The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

Nazi Conspriracy and Aggression Volume 3
Document No. 053-PS

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Translation of Document 053-PS

The Deputy of the Reichs Ministry [Reichsministerium] for the
occupied Eastern Provinces with the Army Group South.Captain Dr. Koch

REPORT 10
(Concluded on 5 October 1941)

SECRET

(See also the morale report which will be ready in a short time "Legacy of the Soviets in the Ukrainian Areas"concluded at the end of September 1941)

A. The Ukraine on the Right of the Dnieper can, for all purposes, be considered as inactive.

a. The German Wehrmacht was regarded by the populace now, as ever, as emancipator and liberator from physical and mental pressure; the political points of view at present are not as important as the physical.

A temporary administration was almost put in everywhere by the troops, especially by officers of Defense II, who were reserved for this, and will be enlarged upon by the field commanders under the direction of Section VII (military) with the commander-in-chief of the rear communication zone; the proportional far-reaching net of the field and Army post command will be support and condensed through the organization of the office of the inspector of economy (especially the chief group of agriculture) which is of the same opinion. Occasional or regular conferences lead to unification of the points of view. Upon my trip through the land (so far about 6000 km), I have tried through personal contacts, to work for clearness and unification as much as possible; through Speeches, conferences, participation in informal discussions, etc., I have reached, so far, some 600 native village burgermeisters, 12 larger city governments with their burgermeisters, about 500 professors or students, 30 ministers with their church councils and 20 leaders of rayons or their assistants. I was asked by 4 commanders-in-chief several garrison leaders [Standortaelteste], and a few division commanders of various German garrisons, to lecture I was heard by almost all Ic officers of the armies and other higher command posts, also some 100 agriculture leaders, 30 communications officers and 3 propaganda companies. The present Defense II officers gladly procured such connections for me and guaranteed continued execution of probable decisions.

b. Where friction arises between German-(Retinue) sections and the native populations, they are not of political, but economical or personal nature.

Economy. The populace is aware and understands that a very large part of their total harvest has to be given to the Wehrmacht (and economical command); but they resist against "unjust" and "individual" requisitions, that means against continued confiscation in the villages along the same large routes of march, without uniformly requisitioning in the country; and also against unrationalized or wild demands (the confiscation of pregnant cows requisition without proper receipts, disregarding of letters of safe conduct issued by higher German echelons, etc.).

Individual German economical commands made complaints, and rightly so, over delayed terms and quantities; in most cases it was found that technical hindrances were the reasons (delayed or curtailed orders, lack of transportation) and not malice or sabotage. The farmers reply to the oft heard remarks of their laziness and lack of working effort, was that they brought in the large harvest on their own free will without having many machines, manpower and the time.

Personal. The Bolshevists, using brutal measures (such as prison, deportation, etc.) in general nevertheless refrained from punishing individuals (by whipping). Now that it occasionally is done by German troops, well meaning people blame it on the misunderstanding or ignorance of the language; but should it be done too often, antipathy and distrust will be created.

Furthermore the population emphasizes the difference which exists between the occasional mistakes of the Germans and the systematic oppressions by our allies. Here especially the Rumanians and Hungarians caused much gossip. The German Army Command, which operated for the safeguarding of German property in the newly acquired Rumanian special (partly drastic) countermeasures. [sic]

c. A complete report on these so-called Partisan-movement was made on 14 September 1941.

The Army High Command decided, therefore, in favor of centralizing the work on the problem, and requested Captain Lazarel for this, who until now was assigned to me (Koch).

Examples from Czernigow, Poltawa and other Army group (for example, Staraja Russa near Orscha) prove that the enemy in the future will employ partisans using explosives and mines.

d. The inner political interest of the population is limited at present to questions of administration and meritorious service in offices or semi-military associations.

Of all the old, strong political parties in Kiev, only a subordinate ("Kultur") section of the "Sojus Wyzwolennia Ukrainy" (organisation for the liberation of the Ukraine) could be found; other trails led to Shitomir, Uman, and Lemberg, but were lost there in some remnants of local organizations

Up till now, the Bandera people could not fulfill their original plan, the establishment of a self-supporting government in Kiev, since the "Command Kiew" which was to perform this, was removed by the security service [SD] in Fastow and Wassilkow; in the first days after the occupation of the city, they pasted small propaganda placards right next to the German governmental publications, however without much result. Also handbills, in which it was tried to justify the attentat of Shitomir, remain ineffective. The burning of Kiev and the strict screening of the population following thereafter [Sichtungen] have caused, it seems, a (passing) standstill in the organizational construction of the Bandera group.

From the Melnyk organization it was possible to obtain a secret directive called "in Matters of Propaganda"; aside from the old and well-known requests (self-rule demands of totalitarianism, national socialistic philosophy of life) the following is noticeable in regards to the Reich's relative points (Par. 18): "The special aim is to obtain a clarification of the relations to the German factors. It is to be pointed out that Germany is at war with Moscow and therefore is our ally which one must support in battle. At the same time it is emphasized that the opportunity of the construction of a Ukrainian political system does not only depend alone on the Germans but also on our own combined organization and on our ability to produce. Our motto here is: "Our strength lies in ourselves." (This settlement of a German policy differentiates itself despite their careful composure and stipulation, fundamentally from the rules laid down by Banderas, in which to my knowledge it was, up until now, referred to as "allies", often set in quotation marks but never used in connection with the specific references to the Reich.)

e. A permanent security police force (military) is in every town. It draws its replacements from newly captured Ukrainians, is entirely under German command and wears the blue-yellow brassard; weapons are only issued them for guard duty or patrols. At the beginning of September a (melnyk-friendly) group of 300-500 Ukrainian fugitives out of Bukawia was used in the district Winnica-Gaisin They are mainly serious men with some knowledge of German and up till now we received no complaints about their services.

f. The fire of Kiev (24-29 September 1941) destroyed the very center, that is the most beautiful and most representative part of the city with its two large hotels, the central Post Office, the radio station, the telegraph office and several department stores. An area of about 2 square kilometers was affected, some 50,000 people are homeless; they were scantily housed in abandoned quarters. As reconciliation for the obvious sabotage, the Jews of the city, approximately (according to figures from the SS Commands for commitment) 3500 [sic] people, half women, were liquidated on the 29th and 30th September. The population took the execution as much as they found out about it calmly, many with satisfaction; the newly vacated homes of the Jews were turned over for the relief of the housing shortage. Even if certain relief was created in a social respect, the care of the city of half a million is still in danger and one can already foresee food shortages and eventual epidemics.

Up to date the danger of mines has not been eliminated according to official reports of the engineer officer sat least 10,000 (ten thousand!) mines were deactivated, among them, of course, a great number in the outskirts of the city (railroad station, civilian airport, etc.) and in the tactical forward areas; in individual buildings (also in museums) there were found 3 1/2 tons of explosives in prepared, technically correct mine chambers; captured detonator apparatus leads to the belief that other arrangements of similar nature were built for wireless detonation. With consideration to possible electrical mine detonation, the power supply has not yet been switched on and therefore most staffs and commands are functioning only with candle or poor petroleum lighting. The explosion and the burning of the city caused several losses on officers, men and materials.

The inhabitants of the city remain quiet and disciplined as before; German regulations are enforced to the best ability and without resistance.

I reported over the evacuation measures of the Bolshevists in Kiev in my telephone conversation of the 24-29 September; the picture has not changed noticeably as a whole.

g. I safe-guarded as much of the local art treasures from libraries, academies, institutes and museums with my special detail (2 officers, 2 drivers) as I could. Around 20, partly large, objects could be safe-guarded in this manner and are at the disposal of the Reich.

B. A uniform and supervised administration has not become possible in the Ukraine on the left of the Dnieper River; the streets to the few Dnieper bridges are swarming with prisoners and fugitives the active troop counter-traffic eastward still hasn't stopped. The Bolshevists were able to trash and carry away undetermined quantities of the harvest, according to the populace. On the other hand, several evacuees, formerly of Soviet authority, managed to stay back in the "Kessel of Kiev" and to save themselves from further deportation; the whole Kiev fire department with its equipment, which was evacuated by the Russians, came back again in a like manner on the day before the fire. In some cases it was possible to salvage several herds of cattle and machinery.

II

The economical commands concerned and 1st Lt. Dr. Dittloff report through channels about the special economical situation of the occupied Ukrainian provinces.

III

With the continuation of the peace, the people are again concerned with cultural and religious questions:

a. Where it as technically possible, the lower classes of schools were opened. The initiative (and the cost) lie with the inhabitants themselves. The administrative court will be held responsible for the political attitude of the teachers, the supervision ties with the Germans. The Soviet school texts are destroyed, all communistic emblems removed from the buildings and institutes.

Request by Russian (and occasionally Polish) minorities to establish Russian (or Polish) especially private schools will be denied in all cases.

Junior high schools, business schools, or even colleges, will not even be subject to discussion.

b. A permanent press can be assumed to be existing (in a technical sense).

There are Ukrainian newspapers in Kamienec Podolsk, Rowne, Berditschew; Winnica, Shitomir, Uman, Kirowograd, Nowo-Ukrainka, Kriwoirog, Cherson, Nikolajew and Kiev (perhaps in a few other places); the papers are published from once to six times weekly and are mostly, fairly pure newspapers; some (naturally censored) articles deal with the anti-bolshevistics and in the field of German-Ukrainian cooperation (thankfulness for the emancipation similar parallels, etc.). The following ground rules pertain to the technique of foreign propaganda: The term Ukraine can only be used in a territorial ( not pertaining to state) sense; the Reich is not an "ally", but a "protector" of the Ukraine; the German Wehrmacht is not "garrisoned" (or even "occupationally army" as was formulated by several Bandera men) but instead "saviors"; the title "Fuehrer-Emancipator" is to be used when talking of Adolf Hitler, etc.; as far as these directives went, they were looked upon as natural and obeyed without a trace of objection.

c. Six different groups were found in the religious circles in the Ukrainian Province right of the Dnieper:

1. The old Orthodox-Eastern Church (also named "Tychon" or "Slavian"); it is the closest successor of the pre-bolshevistic religious organization and includes the greater part of the churchgoing populace, Ukrainians and Russians alike; amongst the priests are several pro-Russians; the rest lean toward a final reestablishment of the Ukraine. The strength of the group cannot yet be given in figures. Alone in the Shitomir province for example, there are 100 priests; in the city of Kiev there remained two small churches during the time of the Russians. Bishops are not present. The 83 year old Archbishop Antonij Abaschidse, who was found in Kiev, is crippled and not capable of any conceivable service. A published appeal by the metropolite and so-called patriarch Sergius from Moscow to resist against "Fascism and the German bandits" (dated 22 June 1941) aroused no interest among the populace.

2. The Ukrainian "Autokephal" Church, a (from an orthodox standpoint) uncanonic group, consisting of a Ukrainian, home conscious people, without lawful bishops; it constitutes a religious minority, but suffered especially severe persecutions from the Bolshevists and is composed exclusively of radical enemies of Moscow and Bolshevism. It has congregations and churches in almost all Ukrainian cities and openly pledges ties to the national Ukrainian bishops in Wolhynien and to the general government.

Its union with the first mentioned group for a permanent, anti-Moscow and pro-German organization is probable. The German authorities [Behoerde], remembering the decree of the Fuehrer, did not hinder the religious participation of both groups, however instructed them, in the main intersession prayer to first remember a prayer for the Fuehrer, the Reich and the German Wehrmacht; the instructions were carried out everywhere where they had been given. Larger religious services (in open places, etc.) were often requested, but have so far been rejected.

3. The Synodale (also "Erneuerungs Synodale" or "Lebende") church. It is justified by laws of the church; however it stands at present near an agreement with the Soviet government. Their services where requested for example in Berditschow were not permitted.

4. The Roman-Catholic Church. Within the framework of the German military administration, only one religious service was permitted at the old cathedral in Shitomir (16 Sept 41), but was stopped because of the following "misuse of the trust placed in the (Polish) local priests." The Roman-Catholic cathedral of Shitomir was closed again for Latin and Polish services and might be taken over by the Ukrainian-Orthodox congregation.

5. The Sect of the Altglaeubigen (Russian and Ukrainian "Raskolniki").

6. Sects converted to Protestantism (Adventists, Baptists, Evangelical Christians, Stundists, etc.).

Both sect groups did not request religious services and did not openly come into appearance and can be regarded as harmless.

Special director Dr. Stumpp, who was especially appointed for this, reported on the situation of the Evangelical Congregations in the German Settling Space; he is at present with Lt. Vohrer in the German settlement on the Black Sea.

IV
Next Intentions for the Future:

As soon (around the end of October) as the civilian administration occupies the whole territory right of the Dnieper and their Headquarters are established in Kiev, I will follow providing no other commands are given the high command of the Army Group South and report at that place.

For the time, after the conclusion of the Eastern campaign, I request permission for special proposals.

signed: GIRUS KOCH
Captain


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