Tarashcha, Ukraine

Тараща, Yкраïна


Einsatzkommando 5

9 Feb 1964.
Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Under German Law, The Central Office for the Prosecution of Nazi Crimes is responsible for tracking down and prosecuting war criminals.

The Statute of Limitations, which will expire in May, 1965, only applies to murder. Any case begun by that date will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.

10 Apr 1948.
Nuremberg, Germany.

SS General Erwin Schulz was convicted of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and membership in a criminal organization and sentenced to twenty years.

SS General Rasch died in 1948 before being tried.

9 Jan 1954.

SS General Erwin Schulz,
commander of Einsatz-
kommando 5, was released from prison, having served eight years of a fifteen year sentence; the original twenty year sentence had been commuted to fifteen years.

6 January 1944.
Russians capture

Nazis will have to draw back from their positions on the right flank of the Dnieper River from Kiev to Cherkasi.

Yad Vashem Untold Stories

The murder sites of the Jews in the Occupied Territories of the former USSR


To see the names of
Tarashcha Shoah victims on Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims, click on

type "Tarashcha" in Place Box; click Search; and wait.

13 May 1941.

The Order Governing the Exercise of Military Jurisdiction in the Barbarossa Theater and Special Troop Measures.

Because of the broad expansion of the theaters of military operations in the East and due to the distinctive features of the enemy, the troops must ruthlessly defend themselves against every threat by a hostile civilian population.

  1. Military courts and professional tribunals have no jurisdiction over civilian criminal offenses.
  2. Partisans shall be ruthlessly eradicated.
  3. All other hostile civilian attacks shall be dealt with on the spot using the most extreme measures, until the attacker has been annihilated.
  4. Elements suspected of having committed an offense shall be brought before an officer, who shall decide if these persons are to be shot. Towns from which the Wehrmacht is attacked shall be subject to collective punishment unless the individual offenders can be identified.
  5. It is explicitly forbidden to harbor suspected offenders.
  6. Members of the Wehrmacht and their civilian entourage do not have to be prosecuted for acts committed against hostile civilians even if the acts are indictable military crimes.
  7. When judging such acts, one shall take into account the 1918 collapse, the subsequent suffering of the German people, the fight against National Socialism with the countless blood sacrifices due to Bolshevic influence.

6 June 1941.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars

"In the war against Bolshevism, one should not expect the enemy to behave in accordance with humane principles or tenets of international law."

  1. Clemency and international law are a danger to our own safety and to the rapid pacification of the conquered territories.
  2. Political commissars are instigators of barbaric Asian methods of fighting. One must counter these elements at once and with all brutality. They must be shot immediately, even if they are only suspected of resistance, sabotage, or incitement.

22 June 1941.

Einsatzkommando 5 sallies forth from Pretzsch, Wittenberg Germany at the start of the Russian Campaign. Its objective is the town of Saratov on the Volga River by the beginning of winter 1941. Its planned route would take it through the border town of Gleiwitz, on to Cracow, and then to Rzeszów, Poland, newly named Reichshof when it was occupied by German troops in September 1939.

Einsatzkommando 5, led by SS-Standartenführer1 Erwin Schulz, is a unit of Einsatzgruppen C, commanded by Dr. Dr. Otto Rasch.2 Einsatzkommando 5 consists of three platoons of forty men each (including ten men from a police unit). During the advance, Third Platoon, destined to operate in and around Tarashcha, Ukraine, traveled in a caravan of cars: the platoon leader and his interpreter rode in a six-seat Wanderer limousine; the deputy leader followed in an open Ford V8; the rest of the platoon rode in groups of four in private cars, with the light machine gun crew taking up the rear in an open vehicle to protect the autocade.

2 July 1941.

Einsatzkommando 5 enters Lemberg (Lvov); the city fell the previous day. All of Third Platoon was immediately deployed in support of a Wehrmacht unit fighting Red Army troops in a forested area on the edge of town. The fight lasted two to three hours. About this time several hundred dead men and women were discovered, including mutilated bodies of German airmen. In retaliation, the Nazi command decided to execute several thousand Russian, mainly Jewish, male civilians before Einsatzgruppen C left Lemberg. Einsatzkommando 5 took part in this task. Following German military procedure, the execution was carried out using rifles, with two men aiming at each victim. This was, apparently, the first large-scale execution involving Einsatzkommando 5; its baptism in mass murder.

After four or five days, Einsatzkommando 5 moved eastward toward Shitomir but was blocked by Russian tanks. Ordered to go south and then towards Berditschew, the unit lost one man killed and two wounded when, on 15 July, it was attacked by Russian planes.

On or about the day that Einsatzkommando 5 left Lemberg, it received an order from the head of the security police and the security service (SD) to kill all persons considered enemies: "...functionaries of the Komintern, communist politicians,..., Party functionaries, commissars, Jews holding Party and government positions, snipers, saboteurs, agitators, propagandists, assassins, etc."

16 July 1941.

Incident Report UdSSR No. 24.

7,000 Jews were shot in Lemberg by members of Einsatzgruppe C.

25 July 1941.

Einsatzkommando 5 arrives in Berditschew, ninety miles west of Tarashcha. Dr. Dr. Rasch, commander of Einsatzgruppe C: The Führer orders that the Jews present a mortal danger behind the German Front. All Jews are to be liquidated - men, women, and children; only arbeitsjuden ("work Jews") needed for work duty are to be spared.

SS-Standartenführer Schulz disapproves of this order on moral grounds. Schulz' officers make no explicit objections to the order; instead, they try to transfer out of the unit.

SS-Standartenführer Schulz does not expect exceptional effort from his men in carrying out the order. His troops should be generous in deciding which Jews are to be arbeitsjuden.

1 – 6 August 1941.

Einsatzkommando 5 carries out a "retaliation deployment" in Chmielnik, thirty miles southwest of Berditschew. The town's mayor is hanged and many Russians and Jews are shot. Incident Report UdSSR No. 86. states that two hundred twenty-nine Jews are killed in this action.

6 August 1941.

Ninety miles east of Berditschew.
Tarashcha, Ukraine.

An advance detachment of Third Platoon, Einsatzkommando 5 enters town. It finds quarters in the bank building near the market in the southwest part of town.

Tarashcha is already occupied by an unidentified black-uniformed German troop or perhaps it is a troop allied with the Germans.

There are 3,000 - 4,000 inhabitants, of whom 25% are Jews. Tarashcha is a district (Rayon) town, with spacious, park-like areas and a small industrial base - a cannery and textile and leather processing plants. There is a mill, a bakery, a public swimming pool, a restaurant, an Orthodox Church, and a synagogue. The school and several apartment buildings are on the main street, which runs northward towards Kiev. Two kilometers northwest of the town, along a hard, rutty, unpaved path, are two cemeteries - one for Jews and the other for Orthodox Christians - separated by a trench. The area is covered with gravel.

While the advance detachment is in Tarashcha, a large-scale killing operation is being carried out against the Jews. Hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children are executed by the mysterious, black- uniformed troops.

Houses are searched. Jews are hiding in the cellars, to no avail. The black-uniformed Germans find them, round them up, and lock them in buildings on the main street. Some Jews, especially those with useful skills, are used as workers (arbeitsjuden).

It takes two days to dig the mass grave. During this initial phase, the Jews are taken to the murder site in Panje carts, pulled by two horses. One hundred meters from the grave is a row of bushes that blocks one's view of the execution site; Jews are forced to sit or lie down behind these bushes as death nears. Though the victims cannot see, they can hear.

Facing into the trench, the victims are shot with machine guns. Members of the advance party of Third Platoon, Einsatzkommando Five hear the "rat-a-tat" of the weapons and the answering screams from their living quarters two kilometers away in the southwestern part of Tarashcha. Members of the advance detachment helped prepare the mass grave and guarded the transport of the Jews.

11 August 1941.

The rest of Third Platoon3 arrives in Tarashcha and establishes its headquarters in the school on main street. Third Platoon gets right to work in accordance with the 2 July order as augmented by Dr. Dr. Rasch: systematically scour Tarashcha and nearby villages for Jews, Bolsheviks, saboteurs, looters, and local leaders and execute them. The work becomes routine: Each morning Jews selected for execution are rounded up by Third Platoon, aided by members of the Ukrainian militia. The Jews are assembled in a plaza near the platoon's headquarters. (This plaza is also near the Ukrainian militia offices.) The Jews are searched for valuables. Once the Jews are "shaken-down", they are led out of town in a procession to the cemetery. There is an occassional expression of compassion - a soldier, against orders, allows a sobbing woman to go home, where she had left small children. Victims are led, in small groups, from the waiting area behind the bushes to the trench. Forced to stand or kneel at the whim of the executioner, a pistol round slams into the back of the neck, and a Jew tumbles into his or her final resting place.

August through early October 1941.

Einsatzkommando 5 extends the "work" to outlying villages. Each village is immediarely "overrun" to cut-off the victims' escape. The village elder or the Ukrainian Militia provide victims' addresses. On some occasions, the Einsatzkommando arrives the evening before the operation is to begin. The leaders spend the night in the village mayor's house drinking egg liquor: alcohol, sugar, and eggs; the execution will begin early the next morning.

The procedure mirrors that used in Tarashcha: Jews are rounded-up and brought to a central location; a search for valuables is made; men, women, and children are executed and tumble into a mass grave. In one village, two small girls, approximately eight-years-old, walk hand-in-hand without protest to the execution site.

Extermination is accomplished gradually over several months, until the last Jew, an arbeitsjuden, is exterminated. Einsatzkommando from Biala-Zerkov support this effort, possibly after Einsatzkommando 5 departs for Kiev.

Early October 1941.

Third Platoon, Einsatzkommando 5, sallies forth from Tarashcha, joining the rest of Einsatzcommando 5 for further killing operations.
Objective: Kiev


  1. Commander (colonel) of a Standarten - an SS regiment of 300-500 men.
  2. Double Dr. indicates two doctorate degrees
  3. Einsatzkommando 5 staff is headquartered in Squira (Skvira?);
    platoons 1 & 2 are assigned to nearby towns.


  1. Justiz und NS-Verbrechen (Nazi Crimes on Trial),
    case numbers 636 and 693. pp. 511-550.
  2. USC Shoah Foundation Institute; Survivors of the
    Shoah Visual History Foundation, video code no. 8746.

Einsatzgruppen ('operational group') were SS mobile paramilitary killing units that
followed behind the Wehrmacht.
Einsatzkommandos ('operational command') were sub-groups of the Einsatzgruppen.

3 Jul 1947.
Nuremberg, Germany.

Erwin Schulz, commander of Einsatzkommando 5 of Einsatzgruppe C, was indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and membership in a criminal organization.

Also indicted was SS General Otto Rasch.

6 Aug 1966.
Düsseldorf, Germany.

Two former SS Einsatzgruppen C members were sentenced for their role in the massacre of Jews in the Kiev area in 1941.

Horst Guido Huhn, age sixty, received seven years in prison. Karl Jung, age fifty-three, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years. Both men belonged to Einsatzkommando 5.

Early 1930's.
Letter to an American relative*.

Jews in Tarashcha "will go on living until the Messiah comes riding into town on a white horse!"

*Sima Sevransky Baum

6 Aug 1966.
Düsseldorf, Germany.

Operational Situation Reports USSR Nos. 80, 86, 88, 94, and 101 support the trial court conclusion that Einsatzkommando 5 executed more than 9,000 Jews in and around Tarashcha during the period from 10 Aug to 5 Oct 1941.

Execution Sites
Jewish Victims
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