Rollkommando Hamann (Lithuanian: skrajojantis būrys) was a small mobile unit that committed mass murders of Lithuanian Jews in the countryside in July–October 1941, with a death toll of at least 60,000 Jews. The unit was also responsible for a large number of murders in Latvia from July through August, 1941. At the end of 1941 the destruction of Lithuanian Jewry was effectively accomplished by the Rollkommando in the countryside, by the Ypatingasis būrys in the Ponary massacre, and by the Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas in the Ninth Fort in Kaunas. In about six months an estimated 80% of all Lithuanian Jews were killed. The remaining few were spared for use as a labor force and concentrated in urban ghettos, mainly the Vilna and Kaunas Ghettos.
The group consisted of 8–10 Germans from Einsatzkommando 3, commanded by SS Obersturmführer Joachim Hamann, and several dozens of Lithuanians from the 3rd company of the Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas (TDA), commanded by Bronius Norkus. The unit had no permanent structure and was called for ad hoc missions in various towns in Lithuania. Hamann himself rarely participated in actual killings. The Jäger Report documents mass executions carried out by the unit in 54 locations across Lithuania. From July 13 to August 22, 1941, the commando operated out of Daugavpils, Latvia. During this time, the commando murdered 9,102 people, almost all of whom were Jews, from the Daugavpils Ghetto.
Usually the unit arrived after the local Jews were already rounded up and gathered in a more secluded area, usually a forest or a distant field, by local Nazi authorities and Lithuanian local collaborators. Sometimes small, temporary ghettos were set up for gathering the Jews from several nearby towns. Jews selected for executions were marched to the location, usually about 4–5 kilometres (2.5–3.1 mi) away from where they lived, and shot. Sometimes men were shot first, while women and children were executed towards the end of 1941. The corpses would be disposed of in pits dug in advance and the loot (clothes and other property of those killed) would be divided among the perpetrators. Such killings became known as "actions" (German: Aktion, Yiddish: Aktsiye).
Albert Sauer (17 August 1898, Misdroy – 3 May 1945, Falkensee) was a German commandant of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.Arajs Kommando
The Arajs Kommando (also: Sonderkommando Arajs), led by SS commander and Nazi collaborator Viktors Arājs, was a unit of Latvian Auxiliary Police (German: Lettische Hilfspolizei) subordinated to the German Sicherheitsdienst (SD). It was a notorious killing unit during the Holocaust.Eduard Strauch
Eduard Strauch (17 August 1906 – 15 September 1955) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer, commander of Einsatzkommando 2, commander of two Nazi organizations, the Security Police (German: Sicherheitspolizei), or Sipo, and the Security Service (German: Sicherheitsdienst, or SD), first in Belarus – then called White Russia or White Ruthenia – and later in Belgium. In October 1944, he was transferred to the military branch of the SS (Waffen-SS).Friedrich Panzinger
Friedrich Panzinger (1 February 1903 – 8 August 1959) was a German SS officer during the Nazi era. He served as the head of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt; RSHA) Amt IV A, from September 1943 to May 1944 and the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe A in the Baltic States and Belarus. From 15 August 1944 forward, he was chief of RSHA Amt V, the Kriminalpolizei (Kripo; Criminal Police), also known as the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (RKPA). After the war he was a member of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND; Federal Intelligence Service). He committed suicide after being arrested for war crimes.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.Jieznas
Jieznas (pronunciation ) is a small city in the Prienai district municipality, Lithuania. It is located 16 km (9.9 mi) east of Prienai along the northern shores of Lake Jieznas.Joachim Hamann
Joachim Hamann (18 May 1913 in Kiel – 13 July 1945) was an officer of the Einsatzkommando 3, a killing unit of Einsatzgruppe A, responsible for thousands of Jewish deaths in Lithuania. Hamann organized and commanded Rollkommando Hamann, a small mobile killing unit composed of 8–10 Germans and several dozens of local Lithuanian collaborators.Hamann was of Baltic German parentage. Trained as a chemist, he had difficulties finding a job due to the Great Depression. He joined SA in August 1931, NSDAP in December 1932, and SS in July 1938. He served in the Wehrmacht during the invasion of Poland and Battle of France as a paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger). He returned to Berlin where he joined the SS and completed training courses. In March 1941, he was promoted to SS-Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant). After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Hamann organized and commanded Rollkommando Hamann which killed at least 39,000 Jews in various locations across Lithuania and 9,102 people, almost all of whom were Jews, from the Daugavpils Ghetto. Hamann's superior, Karl Jäger, documented these killings in the Jäger Report. Nevertheless Martin C. Dean sets the death toll of Rollkommando Hamann to 60.000 murdered people in Lithuania alone.Hamann left Lithuania in October 1941 and continued his SS career. In 1942, SS-Hauptsturmführer Hamann participated in the Operation Zeppelin, a scheme to recruit Soviet POWs for espionage behind Russian lines. From 1943 he worked at Amt IV of RSHA (Gestapo). He was involved in apprehending and executing suspected members of the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. He was appointed aide to Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Director of the Reich Main Security Office. In January 1945, Hamann was promoted to SS-Sturmbannführer.
After the war, Hamann committed suicide.Jäger Report
The so-called Jäger Report, also Jaeger Report (full title: Complete tabulation of executions carried out in the Einsatzkommando 3 zone up to December 1, 1941) was written on 1 December 1941 by Karl Jäger, commander of Einsatzkommando 3 (EK 3), a killing unit of Einsatzgruppe A which was attached to Army Group North during the Operation Barbarossa. It is the most detailed and precise surviving chronicle of the activities of one individual Einsatzkommando, and a key record documenting the Holocaust in Lithuania as well as in Latvia and Belarus.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.Karl Jäger
Karl Jäger (20 September 1888 – 22 June 1959) was a Swiss-born German mid-ranking official in the SS of Nazi Germany and Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide during the Holocaust.Krakės
Krakės (Polish: Kroki) is a small town in Kėdainiai district, central Lithuania. It is located on the Smilgaitis River. In the town there is a Catholic church, convent, secondary school and post office.Lazdijai
Lazdijai (pronunciation ) is a city in Lithuania located about 7 km (4.3 mi) east of the border with Poland.Lithuanian partisans (1941)
Lithuanian partisans is a generic term used during World War II by Nazi officials and quoted in books by modern historians to describe Lithuanian collaborators with the Nazis during the first months of the occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany. Lithuanian partisans, mostly fighters against retreating Soviet forces during the June Uprising, were later organized into various auxiliary units by German Nazis. Several of the numerous units assisted and actively participated in mass executions of the Lithuanian Jews mostly in June–August 1941.
The term "Lithuanian partisans" might apply to several different and unrelated groups during 1941 and later:
A group led by Nazi agent Algirdas Klimaitis and active in Kaunas at the end of June 1941
Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas (TDA) was formed in Kaunas as basis for independent Lithuanian army, but soon transformed into a Nazi auxiliary unit participating in executions of the Jews at the Seventh and Ninth Forts
Rollkommando Hamann and its Lithuanian auxiliaries from TDA, responsible for mass murders in the countryside
Lithuanian Police Battalions formed in Vilnius from 3,600 deserters from the 29th Lithuanian Territorial Corps of the Red Army
Ypatingasis būrys formed in Vilnius and participant in the Ponary massacreRudolf Batz
Rudolf Batz (10 November 1903 – 8 February 1961) was a German SS functionary during the Nazi era. From 1 July to 4 November 1941 he was the leader of Einsatzkommando 2 and as such was responsible for the mass murder of Jews and others in the Baltic states.Seirijai
Seirijai (Polish: Sereje, German: Serrey, English sometimes "Serey") is a small town in Alytus County in southern Lithuania. In 2011 it had a population of 788.Vandžiogala
Vandžiogala (Polish: Wędziagoła) is a small town in Kaunas County, Kaunas district municipality in central Lithuania. It is located 29 km (18 mi) north of Kaunas next to Urka brook. A Holy Trinity church was built in Vandžiogala in 1830.
A town also has a post office (LT-54073), a community centre building, a school, a library, two cemeteries. A wayside shrine was erected during the 135th commemoration of January Uprising.
As of 2011 it had a population of 861.Wolfgang Kügler
Wolfgang Kügler was an SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) and a Teilkommandoführer (detachment leader) for Einsatzkommando 2, a subdivision of Einsatzgruppe A. Following World War II, he was tried and found guilty of war crimes before a court in West Germany. His sentence was reported to have been 8 months in prison and a fine. The most serious charge against him was that he had organized and been a commandter at the massacre of about 2,700 Jews, mostly women and children, on the beach at Liepāja, Latvia. Kügler claimed he was absent on leave in Germany when these murders occurred.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.Šķēde
Šķēde is a suburban settlement near Liepāja, Latvia, in Medze parish. It is located on the north border of the city. Šķēde was the biggest dacha cooperative in Latvia in the time of the Latvian SSR. One of Šķēde's notable features is its street names, which are known as "lines" and numbered from 1 to 18. Typical Šķēde addresses may thus appear as: Šķēde 1-15-2. Until 2005, the main Liepāja landfill was located near Šķēde.
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