuania of persecuting and arresting two Poles and 12 Jews while he was a member of Lithuanian Security Police.[12][13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b United States Department of Justice (1996-06-26). "Court Revokes U.S. Citizenship of Former Security Police Official in Nazi-Occupied Lithuania". Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  2. ^ a b Gitelman, Zvi (1998). Bitter Legacy: Confronting the Holocaust in the USSR. Indiana University Press. p. 98. ISBN 0-253-33359-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bubnys, Arūnas (1997). "Vokiečių ir lietuvių saugumo policija (1941–1944)". Genocidas ir rezistencija (in Lithuanian). 1. ISSN 1392-3463. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bubnys, Arūnas (1997). "Lietuvių saugumo policija ir holokaustas (1941–1944)". Genocidas ir rezistencija (in Lithuanian). 13. ISSN 1392-3463. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  5. ^ a b c d Stankeras, Pertas (2008). Lietuvių policija Antrajame pasauliniame kare (in Lithuanian). Mintis. pp. 274–275, 279. ISBN 978-5-417-00958-7.
  6. ^ a b MacQueen, Michael (2005). "Lithuanian Collaboration in the "Final Solution": Motivations and Case Studies". Lithuania and the Jews; The Holocaust Chapter (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. p. 6.
  7. ^ Jewish Telegraphic Agency (1996-07-12). "World Report. Deported Nazi Denies any Guilt". Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  8. ^ Krzyżak, Tomasz (2004-09-19). "Lawina Steinbach". Wprost (in Polish). 34 (1138). ISSN 0209-1747. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  9. ^ Koprowski, Marek A. (2001). "Ponarski Wyrzut Sumienia". Gość Niedzielny (in Polish). 17. ISSN 0137-7604.
  10. ^ Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2001-02-23). "Lithuania. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2000". Retrieved 2006-06-12.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Walsh, Nick Paton (2004-01-18). "Refugee Faces Nazi War Trial". The Observer. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
  12. ^ "Nazi helper avoids Lithuania jail". BBC News. 2006-03-27. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  13. ^ United States Department of Justice (2001-07-11). "Justice Department Moves to Deport Florida Man Who Participated in Wartime Nazi Roundups of Lithuanian Jews". Retrieved 2006-06-09.
Algimantas

Algimantas is a Lithuanian masculine given name, often abbreviated as Algis, and may refer to:

Algimantas Briaunis (born 1964), Lithuanian professional footballer/goalkeeper coach

Algimantas Butnorius (November 20, 1946), Lithuanian chess Grandmaster and a former World Senior Champion

Algimantas Dailidė (born 1921), former Lithuanian Security Police (Saugumas) official

Algimantas Adolfas Jucys (1936–1997), Lithuanian theoretical physicist, mathematician

Algimantas Kezys (born 1928), photographer born in Lithuania who has lived in the United States since 1950

Algimantas Liubinskas (born 1951), Lithuanian politician and former manager of the Lithuania national football team

Algimantas Masiulis (1931–2008), Lithuanian film and theater actor

Algimantas Merkevičius (born 1969), Lithuanian judoka

Algimantas Nasvytis (1928–2018), Lithuanian architect

Algimantas Norvilas (born 1953), Lithuanian politician

Algimantas Puipa (born 1951), Lithuanian film director and screenwriter

Algimantas Šalna (born 1959), Lithuanian biathlete and Olympic medalist

Algimantas Sakalauskas (born 1958), Lithuanian folk artist and wood sculptor

Algimantas Sėjūnas (born 1941), Lithuanian politician

Algimantas Valantinas (born 1961), Lithuanian judge

Algimantas Vincas Ulba (born 1939), Lithuanian politician

Algimantas Žižiūnas (born 1940), Lithuanian photographerSee alsoList of all pages that start with "Algimantas"

Algimantas Dailidė

Algimantas Mykolas Dailidė (12 March 1921 – 2015) was an official of the Nazi-sponsored Lithuanian Security Police (Saugumas) during World War II. After the war, Dailidė sought refuge in the United States, saying he had been a "forester." While in the United States, Dailidė lived in both Florida and Cleveland, Ohio. He was a real estate agent until he retired to Gulfport, Florida. His citizenship was revoked in 1997 and he is variously reported as having left the United States on his own or having been deported in 2004.Dailidė was born in Kaunas. In 2006, a Lithuanian court convicted him of having arrested twelve Jews who tried to flee from the Vilna Ghetto, and for arresting two Polish nationals who subsequently became political prisoners; however, he was not sentenced to prison "because he is very old and does not pose danger to society". In 2008, Haaretz reported that he lived in Kirchberg, Germany. There are reports that he died in 2015 and buried at "Spring Grove Cemetery" in Medina, Ohio, United States, yet he was included in the list of Nazi war criminals were facing possible prosecution in 2019.

Algirdas Klimaitis

Algirdas Klimaitis (1910 in Kaunas – August 29, 1988 in Hamburg) was a Lithuanian paramilitary commander, infamous for his role in the Kaunas pogrom in June 1941.

It is likely that Klimaitis was an officer in the Lithuanian Army. During the pre-war years he was editor of the tabloid Dešimt centų (Ten Cents). His attitudes shifted to anti-communism and anti-semitism. He joined the Voldemarininkai movement.When the Nazi Germans occupied Lithuania in June 1941, at the start of Operation Barbarossa, Klimaitis formed a military unit of roughly 600 members, which was not subordinate to the Lithuanian Activist Front or the Provisional Government of Lithuania, and engaged in firefights with the Soviet army for the control of Kaunas. On the evening of June 23, most of the city was in the hands of the insurgents.On the night of 25–26 June, Kaunas pogrom led by Klimaitis' unit was instigated by SS Brigadeführer Franz Walter Stahlecker, commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe A. By 28 June 1941, according to Stahlecker, 3,800 people had been killed in Kaunas and a further 1,200 in surrounding towns in the region. Klimaitis' men destroyed several synagogues and about sixty Jewish houses. Modern sources claim that the number of victims in Stahlecker's report were probably exaggerated.After the war, Klimaitis moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he was discovered in the late 1970s. Hamburg Police launched an investigation, but Klimaitis died before the case could be brought to trial. He died in 1988.

Drohobycz Ghetto

Drohobycz Ghetto or Drohobych Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto in the city of Drohobych in Western Ukraine during World War II. The ghetto was liquidated mainly between February and November 1942, when most Jews were deported to the Belzec extermination camp.

Humbert Achamer-Pifrader

Humbert Achamer-Pifrader (21 November 1900 – 25 April 1945) was an Austrian jurist, who was member of the SS of Nazi Germany. He was commander of Einsatzgruppe A from September 1942 to September 1943.

Kalevi-Liiva

Kalevi-Liiva are sand dunes in Jõelähtme Parish in Harju County, Estonia. The site is located near the Baltic coast, north of the Jägala village and the former Jägala concentration camp. It is best known as the execution site of at least 6,000 Jewish and Roma Holocaust victims.

Kazimierz Pelczar

Kazimierz Pelczar (1894–1943) was a Polish academic and physician. Professor of the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius and pioneer of oncology research and treatment, he was murdered in the Ponary massacre.

Korherr Report

The Korherr Report is a 16-page document on the progress of the Holocaust in German-controlled Europe. It was delivered to Heinrich Himmler in January 1943 by the chief inspector of the statistical bureau of the SS and professional statistician Dr Richard Korherr under the title die Endlösung der Judenfrage, in English the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Korherr, commissioned by Himmler calculated that, from 1937 to December 1942, the number of Jews in Europe had fallen by 4 million. Between October 1939 and December 31, 1942 (see, page 9 of the Report), 1.274 million Jews had been "processed" at the camps of General Government and 145,000 at the camps in Warthegau (location of Kulmhof).

The decrease of Soviet Russian Jews from the territories overrun in Operation Barbarossa was not included due to lack of statistical data. The summaries came from the RSHA office receiving all SS reports about the so-called "already evacuated" Jews. Their "special treatment" was removed from the document on the request of Himmler who intended to share it with Hitler, and replaced by Korherr with "processed".

Martin Weiss (Nazi official)

Martin Weiss (21 February 1903 – 1984) was a Nazi official and de facto commander of the Vilna Ghetto. He was also the commander of the notorious Nazi-sponsored Ypatingasis būrys killing squad, which was largely responsible for the Ponary massacre where approximately 100,000 people were shot.

Mike Pasker

Mike Pasker (born as Mečys Paškevičius, September 26, 1901 – October 1, 1993) was a Lithuanian police officer who later immigrated to the United States and worked as an electrician.

Born in Ukmerge, Lithuania, Mečys Paškevičius was a sergeant of the Lithuanian Security Police from 1941 to 1944, while Lithuania was under Nazi occupation. According to later eyewitness testimony, Paškevičius marched 100 Lithuanian Jews and killed them by shooting and/or hanging them in the Ukmerge forest in July 1941, and assisted in the murder of 12,000 other Jews during his time of service. Paškevičius fled to Germany in 1944. He moved to the United States in 1950 and settled in Chicago, Illinois. After moving to the United States, Paškevičius divorced his first wife, Ona, and remarried, to Hildegard Gertrud Kaese (1925–1980), whom he originally met in Germany. During his time in Chicago, Paškevičius worked as an electrician, and he changed his name to Mike Pasker upon his naturalization as a United States citizen in 1962. Pasker and his wife retired to Santa Monica, California in 1972.Pasker's Nazi past was first mentioned in a Lithuanian-language newspaper in Cleveland 1959. He was then mentioned by Tass in a 1960s radio broadcast, which resulted in an article in the Chicago Tribune. Based on these allegations, along with eyewitness testimony, the federal government filed suit in 1977 to revoke Pasker's citizenship, and he consented to denaturalization in 1979 after admitting to concealing his past as a Lithuanian police officer during his immigration. While living in Santa Monica, Pasker was the target of several assassination attempts by Jewish militant groups. In 1978, members of the Jewish Defense League picketed his condominium, and a gunman shot into his apartment on June 6. On December 6, 1979, his condominium was damaged by a car bomb. Pasker then moved to a different home in Santa Monica, before moving to St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, where his wife died on June 20, 1980.

Paneriai

For the massacre during World War II of Jews, Polish intelligentsia, and Soviet POWs see Ponary massacre. For the Polish village of the same name, see Ponary.

Paneriai (Polish: Ponary, Yiddish: פאנאר‎/Ponar) is a neighborhood of Vilnius, situated about 10 kilometres away from the city center. It is the largest elderate in the Vilnius city municipality. It is located on low forested hills, on the Vilnius-Warsaw road. Paneriai was the site of the Ponary massacre, a mass killing of as many as 100,000 people from Vilnius and nearby towns and villages during World War II.

Ponary massacre

The Ponary massacre or Paneriai massacre (Polish: zbrodnia w Ponarach) was the mass murder of up to 100,000 people by German SD and SS and their Lithuanian collaborators, including Ypatingasis būrys killing squads, during World War II and the Holocaust in Reichskommissariat Ostland. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station at Ponary (now Paneriai), a suburb of today's Vilnius, Lithuania. Some 70,000 Jews were murdered at Ponary, along with up to 20,000 Poles, and 8,000 Russian POWs, most of them from nearby Vilna (Vilnius), and its newly-formed Vilna Ghetto.Lithuania and the Baltic States became one of the first locations outside occupied Poland in World War II where the Nazis would mass murder Jews as part of the Final Solution. Out of 70,000 Jews living in Vilna according to Snyder, only 7,000 (or 10 percent) survived the war. The number of dwellers, estimated by Sedlis, as of June 1941 was 80,000 Jews, or one-half of the city's population. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia and others, more than two-thirds of them or at least 50,000 Jews had been killed before the end of 1941.

Special Prosecution Book-Poland

Special Prosecution Book-Poland (German: Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen, Polish: Specjalna księga Polaków ściganych listem gończym) was the proscription list prepared by the Germans immediately before the onset of war, that identified more than 61,000 members of Polish elites: activists, intelligentsia, scholars, actors, former officers, and prominent others, who were to be interned or shot on the spot upon their identification following the invasion.

The Holocaust in Lithuania

The Holocaust in German occupied Lithuania resulted in the near total destruction of Lithuanian (Litvaks) and Polish Jews, living in Generalbezirk Litauen of Reichskommissariat Ostland within the Nazi-controlled Lithuanian SSR. Out of approximately 208,000–210,000 Jews, an estimated 190,000–195,000 were murdered before the end of World War II (wider estimates are sometimes published), most between June and December 1941. More than 95% of Lithuania's Jewish population was massacred over the three-year German occupation — a more complete destruction than befell any other country affected by the Holocaust. Historians attribute this to the massive collaboration in the genocide by the non-Jewish local paramilitaries, though the reasons for this collaboration are still debated. The Holocaust resulted in the largest-ever loss of life in so short a period of time in the history of Lithuania.The events that took place in the western regions of the USSR occupied by Nazi Germany in the first weeks after the German invasion, including Lithuania, marked the sharp intensification of the Holocaust.An important component to the Holocaust in Lithuania was that the occupying Nazi German administration fanned antisemitism by blaming the Soviet regime's recent annexation of Lithuania, a year earlier, on the Jewish community. Another significant factor was the large extent to which the Nazis' design drew upon the physical organization, preparation and execution of their orders by local Lithuanian auxiliaries of the Nazi occupation regime.

The Holocaust in Luxembourg

The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the persecution and near-annihilation of the 3,500-strong Jewish population of Luxembourg begun shortly after the start of the German occupation during World War II, when the country was officially incorporated into Nazi Germany. The persecution lasted until October 1941, when the Germans declared the territory to be free of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.

Walter Kutschmann

Walter Kutschmann (24 July 1914 – 30 August 1986) was a German SS-Untersturmführer and Gestapo officer, a member of an Einsatzkommando, based first in Lwów, Poland (today Lviv, Ukraine), and later in Drohobycz. He was responsible for the massacre of 1,500 Polish Jews in Lwów, Poland in the years 1941–42.

Wolfgang Birkner

Wolfgang Birkner (27 October 1913 – 24 March 1945) was a German SS functionary with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer, and the Holocaust perpetrator in World War II. Birkner served as the KdS Warschau (Komandeur der Sicherheitspolizei) in Warsaw following the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

After the German attack on the Soviet forces in eastern Poland during Operation Barbarossa, Birkner and his Einsatzkommando were deployed in the newly-formed Bezirk Bialystok district in the Army Group Centre Rear Area due to reports of alleged Soviet guerrilla activity. Birkner arrived in Białystok from the General Government on 30 June 1941, sent in by the SS Police commander Eberhard Schöngarth on orders from the Reich Main Security Office. As veteran of Einsatzgruppe IV from the Polish Campaign of 1939, Birkner was a specialist in rear security operations.

Yizkor books

Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community destroyed during the Holocaust. The books are published by former residents or landsmanshaft societies as remembrances of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Yizkor books usually focus on a town but may include sections on neighboring smaller communities. Most of these books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, some also include sections in English or other languages, depending on where they were published. Since the 1990s, many of these books, or sections of them have been translated into English.

Ypatingasis būrys

Ypatingasis būrys (Special Squad) or Special SD and German Security Police Squad (Lithuanian: Vokiečių Saugumo policijos ir SD ypatingasis būrys, Polish: Specjalny Oddział SD i Niemieckiej Policji Bezpieczeństwa, also colloquially strzelcy ponarscy ("Ponary riflemen" in Polish) (1941–1944) was a Lithuanian killing squad also called the "Lithuanian equivalent of Sonderkommando", operating in the Vilnius Region. The unit, primarily composed of Lithuanian volunteers, was formed by the German occupational government and was subordinate to Einsatzkommando 9 and later to Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo).There are different estimates regarding the size of the unit. Polish historian Czesław Michalski estimates that it grew from base of 50 while Tadeusz Piotrowski asserts about that there were 100 volunteers at its onset. According to Michalski, after its initial creation, at various times hundreds of people were members. Arūnas Bubnys states that it never exceeded a core of forty or fifty men. 118 names are known; 20 of the members have been prosecuted and punished. Together with German police, the squad participated in the Ponary massacre, where some 70,000 Jews were murdered, along with estimated 20,000 Poles and 8,000 Russian POWs, many from nearby Vilnius.

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