List of Einsatzgruppen

Einsatzgruppen (German for "task forces",[1] "deployment groups";[2] singular Einsatzgruppe; official full name Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD) were Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany that were responsible for mass killings, primarily by shooting, during World War II. The Einsatzgruppen had a leading role in the implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish question (Die Endlösung der Judenfrage) in territories conquered by Nazi Germany.

Under the direction of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and the supervision of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the Einsatzgruppen operated in territories occupied by the German armed forces following the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union) in June 1941. Historian Raul Hilberg estimates that between 1941 and 1945 the Einsatzgruppen and related agencies and foreign auxiliary personnel killed more than two million people, including 1.3 million Jews.[3] The total number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust is estimated at 5.5 to six million people.[4]

After the close of the World War II, 24 senior leaders of the Einsatzgruppen were prosecuted in the Einsatzgruppen Trial in 1947–48, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes. Fourteen death sentences and two life sentences were among the judgements. Four additional Einsatzgruppe leaders were later tried and executed by other nations.[5]

Invasion of PolandEdit

Seven Einsatzgruppen of battalion strength operated in Poland. Each was subdivided into four Einsatzkommandos of company strength.[6]

Invasion of the Soviet Union and other countriesEdit

Einsatzgruppe Leader Subgroups
Einsatzgruppe A
(Baltic states)[7]
Dr. Franz Walter Stahlecker
(until 23 March 1942)
  • Sonderkommandos 1a and 1b (German for special forces; not to be confused with the Sonderkommandos in the concentration camps)
  • Einsatzkommandos 2 and 3. Attached to Army Group North
Einsatzgruppe B
Arthur Nebe
(until October 1941)
Einsatzgruppe C
(Northern and central Ukraine)[7]
Dr. Otto Rasch
(until October 1941)
Einsatzgruppe D
(Bessarabia, Southern Ukraine, Crimea, and Caucasus)[7]
Prof. Otto Ohlendorf
(until June 1942)
  • Sonderkommandos 10a and 10b
  • Einsatzkommandos 11a, 11b, and 12. Attached to 11th Army
Einsatzgruppe E
SS-Obersturmbannführer Ludwig Teichmann, SS-Standartenführer Günther Herrmann, SS-Standartenführer Wilhelm Fuchs Five Einsatzkommandos located in Vinkovci, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Knin, and Zagreb
Einsatzgruppe F
(Army Group South)[9]
Einsatzgruppe G
(Romania, Hungary, Ukraine)[8]
SS-Standartenführer Dr. Josef Kreuzer Einsatzkommandos 11 and 12
Einsatzgruppe H
SS-Obersturmbannführer Josef Witiska [fr; de; sv] Einsatzkommandos 13 and 14, formed in Brno 31 August 1944 as part of the German invasion of Slovakia concurrent with the Slovak National Uprising
Einsatzgruppe K
(with 5th Panzer Army in the Ardennes offensive)[11]
SS-Oberführer Dr. Emanuel Schäfer
Einsatzgruppe L
(with 6th Panzer Army in the Ardennes offensive)[11]
SS-Standartenführer Dr. Ludwig Hahn
Einsatzgruppe Griechenland (Greece)[12] SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Ludwig Hahn
Einsatzgruppe Iltis (Carinthia (Slovenia))[13] SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel  
Einsatzkommando Luxemburg (Luxembourg)[9]
Einsatzgruppe Norwegen (Norway)[14] SS-Oberführer Dr. Franz Walter Stahlecker
Einsatzgruppe Serbien (Yugoslavia)[15] SS-Standartenführer Wilhelm Fuchs, SS-Gruppenführer August Meysner
Einsatzgruppe for Special Purposes
(eastern Poland)[7]
SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Polizei
Karl Eberhard Schöngarth
Einsatzkommando Tilsit (Lithuania, Poland)[16]
Einsatzgruppe Tunis (Tunis)[17] SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff
Proposed Einsatzgruppe
(Middle East)[18]
SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff
Proposed Einsatzgruppe
(United Kingdom)[19]
SS-Standartenführer Dr. Franz Six  


  1. ^ LEO Dictionary.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica.
  3. ^ Rhodes 2002, p. 257.
  4. ^ Evans 2008, p. 318.
  5. ^ Rhodes 2002, pp. 274–275.
  6. ^ a b Weale 2010, p. 225.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rhodes 2002, p. 12.
  8. ^ a b MacLean 1999, p. 23.
  9. ^ a b Museum of Tolerance.
  10. ^ Longerich 2010, p. 419.
  11. ^ a b Dams & Stolle 2012, p. 168.
  12. ^ Conze, Frei et al. 2010.
  13. ^ Crowe 2007, p. 267.
  14. ^ Larsen 2008, p. xi.
  15. ^ Shelach 1989, p. 1169.
  16. ^ Longerich 2010, p. 197.
  17. ^ Mallmann, Cüppers & Smith 2010, p. 130.
  18. ^ Weale 2010, p. 386.
  19. ^ Shirer 1960, p. 783.


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  • Crowe, David (2007) [2004]. Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of his Life, Wartime Activities and the True Story Behind the List. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00253-5.
  • Dams, Carsten; Stolle, Michael (2012) [2008]. Die Gestapo: Herrschaft und Terror im Dritten Reich. Becksche Reihe (in German). Munich: Beck. ISBN 978-3-406-62898-6.
  • Evans, Richard J. (2008). The Third Reich at War. New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-14-311671-4.
  • "Reflections on the Holocaust: "The Einsatzgruppen"". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  • Larsen, Stein Ugelvik (2008). Meldungen aus Norwegen 1940-1945: Die geheimen Lagesberichte des Befehlshabers der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in Norwegen, 1 (in German). Munich: Oldenburg. ISBN 978-3-486-55891-3.
  • LEO Dictionary Team. "LEO Deutsch-Englisches Wörterbuch "einsatzgruppe"" (in German). Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  • Longerich, Peter (2010). Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280436-5.
  • MacLean, French L. (1999). The Field Men: The SS Officers Who Led the Einsatzkommandos—The Nazi Mobile Killing Units. Schiffer Military History. Madison, WI: Schiffer. ISBN 978-0-7643-0754-6.
  • Mallmann, Klaus-Michael; Cüppers, Martin; Smith, Krista (2010). Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine. New York: Enigma. ISBN 1-929631-93-6.
  • Rhodes, Richard (2002). Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-70822-7.
  • Shelach, Menachem (1989). "Sajmište: An Extermination Camp in Serbia". In Marrus, Michael Robert (ed.). The Victims of the Holocaust: Historical Articles on the Destruction of European Jews. 2. Westport, CT: Meckler.
  • Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-62420-0.
  • Weale, Adrian (2010). Army of Evil: A History of the SS. New York; Toronto: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0-451-23791-0.